Monday, March 21, 2016

The Trump death march

The Federalist: "The Next RNC ‘Autopsy’ Will Be A Real One - By backing Trump, the RNC embraces the worst kind of disaster."
An RNC insider, who requested anonymity, told NBC that altering convention rules to stop Trump would be a disaster. “Change the rules drastically you will have a problem. You want to have World War III and destroy the party?” It’s going to be a disaster, yes. The RNC can still choose which kind.
Trump cannot win.  He cannot win.  Once more with feeling: he will not be President.  The primary voters have lined up behind the only person with a higher disapproval rating than Hillary.  He talks to everybody like they're in fourth grade and insults anybody who disagrees with him.  He has no policy depth and no temperament for the office.  He must be stopped.

So, yes, gather the men in the smoky back-room and pull a Torricelli.   Between the chaos of a splintered Republican party and certain defeat, I chose the former.

In other news, the British Natural Environmental Research Council asked Brits to name their research boat and the runaway favorite is "Boaty McBoatface."  The Council will almost certainly override this poor choice because sometimes democracy is for suckers.

Extra - New Geography: "Farewell, Grand Old Party."


Anonymous said...

Polling Results Feb/March 1980:

Reagan- 33% Carter- 58%

Anonymous said...

I am not so sure that The Donald would lose a general election. Every time "the yahoos" close a road, The Donald picks up voters. Every time a bomb goes off in Europe, The Donald picks up voters.

Comeback Mountain said...

[i]Polling Results Feb/March 1980:

Reagan- 33% Carter- 58%[/i]

Of course, today’s GOP ain't got no Ronald Reagan. Kinda weakens the 2016 analogy.

That aside, even if the party had a decent candidate, the above poll result by itself would still be misleading. In one of the most astonishing political comebacks in history, Reagan trailed Jimmy Carter by just 6% in the very next poll after that one. He closed the gap by 19%, despite increasing his own support by just 1%.

How, you don't ask? The reason the margin changed is that Carter's reelection numbers had been greatly inflated by Iran seizing the hostages (62%). That statistical honeymoon lasted about 3 months before evaporating, and of course the situation was a drag on Carter’s polling shortly after that. Carter's presidential approval rating had also shot up in late 1979, nearly doubling before falling back to the same old level it had been before.

This sort of response is ordinary. You'll recall George W. Bush's unsustainable 90% approval rating in the third week of September 2001.

Reagan's election polling support was static from 1979 until early August 1980, never falling below 31% and never rising above 37%. Whereas Carter’s rambled from a low of 29% to a high of 62%. Nevertheless, Republicans have suddenly taken to touting that specific “Reagan was minus-25%” moment as a statistical encouragement "FLASHBACK" meme, for obvious psychological reasons.

No Ronald Reagan said...

Polling Results July 1988:

Bush- 37% Dukakis- 54%

Comeback Mountain said...

Of course, today’s GOP ain't got no George H.W. Bush, either. Kinda weakens the 2016 analogy.

How odd that you'd choose the one outlier poll that had Dukakis up by 17%, which was taken two days after the Democratic convention, rather than the poll immediately before it (6%) or the one immediately after it (7%). The latter poll was taken right after the Republican convention. Funny how polls work.

Nevertheless, you have shown that a candidate who trails in some poll at some point can still win an election. That's fine detective work, George Gallup. With that startling discovery under your belt, next you can list all the candidates in U.S. history who've made a big comeback while their parties were shattering like glass and stabbing each other in the neck with the broken shards.

Funny how analogies work said... have shown that a candidate who trails in some poll at some point can still win an election.
Ummm...Kinda doesn't weaken the 2016 analogy. Thanks!

My point is simple - we don't know nothin' about the future. A prediction like "Trump cannot win," is meaningless.

It's easy to come up with smug explanations after the fact of how those elections turned out the way they did despite the polls of March 1980 and July 1988. It's also easy to forget that at those points in time predictions were being made, equally smug, yet quite at variance with the way things turned out.

It's the equal levels of smugness that always entertains me.

Callback Mountain said...

You'd think that people might have learned a lesson about the value of cherry picking favored poll results after the Mitt Romney's Winning! unskew-apalooza of 2012. Finding the widest polling margin from a past election and pretending that it's a heartening sign for the next election is mathematical masturbation.

By that feeble standard, you could take any facet of any past election and use it as an analogy. Donald Trump should get wooden teeth; he'd be a shoo-in!

Every trailing candidate wants voters to think that he's Harry Truman 1948 (but not Harry Truman 1952). And betting houses get rich off the chumps who bend over backwards to believe them.

Mathturbation said...

You're right. Examples from the past don't show anything about the world of current possibilities. The only things that do are my pet assumptions and reductionisms, like "they scare me, so they can't win", or "demography is destiny", or "if the election were held today...".

Bareback Mountain said...

Notice how you go from reading "Cherry picking one attractive outlier in isolation is bad analysis" to rebutting "Nothing from the past is ever informative of anything"? That's because the actual statement is correct, and hard to counter. The stupid, made-up overreach is much easier to dismiss.

You can actually glean a lot by looking at the entirety of past elections' polling trends, along with the contexts in which the numbers shifted. But that's not what you want. Perspective would make your pocket pollster go limp.

Why don't you go find the poll where Edmund Muskie was beating Richard (49 states) Nixon, and get the percentages tattooed on your forehead? Then you can truly walk to your election station this November with confidence.

Perspective Indeed said...

Notice how you go from reading a "wow-that's-interesting" example from the past, to seeing it as some sort of threatening "analysis". And then proceeding to write multiple essays in an attempt to debunk it. All while being totally clueless to the fact you're just debunking ghosts in your head!

You never fail to crack me up.

Backtrack Mountain said...

Drowning men don't cling to flotsam because they're drowning - they do it because flotsam is interesting.

Coherency on parade said...

A great silence can get both high and low. A shooting star lies ahead, what with the future yet to come.

Hackjoke Mountain said...


Coherency on parade said...

Oh - In case you've already begun your research, please note: My previous comment was not an "analysis". No further essays are necessary.

Asskick Mountain said...

The Reagan poll has been making the online rounds this month, to comfort distraught Republicans working their way through the Kübler-Ross chart. You saw it there and parroted it here. Then, when I took that analogy apart, you came back with the Bush-Dukakis poll. Then, when I took that apart, you retreated into "you're so smug, just like the smug smuggers then who I like to think said Reagan and Bush couldn't possibly win."

Next, you said that those old polls do reflect today's possibilities. After that, it was "oh dear, no, those polls were merely wow-interesting, you obsessive essayist; I posted them on a thread about Trump losing for no special reason." Plus your standard "chuckle, you responded to my fifth response!" jazz.

And finally, another of your reliable go-to's: feigned incomprehension. Look, I get it. You didn't like being crushed, you don't like that Trump is going to lose and Reagan can't save him, and you've tried moving the goalposts. But you're already all the way over on the volleyball court.

P.S. "Reagan was (*supposedly) losing by a lot at one time but won, which means Trump could win, too!" News flash, Li'l Quinnipiac. That's analysis. It's stupid, worthless, security blanket analysis, true, but it's analysis.

Summing up said...

May they give you some rest tonight.

Goalpost Mountain said...

Crushed. No way to deny it.