So, is ANYthing happening? Umm, well….

So since there’s nothing new to talk about again, but I’m trying to do something every day, let’s go to the videotape. In the last three presidential elections, and you may not know this, but the Democratic candidate has actually outperformed the polls, after previous underperformance.

                         Polls          Actual
Obama 12         48.8             51.1
Obama 08        52.1              52.9
Kerry 04           47.4              48.3

Polling averages from

Aside from methodology that favors traditional means of data collection and the lower propensity of younger people to respond, what else is happening? Clinton’s net favorables, which had been as low as -15 in July, has closed to -10, which would be enough to guarantee a loss, if her opponent were anyone but Donald Trump, whose net unfavorables have grown dramatically with recent revelations, and now stand at an almost inconceivable -29, compared with -21 a few months ago. Additionally, President Obama’s job approval continues solid at around +5, while the comparable net favorable is +10, the highest it’s been since March of 2010. While on some level he is basking in the glow of generally disliked candidates to replace him, some of that luster will inevitably rub off on the candidate for whom he’s campaigning.

Downballot, things remain pretty status quoey. Dems are up by a whisker in the Senate, but that could actually lead to a Democratic majority—or at least 50/50 with the Vice President breaking the tie—given the number of Republican seats up for grabs. They’re also up 5 in generic House polling, which is enough to gain seats, but not remotely close enough to take the majority, which alone suggests strongly that districting is biased towards Republicans. If the election were held today, which, sadly, as we’re all heartily sick and tired of the rigamarole, it is not, I would think that the Republican majority of 59 would be roughly halved, perhaps less. A genuine Clinton blowout, which the numbers do not suggest, might tilt that balance some, but it seems unlikely that there will be a Democratic House before the next redistricting, barring a structural realignment of the Republican party after the current election.

Oh, and since there’s nothing else to talk about, here’s a picture of Sydney’s response to all this polling talk.






I've got a dog. Used to have a fish.


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  • Well I wasn’t going to read it until realized there was a picture of Sydney in there so alas, I’m a man of my word, I read it….

    You say a ‘genuine Clinton blowout which the numbers don’t suggest…’. You are thinking popular and not EC, correct? I’ve been playing with the EC numbers and I will be amazed if not a blow out. Who knows, allegedly Wikisomething is leaking some baaad emails tomorrow about Hillary. Maybe things will change.

    John Lyons 7 years ago Reply

    • Gonna have to figure out the edit function. Seems reasonable, but not necessary in this case!

      I have a more moderate estimate of the EC than you do, but I’m basing it on where the numbers are now, rather than trying to predict how it will all change over the last three weeks. One thing that’s interesting is that while the margin tends to close over the last month or two, in this case it has absolutely done nothing of the sort.

      Every time Wikipoop leaks something, it’s actually bad for the other guy. And at this point, so many people think the emails they are leaking have been doctored. Would have been much more damaging to have done a huge dump, rather than string them out in a way that opens up the question of creative rewriting.

      John 7 years ago Reply

  • Oh, and can you put an ‘edit’ function in? This way no one can see how truly bad my grammar is. Thanks!

    John Lyons 7 years ago Reply

  • Nice pic of Sydney, and an appropriate reaction to this election season. Only two interesting events left barring even more October surprises, the circus (I mean debate) tomorrow, and of course, election night.

    I am not sure that the polls mean anything in this year’s presidential election. Why? Because I think there are a lot of reluctant Trump voters who aren’t admitting it to pollsters or on surveys. Heck, many aren’t admitting it to their wives and girlfriends! Although anecdotal data is dangerous, I know too many right-leaning friends and family members who are going to vote Trump but aren’t willing to admit it in mixed company. I still think he will lose handily, but if anyone’s poll numbers are understated, it might actually be his. The electoral map is so bad for Trump regardless and he knows it, which is why he’s spending all his energy with the “rigged” accusations now.

    Robert Schaefer 7 years ago Reply

    • Robert, while your point is well taken, I think it may come more from fear of the result than actual holes in polling methodology. There is no evidence to suggest that such an effect as you mention exists in any manner large enough to make a difference, if at all. If anything, Trump supporters tend to be louder than the general public–and the idea that you’d be afraid to admit your support to an anonymous survey-taker just doesn’t hold a lot of water. Besides, you’d expect your right-leaning friends to vote for the Republican anyway–it’d only be a surprise if they voted for the Democrat. So I’d ask you this–do you know of any centrists or left-leaning people who might conceivably vote for him?

      Also, the numbers have been astoundingly stable through the entire cycle, which also suggests that there is no “shy Trumpie” effect. Races tend to close as Election Day approaches, and this one hasn’t. So perhaps he ends up getting 44% instead of the 41-42 that he’s regularly polling. It still doesn’t stop him from being CEO of Trump Media on November 9, though, of course, something else might.

      John 7 years ago Reply

    • Oh, and Sydney will thank you for the compliment when she stops snoring.

      John 7 years ago Reply

  • Does getting blown to smithereens count as a “structural realignment of the Republican party after the current election.”?

    Steve Rosenberger 7 years ago Reply

    • That would be at one extreme, yes. Not quite the one I’d be putting the most money on, but certainly not outside the realm of possibility. But something would have to replace it.

      John 7 years ago Reply

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