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« Panic Reset: Is There A Tightening Race or Is The Race TOTALLY Settled? Hillary vs Trump is.. Totally Settled | Main | Live Poll Decypher Blog: Day Before Election (and Election Contest) (updated 4x) »

November 04, 2016


Wayne Borean

Regards my mention of the supposed Right Wing media, here's an interesting essay.


More info on subject Winter posted:

The anti-Clinton insurgency at the FBI, explained

The recent series of FBI leaks are particularly worrisome because they raise the prospect of a state security agency equipped with the full resources and investigative might of the federal government working to interfere in the elections. The FBI is so powerful — it can, with court approval, issue subpoenas, tap phones, intercept emails and conduct round-the-clock surveillance — that even a small coterie of its agents can find ways of influencing the political process. That’s the kind of thing we normally see in autocracies like Egypt or Turkey, not here in the United States.


For the first time in over 40 years, I am ignoring individual candidates in an election and voting strictly AGAINST the Republican party.

Comey should be indicted and the whole FBI should be investigated to find those who also violated the Hatch Act.


Why Vladimir Putin’s Russia Is Backing Donald Trump
By Kurt Eichenwald


The GOTV effort has been discussed quite thoroughly here. Still curious about an aspect: I recall that HRCs GOTV is deployed mostly in the battleground states. How much can it help in down ticket battles, which likely happen in many states, also other than the presidential battlegrounds?

Is it right to assume, now that presidential battlegrounds are moving to E.g. Arizona and even Texas, that HRCs campaign has the GOTV machine prepared for the voters in these states? Likely not, since volunteers need to be collected for a longer period, and if there is no action in the state there is no significant volunteer signup either.

Millard Filmore

Early voter surge in NV, FL, and now North Carolina:

"Meck County burned it up today where some lines had 500 people waiting still at 1:00 when polls were supposed to close."

"Voters STILL in [email protected]:20"


Maher slams mainstream media election coverage: ‘It’s not funny anymore. Media — do your f*cking job’


[It's up to women, Hispanics and African-Americans to save us angry old white men from our self-destruction. It may be up to the international press to save us from our own greed-crazed incompetent media.]

Donald Trump: The unauthorized database of false things

The Star’s Washington Bureau Chief, Daniel Dale, has been following Donald Trump’s campaign for months. He has fact checked thousands of statements and found hundreds of falsehoods

By Daniel DaleWashington Bureau
Tanya TalagaGlobal Economics Reporter

The Star’s Daniel Dale has been fact checking Trump’s public statements on the U.S. election campaign trail since September 15. Below, find the complete list of the false statements Dale has found.

After that (very long) list, Tanya Talaga examines the errors, exaggerations and lies for patterns. Some remain hard to explain. Click here to jump directly to this analysis.

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi Everybody

Who is the best pollster? I've been doing some scoring of the pollsters and as we can expect possibly 19 final polls to come out for the Presidential election, national result, 4-way race, in the next 2 possibly 3 days, I decided to do a bit of math.

I evaluated all 166 polls on RCP of the 4-way race, against their contemporary rivals, to see who were accurate and who were wildly off. I measured each poll against the nearest 6 polls, 3 before and 3 after, and then measured how MANY of that given pollster's total polls were off - someone like Rasmussen is off 44% of the time vs its rivals at that same time - off by 3%. And get this, 17% of the time (one in six Rasmussen polls) is off by a massive 5% vs the rivals who report at that same time. (And to make things really rally nasty, Rasmussen has gradually introduced its polling error to be ever more friendly to Trump.. Yeah, right after the conventions they were essentially accurate, and every three weeks they pushed their polls out more and more to lie in favor of Trump and against Hillary. Pretty sneaky, eh? Good propagandists, Rasmussen, good propagandists. They'd get a good job if Trump ever became Dictator).

Anyway. I rated all pollsters and then looked how many have done multiple polls of the race so far and think that 19 pollsters are expected to release a poll on Sunday or Monday (or conceivably even as late as Tuesday morning). So what can we make of them? I decided to rank them for us, based on this year's performance, against their peers. Five are excellent, not one poll that was wrong vs peer average. In alphabetical order:

CBS News/NY Times

Those polls are likely to be within a point or two of reality. The rest had increasing degree of error. This second set had mostly good polls but a single or two outliers. Whichever way they have a systematic bias, I have indicated it as (D) for biased for Democrats/Hillary and (R) for biased in favor of Republicans/Trump.

McClatchy/Marist (D)
NBC News/SurveyMonkey (D)

Then we have the bad pollsters. These had severaral bad polls and could be far off from the mean. Take these pollsters less seriously:

Associated Press/Gfk (D)
Bloomberg (R)
Gravis (R)
Monmouth (D)
NBC News/Wall Street Journal (D)
USA Today/Suffolk

And lastly we have the four tracking polls. These should definitely have their final trackers out Monday, possibly even Tuesday, and may give out numbers on Sunday as well. I've included their biases too

ABC News Tracker (wild, goes any which way)
Rasmussen (R)
Reuters/Ipsos (D)

So that should help us decypher the polls to know how much weight to give any one pollster's final number. The golden 5 this year are CBS News/NY Times; Economist/YouGov;
GWU/Battleground; Pew; PPP. I would say if at least 4 of these 5 give a number, we can take the average of this group as the best single set of numbers for the end. But even more accurate will be to take all national polls out Sunday and Monday, when all are out, and average them all. BUT its possible we get say Sunday a strongly R-balanced set of polls with D-balanced pollsters coming later on Monday, then take this 'golden 5' set as the best guide of where the race is. They've been the most accurate this year.

A final word. I am slightly hopeful that Gallup might surprise us with a final Presidential poll. To me, Gallup is synonymous with polling and we've always had Gallup polls in the past Presidential elections and it seems wrong not to have them polling this race this time. I am (slightly) hopeful they'll surprise us with a last poll now, just before the election. I think they stopped their polls last year because of the thing that polls were used to decide who got into the Presidential debates, if I remember correctly. I would love to see a Gallup poll, they usually were always very good. And they are polling on other election matters currently like the favorability of the candidates, and various issues. So its not like Gallup suddenly has stopped doing their core business haha. But if we're lucky, we might get Gallup tossed in there, as the 20th pollster and even with no track record, I'd add G to the Golden five, making it then the Golden Six.

(that has nothing to do with the fact I've been employed by the Gallup organization of Finland back in the day, haha, for several years as an interviewer and senior interviewer/test interviewer and then also in survey questionnaire design. Or maybe it has a bit haha).

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi willebra

(Welcome to the discussion!)

Great question about GOTV. So first, on battleground vs non-battleground. The 'machine' is designed to work in battleground states and it is labor-intensive, needs human volunteers to make it work. Some of the work can be done remotely (telephone call from California to a voter in Nevada) but much of it has to be done locally (walk to a house, knock on the door, drive a voter to a voting location, monitor voting activity, etc). So the main benefit and gain is only in states where it is deployed. In nine states they used it last time and we know they now have deployed it too. They are Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Ohio, Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Wisconsin.

North Carolina is certain to be added and has full deployment. Thats ten states where we know the GOTV effort will be fully in use for Hillary.

There was possibly/probably GOTV effort in New Mexico last time but not this time. Some residual effect may be that they can still benefit, I do not know. There is a possibility that this year's Republican hopes in Michigan and Minnesota may have had a Democratic effort built there, modestly, to defend, and Maine and Nebraska have their single voting district in both cases that is competitive, Maine for Republicans, Nebraska for Democrats, those may have some effort deployed. I don't think these are going to matter much in these states.

Arizona is different. Arizona was a late deployment but Hillary spent about half-level TV ad money in AZ vs the other 'proper' battleground states and she devoted roughly half-level staff there, and we could expect a significant, but reduced effect of GOTV in AZ.

In the other 'competitive' or pretend-competitive states like Texas, Utah, Missouri, Georgia and Indiana - the effect of the GOTV will be barely above that of the nation on the whole. And the nation, will not have much of an effect at all. To get the power, you have to have people doing the work so what they HAVE been doing, for example, is putting people on busses, and driving them from blue states to battleground states, to do volunteer work there.

I'd say full effect in 10 states: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Ohio, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Wisconsin. And about 'half effect' in Arizona.

But on down-ticket races, gosh, its almost the same. If you can convice a random voter to go vote for Hillary on whatever reason - then you'll certainly also say, remember to vote for the down-ticket Democrats too, she needs them - and if the voter was activated by the GOTV, its very likely going to get them to also vote or the Democratic ticket in down-ballot races too. Note, many are motivated to go to vote simply out of civic duty or out of a passion on any possible people or issues, and if they had already voted, the Hillary GOTV effort will bypass that voter and not bug them... So there can be/will be plenty of voters who won't 'get the message' to vote the ticket, but those who are contacted by the Hillary GOTV effort, will definitely be pushed to do the down-ticket Democrat vote too. I think yes, very powerful on that. Differing from what the Republicans are doing.

What we will eventually see, is how they performed in the deployed battleground states vs non-battleground states. I measured from state-voter data, that the 2012 Obama effort pushed voter Registration up 2% more in states that the GOTV effort was deployed, and the final vote up 5% vs states where it was not deployed. This year should see somewhat better numbers first because they know how to do this, and secondly because the opposition is weaker on the GOTV effort this time.

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi Brent

(welcome to the discussion)

Gosh, good question. Never thought of that! First off, part of the data entry comes via their field workers on election day, via their smartphones, and onto an app/browser based entry system. It could be hacked and flooded and denied info entry. That would act like a military radar jammer, that turns the radar screen full of false echoes, so there is a real airplane target there, among all the dots, but you have no idea which if the dots is the enemy airplane and the 500 other dots are just ghosts...

And with that, the reaction-ability of the GOTV effort would be at least disrupted (at least locally) and then would need to work on past historical data rather than live data. Would certainly diminish its power. I would guess, with the series of Russian hacking going on, that the Hillary data team has had time to prepare at least some levels of security and work-arounds (ie for example using the voice calls to telephone in some of the data if needed)

Secondly, the scripts. There is an advanced telephone-banking solution that is web based and links to the phone numbers, the profiles of the voters, and offers the suitable telephone script for the volunteer. This could be disrupted, but I would guess (I have no idea) that it might have data cached in nearby servers and not be subject to a single-point-of-failure. It could be, but unlikely to be. So then the disruption(s) could be local or regional but probably not national. And the internet being what it is, then some rerouting could get to secure sites. VPN etc...

A large part of the last-day work is going in the opposite direction, from the HQ to the voters, ie voter-activation reminders, SMS text messages, emails, Facebook reminders etc. And some are going to be guided phone calls from volunteers to voters. These would seem like less vulnerable to a denial-of-service hack but again, I'm not a security expert enough to really know.

We've had an increasing series of internet hacking type of disruptions worldwide, like several airlines have had massive fleet groundings etc. I would expect that the Hillary data team know this is their most critical tool and it will need to be up on that one day, that they'd have given it considerable protection (even more, haha, with Trump's invitation to get Russia to hack this election). That said, haha, wouldn't that be ironic to have a 100 million dollar superduper targeting machine, that is down all day on the one day in four years, that it was supposed to function...

(you're giving me nightmares!)

Thanks for the comment, I hope that helped a little bit. You no doubt are also knowledgable about that side of IT, how would you comment on it?

Tomi Ahonen :-)


Hi Tomi

Regarding the possibility of a DDoS attack. It depends on the infrastructure on which Clinton's system has been deployed. If the system lives in a strong cloud, it is much more difficult to take it down. Maybe the attackers can slow down the system a bit, but it's very unlikely completely shut it down. In the cloud multiple servers get pooled and so they are able to share the load.

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi Everybody

Actually, just looked into it. Gallup said they won't do any general election polls, lets not expect one. And Pew said it won't do a final poll either. Both are being mocked by pollster-watchers as being too chicken to publish the one poll on which their accuracy can be measured. LAME...

So cut that down to 18 expected polls and only 4 of the 'gold standard' haha.. Too bad.

Tomi Ahonen :-)


Here is a comforting read for those who are on the edge of their seats.

Nate Silver Is Unskewing Polls — All Of Them — In Trump’s Direction

The gist of the article is that the election is not as close as some pundits say.


Hi Tomi -- Love the blog. Your writing helps me calm down. Last night I was so worried about a fascist takeover that I downed a Percocet and watched "Triumph of the Will" on the a very large flatscreen, flat on my back, in a darkened room. Without subtitles. No, but seriously, this stuff is scary. There's also an excellent new series on Amazon Prime called "The Man in the High Castle," which is an "alternative history" show, in which the Nazis won the war and took over the US east of the Rockies, and the Japanese took over west of the Rockies. The show is set in 1962, and Hitler is still alive. The story line has to do with some sort of resistance movement afoot. It is very well done, incredibly brutal, and utterly disturbing.

About the race, all over cable today there was chatter about Michigan being "in play" and Clinton camp is "worried." However, I note that out of the whole rust belt in 2012, Obama won Michigan with the highest margin, 9 points, 54-45. 400,000 votes. More than WI, OH, PA. Just Trump desperation (and nothing better to do).

Remember in 2012 when all the Romney supporters were predicting victory? Nothing compared to Trump idiots. It's 10X. If you're on Twitter, you know what I'm talking about. They are foaming-at-the-mouth sure Trump will win. Every poll is a conspiracy to them. I think they know this is their last chance, they can see the demographics closing in on them. And a lot of them are very old, probably Goldwater supporters.

BTW, Tomi, very good writing on the "Big Data" HRC advantage. Nobody else even mentions that, but it is fascinating.

Millard Filmore

@Daktari: "The story line has to do with some sort of resistance movement afoot. It is very well done, incredibly brutal, and utterly disturbing."

For another disturbing movie on that subject, check out the Russian title "Come and See"



Maybe it's me, or maybe it's my age, or maybe it's just that I get /really/ impatient with someone trying to stretch a novel into anything longer than a miniseries. In any event, I still think the original novel by Phillip K Dick iss better than the series. Too bad nobody wants to read anything that's more than five years old anymore. :-(

That said, I would LOVE to see someone attempt Fritz Lieber's Fahfrd and the Grey Mouser as a TV series. Several novellas and short stories that could be squeezed into hour long segments, plenty of high adventure, lots of pretty girls, the heroes win and lose at every turn... what's not to like? ;-)


@sgtrock -- Thanks for letting me know. I will definitely read that. I do read! Also in that genre is the great Philip Roth novel "The Plot Against America."

As for adaptations, no one ever says "Man, that movie was so much better than the book!" Never happens. So, I figure I'll just watch the movie first. OK, sometimes.


Wellll, maybe 2001. Great book, absolutely fantastic movie. :-)

Isceald Glede

Ryan Grim needs to learn the difference between random error and systematic error. Imagine 100 people measure how the length of shadows change with time to calculate when sunset will be (and all of them are using the correct formula!). Shadows have blurred edges. The people will have to use their judgement to decide where the shadow ends, so they will get different lengths. This is a random error, which should give a short answer about as often as a long answer, so using the average will give a better estimate of when the sun will set.

Now imagine I shorten the pendulum in a stopwatch so it gains 3 seconds per minute, and that all 100 people use that stopwatch. This is a systematic error, and all 100 people will be putting a time that is 5% too big into the equation. When sunset does happen, it will be 5% earlier (measured by an accurate grandfather clock) than the average prediction. The next day, we can repeat the experiment with the same equipment, allow for a 5% systematic error and get a good prediction for the time when the sun sets.

Nate Silver 'correcting' poll results based on how well different polls predicted previous elections is both good and bad. Firstly, there would have to be systematic error in each pollster's method. That would show up as each pollster being wrong by a consistent amount for each election. I have no idea if this really happened. The big assumption is that each pollster precisely repeats the method used during the last election. That is remotely possible, but I could easily believe each pollster 'corrected' his method in an attempt to avoid repeating the mistakes they made last time. Again, this would show up in previous results as each pollster being wrong by a random amount each time.

The next big assumption is that the pollsters selected a formula, made phone calls then calculated a result. Some pollsters could have selected a result, done some phone calls then calculated the required formula. There are plenty of other confounding factors. The candidates are different, so people could have different reasons for giving false answers over the phone. Perhaps the people making the phone calls are not following the script, or are entering results that do not match the conversation.

Correcting for systematic error is the right thing to do - if you have evidence that there really is a systematic error to correct.

The comments to this entry are closed.

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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 Helsinki 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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