Very true. The pollsters were wrong in 2016. Some things to note, though:
- Over 90 million Americans voted third party or not at all in 2016. Most experts attribute this to moderates and progressives alike hating Clinton. If everyone who wrote in Bernie or Stein went for Clinton, Trump would have lost handily. In other words, the polls were right- people just never ended up voting. The 2020 election has seen record voter turnouts already, as well as record lows for third parties, and record Republican defections. This isn’t good for Trump.
- Trump didn’t have a record in 2016. He was a new guy who offended the unpopular ‘establishment’, embodied by Clinton. He promised to save the jobs of disenfranchised workers in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin. He carried those states by a narrow margin. Now Trump has a record: Russia, Stormy Daniels, the Trade War, Ukraine, Solemani, the Coronavirus, etc. Not to mention the fact that he ultimately didn’t do anything for those workers who voted him in.
- Nate Silver deduced that the polls gave Trump about a 30% chance of winning in 2016. That’s 3⁄10, which is still a decent chance. The polls were volatile in 2016. In other words, lots of oscillation in the months leading up to the election. Nate, throughout October, warned everyone that Trump was a normal polling error away from victory. 2020 has not been that way at all. Since August, we’ve seen nothing but steady increases for Joe Biden. Trump stands almost ⅓ the chance he did at 2016, at 12⁄100 today, an all-time low that quite likely will get lower. Basically, the models weren’t wrong, folks like Wayne just don’t understand probability. If you roll a six once, you shouldn’t think you’ll end up with another six on the next roll.
- After the 2016 fiasco, the models are now more generous to Trump. Plus, he’s the incumbent, so he automatically gets extra points. If this scenario were mapped out using 2016 methodology, the models would be predicting a cartoonish Biden landslide.
- Trump is losing by a much larger margin now than in 2016. Through the month of October, Hillary had an average of 5.5%-ish more in the popular vote- WHICH IS ALMOST EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED, BY THE WAY. Currently, Trump’s October average (though the month isn’t over yet, and the New York Post’s new story on Hunter Biden could change things in Trump’s favor) is about 8%. Keep in mind, that’s a few million more voters. It still doesn’t sound like a lot more, until you remember that the states that decided the election (PA, MI, WI) were close races.
- Republicans are losing confidence in Trump. Mitch McConnell has quietly been sabotaging the President over the past few weeks. Record numbers of Republican congressmen and other influential Party members are endorsing Biden, if not for policy than for a stable personality that can re-unify America. Lindsey Graham, one of his favorite goons, is facing a shockingly tight campaign in South Carolina. The sailors are jumping off the ship.
- Trump can’t stop the bleeding in demographics that were in key in 2016. The military is usually heavily Republican, but the President lacks the popularity that Bush and Reagan held. Seniors are also heavily Republican, but Trump’s absolute failure during the COVID-19 Pandemic has cost him support in Florida, a state that could very well decide the country’s fate. Immigrants are key demographics in Florida and other swing states. Immigrants have very low voter turnout, but that’s expected to change now that we’ve experimented with fascism for a full Presidential term. And all the whining about socialism hasn’t changed that.
- Many Americans really fucking hate Trump. Don’t underestimate how mutual hate can unite America. It’s how we won World War Two, after all.
Thank you for coming to my TED talk.