Sunday, August 07, 2016

You Go to November With the Candidates You Wished to Have

I haven't written much about the polling in the presidential race. Until Labor Day, I think it is rather pointless. Most people have lives and mental health stability, and so don't focus on the election starting 44 months out like the Washington crowd and those who read them (including me, truth be told--but I at least know that it isn't normal). Really, wait until the polls are of likely voters before figuring out the state of the race.

I was going to write about the problem with polling fever and how the race would tighten once polls starting using "likely voters" rather than "registered voters" or--God help us all--"all adults." This article beat me to it.

I'm sure there are reasons to use registered voter polls so far out--it may be too soon to refine models of who is a likely voter, for example.

Or maybe the press just likes to have drama to have a fake closing the gap as polls shift from Democrat-favoring registered voters to more Republican-friendly likely voters.

Anyway, the race will likely tighten a bit as people start to pay attention and answer polls on more than name recognition, and as likely voters are defined.

I do vow to take the average of the polling seriously rather than look for reasons why the polling is systematically biased against the Republican candidate.

Yes, there were some problems in non-presidential year Congressional elections. But those problems did not translate into presidential year elections.

Last election I thought that election models surely had Romney winning, with the state of the economy; and so paid attention to articles claiming samples were skewed to explain President Obama's advantage. The polls were not wrong.

I also took hope from enthusiastic crowds for Romney. Crowds of thousands are not hard to get in a country of over 300 million, in fact. So that means little in the face of polling data.

Plus, another reason not to focus on the race is that I hate to pay attention to this awful race.

I've been clear that in a race been a clown candidate and a corrupt candidate, I choose the clown.

But the bottom line is that it is a race between a clown candidate and a corrupt candidate. 

And even more depressing is that we chose these two deeply flawed people to be the standard bearers of our two major parties.

So God help us all, but we'll get who we deserve, I guess.

UPDATE: The last two sentences are the really depressing part. A lot of Republican voters decided that they'd rather trust a strongman in Trump.

 But at least many Republicans are still standing for rule of law.

And the Democrats are worse. A majority are willing to overlook Hillary's deep corruption to get their candidate into power. And a vocal minority wanted a freaking socialist.

God help us all if democracy, individual rights, and rule of law lack popular support in America.