September 6, 2016

It's post-Labor Day. The campaign, at last, begins in earnest.



Looks like the contestants are taking their marks, beginning at the same point.  No one has a head start. Right? Hard to believe that after all this time, after all we've been through, that the 2 candidates are exactly balanced. Isn't that strange?

68 comments:

Brando said...

It'll be close--we're talking about the two most despised major party candidates in modern times. Had either party picked someone less toxic, they'd be swamping this thing. Instead, it's coming down to which awful person is more on your mind when you vote. Both sides hope the opposing candidate is the one on people's minds.

Any chance we can do a prediction thread? It'd be neat to check back on it after the election and see how close we came.

Rod McFadden said...

"Starts in earnest" reminds me of the two maggots who were bitter enemies; all their fight were in dead earnest!

Mick said...

The polls are a lie. Trump 60% Clinton 30% Undecided 10% are the real numbers. Trump in a LANDSLIDE.

Mike said...

So it really DOES begin after Labor Day. For once this cycle the expert consensus was correct.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

I don't want to see either of the candidates wearing white!

Mike said...

And WHAT a beginning! The nugatory nabob of Cankleshire started off the real start of the campaign with two huge coughing fits that shut down her "speech" and then her "press conference" for several minutes each. Meanwhile the trend lines over past few weeks do not seem to favor the candidate with "the most experience" in government.

It's just not your year Dear!

Brando said...

"I don't want to see either of the candidates wearing white!"

Slimming patterns only! We have two geriatric, overweight candidates with highly questionably health running for the most powerful office in the land. Compare that to four years ago when instead we had two candidates in great physical shape.

Laslo Spatula said...

Trump wins the Popular Vote.

Hillary wins the Electoral College.

Kaine becomes President when Hillary dies in early 2017.

Something like that.

I am Laslo.

Bay Area Guy said...

I'm surprised and encouraged that Trump is even keeping it close. He still has a bigger hurdle to surmount - the main stream media wants Hillary to win and most people think she will prevail.

Let's see if Trump can finish strong. He is tenacious.



rehajm said...

My nana has coughing fits, too.

rehajm said...

Last week we began to see some resistance from some of the usual D supporters. Not the all in bundlers but those who drop big money late.

Two conversations like this: "(nervous laugh)..Heh, heh...(pregnant pause)...Johnson..."

Curious George said...

"Brando said...
...We have two geriatric, overweight candidates with highly questionably health running for the most powerful office in the land."

I get the Hildabeast, but although he is certainly overweight, Trump's health isn't "highly questionably" nor is he "geriatric".

Curious George said...

"Brando said...
It'll be close--we're talking about the two most despised major party candidates in modern times. Had either party picked someone less toxic, they'd be swamping this thing. Instead, it's coming down to which awful person is more on your mind when you vote. Both sides hope the opposing candidate is the one on people's minds."

Again, the Hildabeast was hand picked by the DNC, but the GOP has ZERO to do with Trump winning the nomination...hell the fought him all the way through.

Laslo Spatula said...

From 'The Community of Color Gazette':

"Man of Color Wonders What World Would Be Like If Whites Didn't Vote"

Paul Glades, a Black Man of our Community of Color, was overheard wondering what the world would be like if whites were not allowed to vote.

When asked, Mr. Glades confirmed the statement.

"I was having some beers at the Tavern, watching the news, and it hit me: what would the world be like if whites couldn't vote?"

Glenda Moore, bartender at the Tavern, corroborated the story.

"Paul, he thinks some thoughts. We were just watching news about the election, and Paul just said he wondered what it would be like if white folk didn't vote."

When asked if anyone at the Tavern had any answers to Mr. Glades' question, Ms. Moore responded the following.

"A lot people said things like "Hell yeah", stuff like that."

When Mr. Glades was asked about answers to his question he paused with a thoughtful expression on his face.

"I haven't thought it that far. I just know things would be different, that's all."

Randy Coolidge, a Tavern patron, elaborated on Mr. Glades' response.

"F**k yeah it'd be different. That's a fact."

When asked how it would be different, Mr. Coolidge had the following to say.

"None of your f**cking business."

So there it is: a Story of Change in our Community of Color. For more stories like this please read 'The Community of Color Gazette'.


I am Laslo.

Roy Lofquist said...

I think that what is most telling is that Clinton and allied groups have spent over $150 million on media while Trump has spent close to nothing. Much has been made of Trump's "free" media but most of that has been anything but supportive of him.

I blame these danged intertubes.

EDH said...

Post-Labor Day... depression?

Curious George said...

"Blogger Laslo Spatula said...
From 'The Community of Color Gazette':

"Man of Color Wonders What World Would Be Like If Whites Didn't Vote"

Paul Glades, a Black Man of our Community of Color, was overheard wondering what the world would be like if whites were not allowed to vote.

When asked, Mr. Glades confirmed the statement.

"I was having some beers at the Tavern, watching the news, and it hit me: what would the world be like if whites couldn't vote?"

Glenda Moore, bartender at the Tavern, corroborated the story.

"Paul, he thinks some thoughts. We were just watching news about the election, and Paul just said he wondered what it would be like if white folk didn't vote."

When asked if anyone at the Tavern had any answers to Mr. Glades' question, Ms. Moore responded the following.

"A lot people said things like "Hell yeah", stuff like that."

When Mr. Glades was asked about answers to his question he paused with a thoughtful expression on his face.

"I haven't thought it that far. I just know things would be different, that's all."

Randy Coolidge, a Tavern patron, elaborated on Mr. Glades' response.

"F**k yeah it'd be different. That's a fact."

When asked how it would be different, Mr. Coolidge had the following to say.

"None of your f**cking business."

So there it is: a Story of Change in our Community of Color. For more stories like this please read 'The Community of Color Gazette'.


I am Laslo."

"Asked?" I thought it was "axed?"

Brando said...

"I get the Hildabeast, but although he is certainly overweight, Trump's health isn't "highly questionably" nor is he "geriatric"."

Trump is actually older than Hillary. As for his health, it's questionable until he releases a physicians report that isn't hilariously written to say he "has tremendous health" and "far better health than anyone who ever ran for president". I mean, if you're going to write your own doctor's report, how about not using your usual marketing language?

Far as I can tell, neither looks good to make it a full four years in one of the most aging jobs out there.

"Again, the Hildabeast was hand picked by the DNC, but the GOP has ZERO to do with Trump winning the nomination...hell the fought him all the way through."

The respective party establishments, that's true--but both were nominated by their voters and in both cases the voters chose the one person toxic enough to keep this close. It'll be a near-run thing, and the losing party can lick its wounds and wonder why they gave it away this year.

Far as I'm concerned, too bad they can't both lose. They each deserve it.

Gusty Winds said...

My cousin and her husband just stayed at my house this weekend. They moved from Wisconsin to Colorado five years ago when they retired. They were lifelong Democrats, enthusiastic Bernie supporters, and can't believe how fast he sold out at the Democrat convention.

They think Trump is a lesser evil than Hillary, and are voting for Jill Stein. They know a vote for Jill Stein is a vote for Trump, and they are ok with it.

They hate Hillary. They think she's evil.

cubanbob said...

@Brando: the Democrats had a choice between a communist and a fascist and they chose the fascist. The Republicans had a field of seventeen and after splitting the votes the one with a plurality was the carnival barker. The country can survive four years with a huckster in charge. The same cannot be said with a fascist in charge. As for the respective health issues of the two candidates this time the VP selection is important. I can see Pence as a solid, moderate to conservative Republican, competent, dull and not prone to getting out there. Kaine just looks nuts. Hillary found her Biden.

Earnest Prole said...

Please resist. Nationwide polls of a thousand people were once, like carbon paper and land lines, our very best technology. Today, presidential predictions not based on state-by-state polling are strictly for rubes.

EMD said...

"Had either party picked someone less toxic, they'd be swamping this thing"

Those politicians don't exist anymore. Every Republican is Hitler. Every Democrat is incompetent.

The individuals aren't really the problem --- it's the parties themselves.

EMD said...

"I was having some beers at the Tavern, watching the news, and it hit me: what would the world be like if whites couldn't vote?"

I call bullshit, Laslo. No black people be using the word Tavern.

CStanley said...

I'm not so sure I believe that the race is close to tied but if that balance is correct I think it makes sense....I think huge numbers of people don't really want either HC or Trump to win, and when one of them pulls ahead there is a reaction from the people who feel slightly more revulsion toward that candidate. That's how I personally feel. So I may be projecting.

Oso Negro said...

Good God, Laslo! Don't give them any fucking ideas.

Brando said...

"@Brando: the Democrats had a choice between a communist and a fascist and they chose the fascist. The Republicans had a field of seventeen and after splitting the votes the one with a plurality was the carnival barker. The country can survive four years with a huckster in charge. The same cannot be said with a fascist in charge. As for the respective health issues of the two candidates this time the VP selection is important. I can see Pence as a solid, moderate to conservative Republican, competent, dull and not prone to getting out there. Kaine just looks nuts. Hillary found her Biden."

Hillary is a nightmare, I just think you're underestimating the damage of Trump (at least from a conservative standpoint--if I were a liberal, I might even look forward to a Trump presidency as it may rip the GOP apart and the Dems could pass what they please). I liken it to watching a Superbowl between two teams you can't stand, but hope to see some razzle dazzle to entertain us.

eric said...

This is when the pollsters have to be a little more accurate. They can still play fast and loose with polls until October, but it helps the narrative if the tightening begins now.

Also, early voting starts soon. I wonder, in states with early voting, do the Democrats normally win? Early voting seems to me like a great way to cheat.

rehajm said...

Earnest Prole said...
Please resist. Nationwide polls of a thousand people were once, like carbon paper and land lines, our very best technology. Today, presidential predictions not based on state-by-state polling are strictly for rubes.


Much evidence to the contrary, so says Nate's rule #10:

Don’t get crazy about the Electoral College. If either Clinton or Trump is ahead in the popular vote, then they will most likely win the Electoral College, especially if they’re winning by more than a few percentage points. That’s been almost universally true throughout American history, with only a couple of exceptions in super close elections. (That’s one reason it’s silly to dismiss national polls.)

Curious George said...

Brando said...
"I get the Hildabeast, but although he is certainly overweight, Trump's health isn't "highly questionably" nor is he "geriatric"."

Trump is actually older than Hillary. As for his health, it's questionable until he releases a physicians report that isn't hilariously written to say he "has tremendous health" and "far better health than anyone who ever ran for president". I mean, if you're going to write your own doctor's report, how about not using your usual marketing language? "

Far as I can tell, neither looks good to make it a full four years in one of the most aging jobs out there." Age alone isn't an issue in your statements. And sorry, there is nothing about Trump to indicate he is in "questionable health" which is why you respond with this tap dancing BS.

"Brando said..."Again, the Hildabeast was hand picked by the DNC, but the GOP has ZERO to do with Trump winning the nomination...hell the fought him all the way through."

The respective party establishments, that's true--but both were nominated by their voters and in both cases the voters chose the one person toxic enough to keep this close. It'll be a near-run thing, and the losing party can lick its wounds and wonder why they gave it away this year.

Far as I'm concerned, too bad they can't both lose. They each deserve it."

Your statements were about the party, not the voters. You said "Had either party picked someone..." The GOP did not pick Trump. The DNC did pick Hillary. Hint: Party /= voters. More tap dancing.

mockturtle said...

With Hillary's fading health status and the WaPo floating the notion that Russia may be hacking our upcoming elections, I'm beginning to take some of the crazy conspiracy theories* more seriously.

*Obama remains POTUS due to deferred election or inauguration.

Bobby said...

mockturtle,

"*Obama remains POTUS due to deferred election or inauguration."

What do you think is the percent chance of that actually happening?

mockturtle said...

Bobby, I was being facetious about the conspiracy theory. But the fact that the Washington Post is grooming us to be suspicious of election results due to hacking is a concern. Or do you think the press doesn't manipulate?

Bill Peschel said...

"What do you think is the percent chance of that actually happening?"

Zero, although I wouldn't put it past him to try. He is staggeringly tone-deaf.

So we have a tie, given that HRC has offices everywhere, a press corp firmly attached to her buttocks, and lots of advertising, and Trump has, basically, Trump.

I wonder if any of the polling companies are asking about a Trump v. Kaine matchup.

Bobby said...

Of course they do. But it does not necessarily follow that the purpose of their manipulation is to lay the foundation for an Obama extralegal extension of his term. Like, I could think of a number of (more likely) purposes for which the press is "grooming us to be suspicious of election results due to hacking."

holdfast said...

Trump could stand to lose some weight, but in his favor he doesn't drink, he seems to keep a pretty full schedule and he looks energetic. Of course, either could have some hidden and/or undiagnosed ailment, but based on overall activity levels and appearance, Trump seems to be far healthier.

eric said...

An interesting stat from the CNN poll. Are you more or less enthusiastic about voting for president this year?

Registered Democrats who are more enthusiastic? 38%

Registered Republicans who are more enthusiastic? 48%

That's a pretty large enthusiasm gap.

Is more honest and trustworthy? Clinton 35% and Trump 50%.

Only 28% described themselves as Democrats, whereas 32% described themselves as Republican and 40% described themselves as Independent.

To me, this is the most interesting part of the whole poll though.

Hillary wins 90% of Democrats, 28% of independents and 3% of Republicans.

Trump's wins 2% of Democrats, 48% of independents and 88% of Republicans.

So, Trump wins independents by 20 points but only wins the poll by 1 point.

How must they have weighted Democrats to come to that conclusion?

Darrell said...

Those election hacks saw hundreds of thousands of voters getting their personal information stolen, like SS numbers. And none of the State workers seemed to be the least bit concerned about the potential damage to their citizens.

cubanbob said...

"Hillary is a nightmare, I just think you're underestimating the damage of Trump (at least from a conservative standpoint--if I were a liberal, I might even look forward to a Trump presidency as it may rip the GOP apart and the Dems could pass what they please). I liken it to watching a Superbowl between two teams you can't stand, but hope to see some razzle dazzle to entertain us."

Brando, enough with the melodrama. Yes Trump's speaking manner and demeanor are off putting however as a conservative I'm not afraid of Trump raising my taxes, embarking on Quixotic new government spending programs and regulatory schemes, nominating Leftist judges and the rest of the usual progressive nonsense. He isn't going to rip the GOP apart, the RNC did that all by itself, Trump is the result, not the cause. So what exactly is the supposed big war between Congressional Republicans going to be about? Building a wall that was authorized by a Republican Congress during the Bush Administration? Pissing Walmart and Hollywood off by putting some trade pressure on China? Tell the Hollande-Merkel EU to piss off? Like that is going to really cheese off Conservatives? Please, calm down, you are starting to get a case of Chuckitess.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Brando said...
It'll be close--we're talking about the two most despised major party candidates in modern times. Had either party picked someone less toxic, they'd be swamping this thing


I mean, I understand why people say this, but I'm just not convinced it's true. I'm certain the Media hate for Ted Cruz would be just as bad as it is for Trump--probably worse (Trump at least is good for ratings, Cruz wouldn't be). Would the Media really give Rubio a pass just 'cause he's a nice guy? I doubt it--I'd bet there'd be all kinds of stories about his sexism, his supporters trying to deny an historic national accomplishment, etc.

Hillary is not a great campaigner and Donald is a terrible candidate. In that sense I'm not surprised it's close. I am not sure it's true that any of the other plausible Repub. candidates would be way ahead of Hillary right now, though. Cruz wouldn't, Bush certainly wouldn't...Rubio maybe, but I doubt it. I mean, on paper Romney should have been ahead of Obama for most of the last election, but instead he lost by quite a bit. "Swamping this thing" is probably not in the cards for any Republican Pres. candidate for many, many years.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Trump could stand to lose some weight, but in his favor he doesn't drink, he seems to keep a pretty full schedule and he looks energetic

Trump may be slightly overweight, however realize that in almost every public appearance Trump is wearing a bullet proof bulky and very heavy vest and possibly other body armor. Look at his face and not the body padded by layers of kevlar and ill fitting suits to accommodate the extra padding. His face, neck and wrists reflect the status, weight wise, of a normal person who is past their prime years. He isn't fat, like a Huckabee or Christy.

The energy level that he has shown in this election is really quite astounding for anyone of any age. Appearances in one country, Mexico, and then the same day another in America. Over and over, day after day, the traveling and rallies. Hillary can barely make it up the stairs and has to "rest" all of the time it seems.

I'm exhausted just thinking about Trump's schedule.

Brando said...

"And sorry, there is nothing about Trump to indicate he is in "questionable health" "

I'd feel more confident in your statement if the 70 year old man who constantly eats junk food hadn't put out such an obviously false doctor's report on his "amazing" health.

"Your statements were about the party, not the voters. You said "Had either party picked someone...""

A party does in fact equal its voters, or Trump would not be the nominee. Surely you don't think I was under the impression that the GOP establishment picked Trump? I know the DNC favored Hillary, and the GOP establishment would have sunk Trump if they had a chance. My overall point though is that each party nominated someone with a massive handicap. Doesn't really matter how they got nominated.

"Yes Trump's speaking manner and demeanor are off putting however as a conservative I'm not afraid of Trump..."

His speaking manner and demeanor don't really bother me--in some respects they're plusses (though not the double-talk and vagueness). What bothers me is his promise to leave entitlements alone, his nonsense on free trade and his comfort with government power (e.g., eminent domain, infrastructure spending--things conservatives just yesterday had a problem with but apparently we're supposed to be fine with now?). As for taxes, I'd agree with you regarding some of his statements, but he backtracks to populist nonsense (about getting the rich to pay more, punishing people doing business overseas, etc.) that I don't have your confidence.

Believe me (as Trump would say) I'd like to have your confidence and be able to like the guy--for crying out loud, look who he's running against!--but it's hard to not see disaster coming from this. Maybe you're right and I'm being overly pessimistic, and if he did win I hope I'd be proven wrong (particularly as I'd like to be able to retire some day).

Brando said...

"I mean, I understand why people say this, but I'm just not convinced it's true. I'm certain the Media hate for Ted Cruz would be just as bad as it is for Trump--probably worse (Trump at least is good for ratings, Cruz wouldn't be). Would the Media really give Rubio a pass just 'cause he's a nice guy? I doubt it--I'd bet there'd be all kinds of stories about his sexism, his supporters trying to deny an historic national accomplishment, etc."

I can already tell you what they'd be doing to Rubio--they'd make hay of his abortion comments, his tax plan ("giveaways to the rich!") and his "warlike" foreign policy. They'd do what they could to demonize the guy.

The difference is Rubio would have most of the right behind him, and a lot of those old tired attacks sound so familiar they wouldn't stick as well. I doubt he'd be looking at 2/3 disapproval ratings as Trump is right now. It's a question of degree.

In Trump's favor, he's running against someone almost as unpopular, and if those numbers could work for him (or he could be disciplined in the home stretch) he could make it an upset.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Brando said...The difference is Rubio would have most of the right behind him, and a lot of those old tired attacks sound so familiar they wouldn't stick as well. I doubt he'd be looking at 2/3 disapproval ratings as Trump is right now. It's a question of degree.

I agree, I just don't know how much "having the right behind him" would actually add to Rubio's national poll numbers were he the nominee right now. Probably you could argue that Rubio would have had Party support all along and that would have translated into a lot more $ and more national and targeted ads...but all of that, for a Repub., might be worth 2-4 points nationally, maybe.

In other words I'm willing to believe the Repubs. would be doing better with Rubio (and maybe slightly better with Cruz) but I don't think they'd be way ahead. One big unknown, I think, is the GOTV effort Trump's going to have vs. what an establishment Repub. candidate would have had--that's the kind of thing that doesn't really show up in these types of polls but could make a BIG difference on election day, and all indications are that it's a major weakness and disadvantage for Trump.

Earnest Prole said...

rehajm: You are absolutely correct, sir. And if you look at popular-vote projections built on state-by-state data, you will see Clinton currently leads Trump 47.2% to 43.4%. But don’t take my word for it, take Nate’s.

eric said...

Can anyone see how they weighted this poll? I'm not finding the numbers in the internals. However, based off what they do give us, it seems it should be Trump 48% and Hillary 37%.

What weighting did they do to reduce an 11% lead to a 1% lead?

rehajm said...

And if you look at popular-vote projections built on state-by-state data, you will see Clinton currently leads Trump 47.2% to 43.4%. But don’t take my word for it, take Nate’s.

Yes I follow that data, too, but it does nothing to affirm your original assertion that presidential predictions not based on state-by-state polling are strictly for rubes.

Where is that evidence?

Brando said...

"I agree, I just don't know how much "having the right behind him" would actually add to Rubio's national poll numbers were he the nominee right now. Probably you could argue that Rubio would have had Party support all along and that would have translated into a lot more $ and more national and targeted ads...but all of that, for a Repub., might be worth 2-4 points nationally, maybe."

But keep in mind that the greatest benefit of having a united party is the opportunity it gives the candidate to reach past that to the "soft middle" (Republicans, Dems and Independents who aren't hard set for either party). If you solidify your party's support by late spring, and then begin your outreach at that point, you have about six months to contest those voters.

And in this unique race, "Generic Nominee" would be going up against not a good politician with moderate appeal and his own party solidly behind him (like Obama, who like him or hate him he's got political skill) but instead Hillary--who is despised not just by Republicans but by a lot of leftists and moderates. Her only strategy is fear of the GOP, and she'd definitely try to use that, but it works better on some nominees than others.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

70 year old man who constantly eats junk food

@ Brando

You know this how? I men a photo op with a taco salad and some McDonalds does not mean that is the constant diet. Hillary ate at Chipolte. Do we extrapolate from that photo op that she eats nothing but junk food?

I get the dislike of Trump, but seriously? Junk food? Constantly?

Earnest Prole said...

rehajm: Hard 2012 lessons recounted here. “We don’t have a national election in November, we have 50 state elections, so why would you ever privilege the national polls over the states ones when they conflict?” The embedded Dana Perino vid is worth watching too.

Brando said...

"You know this how? I men a photo op with a taco salad and some McDonalds does not mean that is the constant diet. Hillary ate at Chipolte. Do we extrapolate from that photo op that she eats nothing but junk food?"

By his own admission he constantly eats McDonalds and KFC--supposedly it's part of his proletarian appeal.

And I don't mean that as an insult--I like junk food myself (more than I should) and certainly don't think that reflects poorly on a presidential candidate. But when you eat that a lot and you're aiming to be the oldest person ever elected president (a job that famously ages people quickly) it's worth asking what sort of health the man is in.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

Now the campaign begins in earnest? They's only but 24 hours in a day. Aint no room for no more campaign "news." Talk about ten pounds of shit in a five pound sack!

rehajm said...

“We don’t have a national election in November, we have 50 state elections, so why would you ever privilege the national polls over the states ones when they conflict?”

Thanks for that, it IS interesting, esp. this...

The fatal flaw in that analysis, though, which I’m guilty of too, was valuing the national polls more than the state polls, which showed a more comfortable Obama win. RCP’s average in the state polls predicted the outcome correctly in 49 out of 50 cases, missing Florida only because that state was so close.

...but looking at the polls she uses as irrefutable evidence national polling sucks, with the exception of Rassmussen, where the house effect has been examined, they're pretty much in line with the 3.9% margin of victory. Is that really a fatal flaw?

I'm not yet persuaded to tell Nate he's wrong about the popular vote.

rehajm said...

I'd add where there's a delta in the national polls cited in this post and the state amalgamations, rather than conclude national polling is bad, isn't it more likely- 1) this recent polling has an outlier or two or 2) this polling captured a shift in momentum not yet reflected in the older state polling. Did anything interesting happen in the race this weekend?

Yancey Ward said...

"How must they have weighted Democrats to come to that conclusion?"

The poll was probably weighted to adjust the imbalance in the party identification. The poll seemed to find more independents and fewer Democrats than would be expected based on registration data. Now, is this weighting justified? There is actually no real way to know without holding the election itself- all you can do is look at more recent elections. I assume the poll asked about registration, but people will answer the question as if you are asking what party they belong to at the moment. It is entirely possible that the poll isn't undercounting Democrats- it could just as easily be that some registered Democrats don't want to identify as Democrats at the moment.

rehajm said...

One more than I'll leave it- Dana Perino is a pundit, not a pollster or a quant. She does a good job trying to make sense of what she views as contradictory information, but her conclusion doesn't really stand up to the evidence, does it?

Bobby said...

Earnest Prole, rehajm,

I think you guys are missing the forest for the trees here. Nate's point is that the national popular vote- with less than a handful of exceptions- has tracked very closely with the electoral college (as derived from state-by-state contests). So, if you're looking for trends (as Nate is), then seeing a rise or drop by a few percentage points is likely to have ramifications across all states, including the swing states. There's some risk with that assumption, of course- for example, a change in any individual state could be a reaction to sub-systemic (local) issues, or a particular state's demographics could cause it to be somewhat "insulated" from national shock. But as a whole, based on historical track record, Nate thinks it's worth looking at the national polls to determine possible trends.

This plays out in Nate's forecast (which Earnest points to). Yes, Nate has Trump at a 31.8% chance right now (compared to Hillary's 68.2% chance)- but back on August 15th, he had Trump's chance at 11.1% and Clinton at 88.8%. That's definitely trending for Trump over the last three weeks, something that you might have missed if you were focused only on state-by-state polls and discarded the national polling altogether. (And, of course, it does not necessarily indicate that the trend will continue at the current pro-Trump rate or that it won't eventually hit some glass ceiling).

If you're STEM guys, think of the national polls as Newton's law of universal gravitational and the state-by-state polling as Einstein's theory of general relativity -- the former is a phenomenal appoximation of the effects of gravity in most applications. Yes, it breaks down when using subatomic particles or when you need extreme precision, but on the whole, it still has tremendous value even if it is superseded by the latter.

rehajm said...

Bobby you're right- good analogy, though I wasn't the one ready to dismiss Newton.

Earnest Prole said...

rejham: I think we're in violent agreement.

Bobby: Agreed on the physics, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say that data from many points tend to be more accurate than data from a few.

Bobby said...

Earnest,

"Bobby: Agreed on the physics, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say that data from many points tend to be more accurate than data from a few."

Yeah, that's Nate's point as to why one doesn't just reflexively discard national polls. There's a staggered effect built into the various polls, as they are conducted and released on different timelines -- looking at national polling broadly can allow you to see a trend more easily (and sooner) than does waiting for each state poll to come in. This doesn't mean you discard the state polls (on the contrary, they are more heavily weighted in Nate's forecast model), but that you also don't just discard the national polls as they come in.

And, tellingly, as the national polls have shown the race tightening over the last three weeks, so- ultimately- have the various state polls tightened, and that is being demonstrated by a tightening of the race in Nate's polls-only model. (Interestingly, his polls-plus model had always anticipated that the race would tighten). This is a good use of "data from many points" being more accurate than data from fewer points (the state polls only) or "data from a few" (the national polls only).

Earnest Prole said...

Bobby: To clarify, I’m not pointing to Nate’s 31.8%–68.2% Trump–Clinton forecast, I’m pointing to Nate’s 43.4%–47.2% Trump–Clinton national popular-vote projection built on state-by-state data. Again, I’ll go out on a limb and say that 1,000 data points tend to be less accurate than 50 x 1,000 data points (simplifying, obviously, but hopefully you see my point). And yes, national polls are helpful in identifying trends that sometimes continue and sometimes do not.

MaxedOutMama said...

It's not really that strange. A lot of voters have sincere reservations about both these candidates.

If you are for Clinton, it is WORRISOME, because the press has both been barred from asking questions and, to some extent, invested in covering for her, so there's more to expose when overturning rocks.

I presume that the Trump campaign will be happy to do that, and at this stage in the game, they are going to get an audience.

mockturtle said...

70 year old man who constantly eats junk food

Maybe on the campaign trail but I suspect he's a bit of a health food fanatic.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Did anything interesting happen in the race this weekend?"

-- The biggest news I recall lately -- not sure if this was this weekend or just recent. Trump's speech at a black church; Clinton's FBI interview notes released.

tim maguire said...

rehajm: Hard 2012 lessons recounted here. “We don’t have a national election in November, we have 50 state elections, so why would you ever privilege the national polls over the states ones when they conflict?” .

Because most state polls are old and with small sample sizes. That may change as the election approaches, but at this stage I favor the national polls for two reasons: first, they're current; and second, because, unlike the Democrats, the Republicans cannot win the popular vote but lose the electoral vote (that uniquely Democratic fate is a result of the millions of wasted votes in New York and California).

rehajm said...

Heh. Apparently the state vs national debate is spilling onto Twitts.

Nate tweeted: Saying "state polling averages don't show a shift toward Trump yet!" is basically saying "I like polls from 3 weeks ago more than today's!"

David said...

"I’ll go out on a limb and say that 1,000 data points tend to be less accurate than 50 x 1,000 data points."

I hope there's something under that limb to cushion your fall.

It depends on the quality of the data. About which we normals really have no idea. Nor do the pollsters know how good their data is, in a race as unusual as this one.

Bobby said...

David,

I took Earnest to have an implied "if all other things are equal" in his proposition-- i.e., if the quality of the individual 1000 data points is more or less equal to the quality of the individual 50x1000 data points. I think that's why he used the term "tend" and not "will." Perhaps I was being too generous, but I don't think he'd disagree that if the larger data set was of extremely poor quality while the smaller data set was extremely precise that still the larger data set would nonetheless tend to be more accurate.

Jon Ericson said...

Brando's a Moby.
Talented.