Nate Silver is Right – Democrats Are Lying To Themselves

 

It’s probably the case that every human being has experienced recurring nightmares and for some political observers this election is shaping up to be yet another disaster, for Democrats. One might think all Americans were aware that polling and election outcome predictions are not reliable, especially after the past two or three election cycles where Democrats were crushed in congressional and state-level races even after outrageous reporting that Republican governors, legislators and state representatives were destroyed by this or that Democrat leading up to voting day. This nightmare scenario is raising its ugly head and it appears that only Nate Silver is aware that Democrats are lying to themselves if they think Donald Trump can’t defeat Hillary Clinton.

Democrats know Nate Silver and yet it appears they have little regard for an “ominous warning” he recently issued:

There’s still a lot of denial among Democrats about how tight the race has become, despite evidence from high-quality polls.”

One of the big problems, and it is huge, is that although many voters claim they don’t support Trump and are highly-unlikely to vote for him in public, when queried anonymously, they do support the television celebrity and will be ticking a box with his name next to it in November. But, one might say, the polls show Hillary crushing Trump and pundits keep claiming the Republican Party is all but destroyed. However, according to experts like Thomas Edsall, some Trump voters are lying to the pollsters. In a prescient, but ignored op-ed a couple of months back, Mr. Edsall asked, “How Many People Support Trump but Don’t Want to Admit It?” The answer is probably a lot, and a lot means a Clinton win is not nearly as likely as Democrats want to believe.

There is something known amongst pollsters as “social desirability bias; the desire of respondents to avoid embarrassment.” Some voters refuse to tell a live interviewer that they support a candidate like Trump because he is offensive and outrageous. But like most establishment Republicans publicly rejecting Trump and claiming to support Hillary Clinton, once they’re in the privacy of the voting booth on November 8, they will, without hesitation, cast their secret ballot for every Republican up and down the ballot; including the Republican candidate for president.

According to real experts, in matchups between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, Trump does much better in polls that are conducted online where a respondent, in the privacy of their computer screen, can tick a box next to Trump’s name sans embarrassment. In fact, it is a completely different story when they are faced with responding to a human being’s voice in person-to-person polls by landline and cellphone surveys.

To make the point clearer, Real Clear Politics aggregated 10 separate telephone polls giving Hillary Clinton a respectable nine point national advantage over Trump. However, the combined results of two online surveys conducted by YouGov and Morning Consult, Clinton’s lead fell to only four points. It’s why Nate Silver is right in saying Democrats are in denial if they think Donald Trump can’t win in November.

To re-emphasize the point, Nate Silver ran a national presidential poll about two weeks ago and to say the results are shocking is an understatement. In telephone calls where a live person asks a respondent to “disclose their preference to a living person,” Hillary Clinton polls at a very strong 86 percent. However, in Silver’s online and “robo” polls conducted over the Internet and in private, Clinton polls a whopping 15 percent lower, coming in at only 71 percent.

Where Democrats and liberal pundits alike have to start being honest is admitting that no matter how offensive and dangerous Donald Trump may be, and he certainly is both, he is the Republican Party standard bearer. That he is a racist, bigot, misogynist and inept at everything just endears him a bit more to the preponderance of ignorant Americans who will flock to the polls to vote for a celebrity they’ve watched on their televisions.

Americans are also memory challenged besides ignorant and all of the offensive and hateful remarks by Trump, even targeting Veterans and women, are already long-forgotten by many prospective voters. Remember, that even after shutting down the government six months before the 2014 midterms, Republicans who pundits claimed were finished easily won their races.

Democrats can never assume the voters are dependable according to their responses in polls and surveys, but they can, and damn well should assume that when they hit the voting booth in November the preponderance of racists, religious, and bigoted Republicans and their independent or first-time voting brethren will pull the lever or tick the box for the Republican. That his name is Donald Trump is of no consequence; he will have an “R” beside his name and he promised to protect their Christian heritage and make America great again. It is meaningless to informed Americans, but it cements the deal for conservatives.

 

This article was originally set for publication Sept. 15, 2016

Washington Post Offers Brilliant and Reasoned Endorsement of Hillary Clinton

Anyone familiar with a newspaper editorial board’s process of deciding which candidate to endorse for any office in any election will confess it can be a lengthy and sometimes contentious task. Two weeks ago when the New York Times editorial board endorsed Hillary Clinton for president, anyone with a pulse could see the board did its due diligence and put forward a well-researched and well-conceived rationale for endorsing Clinton. Late this week, the Washington Post weighed in on the presidential election and officially endorsed Hillary Clinton and gave what is arguably the most well thought-out and clearly reasoned endorsement of any candidate in recent memory.

Although the Post methodically laid out its reasons for endorsing Ms. Clinton, the editorial’s first paragraph really said everything any of their readers needed to know about Clinton as a superior choice over not just Donald Trump, but any candidate from any party.

There is a well-qualified, well-prepared candidate on the ballot. Hillary Clinton has the potential to be an excellent president of the United States, and we endorse her without hesitation.”

In similar fashion of the NYT’s endorsement, the Post did not focus on why Donald Trump is “dreadful” or why Clinton is the “lesser of two evils;” because it is not why the board endorsed her. However, like any thoughtful endorsement it did not shy away from why it believes, right or wrong, that some Americans dislike and distrust the former Secretary of State and U.S. Senator. The piece carefully explained how and why it believes Hillary could have handled the past 25 years of conservative attacks on her character better.

Interestingly, the endorsement did note what it called Clinton’s “genuine flaws, missteps and weaknesses;” of which one, a lack of charisma, the board considered an asset in America’s “angrily divided nation” where, if elected, she will have to govern and work with a political party “determined to thwart her.”

It is worth taking the 4 minutes to read the Post’s endorsement, but there was one specific point that stands out as justification for the opening paragraph about Clinton being “well-qualified and well-prepared” to be “an excellent president.”

In a few words with significant weight behind them, the Post said Hillary Clinton is “dogged, resilient, purposeful and smart. She does not let her feelings get in the way of the job at hand. She is well positioned to get something done,” and she will not be deterred from progress by a defeat no matter how brutal.

The Post specifically noted that instead of holding “some grudges” toward Republicans who “lambasted her husband in the most personal terms” during an impeachment fiasco, after winning election to the Senate in 2000 “colleagues in both parties found her to be businesslike, knowledgeable, intent on accomplishment, willing to work across the aisle and less focused than most on getting credit.”

On domestic issues, the Post remarked that “Ms. Clinton’s agenda is commendable, and parts may actually be achievable: immigration reform; increased investment in infrastructure, research and education, paid for by higher taxes on the wealthy; sounder family-leave policies; criminal-justice reform. In an era of slowing growth and growing income inequality, these all make sense, as do her support for curbing climate change and for regulating gun ownership.”

On all of those issues, the editorial board noted that Clinton may not please some farther-left Democrats or hard-right Republicans, but because this is a divided America and progress comes in excruciatingly painful incremental steps, her steady hand, knowledge, and intent on accomplishment by working across the aisle will achieve results; if only incrementally.

What was surprising, really, was the Post’s remark that “Ms. Clinton underlined her fitness for office in what was essentially the first major decision of her potential presidency: her choice of Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) as running mate.” The Post noted, rightly, that “Ms. Clinton selected a person of sound judgment, with executive and legislative experience and unquestionable capacity to serve as president if necessary.” It was an executive-level choice that demonstrated Clinton’s “seriousness of purpose and relentless commitment to achievements in the public interest” instead of making a choice based on exciting “this or that part of her base.”

The Post ended its endorsement with a point that did not have to be made and really did nothing to substantiate the worth of a major newspaper’s otherwise brilliant endorsement. It said, “We believe that Ms. Clinton will prove a worthy example to girls who celebrate the election of America’s first female president. We believe, too, that anyone who votes for her will be able to look back, four years from now, with pride in that decision.”

Anyone who supports or votes for Hillary Clinton should not do so based on her gender regardless the historical or role model value for girls or women. The only reason to support Clinton’s candidacy is because she is “well-qualified and well-prepared to be an excellent president;” the most important reason offered by the Washington Post editorial board.

 

h/t shoq