In numbers. Succinctly.
The latest polls show Clinton 49–38 Trump.
In 2012 US statistics guru Nate Silver provided statistical proof of the way polling companies were, in his words, “putting a thumb on the scale”. Measuring polling averages for senate races across the country, he found a typical poll would deviate from the average by around 3.5 per cent.
The words we need to know to validate such a statement;
- Statistical variation
- Margin of error
- Statistically credible
He went on to say;
“This consensus very likely reflects herding. In this case, pollsters herded toward the wrong number.”
Herding. Can that matter? It does if people are voting on feeling. And somebody is deliberately leading them towards a winning team, with a thumb on the scale.
If 51% of the sample population from the poll are indicating ‘Trump’ or ‘unsure’, it presents huge potential for skew in results. Pollers will be more private in disclosing their voting inclination in early numbers, only to vote what they feel on the day.
So we have a relatively narrow gap, given this is after the weekend that included a town hall format debate, leaked tapes, threatening the freedom of a fellow candidate to a National audience, and the implosion of the Republican party as a whole.
American voting system explained quickly;
50 States with a number of Electoral College Votes (ECVs); 538 in total. Each state will turn blue for Hilary, red for Donald. As each state has a balance of trade between ECVs voting one way or the other; a state goes more red, or more blue, the more a state has more of one vote than another.
So people vote at polls, but its the ECVs that decide the election. Link between people and ECVs? Each state’s Electors vote at their respective state capitols; and they either take the peoples vote, or the parties vote, they are NOT BOUND either way.
Breakdown per state.
Votes are gathered and they practice a ‘first past the post’ format; first to 270 wins.
Most states have a history of always voting a certain way, red or blue. The Republicans tend to score better with repeat business.
Politico list Virginia, Colorado, Iowa, New Hampshire, Florida, Nevada, and Ohio as the seven states that will likely be ‘swing’ in 2016; meaning they will be difficult to predict with regards to their contribution to the overall outcome.
So here’e where we stand by ECV, on October 11, 2016;
The lead for Democrats showing the uphill battle Trump has created for himself. A bit like the rumours of his overall fortune*, he’d have been better using his name and sending a cardboard cutout to work every day. He’d actually, oddly, be further ahead than he is now.
(*Trump’s net worth has grown about 300% to an estimated $4 billion since 1987, according to a report by the Associated Press. However he would have made even more money if he had invested simply in index funds. The AP says that, if Trump had invested in an index fund in 1988, his net worth would be as much as $13 billion.)
Summary of numbers
From a marketing perspective, the fact he is still in the conversation is a direct result of his “platform message”; built on an effective communication strategy that speaks to those fed up with big government, unsettled by globalisation and angry with having to take low-paid, insecure jobs.
He has mixed his channel strategy, predominantly twitter led. Low cost, more direct, and it proliferates through the media far more quickly than editorial response to the high-value production ads we have seen in last elections from both sides of campaigns.
This is why he has run his campaign on a shoestring, it’s the first presidential election where we are really seeing the difficulty of communicating with anyone anymore, outside of social media.
Hilary’s campaign team:
A young face in Robby Mook (37), backed by the same old guard. John Podesta (67) as Campaign Chairman, who just this week has had his emails hacked and pop up on wikileaks. Joel Benenson (64) as chief pollster.
Trump’s team: (Remember herding)
The campaign has recently had a new CEO appointed, Steve Banon. Businessman, media executive, filmmaker. He knows crowds/mobs. His approach certainly was on display Sunday night, particularly in the surreal gathering of women who have accused Bill Clinton of sexual misconduct.
Another recent addition to the team, Kellyanne Conway, president and CEO of The Polling Company / WomanTrend, and now the first woman to run a Republican general election presidential campaign.
On paper, with the above overview, Trump is executing a bold strategy. It may just curry favour.
Paddy Power offering 4/1 for Trump versus 1/5 for Hilary, looks a bit of a broad spread, in a 2 horse race.
Former Vice President and Environmentalist Al Gore, who was an elected official for 24 years surmised it best in an open letter to NYT recently;
“I can assure you from personal experience that every vote counts”.