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[RD] US 2016 election: Poll watching thread

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by dutchfire, Jul 14, 2016.

  1. metalhead

    metalhead Angry Bartender

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    People need to stop with this, "But what if X was the candidate?!?" nonsense. You can't possibly know what dirt would have been dug up on Bernie, or John Kasich, or . . . well, those are the only 2 with reasonably good approval ratings of any politician anywhere it seems. There's no telling how Bernie or anyone else would have handled the spotlight, if they would have come through it looking like someone capable of being president.
     
  2. Sommerswerd

    Sommerswerd I'll sit with you

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    circa 1991-1994... If you can't beat the Bills, it doesn't matter if you "would have beaten" the Giants, Redskins or Cowboys...

    You have to beat the Bills first to earn the right to face the other guys in the championship.
     
  3. tetley

    tetley Head tea leaf

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    Of course, one of those was the Houston Oilers, whom the Buffalo Bills overcame a 35-point deficit to beat on the way to the Superbowl.
     
  4. Bootstoots

    Bootstoots Deity Retired Moderator

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    Counterfactual speculation is fun even if it doesn't produce anything knowable in the end. I wish we had 1000 universes where everything was the same except that I could tweak some variable or other, and then see how they would work out. Sadly, the universe is not a Monte Carlo simulation, which I guess is the whole reason a lot of people who model things seem to prefer their models to reality.

    Anyway, I'll throw in my own pointless speculation. I suspect that a Sanders vs Trump race would also be fairly close with a Dem lead. It would take the "insider vs outsider" factor out, and as someone with an instinctual dislike for insiders, I like imagining the political establishment wailing and gnashing its teeth. I suspect Sanders would do better than Clinton in the Midwest and Northeast while doing worse in the South and about the same in the West, with the most likely map being the 2012 map with Florida flipped (303 EV). Minority turnout would be lower but the working-class white vote not quite as overwhelmingly pro-Trump, with the net effects approximately canceling out.
     
  5. metalhead

    metalhead Angry Bartender

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    Well, allow me to amend my statement a bit. The counterfactual exercise is indeed fun. The nonsense that I'm complaining about is when people only engage to the extent of offering a banal conclusion that "Bernie would win in a landslide!"

    You think this election was ugly? This is nothing compared to what Sanders-Trump would be, as hard as that may be to believe, for two reasons. Number one, Bernie has favorability numbers that can (probably) be brought down, and would need to be by any means necessary. The one luxury Trump always enjoyed was that he was at or near his absolute favorability floor, leaving him free to say and do just about anything. Number two, Bernie and Trump would be fighting over the same voters. Trump and Clinton are speaking to completely different bases of support, and trying to turn out completely different, largely non-overlapping coalitions of voters. Neither had to worry about actually defending their turf from the other. Throw Bernie in there instead of Hillary, where Bernie starts peeling away elements of the Trump base, and factor in the fact that Trump's campaign CEO is one of our country's premier antisemites, and you have a recipe for some extraordinarily ugly campaigning. We got a taste of that anyways, but at about a 1 or a 2. Imagine it turned up to 11.
     
  6. Camikaze

    Camikaze Administrator Administrator

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    A Sanders-Trump race would also be a three way race with Bloomberg. That seems to be neglected by those who think Sanders would've done better.

    Silver has been critical of the football analogy, on the basis that it's more like a boxing match - there isn't actually any score until the game's over and the judges let us know, so it's possible that Clinton actually isn't up two scores or two points.

    He doesn't quite admit that. Early voting data does not directly figure into the model, but it does figure into the polls - if someone has voted already, a poll will count them as a 'likely voter', so it's not like the polls are just looking at that subset of people who haven't yet voted.
     
  7. Sommerswerd

    Sommerswerd I'll sit with you

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    I started to write a more specific post about attacks they would have used on him... but I thought better of it... kicking sand, even hypothetical sand, serves no purpose at this point... Bernie was champ and a real boon for the entire liberal side of politics this cycle... I will just say that the mere thought of Kellyanne Conway going after him makes me feel a little sick to my stomach... I'm glad I didn't have to see that.

    Hillary was TBH the perfect opponent for Trump, because nobody feels sorry for her, having to take all that poop getting thrown on her by Trump... She's our very own Iron-lady... she can take it, and she's at least arguably deserving of some of it. It was a lot easier watching Hillary and Trump destroy each other. It felt a lot more like a "fair" fight, if that means anything. I know Trumpers don't see it that way, and TBH many liberals would chafe at hearing that as well... but I think that is just the romanticism of being the underdog talking. Everyone loves to be the heroic, downtrodden underdog. But there was no such thing in this cycle. It was a battle between two celebrities, two media Titans... to shamlessly (and hypocritically)borrow from my favourite Grecian CFC'er... a battle between Scylla and Charybdis... Cthulhu and the Kraken... It was a fair fight, with each deploying their fearsome weapons as we mortals cowered in fear.

    I can't help but chuckle at that Onion article about Hillary's "inevitability" way back at the beginning of the cycle... "Do not attempt to flee or hide from the icy embrace of the Stygian waters.." or something along those lines...
     
  8. innonimatu

    innonimatu Deity

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    Even with Bloomberg trying to upset things, Sanders would have won, that would have been the difference (my guess, yeah..). Trump is probably the second most hated person in America... after Clinton! There is no way the "commie card" could have brought Sanders even near the level of hostility those two generate.
     
  9. metalhead

    metalhead Angry Bartender

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    If you think "commie" is the worst thing they would say about Bernie to turn white working class people away from him, then you're missing a rather large piece of the puzzle . . .
     
    Lexicus likes this.
  10. tetley

    tetley Head tea leaf

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    Not one of us would probably come out looking good after running through the gauntlet known as the presidential election.
     
  11. onejayhawk

    onejayhawk Afflicted with reason

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    Monday night is here. It appears Clinton will weather the storm. That said, I expect it to much closer than most expect. The energy and momentum edge is with Trump but the Clinton lead is too big.

    The Senate is another story. Because the GOP has better energy, I do not see them losing a majority of the tossup races. The Republicans maintain 51+.

    J
     
  12. metalhead

    metalhead Angry Bartender

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    How about putting up an actual prediction, with a map? Here or elsewhere? Instead of a cryptic "prediction" that you can claim was right almost no matter what happens?
     
  13. onejayhawk

    onejayhawk Afflicted with reason

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    Sure.

    Spoiler :
    J
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2016
  14. Leoreth

    Leoreth Prince of Blood Moderator

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    That's a very good point. I think from a theoretical perspective, showing uncertainty as what it is is probably desirable. But it's very unsatisfying if a sophisticated model only tells you that you don't know anything. Sometimes it's better to make a model more useful by including a judgment call than to only use pure data to be inconclusive.

    I'm curious though how critical 538 will be of their model after the results are certain, and how we would even be able to figure out where the model was right and where it wasn't.

    The Midwest vs. South thing would probably make Sanders more effective than Clinton given the same overall popular vote, considering how many of Clinton's gains vs Trump are lost in solidly Republican states right now.
     
  15. metalhead

    metalhead Angry Bartender

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    I get the sense that Nate is almost defiantly confident that his model uses the best choices in its design out of all the predictive models out there. I feel like his response to critics is a little too much on the side of, "My model was right regardless of the outcome because improbable events happen sometimes." In a sense, he's right, right? I mean, if you say Trump has a 30% chance of winning and he wins, you can't really take his win as proof that your model was off, or had the wrong probability. Same thing if your model has him at 15%, or even 5%. But then you kind of end up going down the rabbit hole of, the Republic will almost surely cease to exist long before we have enough presidential election outcomes to build a confident prediction model adjusted for past performance, so what is the point of a probabilistic model to begin with?

    My own personal take is that it makes sense to try to use demographically targeted polling as a significant part of the model. As I've posted here before, Latino Decisions does extensive polling of Latino voters, both a weekly nationwide tracking poll and in battleground states with significant Latino populations. Harvard and Time magazine both did polling targeted specifically at Millenials. Given the disagreement between a lot of the polling data in the overall state and national polls and these targeted polls, especially considering that these populations are notoriously hard to sample, I think it's a mistake to ignore them. I also think, contrary to Nate, that this isn't necessarily something that all comes out in the wash when you aggregate polls.
     
  16. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Alien spiral maker

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    How long till the first exit polls, and how reliable/unreliable will they be? :)
     
  17. tetley

    tetley Head tea leaf

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    I will give Nate Silver this much: at one time Hillary's numbers were at 87%. Then they dropped to 64%. I know that 64% is lower than 87%. So something about Hillary's position when it was listed at 87% was better than when it was 64%.

    At the end of the day, Hillary is either 100% elected or 100% not. This isn't Schroedinger's Cat.
     
  18. Farm Boy

    Farm Boy Deity

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    You've correctly alluded to an identified target of hate, but you've missed the (misattributed)why of the hate. It's fine, it's a scummy mental state to wade through, and I don't really fault people for not wanting to "get" it. But Bernie would be less vulnerable to that than you seem to think, for much the same reason Herman Cain isn't super vulnerable to his counterpoint. It's the "commie" that would stick as a better attack than "Jew."
     
  19. Sommerswerd

    Sommerswerd I'll sit with you

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    That's a raggedy premise there... Cain was leading the pack and then went down hard... to the tried, true and very cliché "hitting on/sleeping with white women" scandal, so I think he was pretty vulnerable to his "counterpoint" if I take your meaning... Also he was the "flavor of the month" for literally a month... so comparisons to Bernie are a little... I dunno...
     
  20. Farm Boy

    Farm Boy Deity

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    Those two flavors of hate are different, aren't they Sommer? I'll downgrade the comparison to Cain, you're probably right. Even if they'd have rallied to him, eventually, especially considering who he'd have been running against. Bernie's messaging, mostly revolving around earning the enmity of Wall Street and DC insider track, defanging the cost of access to education and the educated classes(they do have kids), and such things: even most jackasses would let their daughters marry a friendly "lawyer."

    Being anti-trade agreement anti-finance pro-gun-rights would have really confounded the hell out of all but the hardest core of hardcore bigots.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2016

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