Tuesday 5/24, 8:20am: in the comments, an interesting discussion here.
Every election is different from every other! Every poll must be reported as a unique game-changing event!! Or… https://t.co/xFSUXpn5mR
— Sam Wang (@SamWangPhD) May 22, 2016
Some media types are going around with their hair on fire over two unfavorable polls for Hillary Clinton in which she lags Donald Trump. In response in the NYT, Norm Ornstein and Alan Abramowitz are trying to convince you that these polls mean nothing. Nothing, I tell you! Don’t Panic!!!
In a deep sense, they’re right. As I wrote the other day, opinion can move a lot between now and Election Day. And it is inappropriate to trumpet a single poll showing an exceptional result, which is what the news channels do.
However, do not throw out the baby with the bathwater. In fact, we can learn quite a lot from polls by extracting as much value as possible from them. This can be tricky because right around now, national polls are the least informative they are going to be in 2016. To put it another way, polls will be more informative one month from now – and they were also more informative a month ago. How can this be, and what do we really know about the Clinton/Trump November win probability? [Read more →]