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Monday, July 25, 2016

Nate Silver learns

"Trump the Press" made its Kindle debut today -- get it here -- and an entire chapter is devoted to election forecaster Nate Silver. Not because he got the nomination wrong -- giving Trump a 2 percent chance last September even after Trump had been ahead for every day for two months.

What earned Silver a rare chapter all his own was that he kept doubling down, refusing to learn from his many, many mistakes. Even as late as April, Silver said Trump would fall short of the delegates needed to win on a first ballot and therefore Republicans would nominate someone else.

None of his nonsensical predicts were based on his vaunted computer program that designed to forecast elections. Instead he was obstinate and caught up in a crazy Never Trump frenzy. But Silver has learned his lesson.

In the general election, Silver is going back to what made his name because he tarnished his reputation. While I am a chronic critic of him, and believe he is over-rated, I give him props for learning and moving on.

His analysis is dead on:
Before we run through the polls, a note of caution: The convention bounce is going to be harder than usual to study this year. That’s because in contrast to 2012, when the polls were extremely steady for weeks before the conventions, they were on the move heading into the RNC this year. In particular, they were on the move toward Trump — or away from Clinton — with Trump whittling down what had been a 6- or 7-percentage point lead for Clinton in late June into something more like a 3-point lead by mid-July.
So when you see a new poll suggesting that Trump has received a bounce, or failed to receive one, you’ll want to be mindful of when the previous edition of the poll was conducted. If the pollster had last surveyed the race in June, odds are that Trump has made some fairly big gains. Some of those were probably realized before the convention and not because of it, however. But if the previous edition of the poll was in July,1 his gains are likely to be smaller.
Not mentioned is the non-indictment. I misjudged the public's reaction. I thought people would view her being above the law as a sign of how strong she is, much like people in New York admired John Gotti. However, I underestimated the American love of justice. She got away with it again, and people who didn't like her to begin moved on to Trump.

At any rate, congratulations to Nate Silver for going back to what he used to do.

It worked.


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  1. I don't crunch numbers like Nate Silver and am not a paid political analyst, but I am not buying a projection that Trump goes from +15 today to -15.5 after the DNC. I think the media's ability to influence and successfully lie for the democrats is slipping away. Time will tell.

    1. She'll be lucky if there isn't a negative bounce.

    2. The histrionic Left and its Denial of Speech ethos do not lend themselves to tracking by polls.

      Who wants the aggravation from a pollster? So how many will tell them what they think they want to hear, but vote for Trump on Election Day?

    3. I come from a family of coal and steel workers in Appalachia; after a few colorful words, they hang up on pollsters.

  2. Perhaps I am overly cynical, but seems to me that virtually none of the many, many polls have shown any understanding or actual reflection of the Trump Movement.

    Far too many polls are engineered to show the results that The Powers That Be think will push voters to the conclusion that TBTB wants them to reach. They have lots of ways to do that, hidden in the weeds of the internals.

    Mark Twain put it in a nutshell: Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable.

    Seems to me that most polling resembles the making of salt water taffy, but more convoluted!

  3. Frankly, I think Silver is a Lefty shill.

    That said, I can't believe how many light blue states.

    If I were Donna Brazile, I'd invest heavily in Zantac and Maalox.

    1. Silver strikes me as a far leftist masquerading as a nerdy number cruncher.

  4. Remember the old Mission Impossible fuse?

    That's what's following Hillary Clinton. And it's gaining on her.

  5. The RNC convention had the added feature that it gave people new insight into Trump. The Trump kids were a hit and got people to take second look at Trump. This hasn't been the case in recent conventions, the nominee came in rather exposed.

    And Hillary can't duplicate that. Chelsea is a known quantity as is how she reflects on her parents.

    1. I guess I should have said, the nominee has been rather flayed prior to the convention.

    2. I agree; many people saw Trump's kids. In my opinion those kids are impressive in their own right. My belief (the same as Scott Adams' wrote) is that people saw those young Trumps and liked them, and then transferred that liking up the generational chain to the father. Their appearances were endorsements that matter, by their presence they endorsed their father without having to say so.

      -Mikey NTH

  6. Silver's article HERE projects that the T-rump bounce last week will be taken over by a Clinton bounce this week - but by August 22, the convention bounce effect will have washed out of the election probability numbers to bring the trend back to actual poll results over the final 10 weeks of the campaign.

  7. I predict that hilLIARY gets a post-convention bounce -- a dead cat bounce.

  8. Bernie supporters are royally pissed. They're really pissed at Bernie for selling out especially since he knows that after the released emails the deck was stacked against him from the get-go. Of course his biggest mistake was when he said he didn't care about the damn emails. He should have hit her there good and hard.