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Tags 2020 elections , donald trump , political speculation

View Poll Results: Will trump be re-elected?
Yes 28 14.51%
No 80 41.45%
Don't know, but I hope not 82 42.49%
Don't know, but I hope he does 3 1.55%
Voters: 193. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 2nd November 2020, 12:05 PM   #241
theprestige
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
which is the sensible approach: it is just not likely that millions of voters suddenly changed their mind or managed to hide their true voting intentions.

There would need to be a very credibly, utterly transparent explanation how Trump won.
Which brings us back around to the question. Why bother with ballots, if opinion polls and statistical modeling get us closer to the truth? Serious question: If opinion polls really are all that, why not amend the constitution to base the EC vote on opinion polls?

Last edited by theprestige; 2nd November 2020 at 12:06 PM.
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Old 2nd November 2020, 12:06 PM   #242
The Great Zaganza
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Which brings us back around to the question. Why bother with ballots, if opinion polls and statistical modeling get us closer to the truth?
hyperbole much?

the best way to get close to the truth is from multiple directions at once.
the 2000 mess is the obvious example that ballots alone won't get us there.
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Last edited by The Great Zaganza; 2nd November 2020 at 12:09 PM.
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Old 2nd November 2020, 01:57 PM   #243
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The guy Norpoth that predicted all them elections going backwards to 1900 (wonder who is going to win this one?) and a few since Bill Clinton says Trump will win in a landslide because Biden got 8% in the New Hampshire primary. The Democrats and Republicans (in the case of Bill Clinton second term) in that state have decided all the elections for a hundred years.
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Old 2nd November 2020, 02:09 PM   #244
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Originally Posted by Tero View Post
The guy Norpoth that predicted all them elections going backwards to 1900 (wonder who is going to win this one?) and a few since Bill Clinton says Trump will win in a landslide because Biden got 8% in the New Hampshire primary. The Democrats and Republicans (in the case of Bill Clinton second term) in that state have decided all the elections for a hundred years.
Like I said in another thread, be wary of stuff like this. It's one step removed from political themed horoscopes.

Listen everything about this election is either a canary in a coal mine or a red herring and we won't know which until after the wave form collapses. People are just hedging their bets by pointing out as many "X factors" as they can hoping they'll be able to claim they predicted the outcome after the fact.

Because people don't want to be right as much as they want to be the "See! See! I knew that Kanye West was going to make an out of nowhere surprise victory. I said (in a sea of contradictory predictions but never mind those...) that a candidate with a 5 letter last name had never won in a year that ends in zero....." guy.

Obligatory XKCD: https://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/electoral_precedent_2x.png
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Old 2nd November 2020, 03:01 PM   #245
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Good meme. We are stuck with memes to entertain us. It's like waiting for Santa or Krampus.
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Old 2nd November 2020, 03:17 PM   #246
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Originally Posted by Tero View Post
The guy Norpoth that predicted all them elections going backwards to 1900 (wonder who is going to win this one?) and a few since Bill Clinton says Trump will win in a landslide because Biden got 8% in the New Hampshire primary. The Democrats and Republicans (in the case of Bill Clinton second term) in that state have decided all the elections for a hundred years.
Obligatory XKCD:

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Old 2nd November 2020, 04:40 PM   #247
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
hyperbole much?

the best way to get close to the truth is from multiple directions at once.
the 2000 mess is the obvious example that ballots alone won't get us there.
Okay, so what are you proposing? Ballots plus polls? The EC votes the ballot count, plus or minus a margin of error from the opinion polls?
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Old 2nd November 2020, 05:10 PM   #248
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Okay, so what are you proposing? Ballots plus polls? The EC votes the ballot count, plus or minus a margin of error from the opinion polls?
I can't say I've ever seen someone working so hard to invalidate both polls and ballots and even voting in general. I wonder if this has anything to do with how well your preferred candidate is doing in the polls, and hopefully will be doing in the final ballot counts?
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Old 2nd November 2020, 05:11 PM   #249
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
hyperbole much?

the best way to get close to the truth is from multiple directions at once.
the 2000 mess is the obvious example that ballots alone won't get us there.
Aren't ballots the ultimate "truth" when it comes to elections?
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Old 2nd November 2020, 05:16 PM   #250
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Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
Aren't ballots the ultimate "truth" when it comes to elections?
Where they exist, yes. Many states don't have actual ballots, just electronic tabulations in a digital form that can't be verified or audited. Recounts are very, very difficult in the U.S.A. and most, if not all, states make it very hard to get one.
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Old 3rd November 2020, 12:28 AM   #251
The Great Zaganza
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Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
Aren't ballots the ultimate "truth" when it comes to elections?
as has been amply demonstrated, initial voter counts are often not the truth when it comes to elections: mistakes happen, as do unforeseen problems.
Some of these problems can be cured, others can't when there are voting machines don't leave a paper trail, for example.

Polls come in when there is reason to doubt the votes because of reported problems - and so far, we had many, many reports of problems, from torched drop-off boxes to Postal Office deliberate slowly of mail and many more.

We have one data point when it comes to ballots.
We have many, many data points when it comes to polls.

If there is a large discrepancy, we need to find out why, not just assume that the votes were counted completely and accurately.
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Old 3rd November 2020, 12:51 AM   #252
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Originally Posted by thaiboxerken View Post
Where they exist, yes. Many states don't have actual ballots, just electronic tabulations in a digital form that can't be verified or audited. Recounts are very, very difficult in the U.S.A. and most, if not all, states make it very hard to get one.
I find this quite shocking. All that hassle about democracy, primaries, polls etc. and then the voting system is opaque and prone to manipulation? I would be making quite a fuss about this if I lived there...
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Old 3rd November 2020, 01:02 AM   #253
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
If there is a large discrepancy, we need to find out why, not just assume that the votes were counted completely and accurately.
However, we shouldn't believe that the issue is automatically with the ballots.

Polls have a lot of issues with them, least of all that they are merely snapshots of a population with an assumption that the rest of that population is analogous to that sample. This leads to the fact that most polls have at least a 3.5 point error associated with them. Not only that we have to assume that the pollster is actually playing the ball with a straight bat and isn't biasing the results, consider Rasmensan for example there.

On top of that, polling is a kind of statistical magic that relies as much on the analyst of the poll data as it does on the questions asked and the sample population. Consider 2016 where the analysts were pretty much ignoring the polling data that was screaming that Clinton had a mid-west problem.

At the end of the day, polls are not a lot more than really educated guesses and they tend to be off, so unless the ballot results are well off from the polling (like 7+ points) then the more likely issue is that the polls were wrong.

For instance in this election, if Trump were to take PA and end up winning, it'd be surprising, but it certainly out of the realm of possibility. Then neither is it impossible for things to go the other way and Biden ends up turning Texas blue. Now maybe neither of those things will happen, but the point is that the polling doesn't exclude them from doing so.
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Old 3rd November 2020, 03:48 AM   #254
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Which brings us back around to the question. Why bother with ballots, if opinion polls and statistical modeling get us closer to the truth? Serious question: If opinion polls really are all that, why not amend the constitution to base the EC vote on opinion polls?

In 1955 Asimov published 'Franchise'.


"In the future, the United States has converted to an "electronic democracy" where the computer Multivac selects a single person to answer a number of questions. Multivac will then use the answers and other data to determine what the results of an election would be, avoiding the need for an actual election to be held."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franchise_(short_story)
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Old 3rd November 2020, 04:31 AM   #255
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
In 1955 Asimov published 'Franchise'.


"In the future, the United States has converted to an "electronic democracy" where the computer Multivac selects a single person to answer a number of questions. Multivac will then use the answers and other data to determine what the results of an election would be, avoiding the need for an actual election to be held."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franchise_(short_story)

can't wait.
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Old 3rd November 2020, 06:59 AM   #256
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
If there is a large discrepancy, we need to find out why, not just assume that the votes were counted completely and accurately.
If there is a large discrepancy between what and what?

If there's a large discrepancy between two opinion polls, do we stop everything and figure out which poll is wrong and which one will be the standard by which the ballot count is measured?
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Old 3rd November 2020, 07:01 AM   #257
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
can't wait.
A A similar system could be used to predict collateral damage in a major war.
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Old 3rd November 2020, 07:03 AM   #258
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
If there is a large discrepancy between what and what?

If there's a large discrepancy between two opinion polls, do we stop everything and figure out which poll is wrong and which one will be the standard by which the ballot count is measured?
you seem determined to misunderstand.

Polls this year have been remarkably stable and similar to each other.
If the results differ beyond the margin of error, either the polls were wrong, or something went wrong with the counting or both.

If there is a discrepancy, more investigation is warranted.

this is not complicated, and it shouldn't be contentious, either.
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Old 3rd November 2020, 07:34 AM   #259
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Originally Posted by Abooga View Post
I find this quite shocking. All that hassle about democracy, primaries, polls etc. and then the voting system is opaque and prone to manipulation? I would be making quite a fuss about this if I lived there...
It's strange, but no political party here actually makes a fuss about it.
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