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Whoa. We’re going to have a President Trump.

November 9, 2016


Trump overtakes Clinton in PA. Barring late-night surprises, that is probably it. (Clinton may get MI back, creating opportunities to tie, but not without PA…)

So that was not the outcome I expected. Not exactly shocked either, though.

Some notes on media as the night went on. FL established that Trump was beating the polls. VA confirmed this (Clinton won VA, but by just 2.3% as of now, vs the RCP average of +5%). With that piece of information, the picture changed as one would expect. (and to his credit, Nate Silver at 538 did).

Interestingly, NYT clearly led the way in reporting, albeit in bot form. Their online calculator quite accurately took into account an analysis of uncounted votes at county-level granularity, correlating with polls, the night’s local trends, as well as 2012 patterns. The combined tally calculator they allowed users to see (in contrast to all other non-Fox media) had the crossover for the predicted winner somewhere between 9:30 and 9:45. I picked up on it around 10:15 when I realized Trump had enough votes to keep NC. Combined with the state-to-state correlation of how far off the polls are, this did not bode well for Clinton’s ability to hold the remaining contested states (MI, WI, and PA.) Then I realized that analysis was already reflected in the NYT calculator and was working very well tonight. I am curious about the editorial decision to allow this.

Nate Silver’s crew at 538 acknowledged what was going on, though in a very understated way. The presentation of the incoming results at Politico, WAPO, CNN, and Google, delayed reporting the significance of was happening for an hour or two. That’s fine I suppose. That NYT stood out is more interesting to me.

I’ll save the smartass comments for next week. Too easy to do when you’ve given up your emotional attachment to the outcome but most people haven’t. A lot of people are going to be very disappointed right now, there’s nothing to be gained by making any comments to until we all have a chance to process and recover a bit.

The long and short of it, though, is that Democrats had ample opportunity to pick a better candidate. I’ll try to think of some way of making that point as politely as I can, and also will try to suggest ways the system could be improved to prevent this sort of thing from happening.


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