Biden up 7 UNLIKE CLINTON at same time 2016. Polls in 2016 were not inaccurate or unreliable.

327
Yahoo Finance / YouTube Facebook refuses to remove Trump campaign 1590514523.jpg...
Yahoo Finance / YouTube

Whenever anybody here posts a good poll showing Biden leading Trump, then you can count on some negative Nancy saying two things : (1) we should not trust the polls in 2020 because they were wrong in 2016 and (2) Hillary Clinton was up by the same amount at the same time in 2016. They think that they are doing a great service because their belief is that people will become complacent unless they are convinced that we are down 20 points and DOOMED to lose. In reality, in today’s partisan times even during a badly mismanaged pandemic, we know that the election for president will be relatively close because of the electoral college and the tribal nature of our politics these days. Moreover, after 2016, complacency is extremely unlikely and will be very rare. Few if any people here are going to be complacent. Furthermore, an unrealistic belief that one is losing badly is less likely to boost needed energy and enthusiasm to work hard to win than a realistic belief that we are leading and likely to win if we work hard. Of course, 2020 is not 2016. In 2020, Donald Trump is an incumbent who has mismanaged the pandemic so badly that we have 100,000 dead and 25% unemployment since 39 million people have filed unemployment claims in the last 9 weeks and 5.8 million people were already unemployed.  This is a considerably different environment than Trump faced in 2016. Being unrealistically negative does not motivate anybody. What is worse is that the two principle axioms that are used to dismiss any good polls are simply false.

.

.

Based on how the media portrayed the polls after President Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton later that year, you might expect pollsters to get a pretty disastrous report card.

But here’s a stubborn and surprising fact — and one to keep in mind as midterm polls really start rolling in: Over the past two years — meaning in the 2016 general election and then in the various gubernatorial elections and special elections that have taken place in 2017 and 2018 — the accuracy of polls has been pretty much average by historical standards.Furthermore, polls of elections since 2016 — meaning, the 2017 gubernatorial elections and the various special elections to Congress this year and last year — have been slightly more accurate than average.National polls were pretty good in the 2016 presidential election, but state-level polling was fairly poor (although still within the “normal” range of accuracy).

.

.

If you look at the polls for Michigan in November of 2016, you might think that the polls were awful since Clinton led in all but one poll and the margin was always at least 5. The problem, of course, is that James Comey gave his political speech TWO DAYS BEFORE THE ELECTION and thus the polls before the political speech by James Comey did not capture its impact since the speech was after the polls.

 Two days before the election, Comey disclosed that the emails hadn’t turned up anything new.

The numbers began moving down after Comey’s letter sent to Congress on October 28.

.

.

.

.Hillary Clinton would probably be president if FBI Director James Comey had not sent a letter to Congress on Oct. 28.

.

Fivethirtyeight continued on to say that :

.

.The impact of Comey’s letter is comparatively easy to quantify, by contrast. At a maximum, it might have shifted the race by 3 or 4 percentage points toward Donald Trump, swinging Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Florida to him, perhaps along with North Carolina and Arizona. At a minimum, its impact might have been only a percentage point or so. Still, because Clinton lost Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin by less than 1 point, the letter was probably enough to change the outcome of the Electoral College.

.

.Polls are snapshots in time. They show the current state of the race. They do not show the impact of an event upon an election when the event has not yet happened. 

.Overall, nationally, Clinton was only leading by 3 % and she won the popular vote by about 2%. If not for the Comey speech, Clinton probably wins these states according to 538. Therefore, the polling in 2016 really was not bad or unreliable. Any black swan event that occurs AFTER  a poll has been taken will make the poll look unreliable, but, of course, in reality if a black swan event occurs then one can’t conclude that polling prior to the black swan event is unreliable or inaccurate. Thus, again, we cannot conclude that the polling in 2016 was unreliable. This means that the first axiom can’t be established or shown to be true. There is no evidence for it. If one wants to believe something without evidence, then I can’t stop you but you should know that there is no evidence supporting the claim. Next, we we look at the second axiom.

The second axiom says that whatever polling results that Biden has now, Secretary Clinton had at the same time. This too is not true. Forecaster Harry Enten notes :

.

.

.


From May 14-May 31, Clinton lead in the polls by .25 (by 2 points over 8 polls). This is where she started. This was the state of the race as it began. She began the race at 39 percentage points Harry Enten stated and from looking at RCP, we see that the race started with polls from May 14-May 31 giving her a cumulative 2 points over 8 polls, a lead, on average, of .25. This tells us where the electorate was at when the race started.

On the other hand, Biden is starting at 48 percent and with a 7 point lead. So, this race has a completely different starting point. It tells us where the electorate is at the start of the election.

Biden is beginning in a much better place than Secretary Clinton did.

Biden’s lead, of course, is the steadiest of all time. His lead has never fallen to just a point or anywhere close. It’s been consistently at or right around 6 points, as it was this week. If you were to create a 95% confidence interval around the individual 2016 and 2020 polls, the 2016 race was about 1.5 times as volatile up to this point.
But it’s not just the margin that is important to examine. Look at the vote percentages.
The reason Biden’s lead is so wide compared to Clinton’s is that he’s running a little more than 5 points ahead of where Clinton was in terms of vote percentage. Biden is at slightly greater than 48%, while Clinton was a little less than 43%.
Even when Clinton’s lead widened in June, she never got to 48% in the polls. She had to pick up a lot more late-deciding voters for her lead to feel secure than Biden will likely need to.
Interestingly, Trump’s actually pulling about the same percentage of the vote in the polls as he was in late May 2016. Without rounding, he’s running only about 0.4 points worse.There were a lot of undecided or third party voters in late May 2016. Without rounding, Biden and Trump add up to 89.5% of the vote on average. Clinton and Trump added to 84.9%.
Thank you to all who already support our work since we could not exist without your generosity. If you have not already, please consider supporting us on Patreon to ensure we can continue bringing you the best of independent journalism.

Leave a Comment

3 Comments on "Biden up 7 UNLIKE CLINTON at same time 2016. Polls in 2016 were not inaccurate or unreliable."

avatar
newest oldest most voted
Mary
Guest
Mary

Now we need to make a public declaration. If anyone in the Trump administration attempts to throw dirt on Biden n late October, the “dirt thrower” and “Trump” need to be thumped like ripe melons for attempting to hijack the election with a cheap stunt, repeating 2016 which everyone now knows was a red herring.

Any attempt at skullduggery must be met with suck overwhelming response, that it folds instantly leaving a stink on the perpe-traitors…

MaryS
Guest
MaryS
Comey was a big reason she lost support but the whole truth has to include the fact the the election was stolen with Russian help and the handiwork of the GOP in those 4 states he “Won” unexpectedly. During Jill Stein’s recount- bags of ballots that were never counted were found. The broken voting machines in MI were a factor because the machines were gleefully broken after a law was passed that votes from broken machines could not be used. Etc. He never won. He stole it. We are so law abiding we just said “Wow how did that happen?”… Read more »
chris whitley
Guest
chris whitley

This won’t go down without a fight. I hope the feds are up to the challenge.