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Saturday, November 12, 2016

538: The polls weren't wrong. President Trump "overperformed"

It takes a big man to admit he's wrong. Carl Bialik and Harry Enten at 538 have a ways to go. They wrote "The Polls Missed Trump. We Asked Pollsters Why."

Now then, the Real Clear Politics average of polls predicted a 3.3-point win for Hillary. That was off by exactly three points.

In 538 land, it is not that the polls were wrong. It was that Trump "overperformed."

In Utah, he "overperformed" by 8.5 points.

In Ohio, he "overperformed" by 6.6 points.

In Wisconsin, he "overperformed" by 6.4 points. That shifted a prediction of a loss to a victory.

In Iowa, he "overperformed" by 6.2 points.

In Pennsylvania, he "overperformed" by 4.9 points. That shifted a prediction of a loss to a victory.

In North Carolina,  he "overperformed" by 4.5 points. That shifted a prediction of a loss to a victory.

In Michigan,  he "overperformed" by 4.3 points. That shifted a prediction of a loss to a victory.

In Florida,  he "overperformed" by 1.9 points. That shifted a prediction of a loss to a victory.

With the exception of North Carolina (which Romney won) the six states where an "overperformance" shifted a loss to a win were all carried by Obama four years ago. Obama also carried Ohio where Trump also "overperformed."

Those six Obama states that Trump took won it for Trump. He needed each one to push the size of his victory in the Electoral College to the point where it was so decisive no one could disagree or challenge that result. You would have to go to court to flip at least three of them in order to steal the election.

“We may be looking at a four-point or so national miss – which as noted in the past by FiveThirtyEight is not an insane level of error, but it is real error and the public’s right to question polls is justified,” said Nick Gourevitch of Global Strategy Group told 538.

If a three- or four-point error is acceptable then why bother worrying about polls? I didn't. I arbitrarily declared them all to be wrong and told readers to believe only the ones that agreed with their beliefs. Positive reinforcement made the lives of my readers better.

By the way, the Los Angeles Times poll I kept using turned out to be a load of crap, but it got one thing right.

It predicted Trump would win the popular vote!

Uh wait. He didn't.

But he won the presidency anyway.

Of course readers know I predicted Trump would take Ohio and therefore the presidency (as has been the case from Lincoln in 1860 to Obama in 2012 with the lone exception of JFK in 1960). 

Bonus: Hillary's failure to take Pennsylvania meant it is still a fact that no Democrat has been elected president without Pennsylvania since Truman in 1948.

I go by history, because history rocks. 

Literally.

(Ear worm alert! Ear worm alert! Ear worm alert!)

History shows again and again, how nature points out the folly of polls.

TRUMPZILLA!


@@@

Don't forget The Book.

"Trump the Press" skewers media experts who wrongly predicted Trump would lose the Republican nomination. I use my deadliest weapon: their own words. "Trump the Press" is available as a paperback, and on Kindle.


I am working on the sequel.

15 comments:

  1. https://mobile.twitter.com/CurveMe/status/797302091651780616

    ReplyDelete
  2. He won the popular vote. Fraud accounts for the difference. We'll see how that works out for them in the future when inner city minorities start going to work and move out into the suburbs where they can be safe from whining violent millennials. Note the paucity of minorities in these "protests". And their pre-printed signs.
    One thing I'm starting to see on the net is a call for Trump to open immigration for persecuted white South Africans as refugees. Yeah. How about a million Afrikaners? I have three houses. I could house five families. No NGO needed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Definitely.

      One wonders how many more states he really won - VA, NV, CO, ME?

      Delete
    2. With the borders of Merkel's Germany currently resembling the Moehne Dam after a visit from No. 617 Squadron RAF, it's liable to be Germans, French, Scandies and Belgians seeking asylum before the eight years of the Trump Administration is done.

      Delete
  3. Over-performed? Yes, an over-the-top performance!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Those dumb asses. When you win, you overperform - alternate word: outperform - your opponent. These mealy mouthed pale skinny Pajama Boys have likely never played sports at all, and if they did, it was probably as a 2nd grader in soccer where they got a participation trophy even as their team got regularly trounced. I disregarded the polls too, Big D. I saw what was happening down on the ground. These femboys need to get out more...

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    Replies
    1. Note to Pajama Boys: Start using pie-charts in place of the current quiche-charts.

      Delete
  5. "Trump didn't win the popular vote"

    Don't forget: at least 2-3% of the Hillary votes were almost certainly fraudulent. So who knows? But it does make Trump's win even more impressive.

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  6. Mantra is now Trump did not win, just that Hillary lost. What crap. And of course the Dems are calling for the end to the Electoral College because Hillary got more votes. Rot!
    As an aside, if CA wants to leave then let them go. However Northern CA that had a load of Red should stay. LA, SG, SD go and don't darken our door again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wait, wait... I LIVE in California and spent my last 20 working years fixing the Silicon Valley Boy's computer equipment at night - for a large Rochester, NY. company.

      Fortunately, I DO live a little ways out from SV as such.

      I don't wanna go with those idiots!

      Delete
    2. Wait, wait... I LIVE in California and spent my last 20 working years fixing the Silicon Valley Boy's computer equipment at night - for a large Rochester, NY. company.

      Fortunately, I DO live a little ways out from SV as such.

      I don't wanna go with those idiots!

      Delete
    3. Tell them we'll consider amending the Constitution to eliminate the Electoral College when we can amend it to include voter ID. That'll shut 'em up.

      Delete
    4. No need to amend the constitution. The republican controlled congress can pass legislation requiring ID for federal elections.

      Delete
  7. "Over-performed"? That's like the word "liberated".

    As in "We liberated the sh*t outa the place."

    ReplyDelete
  8. Here is the thing I don't get about the claims the national polls were right within the margin of error:

    Each individual national poll usually has the margin of error of no more than plus/minus 3-4%. As Don points out, margins of error higher than that means the polls are worthless since elections are rarely decided outside that margin of error (usually 95% confidence). However, the standard deviations are a function of sample size, so an average of, let's say 20 national polls should have roughly 20 times the sample size (ignoring the number of people polled by more than one organization in a time period, but that should be a low frequency event even with 20 polls since it is rare for any poll to poll more than 1500 people at a time in a country of 200 million voters). It seems to me that these averages seem to just adopt the same 3-4% error bars when, in fact, the error bars should be much tighter due to a much larger sample size.

    ReplyDelete