Thursday, July 21, 2016

Trump 366, Clinton 172

I'm much more emotionally disconnected from this election than previous ones (I've more or less come around to the sense that the American Experiment has run its course, for better or worse).  However, this election cycle is pretty intellectually interesting.  So here's my projection of how the November vote will come out.

The following state-by-state breakdown is based on current poll numbers from here along with two assumptions that adjust these figures.  I could be wrong, but have found that people don't really dispute your calculations, they dispute your assumptions.  I lay them out here for your, err, disputation.

Assumption #1: There is a large Bradley Effect in play here, just as there was in the UK Brexit vote, and for the same reasons.  People are continually told that if they support Trump (or Brexit) that they are miserable racists, the lowest of the low, and unfit for civilized company.  Some notice this and lie to pollsters.  In the UK it looks like the effect was enough to skew the polls by around 8%.  I conservatively estimate that the effect here will be slightly less at 5%.

In other words, the current polls understate Trump's support by 5%.

Assumption #2: Trump will increase his support, as reflected in the polls.  We are already seeing this, where Clinton seems to have lost around 5% over the last 4-6 weeks.  Several things are in play here. Trump has been remarkably silent lately, and this has hurt Clinton's efforts to paint him as a lunatic - he hasn't said much that is looney lately, perhaps because he hasn't said much.  I expect that Trump is smart enough to stay "Presidential", undercutting her best argument against him (I could be wrong here: remember I said this was an assumption).  Trump has also been keeping his powder dry, not really attacking Clinton other than the odd tweet or so.  She is simply a terrible candidate, and I believe that we will see a 2 month long series of pretty devastating attacks against her that target her perceived incompetence and dishonesty.  Her defenses here are weak, and her team has showed that they are slow to respond.  A series of attacks keeping her on the defensive, struggling to respond to plausible criticisms will be a slow acid bath eating away some of her support.  I give Trump another 5% that he will pick up here.

In other words, the two assumptions understate the support that I think Trump will get by 10%.

At the Election Projection site, they break down states as weakly favoring a candidate (5% or less), moderately favoring a candidate (10% or less), or strongly favoring a candidate (more than 10%).  Moving "Weak Democrat" and "Moderate Democrat" to Trump (reflecting the 10% understatement of Trump's support detailed above) gives Clinton winning California (55), Delaware (3), District of Columbia (3), Hawaii (4), Illinois (20), Maine (4), Maryland (10), Massachusetts (11), New Jersey (14), New York (29), Rhode Island (4), Vermont (3), and Washington (12).  Everything else goes to Trump.

As I said, I very well could be wrong.  However, I show my work.  Feel free to pick apart my assumptions.

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