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« Countdown to No More Trump: 8 Weeks to Go. Hillary up by 2.5%, Leads in 3 of 4 states that Trump has to capture | Main | Debate Preview: Trump vs Hillary: The Championship Bout. Its possible that the election is decided on Monday »

September 20, 2016


Tomi T Ahonen

Hi Everybody

Gosh this is brilliant. NY Times invited 4 respected pollsters to view their data before it was published and give THEIR count of what the polling data 'revealed'. So this is the SAME data but 4 experts who would conduct the survey and interpret the results. Boy is this revealing... NYT has it here

So in addition to the 4, there is the group who DID the polling who also reported, so there are 5 interpretations of the SAME DATA. How much to professionals agree on the SAME DATA - 5 experts, four SEPARATE results, the furthest apart were 6 POINTS apart. One found a +5% for Hillary and the other -1% for Trump. A six point swing from the SAME data, depending on who interprets it.

The average of the five results is +1.75% for Hillary. The 'official' reported finding was +1% that is published and shown for example by RCP. But one respected analyst found from that same data that Trump is ahead by 1% and one found from the same data that Hillary is ahead by 5%. In the same data!

Why? Because of WEIGHTING the sample to expected voter turnout. We do not poll the ACTUAL voters on election day. We poll a tiny sample. A sample which may be correctly balanced male/female but most certainly will not be perfectly balanced by age, or by race, or by education, or by region of the state, or by profession/employed/unemployed/student or marital status or whatever. And THAT has to be done to such data. The un-weighted data is ALWAYS going to be far more old than young, because older people have more time on their hands (retired people) and often lonely, happy to answer a phone and do a survey. The poorest are far less likely to HAVE required communciations to do the survey (but can still vote) or have the time to take a poll (working bad shifts at some night-time job) or afraid to answer the phone (fearing a bill collector) etc.

The polled results ALWAYS have imperfect data on the population that will show up to vote. So the pollster has to do the weigh-ing of the data. What percent of respondents WERE black who responded. What do we EXPECT to be black turnout in this case, in the state of Florida. Etc.

I have a few times been upset at some polls with their samples (the CNN poll recently that was a clear outlier showing Hillary behind nationally in 4-way race). There are many more that I don't bother to bitch about here on the blog but when I see the result, I go dig through the 'cross tabs' and see oh, this guy only sampled half the Hispanic turnout that is expected, no wonder Trump is doing so well - etc; or another that had a turnout model of 50/50 men/women which in all elections is about 47/53 and this election is far more likely to be 45/55 or even more for women.

But its nice to see it 'measured' this way. Four professional pollsters (by the way, the 'Republican' pollster was not the one who got the -1% for Trump. The GOP pollster of the sample got a +1% finding for Hillary, same as the actual result as published but a Democratic-leaning pollster did get the best-Hillary result).

It comes to 'best way is to average polls' to try to eliminate bias. As I said, if those 5 analysts are averaged, they result in a 1.75% finding for Hillary lead in Florida, based on that data. The reported number was 1.0%. The extremes -1% for Trump or +5% for Hillary seem to be outlier opinions of unlikely voter turnout models or ratings.

NOW that said - it DOES matter of course what the turnout is. Republicans want the turnout down. Democrats want the turnout up. A negative campaign usually means suppressed voter turnout and this should become the nastiest campaign ever - although remarkably, so far, it hasn't yet been so. And scaring voters to the polls is perhaps a variation/change to that tactic and both sides are attempting to scare their side to show up. That should help Democrats if it pushes up turnout. BUT it may SKEW the polling - if unusually high numbers of white racist voters turn up (many models have the white turnout up) and whether the Hispanic vote wave emerges (some think Hispanic enthusiasm is down) and if the black surge of Obama votes will pass and be down compared to the last 2 elections. Those all matter to the outcome.

So my professional view - haha, I AM a professional pollster too, by background - is that Youth vote will be down vs 2012. Black vote may be down slightly but will still be above its historic average. Hispanic vote will be up significantly vs 2012. White vote thus will be down at least as % of total vote. The male/female balance will be exceptionally tilted to women. So for voter TURNOUT model, Hispanics & women up. Blacks about same. White vote down, youth vote down.

THEN we get the internal shifts within the model, how do women vote, more for Hillary than voted for Obama? (I think so). Black vote? About same for Hillary as Obama. Hispanic vote, more against Trump than was against Romney. Those produce a wave that there are not enough white male votes to counter and stop the election. BUT note. The POLLS as reported, do not necessarily CAPTURE that insight - because of exactly the issue NYT now proved. Five analysts looking at the same data can find 4 separate results that can be 6 POINTS apart !!! Pennsylvania could be tied. Or Texas could be tied. Thats a 6 point swing if the recent couple of polls from those states were by accident reported by analysts who happened to have a bias that was at the extreme. The more polls we get, the more we can be sure the problems are averaged out. Pennsylvania at a 6% lead for Hillary is PRETTY DARNED safe, so many PA polls are out. But TX a 6% Trump lead, it might be secretly a 3% race that has a few misleading polls out (or Arizona or Georgia) and remember, it goes both ways. Texas could seem like a -6% race and actually be six points THE OTHER WAY, in reality -12% for Trump (or Hillary be up by +12% in PA haha).

Back again to our 50 state model. You see in the model the bolded states. They have 3 or more in-state polls conducted within the month of August (up to first week of Sept). Those we can take as reasonably accurate. The unbolded states, they are less confident and the actual state could be more off than say one or two points.

..isn't this fun?

Tomi Ahonen :-)


Republicans want the high turnout. Mainly the "Monster" (Deplorable) vote. Those who haven't voted in years, but are at Trump rallies which overflow stadiums holding 10k.
Meanwhile, Hillary seems to have 3rd stage Parkinsons, gives brief speeches to dozens not filling high school auditoria.



Do-nothing Congress gets an earful from a fed-up Obama in weekly address
By Susan Gardner

"' The Republicans who run this Congress aren’t doing their jobs.

Well, guess what? Congress recently returned from a seven-week vacation. They’ve only got two weeks left until their next one.'

"President Obama let loose with some sarcasm and a laundry list of issues that need to be addressed at the Republican do-nothing Congress in this morning’s weekly address, leading off with Zika funding, resources for Louisiana after its devastating flooding, and approving Merrick Garland for the Supreme Court. But that was just the beginning."


"Meanwhile, Hillary seems to have 3rd stage Parkinsons, gives brief speeches to dozens not filling high school auditoria."

Sounds like a plausible Swift Boat attack. Baseless accusations that are difficult to defend against.


The Many Scandals of Donald Trump: A Cheat Sheet

176 Reasons Donald Trump Shouldn't Be President

How the Trump Organization's Foreign Business Ties Could Upend U.S. National Security

What We Know About Donald Trump's Scandal-Plagued Charity Foundation


Trump used $258,000 from his charity to settle legal problems
By David A. Fahrenthold

"Donald Trump spent more than a quarter-million dollars from his charitable foundation to settle lawsuits that involved the billionaire’s for-profit businesses, according to interviews and a review of legal documents.

Those cases, which together used $258,000 from Trump’s charity, were among four newly documented expenditures in which Trump may have violated laws against “self-dealing” — which prohibit nonprofit leaders from using charity money to benefit themselves or their businesses."

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi Everybody

Haha the pollsters give and the pollsters taketh away. Today the long enduring pain of Hillary being at less than 300 EV votes - a total of six days at that - came to an end. While Trump picked up a lead in the RCP 'no tossups' map in both Nevada and North Carolina, Hillary took back Florida. She's up to 301 EV votes again. BUT it does suggest right now, the fight is back-and-forth in 5 states (arguably only 4) ie:

North Carolina
Iowa (arguably no longer contested, Trump winning this one)

But as we know, even if Trump wins all 5 of those states, Hillary wins the election. Trump needs at least one state more (Colorado or Pennsylvania) or New Hampshire AND the one district in Maine. And Hillary is pretty safe in all those three states.

BTW California, haha, 17% for Hillary. New York, 21% for Hillary. So much for Trump and his original stupid idea of somehow flipping solidly blue states.

Tomi Ahonen :-)


'I've never encountered anything so brazen': Report details 'shocking' new revelations about Trump Foundation



Princeton Election Consortium still shows Clinton 296 as of this moment:


There Is So Much Wrong With Donald Trump Jr.'s Skittles Tweet


Trump Campaign Offices in the West Bank Offer Perfect Symbol of Trump’s Idea of America
By Ed Kilgore

Wayne Borean

OK, let's go back to Georgia. Tomi says that campaigning to get another 5% of the black vote would not be a good use of campaign resources. But...

What about gaining 10% more of the college educated white vote? That could flip the state, especially with the backing of Jimmy Carter, the former president who is still popular in Georgia. Carter also has an impact with Evangelicals.

So yes, I think Georgia could be blue. The changing demographics, and the unpopularity of the GOP candidate could swing it. Could already have swung the state.

Clinton would not have bothered to have any staff in the state if it was deep red, like California is deep blue, but she does have staff there. If you look at the RCP polling for Georgia it indicates that the state was in Clinton's hands for most of August, and has swung back to Trump. Given the volatility shown in polling, a swing back to Clinton would not be surprising.


It is clear that the PotUS elections in the US are decided on voter turn out. And voter turn out is what is evidently worst predictable.

I remember how Tomi analyzed Obama's get out the vote efforts as decisive for the land slide results.


HuffPo warns us not to expect anything from the debates, at all:

There's No Debate


It'd be nice if you could visit the iPhone 7 launch blog post comments as we'd love to hear your view on calendar Q4 sales expectations.
(feel free to delete this comment when you do.)


Democrats' debate advice to Clinton: Let Trump screw up


It is always a bad idea to let the initiative slip. The best advice is to MAKE Trump screw up.



I agree. The danger is in this debate is that Hillary might win the debate at technicalities which will not be that obvious ordinary people. Therefore Hillary must win clearly the debate(s) because a draw is basically a victory for Trump who is seen as the underdog.

I guess that Trump's tactic will be to interrupt as much as possible Hillary's talking or even talk over her (that is basically bullying Hillary) and throw those punch-lines (which I find very stupid but many people like them).

Hillary's job is actually pretty difficult because of "how do you debate with an smart-ass who does not follow rules of logic?". I guess that probably Hillary's strategy is to bury Trump with facts whilst playing the "teacher's role" (by pointing his grammar errors, pointing to his repetitions, etc.). Rubio has tried a little bit of this but he was pretty bad at it.


So the best advice for Hillary is to get Trump angry. A shrink might have some very good tips here.


"So the best advice for Hillary is to get Trump angry."

That is the real price. If Hillary get Trump to lose his temper, he is gone. On the other hand, if Trump succeeds in making look Hillary as "weak" and "lacking energy", it is the end for her.



There's a comment after the article that captures the 'press' just right:


And here's the subcategories of lines of questioning for each candidate:

America's Direction

Clinton: Email server, Benghazi and Mexican invasion/Muslim refugees, why did she create ISIS?

Trump: His astounding business success and acumen, negotiating skills and non-establishment bona fides.

Achieving Prosperity

Clinton: Email server, Benghazi and Mexican invasion/Muslim refugees, why did she create ISIS?

Trump: His amazing job creation history, brilliant tax cut plans, his unique and innovative maternity lease ideas and deep experience "getting things done".

Securing America.

Clinton: Email server, Benghazi and Mexican invasion/Muslim refugees, why did she create ISIS?

Trump: Big beautiful wall, his big-hearted immigration reform plans and his national security genius.

There...the debate question topics in a nutshell. Any questions?

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi Asko

Your wish is my comment. Just posted to the thread. Thanks for fetching me from here :-)

Tomi Ahonen :-)



Any idea as to why on earth Trump would have a campaign office in the West Bank?

Sure, he's nuts, but are there that many absentee ballots to be won?

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi everybody

On the debates yes, especially first debate. Now there are media companies coming with similar numbers, it could be 90 million or even 100 million watching the first debate. It is however against Monday Night Football and some media audience saying that will reduce the top audience number somewhat. Still it will shatter any past debate audience.

The one thing we can be sure of, is that the Clinton team has a pro team who has prepared like nobody else ever has. So they have every primary debate tape and have studied and indexed every moment and seen how Trump behaved under various conditions and how he reacted to various attacks.

We have NOT seen a proper well-designed attack run on Trump. Jeb did a piss-poor job of it. Most of the other rivals got intimidated by Trump early in the race. Carly Fiorina showed the best single attacks in the early going - signalling something Hillary may try. Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz got into the attack modes only late in the Spring debates but remember, Trump didn't show up to debate at that Fox 'ambush' debate (and I would not be surprised if Trump had been warned not to show up by some of his Fox friends (haha Roger Ailes, seriously?) that Fox was cooking up ambushes for the front-runners to use videotape against them). That SHOULD have been the bloodbath debate where both Rubio and Cruz would attack Trump strongly and Trump would have for the first time felt sustained attacks from those two. Instead then the two went at each other.

Then there was the last debate (again on Fox, again that Trump skipped and then the whole debate was cancelled). That was the first time Cruz would have had Trump almost to himself and the gloves had come off, all the stupid stuff about Cruz's dad being a Kennedy assassin etc. Cruz had been burned by his 'BFF' and was out to blood, but Trump then cancelled his appearance and we had no more debates.

So Trump has had attacks on him, but not sustained and strong. The best attacks were that debate which got into penis size. Marco Rubio did get under Trump's skin with the small hands sillyness and Marco seemed to be enjoying the childish jabs, but Cruz was punching severely at Trump and scoring major points then. Cruz had for the first time shown his ability to take on Trump. That debate is too easily distracted - and all the follow-up media, about the penis argument but the REAL issue, from a debate ability and tactics and effectiveness - was how Ted Cruz was engaging with Trump and getting to him.

There is a rule of debates, across academic debates, political debates, TV interviews, court appearances - that the side who gets angry has lost the argument instantly with the audience. The single most important thing for either side is to remain unflappable and calm. The moment the debater LOOKS angry and stressed and troubled - that is magnified on TV by thousand-fold and the audience 'feels' that the candidate is now losing.

Hillary knows this and while she's been pushed by everybody for over three decades in the public eye, she is able to maintain her demeanor incredibly well, poised and calm. That standard (perhaps cold, perhaps calculated, perhaps also to many, off-putting) Clinton trait - becomes ironclad Hillary rule when she debates. She learned debating old school as a young attorney. She will not fold under pressure - and she won't let it show.

Trump doesn't do this instinctively. He is instinctively the opposite and will try to bully and take control and use anger and speak over others and be RUDE to try to win. That doesn't play well in a debate setting. But early in the primary debates, nobody had seen this before and nobody was prepared and they didn't know who (moderators or debater) should do something about it - and then if YOU tried to control Trump - YOU became his newest target and thus Trump was able to intimidate the others to not take the first shot against Trump.

So in some ways we've seen only modest attempts at it, and we haven't seen Trump face two hours of that kind of pressure. There was always John Kasich in the room who would say - lets be adults, lets not attack - and then Kasich would babble on something (or Dr Ben Carson would) and this would give Trump enough time to calm down.

Trump has MOST certainly been now trained and taught to REMAIN CALM and not to be too rude and to interrupt all the time etc. He will be fighting INTERNALLY against his instinct and the debate prep he's been getting. I think Trump CAN be disciplined to seem reasonable and not a child on that stage, but it will take effort from Trump which means he's less involved in the TACTICS of exploiting a debate topic opening or the other side's attack.

Trump is also at least somewhat paranoid. He will instinctively feel that the moderator is in cahoots with Hillary - and Trump may well start to fight with the moderator. A clever gambit could be for Hillary to try to have Trump BELIEVE that, that the moderator is clearly in Hillary's pocket.

Now one of the things Hillary should be doing is trying to get Trump angry. There are many 'buttons' that get him angry (penis size haha, but she won't go there) but his wealth, tax returns, honesty, the Birther lies, would be good points to start with. On the PSYCHOLOGY of the anger, Hillary would be well served to include an anger-issue towards the end of one of her responses to an original question, but in a way to divert Trump from the original question. Because of the debate format it means Trump gets to respond, but because Trump's attention span is short, he'll focus on the last, prrsonal attack angry-part at the end, and ignore a legitimate issue that Hillary had earlier in her question. Then as Hillary gets the last rebuttal on the point, she can point out that Trump spent all his time on his egotistical nonsense and ignored the real issue which was...

Now lets go back to Marco Rubio. Remember the debate that killed him? When he was accused of saying his memorized lines and repeating them, when he then in the very next response, recited his memorized line and again repeated it? That was how Chris Christie killed Rubio's 2016 election run. There he goes again! He's just repeating himself! Christie is an experienced court-room attorney, and experienced political debater, and a fast thinker, whose debate TECHNIQUE is excellent. That you do not learn in 3 months. That takes YEARS of meticulous work. And the ONLY way you can free your mind to LISTEN to what the others are doing - is if you are TOTALLY confident with the SUBJECT matter and don't have to try to keep in your mind some numbers and names and countries you just memorized last week.

This is what Hillary will be looking for, and Trump is unable to do. Trump never once was able to pounce on a rival's spontaneous debate gaffes, because he wasn't able to pay attention to them. He was just spending all his self-control in attempting to remain calm and not walk out of the debate stage. Now its not certain that this kind of opportunity avails itself. They happen rarely but they do. And Hillary will be ready for such an instance and she will pounce (like Obama against Romney). That kind of instance could be and very likely would be the deciding event of the whole debate series. BUT they are rare. Trump is a candidate exceptionally prone to such mistakes and Hillary one of the rare talents so smart and well-prepped, she can take advantage of it.

BUT such things CAN be baited, trapped, prepared. AND the other side KNOWs this, so they try to anticipate and prep against it. Again. Does Trump bother to practice dozens and dozens of debates now? No. He may do a few, but he mostly just wants to sit around his team and chat about the topics and then brag about how smart and rich he is.

What I do think (and I think Hillary's debate experts would also think) is that Trump will be prepared for obvious attacks. He will have memorized some good line and try to turn some attack on him, into an attack on Hillary's personality instead. So what I'd try to build is a sneaky hidden type of attack. Something that seems like his well-rehearsed 'obvious' attack but with a subtle undertone. And one that should get a standard Trump response, score him a quick nominal point 'against Hillary' and get Trump to feel good - then hit him with the SECOND part that was hidden underneath.

Part of the way this works is if you use the EXACT words of your opponent. This means again that you have to listen VERY carefully to what the other side said, AND have the focus and attention span to hold that sentence or phrase in your mind up to your response. AND have the ability to incorporate those words into the follow-up attack that you wanted. This is again standard for Hillary (or anyone like say Chris Christie or Ted Cruz) but its beyond Trump's technique. BUT it will INFURIATE Trump if his own words are now 'twisted' against him.

One of the worst things to prep for is the tendency Trump has to interrupt and speak over others and steal the limelight. A few times in the primaries the moderators took control of the debates and kept Trump reasonably in line. In most of the debates, he ended up speaking exactly as much and as often as he felt. In the case of a two-person debate it will be more blatant and annoying, and seem like Trump is brow-beating a woman - but he is prone to do it anyway and it will need some smart technique by Hillary.

I REALLY have no idea what they have come up with, but I am sure they have a technique fgured out - and that at least the Hillary team believes, this method will stop Trump from doing it. I can't wait to see how it goes.

What I do imagine, is that this issue has been worked at for MONTHS. That they have prepped multiple methods, and have TESTED the preferred final options against live audiences of undecided voters to see how it might play. A partisan Trump-hater will feel quite differently about a given method to 'stifle' Trump than a Trump supporter - the key now is obviously the undecided Independent voters in the middle - especially some who will move away from the third party choices in the final weeks back to the final two candidates.

I will do a debate preview. To prep for it, I'll go re-read my debate scoring of the season of both sides. But again, Trump is a loose cannon. He could roll any way and as the ship tilts, the loose cannon could start to suddenly roll in the opposite direction. You never know. BUT if ever there was one candidate who has the skills and prep and determination to defeat Trump in this one debate next week - thats Hillary Clinton. Its in her nature to over-prepare. She knows better than anyone how important this first debate is and that she has to emerge from it as the clear winner. So she will prepare accordingly. It tells us something that even at this stage, she has a limited speaking schedule - she is STILL PREPPING. Hillary was 'ready' to debate Trump in January haha. She's STILL PREPPING.

Now consider her Convention acceptance speech. Consider her Benghazi hearing. When Hillary Clinton prepares and knows this is the most important moment up to now, in her quest to become President, she will perform to perfection.

Last note - the audience. I mentioned this before. It will be undecided Independent voters in New York state. A moderate crowd. They will not instinctively love Trump's messages that he throws at his rallies. Trump wants an audience response. He will feel bewildered when the audience doesn't respond to him like at his rallies. Hillary meanwhile has spoken to audiences with tons of moderates all through the summer, right after the primary race ended. She can read that audience better - and she probably has a few zingers prepared that are designed to get a moderate audience to laugh - at Trump.

If Trump feels the audience hates him - his conspiracy-minded paranoid brain will of course force Trump to ATTACK THE AUDIENCE - this is effort wasted from attacking Hillary and alienating that audience EVEN MORE from Trump. Because they are not Republicans, they will not be easily won back by some right-wing talking points either.

What I am hoping for as a tactic and a TV entertainment event moment, is that Hillary gets one or two good jokes in that get the audience to laugh at Trump, gets under his skin, gets her to feel the audience is with her (she always does best when she has that feeling) and it gets Trump off his game. It can get Trump to be morose as he was in a few debates where Trump then accused the audience of being plants of his rivals.

Can't wait. Perhaps best political TV debate ever. And FAR MORE LIKELY it will be relatively boring, both will be guarded, no real punches thrown but Hillary emerges as the obvious talented competent candidate and Trump alarmingly vague superficial and ill-prepared one. BUT both sides will have developed designed attacks. Its highly unlikely that Trump's attack would succeeed (it might). Its possible while not necessarily likely, that Hillary's attack will succeed. Either way, we could have a total game-altering debate moment, that are rare in elections but could happen now, that will be replayed on the news for weeks to come, dooming the losing candidate of that exchange.

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi grouch

Its a PR stunt. Not enough votes abroad - and they would be split relatively evenly across all states. Totally stupid campaign thing to do from winning votes BUT its to get a few very pro-Israel Republicans to support Trump. Especially Sheldon Adelson the Las Vegas casino Billionaire who had for the longest time refused to send money to Trump but now apparently just this week started to give money to Trump.

Tomi Ahonen :-)

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    Tomi Ahonen is a bestselling author whose twelve books on mobile have already been referenced in over 100 books by his peers. Rated the most influential expert in mobile by Forbes in December 2011, Tomi speaks regularly at conferences doing about 20 public speakerships annually. With over 250 public speaking engagements, Tomi been seen by a cumulative audience of over 100,000 people on all six inhabited continents. The former Nokia executive has run a consulting practise on digital convergence, interactive media, engagement marketing, high tech and next generation mobile. Tomi is currently based out of Hong Kong but supports Fortune 500 sized companies across the globe. His reference client list includes Axiata, Bank of America, BBC, BNP Paribas, China Mobile, Emap, Ericsson, Google, Hewlett-Packard, HSBC, IBM, Intel, LG, MTS, Nokia, NTT DoCoMo, Ogilvy, Orange, RIM, Sanomamedia, Telenor, TeliaSonera, Three, Tigo, Vodafone, etc. To see his full bio and his books, visit Tomi Ahonen lectures at Oxford University's short courses on next generation mobile and digital convergence. Follow him on Twitter as @tomiahonen. Tomi also has a Facebook and Linked In page under his own name. He is available for consulting, speaking engagements and as expert witness, please write to tomi (at) tomiahonen (dot) com

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