Gas station without pumps

2016 June 1

Poll data and electability

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 19:03
Tags: , , , ,

I’m a bit worried about the possibility that Donald Trump might win the Presidential election.  I don’t personally see how any sane person could vote for him, but US politics never seems to have been ruled by sanity.

I was looking at the poll summaries at RealClearPolitics:

I hope that the “superdelegates” at the Democratic national convention are watching these polls also and doing everything they can to make sure that Trump is not elected, even if it means that their favorite candidate doesn’t get the nomination.


  1. It’s a pretty hard call. Things change pretty dramatically in the general election. Bernie the “outsider” has dealt with a different level of scrutiny than Bernie the “candidate” would. Clinton has been under attack for a while, and if/when she’s the candidate, there will likely be an unpredictable shuffling of support. It sounds like you might favor Sanders due to the perceived better chance of being elected over Trump. But I haven’t seen convincing evidence yet that Sanders would do better in the general election.

    Comment by Ron Goodman — 2016 June 1 @ 21:35 | Reply

    • Actually, I support Sanders because I like his message better than Clinton’s. Clinton is basically a classic Republican (from before the Republican party went all whacko), and I’m more progressive. I think Clinton would be a competent, center-right president, but I’d rather have someone who is center-left than center-right.

      Comment by gasstationwithoutpumps — 2016 June 1 @ 22:38 | Reply

      • Well I would rather have a progressive too. But to me, voting isn’t about voting for I want most, It’s about voting an optimal outcome. I don’t believe in voting to “send a message”, especially not at this point in the primary process. I “send messages” by being involved politically all year long — not saving it for a convenient voting process once every four years. I believe the failure to coalesce around Clinton, who will almost certainly be in the general election, weakens her position and strengthens Trump. That is dangerous, and I see the nearly religious fervor for Bernie as a real threat that could give Trump that extra few percent he needs to actually become this country’s president. I hope I’m wrong about all of this, though, because I haven’t seen a Sanders supporter change their mind any more often than I’ve seen a Trump supporter change theirs.

        Comment by Ron Goodman — 2016 June 1 @ 23:46 | Reply

    • I would say that “under attack for awhile” is an extreme understatement. There are voters this year who were too young to remember the 9-11 attacks, and Hillary had been under attack for at least a decade before that. She has probably been followed since she was in LIFE magazine in 1969 as a future star. But I doubt if any new attacks can change views formed from a quarter century of attacks, or that allusions to “Vince Foster” mean anything to an under-30 voter.

      What Sanders has going for him is that he is not Hillary Clinton, so there would not be a re-hash of more than a quarter century of culture wars. And with misogyny still a strong force that can override mere political views, he probably gets votes from people who like her policies but would not vote for “her”. Trump signals that misogyny with his reference to her “screaming”. And with a Republican party that has structured its political attacks on anything done by a black man or a woman, he is neither. They have no long-term campaign plan to take on a frumpy New Yorker living in Vermont.

      Comment by CCPhysicist — 2016 June 3 @ 07:46 | Reply

  2. I wouldn’t worry too much about those polls yet – I doubt that they reflect the reality of a general election. And the polls have been inconsistent this year, around the globe. This early on, I would look more at betting markets and at prediction markets. The betting markets have had HRC up over anyone consistently, at least whenever I look, which I’ve been doing since the fall. The prediction markets that I follow also favor her, though the questions are not always a direct match up.

    Comment by kcab — 2016 June 8 @ 22:23 | Reply

    • The polls have been pretty bad this year. Now that Bernie has lost California, it is obvious that Hilary is the Democratic nominee, so Bernie will need to switch his base to trying to get progressive Senators and Representatives elected. That is a hard sell, since they are inherently local candidates and there are few races with progressive candidates in them. I don’t think that any of the candidates for replacing Barbara Boxer, for example, are nearly as progressive as she has been.

      I hear that the Green Party is trying to get Bernie onto their ticket, which would be a truly awful idea—that could pull enough voters away from Clinton to give the presidency to Trump, which would be a terrible outcome.

      Comment by gasstationwithoutpumps — 2016 June 8 @ 22:41 | Reply

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