To poll or not to poll (Updated 11/1/2016)…

FiveThirtyEight: Election Update: Clinton’s Lead Keeps Shrinking: 10 questions as the stretch run begins.

A few weeks back I got into a fight with people on a friend’s FB wall over the relative value of polls. After the smackdown, I retreated to my corner to wait out the holidays and take a break.

This evening, I caught a glimpse of the headline above, which is vindication of a sort, and also just a bit terrifying.

Embedded in the article, under Question 5. “Which states shape up as most important?” are references to the Big Ten Conference (Big Ten) and Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) states. (Links via Wikipedia.)

 ACC 538 TCT Big Ten 538 TCT Total EC Votes
Total EC Votes
– Big Ten
Florida++  Red  Red Illinois  Blue  Blue  29  20
Georgia  Red  Red Iowa  Red  Red  16  6
Indiana*  Red  Red Michigan  Blue  Purple  11 16
Kentucky  Red  Red Minnesota  Blue  Blue  8  10
Maryland**  Blue  Blue  Nebraska  Red  Red  10  5
New York  Blue  Blue New Jersey  Blue  Blue  29  14
North Carolina  Blue  Purple Ohio+  Red  Red  15  18
Pennsylvania*  Blue  Purple Wisconsin  Blue  Purple  20  10
South Carolina  Red  Red  9
Virginia  Blue  Red  13
 Subtotals  538:   157/102  TCT:  103  73/83  Total:  259
* An overlap between the two state lists, so only listed once.
** Yes, Maryland, because it used to be ACC but is now Big Ten. For this purpose, I’m changing it back.
+Updated 10/30/2016 because 538 now shows Ohio as red, as I have from the start.
++Updated 11/1/2016 because 538 now shows Florida as red in Polls Plus, as I have from the start.
Italics: and I disagree.

So, if 538’s optimistic estimate holds, we’re out of the woods. If my numbers hold, the race will be a LOT closer.

Debates are coming up soon. We’ll see if Trump continues to gain ground, or if Clinton trounces him in a face to face battle.

I’m angling to watch the debates. May (or may not) live blog that night. We’ll see.

Regardless, there’s a lot of similarity between 538 and me, when it comes to where these states fall. Some of his blue states are a lot paler than they should be, and some of my purple states are still debatable.

Two months and a teensy bit to go.


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