Monday, April 25, 2016

Trump outperforms polling expectations

++Addition3++Steve Sailer takes note. It's worth pointing out that this overperformance is, to some extent, expected since undecided likely voters are excluded. That is somewhat offset by the votes for people no longer actively campaigning who aren't inquired about in polls but who still end up getting votes (Cruz lost to Ben Carson in one of New York's voting districts, for example) and for those who vote as "uncommitted". What is noteworthy, though, is that his overperformance gained considerable steam over time even as the number of undecideds decreased. What is clear regarding Trump is that the people who say they are going to vote for him do, in fact, end up voting for him, and then some.

++Addition2++In the 15 states that have gone since March 15, Trump has outperformed his RCP average in 14 of them, doing 5.4 points better than predicted. Indiana, the last competitive election of the nominating campaign, has been added to the table.

++Addition++The table in the body of the post has been updated to include the results from April 26 and May 3. Trump outperformed his RCP average in all five states, bringing the number of states he has outperformed polling predictions in up to 26 compared to 10 states where he fared worse than expected. Trump now averages 2.6 points better in actual results than in aggregate poll estimates.

Nate Silver continues to weep.

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The stubborn belief that Trump has generally underperformed polling expectations came about after Iowa, a state where he in fact did do worse than the RCP average (which only includes polls taken less than two weeks out from the actual vote) predicted he would. He also fared more poorly than expected in Oklahoma and Kansas*. Excepting the cuck corridor, though, doing better than expected has been the rule rather than the exception.

Of the 30 states for which polling was conducted close to the preference vote, Trump did better than the RCP average expected he would in 20 of them and more poorly than expected in the remaining 10. Through New York, his average real performance shakes out to 1.6% more of the vote than polls predicted he would receive [Update: Through April 26, his average reals performance comes to 2.4% more of the total vote share than polls have predicted he would receive].

This tendency has been accentuated over the last month and a half. Of the nine states that have held their preference votes since March 15, Trump has exceeded RCP averages in eight of them, the only exception being North Carolina, where his polling average was 41.3% and his actual share of the vote was 40.2%. Even in Wisconsin he did marginally better than polls suggested he would. The story there was of Kasich's collapse, an implosion which redounded to Cruz's benefit.

The data are presented in the following table in descending order of actual performance vis a vis predicted performance:

StateRCPAvgActualBetter (worse)
Indiana42.854.6+11.8
Rhode Island52.363.8+11.5
Arkansas23.032.8+9.8
Arizona38.047.1+9.1
Pennsylvania48.356.8+8.5
New York53.160.4+7.3
Maryland47.754.4+6.7
Mississippi41.047.3+6.3
Delaware55.060.8+5.8
Alaska28.033.5+5.5
Alabama38.043.4+5.4
Missouri36.040.8+4.8
New Hampshire31.235.3+4.1
Massachusetts45.349.3+4.0
Connecticut53.757.7+4.0
Nevada42.045.9+3.9
Minnesota18.021.3+3.3
Utah11.014.0+3.0
Florida43.045.8+2.8
Illinois36.038.8+2.8
Georgia36.238.8+2.6
Kentucky35.035.9+0.9
Vermont32.032.7+0.7
South Carolina31.832.5+0.7
Wisconsin34.535.1+0.6
Ohio35.435.7+0.3
Michigan37.336.5(0.8)
North Carolina41.340.2(1.1)
Tennessee40.038.9(1.1)
Texas28.2(26.7)(1.5)
Idaho30.028.1(1.9)
Louisiana43.441.4(2.0)
Virginia36.834.7(2.1)
Iowa28.624.3(4.3)
Oklahoma32.728.3(4.4)
Kansas35.023.3(11.7)

Nate Silver's 538 continues to perpetually calibrate as his site misses the mark again and again (538's expert panel predicted Trump would get 71 delegates in New York; he picked up 90 of the state's 95). Silver uses what he calls a "polls-plus forecast" that tries to take endorsements and the inverse of national polling into account (see here for more details if you're so inclined, but the formula is garbage so I'd suggest you save your time).

On the Republican side, endorsements have been toxic. Initially, ¡Jabe! enjoyed a huge endorsement advantage. After he was gutted, Rubio claimed the endorsement crown. Then he got sliced up and Cruz, who is in hail mary mode, now has the dubious distinction.

Almost without fail--I can't recall seeing a single state where it's been otherwise, but I'm not going to dig through the archives to make absolutely certain--this "polls-plus" forecast shows Trump doing worse than the polling average alone does (see Indiana to get an idea of the usual gap; polls give Trump a 77% chance but polls-plus only a 45% chance).

This is in spite of the fact that Trump mostly outperforms polling averages! So the "polls forecast" slightly underestimates Trump's performances and then the "polls-plus forecast" underestimates them even more, yet Silver keeps putting more emphasis on the latter.

* I made several hundred dollars betting on the outcome in my home state. It's a closed caucus and it went for Huckabee in '08 and Santorum in '12. Kansas always goes for the theocrat.

9 comments:

pithom said...

"So the "polls forecast" slightly underestimates Trump's performances"

-Not quite; the 538 polls-only forecast isn't a poll average; it cuts out the undecideds. Thus, Trump under-performed his 538 polls-only forecast in Ohio and Wisconsin. But you're right the endorsements have generally ceased to be useful this primary season, leaving the polls-plus forecast totally useless on the Republican side.

I noticed Trump overperformed the RCP average in New Hampshire and South Carolina, and stopped paying attention after that.

Anonymous said...


Red Ice radio interviews a Canadian Indian-sounding man on what makes whites unique. He says, our love of animals, our capacity for happiness, and, that we're children wandering in a forest, that we've never lost wonder. That we do things more than other races, for the sheer joy / creativity of it. At least so far, as of halfway through.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uEP0294BhLI

Some of the observations might be naive, but, thought it was worth bringing to your attention.

Dan said...

Maryland at least shouldn't have delegate theft. I voted early/absentee so as to make sure I didn't mess up. Have never done that before. I changed from Indep. to R. You could vote for delegates, who were identified by their candidate, and I voted for Trump and all the Trump delegates.

I still haven't been to a rally. I checked the website, but these darn things pop up just a couple days in advance and then they stick them out in rural areas. The enormous attendance with such short notice is astonishing.

Dan said...

He was on the schedule for CPAC so I signed up, and then he didn't show. That might have been a blunder on his part, hard to say.

It is possible that the nearest Trump event could be a parade in January in downtown D.C. I am not sure what I would do then.

I think I would open up my home to 40 biker-gang, War Veteran Trumpsters from out of state, and shock all my neighbors. I'd have the grill going for 12 hours straight.

Audacious Epigone said...

Pithom,

Thanks for pointing that out.

Looks like Trump outperformed RCP averages in all five states tonight. That brings it to 25 over, 10 under.

Anon,

Thanks, I'll check it out. I listen to RedIce occasionally. It's not on iTunes so I don't have it set up to DL automatically and with the kids running around Heinrich's voice can be difficult to comprehend.

Dan,

The PA undeclared have mostly said they're voting for Trump. Hard not to when his victory was so overwhelming.

A Trump inauguration will draw comparisons to Andrew Jackson's for sure. I wonder just how exacting those comparisons are going to be. Would you be able to make room for one more?

chris said...

heh, he should take harriet tubman of and put himself on the 20 dollar bank note. that would drive leftists apoplectic.

Dan said...

@Epigone -- You said, "Would you be able to make room for one more? "

How about this? I'll knock up my wife one more time and you knock up yours once more and we'll have a family meetup here. Trump can't save the world on his own, after all. (This is a serious comment.)

@chris, my baseline assumption is that Trump will be on every note and coin. I am firmly against that, because some coins and notes should be reserved for Ivanka.

True story: Yesterday I went to a polling place in Silver Spring, a place that is as diverse as they come. I picked up a Trump wire yard sign and started waving it around and dancing, the way people do with those giant cardboard arrows when new stores or apartments open up. Nobody was outside plugging any candidates, just me. Most surprising, a black Trump organizer drove up to me and gave me and proper sign to hold, and invited me to the Trump after party, which I could not attend. There was a surprising amount of support from some people coming and going including by a number of nonwhites; not sure if those were voters for Trump or just people cheered by my silliness. I am guessing this spot was around 75%/25% democrat/republican.

A head-shaven Hispanic dude ran up to me and got in my face and threatened to hurt me, which was alarming. I called the cops and give them his license plate and he left and the cops traced the plate and went on the hunt for him. I don't know the outcome, but physically threatening people at voting sites is not at all legal. Ego-wise, I am pleased that I stood my ground, but that could have gone wrong.


Luke Lea said...

The cuck corridor. :)

Audacious Epigone said...

Chris,

Here's to hoping Trump pulls the empire back towards its Republican roots, not goes full-scale Diocletian imperialist.

Ivanka on one bill and Harriet Tubman on the other. That'd be one hell of an aesthetic contrast.

Dan,

We're waiting until our daughter turns three.

The good news, though, is that our new target is four. And when we get there, I'll begin negotiations for more!

I wouldn't truck the whole crew to the inauguration, under a year doesn't travel well, but am serious about myself.

Luke Lea,

Heh. Regarding Kasich's delegates, he only snagged 5 from Rhode Island. The state has a 68% WTA trigger, beyond that I think it's proportional.