State of the race in analogy form

Nate Cohn had a nice summary of the state of the race earlier this week.  I particularly loved his football analogy:

According to The Upshot model, Mrs. Clinton has a better shot at winning the red state of South Carolina than Mr. Trump has at winning the presidency. In that sense, perhaps Mrs. Clinton’s position is more like having a double-digit lead at the beginning of the third quarter. [emphases mine]

At this point, it’s probably fair to say that Mrs. Clinton’s lead is real and durable. Gallup data indicates that the post-convention bounce is largely over: Both Mr. Trump and Mrs. Clinton’s favorability ratings have returned to where they were before the conventions.

Mrs. Clinton’s gains have proved relatively durable in part because they’ve come from Democratic-leaning voters who seem unlikely to defect to Mr. Trump. Recent polls have shown her with the support of up to 90 percent of Bernie Sanders’s supporters, and more than 90 percent of Democrats…

None of this information is incorporated into the statistical models used by The Upshot or other sites, like FiveThirtyEight. To extend the football analogy, the model has no idea whether the quarterback of the trailing team is Peyton Manning or Ryan Leaf.

Right.  And while Trump may have been a pretty good candidate to win a plurality of the Republican primary electorate, when it comes to the general election, it is damn clear which of these quarterbacks he is.

Meanwhile, I also enjoyed Harry Enten’s magician analogy in a recent 538 discussion:

clare.malone: As Nate alluded to above, Twitter is abuzz with the news that Roger Ailes is now advising Trump. People are basically asking how this might affect things — obviously, that’s only a single person, so I’m skeptical about how much impact Ailes will have, especially since Trump seems to ignore a lot of the professional advice he’s given.

harry: No matter how good a magician is, if the bunny in his or her hat is dead, the magician will stink. I don’t know if Ailes can do anything.


About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

One Response to State of the race in analogy form

  1. itchy says:

    Johnny Manziel.

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