Observations: FiveThirtyEight Sends Shivers Down My Spine

Disclaimer: THIS WAS SUPPOSED TO BE A BUZZFEED COMMUNITY POST — ALAS, MY LISTICLE FORMAT OF CHOICE BEEN IMPEDED BY A BF SITE THAT LOCKED ME OUT. Tsk Tsk. Eventually… it will be a BuzzFeed community post.

This is how my night is going, okay?/Courtesy of BuzzFeed complicating my existence…

Okay, so the election is NINE days away.

I cannot believe that. This campaign has been dragging on for so long and every single second, my skin crawls with apocalyptic visions of alternative realities. And, I’m stuck on the one thing I might be able to trust — the polls.

The polls? …YES, THE POLLS!
MY SKIN IS CRAWLING. I AM BESIDE MYSELF WITH ANXIETY AND NERVES AND I AM UPDATING THE FIVETHIRTYEIGHT WEBSITE EVERY MINUTE.

Over the summer, I causally checked RealCelearPolitics every day. I’d look at the polls and aggregates and think real thoughts about the election. Now, I’m just a mess. I’m tired, and I want this mess to end. I don’t think I’m alone in this one.

RCP-considered polls as of publication/RealClearPolitics.com

Why am I obsessing over polls?

Well, they’re still decently accurate. But, they need to be taken with context and in aggregate. That’s why I turn to RCP and FiveThirtyEight.

(And no. I would never answer a poll. And no. I don’t know anyone that would answer a poll. So, don’t ask me why I’m clinging on to these for dear life.)

I am.

Why should I trust Nate Silver? He got Trump’s primary win wrong. Yes. That’s correct. But, I have little else to go on right now and, to be frank, I’m desperate for good, clean, easy-to-understand info.

Margaret Sullivan’s column, today, adequately sums up the pressure on Silver to get it right this time around.

While I’ll save the full listicle for when BuzzFeed decides to be my friend again (for the first time), I thought I’d list a few most interesting stressors in FiveThirtyEight’s calculation right now.

  1. EVAN FREAKIN’ MCMULLIN

To hear that a third-party candidate is competing in a given state is really unlikely. And, that’d typically refer to the major national third-party candidate — this year it’s Libertarian Gary Johnson. Alternatively, the Green Party’s Jill Stein has…some support. But, in Utah, it’s independent candidate Evan McMullin — the conservative anti-Trump Mormon candidate. And he’s polling ahead of Clinton. FiveThirtyEight gives him a 19.0 percent chance of taking the state of Utah! Check it out here:

Unreal.

This could be the best mini-story of the election. And it’d be a blow to Donald Trump if McMullin can pull it off.

2. The state of Arizona

If you didn’t know what AZ looked like.

Arizona may not go to Trump. It’s toggling between red and blue right now and that fact speaks volume about the legitimacy of Trump’s chances. Arizona is the epicenter of the immigration crisis. And it’s a burgeoning tech hub too, if I’m mistaken. The demographics are changing and they do not help Republicans, let alone Donald Trump.

3. The state of Georgia

Latest polls out of GA.

Hillary Clinton has decent numbers in Georgia, a deep deep red state. The polls close early in Georgia and if the election is truly going to be a landslide for Clinton, pundits think it could start with Georgia going blue. Nothing to see here, most likely but Silver gives Clinton a 26.1 percent chance in his polls-only forecast. It should go red, but, if not, expect a blowout.

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