In the last few weeks, Nate Silver’s site fivethirtyeight.com has shifted stance from Hillary Clinton Will Win to Maybe We Ought To Worry After All.
You can see the progression here (since the beginning of August):
- 8/5: Election Update: Trump’s Slump Deepens In The Polls
- 8/16: Election Update: Clinton’s Lead Is Clear And Steady
- 9/1: Election Update: As The Race Tightens, Don’t Assume The Electoral College Will Save Clinton
- 9/16: Election Update: Democrats Should Panic … If The Polls Still Look Like This In A Week
What I find most disturbing is that his map of the US is much less ambiguous than mine, and mine called it for Trump back in June, based on the numbers I saw coming out of the primaries. I’ve had people blowing me off consistently, with placating comments about how primary numbers can’t predict outcomes. Well, maybe that’s true, but I said it would be a close race back then, and I am sticking to those guns today.
My map is here (as of the end of the primaries, from my collected stats, based on majority reported votes in each state, not based on polls or percentages): http://www.270towin.com/maps/1ll0m. The site allows for customized maps, and I’ve set the colors based on clear vote proportions.
Click the map to create your own at 270toWin.com
The states marked with neither Red nor Blue came out so close in numbers that it’s too close to call. Most of those states were unambiguously one color or the other at the end of primaries in 2008, 2000 and 1992, but not all.
What’s NOT clear is how many people opted to vote for Bernie Sanders in protest, who will now pick up their toys and go elsewhere, either to Johnson (Libertarian) or Stein (Green). I don’t have those numbers, because there’s no telling how many people switched affiliation or crossed the aisle in an open primary, but they’re relevant because that skews the Democratic data even further.
Please note that Johnson is now on the ballot in all 50 states, which is not something Stein can say. Green doesn’t even register on Silver’s map, but the Libertarian candidate sure does, and it isn’t clear whether his votes are coming from Clinton’s side or from Trump’s – that is, if there wasn’t a Libertarian party, where would those votes go?
But I digress.
Regardless, this race is closer than the one in Y2K, which Gore lost because Ralph Nader pushed hard to suck all the disaffected Democrats away from the party, but succeeded only in interfering with Gore’s chances of winning in states where Republicans had access to the voting process by way of governorship.
I simply fail to understand how people can be so dense. Sure, if the state’s solid on the side of Blue, you can guarantee that your candidate will win. But reality says that this country is far more purple than either red or bluem and the voting stats bear this out. In some cases, Red won over Blue by a ratio of more than 2:1.
Not only do I find this to be a depressing nod to an acceptable level of outright fascism and white supremacy in this country, but I think it’s absolutely 100% foolish to assume your vote won’t matter in November.
Hell, even Bernie Sanders knows it!