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Wednesday, November 16, 2016
"Sarah Palin was smarter than the pollsters" (Yes She Certainly Was/Is)
Via Personal Liberty
By Joseph Cotto
“Like I’ve said before… polls are only good for strippers and cross-country skiers,” former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin told Fox News host Bill O’Reilly earlier this month — a mere two days before the presidential election.
While I have criticized her more than a fair bit during years gone by, it is undeniable that she turned out to be a sage among pundits.
When Palin made her remark, virtually all national opinion surveys — save two highly important yet conspicuously under-reported ones — indicated an impending win for Hillary Clinton. Reuters predicted she was set to win 247 electoral votes outright and favored to seize so many more that her chance of victory hovered at 90 percent.
At the Princeton Election Consortium, Dr. Sam Wang — a neuroscientist and prolific author — declared that Clinton enjoyed a 99 percent probability of winning. The platinum-grade forecaster Moody’s Analytics also claimed she would triumph in the Electoral College.
United Press International, in conjunction with the polling group CVoter, reported that her Electoral College lead over Trump was substantial: 259 to 209.
After the race was called, Clinton barely eked out 232 votes. Her vaunted ‘firewall’ of Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin crumbled into ash. Only Minnesota and New Hampshire stood Electoral College and not by any means tall. Clinton struggled to win either, despite the former having gone to every Democratic nominee since Richard Nixon’s 1972 earth-slide over George McGovern.
Just a few hours earlier, Clinton fans were jubilant over her seemingly assured victory. By the morning after, perhaps more tears were shed than at any other time in 21st century America.
What is the moral to this story?
First and foremost, after Brexit, brighter bulbs should have knocked off the idea that polling averages are just as good as election returns. Most surveys purported the United Kingdom remaining in the European Union by a comfortable margin. The campaign to leave ultimately triumphed by almost four points.
Secondly, two of the most accurate polls from the Obama-Romney match showed Trump winning free and clear. Investor’s Business Daily pegged his lead at two points while the University of Southern California gave him an estimated three-point advantage. These surveys were widely derided and laughed off as crude outliers.
Who is laughing now?
Finally, Dr. Helmut Norpoth of SUNY Stonybrook said that Trump would win. Norpoth’s unique primary-based prediction system has been correct in every presidential election going back to the early 1900s. This includes 1960, for which his model forecasted Richard Nixon emerging victorious. As any student of history knows, Chicagoland voter fraud delivered the ‘victory’ to JFK. Despite Norpoth’s record, the chattering class largely ignored his analysis.
Today we chatter about how they did so at their own expense.