Monday, June 27, 2016

Let's start paying attention to the polls

It is now time to pay attention to the polls.  Not any one poll, but the polling averages.

The RealClearPolitics polling average puts HRC ahead of Trump by an average of 6.7 points.  Pay attention to that, not the 12 point lead in the latest WaPo poll.  Run a lot of polls, and some will give you outlying results.  That's why we look at averages.

Do you need more than that?  No.  Perhaps you have heard of Nate Silver, a man whose powers of mathematics are so great that they allowed him to travel back in time and invent the field of statistics!  Why, I heard he once poisoned a man in Reno just to use a survival model to see how long it would take him to die!  (Trust me, that was funny if you're a statistics geek).

Anyway, there are a lot of prognosticators who use a lot of bells and whistles.  They add nothing.  Just watch the arithmetic mean of the polls.  Everything else is just a show for the rubes.

And what the polling averages are telling us now is that HRC has maintained a consistent lead since wrapping this thing up.  You have to go back to mid May to find that cluster of polls with Trump holding a narrow lead.  So, what was I saying then?  Look for yourself here.  Specifically, scroll down to that section with "BIG CAVEAT," in all caps.

As I said then, Sanders was still either deluding himself or lying to his followers about his chances.  Now that he is in the fading process and moving towards backing HRC, the Democrats are unifying, and HRC is taking the lead.  Her lead his held since.  Maybe we can dispense with the discussion of whether or not HRC is a weak candidate.  As you can see here, I never really bought that.

Now go back to my April 20 post.  I said that this would be an entertaining but inconsequential campaign because opinions of HRC and Trump are just already locked in.

What would have to happen to take HRC's lead away?  Here are some possibilities:

1)  An economic collapse.  Always a possibility, particularly with Brexit.  Never discount the chances of this.

2)  An uncomplicated terrorist attack, i.e., without the hate crime/assault weapon angles to complicate the politics.

3)  An Eagleton event.  Look him up, kids.

4)  Anti-Trump riots backfiring against HRC.

5)  A Nader-type third party candidate.

That's five off the top of my head.  Nobody should have any certainty about anything in this batshit crazy election.  Maybe it's time to resurrect my 2016 disclaimer, but HRC has a lead.  It is relatively stable, or as stable as anything can be right now.

For now, watch that polling average.  You now have my permission to obsess over it.

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