Tuesday, October 4, 2016

What's going on in Ohio?

I should weigh in briefly on the state of the race here in Ohio.  Most of the polling has shown Clinton gain across the country since the first debate last week.  There has only been one post-debate poll here in Ohio (get on this, you lazy pollsters!).  It is a Quinnipiac poll, with a sample just under 500, putting Trump up by 5 points.  That puts his RealClearPolitics average lead here over Clinton at 3.8 points.

Is that really what's going on in Ohio?

That's our best estimate with weak data since we only have one post-debate poll with a small sample.  Note the caveats.  Yup, as far as we can tell, Trump is holding onto Ohio.  If you had to bet, that's where you would put your money.  Then again, if you had to bet on who wins the whole enchilada, bet on Clinton.

Why is Trump doing better in Ohio than in the rest of the country?  Uh...  Ask me again when we have better, academic-quality survey data.  It probably has something to do with racial demographics.  Either that, or the polling data are off.  (Yes, "are.")

Either way, this gives me the opportunity to point out the nonsense of acting as though one state is more important than another simply because it is a bellwether.  Yes, whoever wins tends to win Ohio.  That doesn't mean you need Ohio to win.  Ohio isn't magic.  Trust me, I live here.  Flaming rivers do not imbue a state with magic powers.  (No, our river hasn't caught on fire in decades, and yes Cleveland is much cooler than it used to be, thanks to bad-ass chefs like Jonathan Sawyer, but we can still make jokes).

Here. Let Randall Munroe explain it.


  1. "are"

    Now I know the only reason you write this blog is to troll me.

    1. Also, prediction markets are awesome and Family Guy sucks.