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Tue Oct 20, 2020, 10:29 AM

Trump gained 12 million voters yesterday [View all]

I am hearing a lot of panic over a poll showing Trump down by 2 points and what that can mean. If that poll is correct, as some people seem to be saying, then we can only assume Trump closed a roughly 11 point national gap, which is close to where 538 had him just 24 hours ago to 2 points. If you are wondering what that means if that did indeed happen is that Trump gained roughly 12 million new voters yesterday. Based on estimates of the projected turnout for 2020, the 9 points trump supposedly made up yesterday translates to 12 million people. Or roughly the entire population of Illinois. If you buy that Trump is suddenly down by only two then you need to also accept that Trump gained about 12 million new supporters yesterday.

Or maybe it's just an outlier and with dozens of polls being released everyday now, maybe a few are going to have some weird results? Maybe let's not try to analyze each and every poll?

Nate Silver wrote this article two days ago about how to stay sane during the final two weeks. Maybe take his advice

5. Don’t pay much attention to individual polls; wait for polling averages to move.
This is perhaps the single piece of advice we give most often at FiveThirtyEight, but it’s especially important in the final couple weeks of a campaign. After a lull this weekend, there are likely to be a lot of polls the rest of the way out. On any given day, it will be possible to take the two or three best polls for Biden and tell a story of his holding or expanding his lead, or the two or three best polls for Trump and make a claim that the race is tightening.

Resist buying too much into those narratives. Instead, turn to polling averages like FiveThirtyEight’s that are smart at distinguishing (ahem) the signal from the noise. We do program our averages to be more aggressive in the closing days of the campaign — so if there’s a shift in the race, our average should start to detect it within a few days. But while there is such a thing as underreacting to news developments,1 the more common problem in the last days of a campaign is false positives, with partisans and the media trying to hype big swings in the polls when they actually show a fairly steady race.


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Reply Trump gained 12 million voters yesterday [View all]
Dr. Jack Oct 2020 OP
cbdo2007 Oct 2020 #1
Mike 03 Oct 2020 #2