This is truly horrifying.
If the presidential election were held today, according to Five Thirty Eight‘s political poll guru Nate Silver, Donald Trump would actually become America’s next President.
As scary as that sounds, it’s true — if the election were held today, Trump would defeat Hillary Clinton, win the Presidency, and promptly destroy civilization as we know it probably, who knows like two hours after he got the job.
But as scary as this news may be, it doesn’t really tell the whole story.
On Monday morning, Silver tweeted out the following electoral map — as it stands today, specifically (Silver calls it the “now-cast”) — with Trump having a 57.5% chance of winning the election to Clinton’s 42.5% (below):
That made EVERYONE go crazy thinking Trump will win, or something, but what was missed along the way was a far more important map: the one Silver terms his “polls-plus” model.
He tweeted that second (below) and as you can see, in that one, Clinton still is expected to win the election by a fair margin (below):
Whew, OK, so we feel better.
…And also confused.
Basically, what’s happening is that the first (scary) poll with Trump the winner is looking only at polls taken right this moment, immediately after The Donald’s speech at the Republican National Convention, and right in the middle of a big email scandal the Democrats are now experiencing.
Sure, if the whole country voted this evening, The Donald would actually get enough of a “convention bump” to win — but the whole country doesn’t vote this evening.
So while the first chart may make headlines, it’s the second one — the polling methodology that tracks historical trends, campaign changes, and accounts for what will inevitably be a decrease after Trump’s convention bump from the last few days — that is much truer to what will likely happen in November.
The state-by-state data itself is fascinating; click HERE to play around more with that (and see where your state ends up in the Trump v. Clinton sweepstakes!).
But in the meantime, while we should be kinda worried about The Donald anyways, you probably don’t need to tear your hair out… yet (below):
Let’s not even make this close, America…
[Image via Dennis Van Tine/Future Image/WENN.]