Saturday, December 5, 2015

FiveThirtyEight is Now Contradicting Itself

This is getting a little weird. For months Nate and friends have been telling us to disregard the polls because it's no one is paying attention yet.

"But more importantly, voters aren’t paying a lot of attention. Only 20 percent or so of the voters in Iowa have come to a final decision. Half the voters in New Hampshire won’t decide until the final week of the campaign."

This always seemed a little ironic to me. I mean it's December 5. If they aren't paying attention now when do they start with Christmas, New Years, the NFL playoffs, the Super Bowl between now and the voting in Iowa?

Now FiveThirtyEight's Harry Enten is telling us that the polls that show people actually are paying attention don't matter.

"Donald Trump Won’t Win Just Because More Voters Are Paying Attention"

The argument about Donald Trump’s chances of winning the Republican presidential nomination has gone something like this:

"Us: Trump is very unlikely to win the nomination."

"Them: He’s likely to win. Just look at the polls."

"Us: Those polls don’t mean much. They haven’t been predictive in the past."

"Them: But so many people are paying attention to the campaign this year, the polls may be more meaningful."

"That last point, for example, was made recently by political forecaster Alan Abramowitz."

"The hypothesis is possible, but there’s no evidence to support it. In fact, historically there has been no relationship between how predictive the polls were at this point and how many people said they were paying attention to the campaign in the fall before primary voting."

"Trump could win the nomination. In this week’s 2016 Slack chat, I laid out a number of reasons why Trump’s current standing could be more meaningful than we think it is. But the fact that voters say they are paying close attention to the campaign is not one of them."

Wow, these guys act as if they're professional reputations are on the line here. Does the future of polling depend on his loss?

By the way, Enten-as Nate did in his post I quoted from above where he made the argument that folks aren't paying attention-is making this too categorical. I'm not saying Trump is very likely to win but I don't think he's as unlikely as they do either.

I do think he has a shot at being around till Spring and hopefully convention time. I can see the Establishment robbing him though this will cause them more harm than good.

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