Trump or Clinton, Who Will be Our Next Leader?
The next President of the United States will be elected in a few days. Polls will be open on November 8 and turn out is predicted to be heavy. However, there have already been millions of votes cast via absentee ballots.
It appears the predictions, for our next president, change weekly, sometimes daily. It is presently estimated that the U.S. will have the first female president in history. The New York Times is giving a daily prediction for the winner.
However, during the last few days Trump has been making appearance after appearance in all the key states. It is also reported that he plans to put hundreds of thousands of his personal money into the campaign. He has also stated that he is willing to add many more millions.
According to the Times, there are 1,024 paths leading to opening the door to the White House. The newspaper suggests that Clinton has 709 different ways to win; Trump has 300 ways and this allows for 15 ties. Nate Cohn, writing for The Upshot, in The Savvy Person’s Guide to Reading the Latest Polls, says the polls receiving the most attention these days, are referred to as “outliers.” He describes these as being so attractive because they offer shocking results. It does not mean they are representative in any manner. He suggests that the “averages” are the best indicators of electing the future president.
Cohn says that 46 percent, and above, is a good indicator of the real strength a candidate has. He says that numbers below this causes suspicions as to the undecided voters. He goes on to state that looking at the registered votes, opposed to likely voters, is a strong indicator of who is leading in the polls. However, he adds, registered voter polls tend to over-represent Democrats.
Another factor to consider includes if the poll looks at the race as a four-way or two-way contest. This year, with two third-party candidates, neither of them are recording large poll numbers unlike former third-party candidates Ross Perot or John Anderson. Cohn says, when the other two are included, this tends to overestimate their support; those that do not include them tend to underestimate their support.
There are so many factors that pollsters study that it makes a person’s head spin. For example, a one-day poll often proves to be inaccurate. The size of the sampling also plays a role which can lead to a sampling error. Then there is the margin of error that must be considered. Landline calls to voters, opposed to cell phone calls also play a role in the outcome.
So, as Sonny and Cher once sung, “The beat goes on…” and the polls continue to accumulate numbers. Soon it will all be over and we will have a new leader.