For John, BLUF: A lot of statistics to say that not everything is obvious to the casual observer, which is what media types turned out to be. Thus, the importance of asking the next question, of looking at what if. Nothing to see here; just move along.
Here is the sub-headline:
Most reporting vastly overstated the strength of Clinton’s “emerging Democratic majority” and missed how it was a potential Electoral College liability.
From The FiveThirtyEight Blog, by Mr Nate Silver, 23 January 2017, republished July 2018.
Here is the Advert for the Series on the coverage of 2016:
This is the first article in a series that reviews news coverage of the 2016 general election, explores how Donald Trump won and why his chances were underrated by the most of the American media.And here is the meat of the story:
Donald Trump’s victory in last November’s election victory came despite the fact that he lost the popular vote by 2.1 percentage points, making for the widest discrepancy between the popular vote and the Electoral College since 1876. So one measure of the quality of horse-race analysis is in how seriously it entertained the possibility of such a split in Trump’s favor. This is one point on which the data geeks generally came closer to getting the right answer. FiveThirtyEight’s statistical model, for example, saw the Electoral College as a significant advantage for Trump, and projected that he’d be about even money to win the Electoral College even if he lost the popular vote by 1 to 2 percentage points. Overall, it assigned a 10.5 percent chance to Trump’s winning the Electoral College while losing the popular vote, but less than a 1 percent chance of Hillary Clinton’s doing the same.Lesson Learned: It isn't over until it's over.
By contrast, much of the conventional reporting during the campaign wrongly presumed that the Electoral College would be an advantage for Clinton. For instance, on July 30 — at a time just after the conventions when national polls showed Clinton and Trump almost tied1 — The New York Times wrote of Trump’s “daunting electoral map” and narrow path to 270 electoral votes:Even as Mr. Trump has ticked up in national polls in recent weeks, senior Republicans say his path to the 270 Electoral College votes needed for election has remained narrow — and may have grown even more precarious. It now looks exceedingly difficult for him to assemble even the barest Electoral College majority without beating Hillary Clinton in a trifecta of the biggest swing states: Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Regards — Cliff