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(5,648 posts)
Wed Sep 7, 2016, 09:38 AM Sep 2016

Election 2016 Too Close for Comfort

A number of Democrats have grown complacent about the Presidential Race. Given that Hillary Clinton has maintained a lead in all of the swing states since the Democratic convention and with Donald Trump continually undercutting his own candidacy, they are confident of victory. I recently read that that even Clinton campaign insiders are switching their sights to a landslide instead of a mere victory.

I hope they are right, but in politics overconfidence often leads to bad results and I am seeing signs that Hillary’s big leads in pivotal states have been steadily shrinking since the Democratic Convention as has the probability that she will win the election. Don’t get me wrong, I am not writing this to throw cold water on the Clinton crowd. I am a big Hillary supporter, but I don’t like the way the polls are trending.

Nate Silver, probably the best election statistician in the nation. uses recent state polls which he adjusts for built in bias and timeliness, to predict the current probabilities of winning Presidency of each of the candidates on an ongoing basis. The results are posted on his FiveThirtyEight website. Who will win the presidency?

As you can see from the two screenshots below which were taken from the Silver’s website, according his calculations the probability that Hillary Clinton will win the Presidency as dropped from its high 89.2% on August 14th (right after the convention) to 71.5%. Donald Trump’s chances of winning have increased accordingly. (Since I took those screen shots, but before publication of this article, Hillary’s chances of winning have dropped again, to 69.1% – that’s how quickly new polls can affect Silver’s projections.)


Link to the rest of the article:

Election 2016 – Too Close for Comfort

31 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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Election 2016 Too Close for Comfort (Original Post) CajunBlazer Sep 2016 OP
Aything short of double digits is "too close to call" for me. FBaggins Sep 2016 #1
Ditto. Prollee a cheat underway. I do not believe anything is remotely close. lonestarnot Sep 2016 #6
Not close? CajunBlazer Sep 2016 #30
I keep waiting daligirrl Sep 2016 #2
I have observed much complacency on DU CajunBlazer Sep 2016 #5
Well, here's a little disturbance for you. The election Hortensis Sep 2016 #8
I hope they are right, but.... CajunBlazer Sep 2016 #9
That's very wise, and I agree that the past cannot Hortensis Sep 2016 #10
I really don't see the benifit of one amateur supporter presuming.... CajunBlazer Sep 2016 #12
I understand you don't like your message of concern Hortensis Sep 2016 #16
If you don't want to read the article, fine - just go to Nate Silver's website CajunBlazer Sep 2016 #20
CajunBlazer, we loved hearing the huge margins Hortensis Sep 2016 #21
I don't think we are very far apart CajunBlazer Sep 2016 #24
Well, I do agree. Except that we had no Hortensis Sep 2016 #26
Agree fully on all CajunBlazer Sep 2016 #28
Exactly how the media likes it rock Sep 2016 #3
That is not a rational answer CajunBlazer Sep 2016 #4
Somehow I feel that you make be slightly prejudice rock Sep 2016 #11
I am very prejudice towards "Cajun's Comments" CajunBlazer Sep 2016 #13
I'm starting to get nervous Lsantos04 Sep 2016 #7
You're getting nervous over one poll? DesertRat Sep 2016 #14
The article about more than "just one poll" CajunBlazer Sep 2016 #15
It's going to be a wipeout. n/t Lil Missy Sep 2016 #17
Why should I believe that? CajunBlazer Sep 2016 #18
I don't care one iota whether you believe that. Lil Missy Sep 2016 #27
Fair enough - better question, why do you believe that? CajunBlazer Sep 2016 #29
Oh, you are back to spamming your own blog. demmiblue Sep 2016 #19
Check the DU rules CajunBlazer Sep 2016 #22
With all the push back you are getting, did you ever consider William769 Sep 2016 #23
No, because I am not presenting my opinions, I am presenting facts CajunBlazer Sep 2016 #25
Update: Hillary's changes of winning the election fall to 68.8% CajunBlazer Sep 2016 #31


(26,564 posts)
1. Aything short of double digits is "too close to call" for me.
Wed Sep 7, 2016, 09:52 AM
Sep 2016

There have been too many elections globally in recent years that did not turn out as expected based on pre-election polling... and in almost every case it was those selling fears of muslim/terrorism/immigration/protectionism/etc. that outperformed expectations... often by several percentage points.


(5,648 posts)
5. I have observed much complacency on DU
Wed Sep 7, 2016, 11:32 AM
Sep 2016

It often takes the form of DU users not wanting to hear bad news. Do you see anyone recommended this thread - no, and I expect that is partially because no one wants to wake anyone up and suggest that they get heavily into GOTV if it means spreading bad news.

I have also seen this in posts where DU users have called people "trolls" because they dare to point out that the race is getting close - like "how dare you bring bad news here". (Hopefully given my record of being a huge Hillary supporter they won't resort to those tactics with me.) All of this points to the general attitude of - "Hey I am happy with the way I think the election is going - don't be rude and shove reality in my face". That is the worst form of complacency.


(58,785 posts)
8. Well, here's a little disturbance for you. The election
Wed Sep 7, 2016, 11:51 AM
Sep 2016

is right on track for an HRC victory. From the real experts, not those corrupt, deceiving manipulators in the MSM. who never report this stuff.

Pre-Election Patterns, The evolution of voter preferences

Short version if you don't care to wade through graphs, etc., CajunBlaber, Clinton does not only have a solidified lead but will have one on election day.


(5,648 posts)
9. I hope they are right, but....
Wed Sep 7, 2016, 12:17 PM
Sep 2016

.... I am always leery of any methodology which seeks to predict the future based on what has happened in the past, especially in today's very strange electoral environment. No one has seen an election like this one; no one has seen an election with a candidate like Donald Trump. That set of facts cannot be disputed. While the race this election cycle has indeed tightened as it has in past elections, that doesn't necessarily mean that the current poll leader will go on to win the election as he/she has done in the pass. This is an election like no other we have ever seen.

I would rather rely on the facts that I see and alert people to get off their butts and increase their efforts to GOTV. I see absolutely no downside in waking people up to the possible danger and getting them more involved in the campaign. I do see a danger to Democrats closing their eyes to the facts as they currently exist and continue to sleep walk through the process.


(58,785 posts)
10. That's very wise, and I agree that the past cannot
Wed Sep 7, 2016, 12:36 PM
Sep 2016

be relied on to predict the future by itself. Nevertheless, all current indicators are for a solid Democratic victory in the presidential race.

I understand that you see some benefit in irritating people off their butts, but quite frankly, the HRC team needs no anxious vibes from her amateur supporters to encourage them to work harder. I certainly see absolutely no virtue in whomping up unjustified anxiety in underinformed amateurs, which, let's face it, all of us are.

Best cures for foolish, unreasoned and pointless anxiety, for those prone to it, are knowledge and taking a break from politics. After the debate tonight, of course.


(5,648 posts)
12. I really don't see the benifit of one amateur supporter presuming....
Wed Sep 7, 2016, 12:57 PM
Sep 2016

.....to tell another amateur supporter how he should or should not refer to the state of the election.

If you actually read the entire article, which I am now assuming that you did not,
you would understand that what you refer to as my unjustified anxiety, is not anxiety at all. In fact, the article is not based on emotions, it is a presentation of fact after fact after fact from which readers can draw their own conclusions.

Please do not presume that you have the moral or intellectual superiority to be able to instruct other DU users how they should post or what subjects they should explore.


(58,785 posts)
16. I understand you don't like your message of concern
Wed Sep 7, 2016, 03:08 PM
Sep 2016

contradicted by the cementing in of Hillary's lead AND ofTrump's severe and consistent trailing, but that's the way it is.

Furthermore, the large electoral patterns that predict the winner have ALL held FOR HRC all year, something that could only happen when one party's self destruction is marked by nominating a person with an obvious mental disorder.

The for-profit media notion you're spreading that Hillary's REAL chance of winning, as opposed to various models of theoretical possibilities, has diminished is incorrect. It would now take not just a terrorist attack and a genuine scandal but a perfect storm of changed circumstances to cause a majority of Americans to bizarrely attempt national suicide by electing Trump.

THIS is why the media are doing their best to portray a real election as phony reality TV entertainment. Cable news has the same problem. We all need to keep that in mind when invited to watch their newest exciting, can't-miss episodes.


(5,648 posts)
20. If you don't want to read the article, fine - just go to Nate Silver's website
Wed Sep 7, 2016, 04:46 PM
Sep 2016
Who will win the presidency?

In the short time since I posted the OP, according to Nate Silver Hillary's calculated probability of winning the election has dropped from 72.5% to 67.8%. Her combined poll lead in Ohio has dropped to 1.1%. In North Carolina it is 0.5%. In Florida it is 1.7%. In Nevada it is 2.8% and in New Hampshire her lead is down to 3.8%. In all of these states Hillary has held leads of 6% to 9%. She already lost leads she held in Iowa and Georgia, though that is understandable because they are usually reliable red states.

If the current trends continue and Hillary ultimately loses her leads in Ohio, Florida North Carolina, Nevada and New Hampshire she will slip below the magic 270 electoral vote level.

Do I think she will ultimate lose her leads in all of those state, no, but given the current trends continue I think she will lose her leads in several of them and that causes me a lot of concern.

This is real folks - and it is serious. If you think this election is going to be a cake walk, you are wrong and hiding from reality.

From the last paragraph of the article:

Hillary needs to reverse these poll trends and there are signs she can do that. She has raised a lot of money to support her campaign so we will soon see plenty of media buys in all of the swing states and even some which the Trump campaign previously believed to be safe. She is starting to hit the campaign trail again for the final post Labor Day push and this time she will be joined by a full complement of A-list surrogates, from President Obama, to Michelle Obama, Joe Bidden, Bill Clinton, Chelsea Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Trump can’t compete with her in that department. Clinton’s ground game and get out the vote efforts are far superior to those of the Trump campaign, though he is making a very late effort to make up some of that ground. Hopefully all of these factors will combine to reverse the trends and again put Hillary in far superior position by November 8th.


(58,785 posts)
21. CajunBlazer, we loved hearing the huge margins
Wed Sep 7, 2016, 05:03 PM
Sep 2016

and the possibility of flipping all these conservative states for a giant landslide. And that would be highly desirable, of course. But when it comes down to it, she only has to win, preferably by a decent margin. And those double digits, etc., means she has had a whole lot of room for the various dynamics to play out without endangering her.

But don't forget: The Republican Party already had severe problems with the presidency before this election. Before the party civil war and meltdown, before Trump, there were the terminal democraphic problems of a Republican Party that had dwindled to an embattled white power redoubt. And then came Trump, and then came rejection by the vast majority of minorities, most women, much of the religious right, and of course the dark money backers.

This is Clinton versus Trump. Even assuming many conservatives come out to vote because of SCOTUS, he will lose.

Oh, and another thing that pops into mind. The MSM always steer us wrong. That group-think thing that keeps the cushy jobs of those in the center safe but is death to real, you know, like...journalism. If I'm wrong I'll have far bigger problems facing President Trump as an unbelievable reality than just admitting I'm wrong here, but I actually expect Hillary to win by a respectable margin.

Down ballot, I worry about. Please, please, please let her have at least a Democratic majority in the Senate.


(5,648 posts)
24. I don't think we are very far apart
Wed Sep 7, 2016, 05:34 PM
Sep 2016

I agree with most of what you wrote in your post above about the problems Republicans have with their current situation and the country's demographics. They would have trouble winning any national election at this point and especially in the future.

It's not that I am really concerned about Hillary losing - though that is a possibility. As I pointed out she has a lot of weapons at her disposal she can use to reverse the current poll trends or at least mitigate them. However, it is distressing to to watch her lead in key states whittle away, if only because the wider her coat tails the more likely it is that we will take control of the Senate and at least lessen the Republican's control of the House.

Rather than being complacent, all of us on DU should be doing everything we can to GOTV, if only for the down ballot races.


(58,785 posts)
26. Well, I do agree. Except that we had no
Wed Sep 7, 2016, 05:42 PM
Sep 2016

choice but to watch her poll lead dwindle like the wisps of smoke most of it likely was. If this weren't such an incredibly weird election, with almost any degree of win seeming perhaps possible, maybe we'd be better prepared. It is the usual thing happening, after all, which in itself is rather sobering.

I think we'd also better be prepared for Trump speaking coherently in complete sentences and making no big mistakes tonight. I don't for a second believe that he hasn't been practicing big time. Pretending he and his family are so superior that they perform perfectly all the time is just part of his silliness.


(5,648 posts)
4. That is not a rational answer
Wed Sep 7, 2016, 10:52 AM
Sep 2016

Obviously you didn't read the entire article because I seriously doubt you would have replied as you did if you had.

The article don't say a darn thing about whether the media thinks it is a close race or not. It relies entirely on poll trends and election statistics. Either the race is close and getting tighter or it is not. The article makes a case that it is, it doesn't make a rats butt as to whether the media wants it to be close or not.

Whether the media wants a close race or not has nothing to do with whether it is a close race or not unless you are into the conspiracy theory that the media is favoring Trump somehow to make it a close race. I don't know where your get media fix, but over the last few weeks CNN has been hammering Trump surrogates on Trump's lies and gross inconsistencies of his entire campaign. Meanwhile major print media organizations are almost daily publishing the results into new investigations into Trump's shady dealings. While Hillary has a few issues like the emails which won't seem to go away, they are frankly getting boring to the general public, Trump seems to have a new issue every day that the media is hammering him on.

For instance, it is difficult for the media to talk about "play for pay" with regards to a charitable organization didn't benefit the Clintons and to which they gave a million dollars when Trump illegally used his charitable organization to bribe the Attorney General of Florida to drop an investigation into Trump University.

The bottom line, maybe maybe you need to rethink your choice of the media you are consuming.


(13,218 posts)
11. Somehow I feel that you make be slightly prejudice
Wed Sep 7, 2016, 12:42 PM
Sep 2016

towards "Cajun's Comments". But you're right, I didn't read it. But it is media, and yes, media as a whole, is wanting it to be a close race. There's no conspiracy theory here. That's how media sells copy.


(5,648 posts)
13. I am very prejudice towards "Cajun's Comments"
Wed Sep 7, 2016, 01:04 PM
Sep 2016

Since I write most of the articles on the site.

You and I can disagree on what is causing the race to become tighter; what is not up to debate is the fact that the race is much tighter than either of us would like.



(48 posts)
7. I'm starting to get nervous
Wed Sep 7, 2016, 11:39 AM
Sep 2016

Considering just how much of an extremist moron Trump is, it's shocking that he is polling so close to HRC. Let's all hope Hillary destroys Don in the debates, and his support drops after that.


(27,995 posts)
14. You're getting nervous over one poll?
Wed Sep 7, 2016, 01:44 PM
Sep 2016

Keep checking Nate Silver's aggregate polling, it will help your nerves.

Also "hoping" isn't enough. We need to phone banking and canvass diligently between now and the election. Direct voter contact does make a difference.


(5,648 posts)
15. The article about more than "just one poll"
Wed Sep 7, 2016, 02:08 PM
Sep 2016

It is about negative trends in every swing state which have been in place since the convention. Trends that if they continue much longer could cause Hillary to lose her leads in key swing states and perhaps even lose the election.

However, I hearty agree that "hoping" is not enough. The purpose of my post and the article presented is to get everyone off their butts and doing every thinig they can personally to GOTV.


(5,648 posts)
29. Fair enough - better question, why do you believe that?
Wed Sep 7, 2016, 06:40 PM
Sep 2016

I wrote an entire article filled with only facts indicating why trends are not working well with for Hillary right now and why her leads in key swing state are dwindling from 6% to 9% to almost nothing.

You make a blanket statement that Hillary will win by a landslide. Don't you think that if you want people to believe you should back up your statement with facts?


(5,648 posts)
22. Check the DU rules
Wed Sep 7, 2016, 05:19 PM
Sep 2016

My blog is not commercial, it's a hobby; I like to write about politics and other things. I don't make money off it, on contrary I pay money to keep it in existence. And yes, occasionally when I have something that I think may be of value to others on this site, I post a link on DU. Have you got a problem with that?

The push back that I am getting on this particular post is that I am presenting a point of view that some people would rather not hear or see because it interferes with their with their current version of reality. And that is unfortunate.


(54,844 posts)
23. With all the push back you are getting, did you ever consider
Wed Sep 7, 2016, 05:33 PM
Sep 2016

It's your version of reality that's the problem?


(5,648 posts)
25. No, because I am not presenting my opinions, I am presenting facts
Wed Sep 7, 2016, 05:39 PM
Sep 2016

These facts are fully verifiable, but they are facts that evidently interfere with some people's current version of reality. I think we have seen this sort of thing before during the primaries.


(5,648 posts)
31. Update: Hillary's changes of winning the election fall to 68.8%
Thu Sep 8, 2016, 02:12 PM
Sep 2016

So if the election were held today, approximately 7 our of every 10 times Hillary would win while Trump would win roughly 3 out of every ten times. (I would rather that number be in the 90% level as it was after the convention - but even a 10% chance of Trump winning is unacceptable to me.)

When the OP was posted Hillary's probability of winning was 72.5%, which with subsequent polls being published went down to 67.3% and recently went up again to 68.8 as I write this.

Hillary's current combined poll numbers in key swing states to watch:

Florida (29 elect. votes) - Clinton +1.8

Ohio (20 elect. votes) - Clinton +1.2

North Carolina (15 elect. votes) - Clinton +0.4%

Without these key states Hillary's electoral vote total goes down to 278, just above the magic 270 vote level.

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