Monday, July 25, 2016

Trump’s Bump–Why Nate Silver Finally Agrees with Me!

Time now for some shameless self-promotion.

For over a year I have said that Trump has a chance of winning the presidency and have said for at least two months that Clinton has a 55% chance of winning the presidency and Trump a 45% chance.  I also said last week anticipate a possible 3-6% convention bump for Trump after the RNC. It’s great to see that Nate Silver–the guru of data-driven political forecasting–finally agrees with me, and my prediction in the Bump was accurate.

According to the most recent CNN poll taken after the RNC Trump received a six point bump in the polls and now leads Clinton in the national population vote.  This poll reveals an even stronger bump than the CBS one released on Sunday.  Where the bump occurred, no surprise, was among swing or independent voters who had not yet made up their minds.   The CNN poll revealed a significant switch in support in swing voters from Clinton to Trump.  Of course there will be a convention bump for Clinton and therefore it makes sense to see where the polls are in the first or second week of August to assess where the race really is.

More significantly Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight has changed his election prediction model.  Prior to the RNC he gave Clinton approximately an 80% chance of winning.  Now he says that if the election were held today he would give Trump a 57.5% chance of winning.  More importantly, in terms of predicting the November 8 results, his “‘polls-only’ model shows the former secretary of state winning 53.7 percent to 46.2 percent, and the group's ‘polls-plus’ forecast, which predicts the outcome on Nov. 8 based on the economy, current polling data and historical trends, showed her winning 58.2 percent to 41.7.  All of this is a far cry from Silver and the media once saying Trump had a zero percent chance of winning.

None of this is good news for Clinton.  Yes the CNN poll and Silver prediction was made after the RNC and before the DNC, and certainly thinks can change.  But this poll and prediction also does not reflect the impact that the Wasserman-Schultz DNC-Clinton e-mail story will have.  Some of her supporters will argue that this e-mail story will fade in impotence and importance.  Wrong.  It has a long term corrosive impact on Clinton’s honesty and image much in the same way that the State Department e-mail story did.  It feeds in to the Trump narrative that Clinton is a liar and now a cheater. And with Clinton now asking Wasserman-Schultz to be a co-chair of her campaign it looks like a collusive quid pro quo political arrangement.

Ok so now the self promotion.  As early as July 2015 I suggested Trump could win the nomination.  I was very clear about that in December 2015 at a Minnesota School Board Association talk when I said it would be Trump and Clinton as the nominees.  And while I do not have it in print, for at least two months I have pegged the race as having Clinton with a 55% chance of winning.  I see her as having fund raising and organizational advantages, what I also factor into my predictions is something that Nate Silver and the pure data-driven predictors forget–candidate quality, narratives, and the mood of the country.  Clinton is a weak candidate with huge credibility like-ability issues, she lacks a real narrative for why she wants to be president, and she is the face of the establishment in a year where anti-establishment is the American Weltanschauung for many this year.
Clinton should win but I can see lots of reasons why she will not.  It is thus interesting to see how Nate Silver and the mainstream media and political pundits are finally agreeing with me.

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