Showing category "Election2016" (Show all posts)

Too Close to Call

Posted by Timothy McBride on Sunday, June 5, 2016, In : Election2016 

One of my (many) pet peeves about political reporting in election years is how the media reports polling data.

A few years ago reporters were trained to report not just the point estimates from a poll (that is, say that Clinton leads Sanders 49% to 47%) but the so-called "margin of error (MOE)" (+-3%) and that if the margin between the candidates is less than the MOE, it is "too close to call".  That's good.

However, the press often makes the mistake of saying this also means it's a "dead heat"...
Continue reading ...
 

Electoral Math

Posted by Timothy McBride on Sunday, May 22, 2016, In : Election2016 

One of the common mistakes people seem to make around now, in every Presidential election year, is to become fixated on nationwide popular vote polls.

The problem is that these are rather meaningless in telling us much at all about who will win the election.  That is because we elect a President using the ELECTORAL COLLEGE, not by popular vote.  Why this simple fact seems to be lost on the media is beyond me.  I can understand more why the public is confused by this we do such a poor job of te...
Continue reading ...
 

Delegate math

Posted by Timothy McBride on Sunday, May 22, 2016, In : Election2016 

The backers of Bernie Sanders make a big deal of complaining about the "Superdelegates," claiming that the process is "unfair."  More on that later.

But consider this. What if the Democrats had NO Superdelegates?  Let's just assume for discussion the nomination was based not on choosing 4,763 delegates but 4,051 "pledged delegates" (chosen by the process of primaries and caucuses).

So far, here is how the numbers break out for the two candidates on pledged delegates:

Clinton:   1,769 (54%)
Sander...
Continue reading ...
 

What Explains the Trump Phenomenon?

Posted by Timothy McBride on Friday, May 13, 2016, In : Election2016 

Like almost everyone, I have been trying to figure out how it was possible that a person who has never held public office before, and who may not actually be a Republican, could be on the verge of gaining the Republican nomination.   Many conservatives cannot figure this out, especially given that he holds views that are diametrically opposed to most Republican orthodoxy.

There is no doubt that Trump has gained a large number of votes, over 10 million, which at this point are the second most e...

Continue reading ...
 

Don't know nothing about history...

Posted by Timothy McBride on Tuesday, September 15, 2015, In : Election2016 
Apparently Americans really don't know much about history (guess that is obvious!)

More surprising, apparently the press doesn't know it either, or so-called "political pundits."

If they knew history they would know we have seen the likes of Donald Trump before: that is, a politician who uses over-the-top rhetoric designed to appeal to the prejudices of the masses, their fears and rile them up.

Examples abound, such as Huey Long, Father Coughlin, Franics Townsend, Jospeh McCarthy.  All of these ...
Continue reading ...
 

Understanding political numbers

Posted by Timothy McBride on Tuesday, September 15, 2015, In : Election2016 
As I watch the 2016 election roll out, and again watch (with my usual disappointment) the pundits talk about the election, I am amazed that people seem to lack a simple understanding of electoral math.

Let's start with a simple story now dominating everyone's attention.  Donald Trump's so-called "surge."  

Well to understand that, remember two important things: if the polls are right he has about 30% support of REPUBLICANS and has a big lead (mean a plurality) over the other 15 candidates in th...
Continue reading ...
 
 

About Me


Timothy McBride Timothy D. McBride, Ph.D. is a Professor at the Brown School, Washington University in St. Louis. Here you can find musings on health policy and other issues. Opinions are mine and not those of my employer. Contact: mcbridetd@gmail.com