Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Pols and Polls - The good, the bad, and the ugly

Summary for Nov 2: The race for president is tightening, almost by the minute, according to changes in Nate Silver’s 538 model. For instance, yesterday evening Clinton’s chances stood at 71% but this morning the model has her chances at 69.5% (now 70.4)and Trump’s chances improving to 30.4% (now 29.6). The projection for the electoral college are similarly narrowing (301 vs. 235) as are the estimates of the popular vote (48.7% vs. 45%). Despite that, the Huffpollster model continues to estimate Clinton’s chances as 98.1% and the Dem’s chances of taking the Senate at a tie or better as 84%! Why are the models’ forecasts so different. Read these posts below from Huffpollster (via email).

FORECAST UPDATE - HuffPost’s models give Hillary Clinton a 98.1 percent chance of winning the presidency. Democrats have a 50 percent chance of winning the Senate outright, and Republicans a 15 percent chance of holding on, with a 35 percent chance of a tie that would be decided by the winning vice presidential candidate. Accounting for the strong probability that the Clinton/Kaine ticket wins the presidency and vice presidency, Democrats have an 84 percent chance of taking the Senate majority. You can track Silver’s forecasts at his Presidential forecast, Senate forecast site.

DONALD TRUMP HAS A DIFFICULT PATH TO WINNING THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE - HuffPollster: “The HuffPost presidential forecast gives Clinton a 98 percent chance of winning. That runs counter to the narrative that polls are closing in and is very different from other forecast models ― most notably the 71 percent probability she has in FiveThirtyEight’s model. One reason for that is the HuffPost model relies almost entirely on state-level polling data, which shows Trump still has a huge Electoral College deficit, rather than national-level data. State polls show that Clinton is maintaining her lead in the key states she needs to win: Colorado (+5 points), New Hampshire (+5 points), Wisconsin (+6 points), Pennsylvania (+6 points) and Michigan (+7 points). Those five states, plus all of the Democratic strongholds, get her to 273 electoral votes. Clinton also narrowly carries North Carolina (+2 points), Florida (+2 points), Ohio(+1) and Nevada (+2). That’s a total of 341 electoral votes… Trump, on the other hand, faces a steep uphill battle. He only has 164 electoral votes from states he leads by more than 5 percentage points, plus another 33 from Georgia, Arizona and Iowa, where he has a narrower lead. That’s still only 197 electoral votes. He needs to turn 73 votes over in order to win ― no small task.” [HuffPost]

Why Nate Silver thinks Trump more of a chance - Nate Silver: “Trump remains an underdog, but no longer really a longshot: His Electoral College chances are 29 percent in our polls-only model — his highest probability since Oct. 2 — and 30 percent in polls-plus…. From a set of simulations the polls-only model ran earlier this evening, I pulled the cases where Clinton won the national popular vote by 3 to 5 percentage points. In other words, we’re positing that the national polling average is about right, and seeing how the results shake out in the states… Trump’s chances are slim-to-none in this scenario. His odds are 10 percent or below in all of the Clinton firewall states except for Maine and New Hampshire… The question is how robust Clinton’s lead would be to a modest error in the polling, or a further tightening of the race. So here’s a second set of simulations, drawn from cases in which Trump or Clinton win the national popular vote by less than 2 percentage points… This isn’t a secure map for Clinton at all. In a race where the popular vote is roughly tied nationally, Colorado and New Hampshire are toss-ups, and Clinton’s chances are only 60 to 65 percent in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. She has quite a gauntlet to run through to hold her firewall, and she doesn’t have a lot of good backup options.” 538

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