Friday, November 11, 2016

Faith in Polls and Pols

The goal of this blog is to move half the country towards stage 5. Please share.
Happy birthday to Amy in West Hartford...!

trump-clinton-winners-tFrom a well-known social commentator:

I woke up this morning still in shock and grief... "

The grief we understand. And if the outcome had been the other way, the other 50 percent of the country was going to wake up in grief.

But where does the shock come from?


"Let’s dispense with the notion that Trump has a real shot at winning in November."
James Downie, Washington Post, Mar 3, 2016

"He lacks the political skills, the likability, the public support and the fundraising ability to beat Hillary Clinton. That's why he won't even come close."
- Tim Carney, Washington Examiner, April 11, 2016

"Donald Trump will not, cannot, win the general election for U.S president.... It's time for the media to stop pretending otherwise…"
Carlo Dade, Sr. Fellow, School of International Development and Global Studies, Univ. of Ottawa, May 17, 2016

"Relax, Donald Trump can't win. Even before you get to his campaign’s incompetence and lackluster fundraising, the numbers just aren’t on his side."
Jon Wiener, The Nation, June 21, 2016

"Moody’s Analytics is forecasting that Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee, will easily win the presidency in November over Republican Donald Trump, the June forecast predicts.... The model, which has predicted every election correctly since it was created in 1980, has forecasted a Democratic victory since the release of its first run in July 2015."
- Vicki Needham, The Hill, Jul 1 2016

"Does the thought of President Donald Trump keep you up at night? Maybe this will make you feel better: he can't win."
- Annie Gabillet, Jul 2, 2016

"Trump is underperforming so comprehensively...[for him to win] it would take video evidence of a smiling Hillary drowning a litter of puppies while terrorists surrounded her with chants of ‘Death to America,’' said an Iowa Republican.
- Steven Shepard, Aug 12, 2016  

"The election is already over…. It’s possible that public opinion shifts dramatically between now and then. But if it doesn’t, Donald Trump has no path to the presidency."
- Tim Alberta, National Review, Aug 30, 2016

"Sen. Mike Lee said Sunday that embattled Republican nominee Donald Trump cannot win the White House and needs to step aside to allow the GOP to find someone who can take on Democrat Hillary Clinton."
- Salt Lake Tribune, Oct 9, 2016

"Recent polls have shown Trump as low as 35% – three weeks from the election. It is all but over for the Republican nominee. Gary Johnson is right to say that Donald Trump cannot win this election."
- J Wilson, Libertarian Future, Oct 13, 2016

"Donald Trump is a dud of politician who squandered his advantages in a winnable election. More than just a bad candidate, he has been a catastrophe for the GOP itself. He has destroyed careers, compromised institutions, revealed deep contradictions within the Republican Party, and heightened tensions between its voters and its lawmakers, its activists and its intellectuals. On Nov. 8, nearly 18 months after he announced his bid for the Republican presidential nomination, the saga of Trump will come to a close. If polls are accurate, he will lose. He may even face a landslide, as Hillary Clinton capitalizes on a superior campaign to score victories in states like Arizona, Georgia, and Texas. There’s a slim but real chance that, when the smoke clears, Trump will have led the GOP to a historic defeat, handing the White House, the Senate, and the House of Representatives to the Democratic Party."
James Rouelle, Slate, Nov 2, 2016

"The American people in their wisdom will not allow themselves to be led into the abyss by a person so dangerous and destructive of American democracy and values – something he has proved every day he has been a candidate for President of the United States. It is Hillary Clinton who will claim victory, and take the country forward."
- Bruce Wolpe, ABC News, Nov 6, 2016

"Trump Limps Toward Defeat As GOP Pollsters Say Hillary Clinton Will Get At Least 304 EVs"
- Politcus USA, Nov 6, 2016

The HuffPost presidential forecast model gives Democrat Hillary Clinton a 98.2 percent chance of winning the presidency. Republican Donald Trump has essentially no path to an Electoral College victory. Clinton’s win will be substantial, but not overwhelming. The model projects that she’ll garner 323 electoral votes to Trump’s 215.
- Natalie Jackson, Huffington Post, Nov 7, 2016

Most probable single outcome: Clinton 323 EV, Trump 215 EV. This is also the mode of the NC-adjusted histogram.
Median: Clinton 307 EV, Trump 231 EV. Meta-Margin: 2.2%. One-sigma range: Clinton 281-326 EV. The win probability is 93% using the revised assumption of polling error, +/- 1.1%.
- Princeton Election Consortium, Nov 8, 2016

Now, there were a couple (only a couple) dissenting voices out there.

One was Prof. Allan Lichtman who has correctly forecast presidential elections for 30 years. He called this one for Trump in September. (For a simpler, but probably correct take, read this.)

Two questions for your table:

1. When something occurs against all odds, pundits call it an upset and religious people a miracle. Was it an upset, a quasi-miracle?

2. Does this election herald the final downfall of faith in polls and pols?

If not, why not?

If yes, what then?

Shabbat Shalom

PS - Are you counting the days to Channuka?

PPS - Did you find this week's easter egg?
When you forgive, you in no way change the past - but you sure do change the future.
Read more at:
When you forgive, you in no way change the past - but you sure do change the future.
Read more at:


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Rabbi Alexander Seinfeld, PhD
Jewish Spiritual Literacy, Inc.
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