Thursday, September 15, 2016

Nailing The 45-Yard Field Goal

As pollsters switch over to their likely voter models and away from registered voter models, we're now starting to see state polls showing a much tighter race across the board.  Arizona, Georgia, South Carolina, and Missouri are no longer considered anything close to competitive, and talk of the Av-Hill-Lanche is somewhat muted at this point.

Ed Kilgore reminds us that if the likely voter models at this point truly are correct, then the possibility of a Trump win is disturbingly real.

Sometimes you can get lulled into complacency by win-probability projections that sound immutable but really aren’t. Citigroup put out a warning about that today: 
A new note from Citigroup Inc. says that while the firm still puts the probability of Hillary Clinton securing the U.S. presidential election at 65 percent, investors are not taking the remaining chance of a win by Donald Trump very seriously. 
“A 35 percent probability for a Trump victory is more meaningful than investors may be appreciating,” the team, led by Chief Global Political Analyst Tina Fordham, writes in a note published on Tuesday. “Political probabilities are not like blackjack — there is only one roll of the dice, and 35 percent probability events happen frequently in real life.” 
The Upshot, which rates Clinton at an even higher 79 percent win probability, offers this sobering analogy: “Mrs. Clinton’s chance of losing is about the same as the probability that an N.F.L. kicker misses a 45-yard field goal.” 
So, in the fourth quarter of a very close game, when that placekicker trots out onto the field with everything on the line, how confident are you that he will nail that “high-probability” field goal? Are you a tad nervous? 
Those who have laughed off Donald Trump’s chances while believing his election would represent a turn for the worse in their own lives should be nervous right now.

Once again, I don't think the Trump will win and I believe voters will turn out to stop him.  But Clinton does have to make that field goal in November.  That means being able to execute on the fundamentals, and that's where Clinton's campaign does have the advantage.

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