Trump’s gonna win!

Ahhhhh!  Or, more likely, he got a convention bounce.  And then Hillary Clinton will get one.  And we’ll be back where we were.  Nate Silver on the bounce:

The now-cast also suggests that Trump has gained a net of about 4 percentage points on Clinton in national polls from a week ago, turning a deficit of about 3 points into a 1-point lead. If so, Trump would turn out to have a fairly typical convention bounce. Over the past few cycles, convention bounces have been 3 to 4 percentage points, on average. As is also typical of convention bounces, Trump appears to have gained in the polls (taking votes from undecided and third-party candidates) more than Clinton has declined…

On the opposite side of the spectrum from the now-cast is our polls-plus forecast, which builds in a convention bounce adjustment. Because Trump’s convention bounce is broadly in line with its expectations, the polls-plus forecast hasn’t moved very much: It gives Trump a 42 percent chance of winning the Electoral College, up only slightly from last week.

And, here’s the Upshot post I was planning on linking before all today’s polls started coming in.

Donald Trump officially became the Republican party’s nominee Thursday night, and on Monday, the Democratic convention begins in Philadelphia. In the coming weeks, you can expect lots of polls — and headlines — suggesting new insight into the state of the presidential race.

With some caveats, our advice is: Don’t pay too much attention to them.

You can see what we mean in the chart above. It shows how much the polling average at each point of a presidential election cycle has differed from the final result. Each gray line represents a presidential election since 1980; the bright green line represents the average difference. In general, as the election nears, the polling average comes closer and closer to the election’s final result — but not for the next few weeks.

History suggests that in the short periods after the conventions, the polling average can often move away from the final result, not toward it. That’s because polls taken in the middle of the convention are often unreliable: Gains made by the party’s nominee can often be short-lived.
And here’s the chart:
So, as much as you want to obsess about the polls now, really, wait another few weeks to obsess.

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

2 Responses to Trump’s gonna win!

  1. R. Jenrette says:

    Nate Silver says that Trump has a 42% chance of winning the election and I’m not supposed to be scared?

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