The Improbable Election

2016resulttrmp(1st, update at 06:50ET with new map)

(2nd, update at 08:59ET to correct electoral vote totals on second map)

Last night was a nail biter for me, for both presidential campaigns and for most of you. I honestly did not think it was going to be this close. Obviously, the predictions of the political pundits were wrong. Donald Trump – for all his bravado and hatred towards minorities and women – proved that he was right about how he was going to win the election. As bad as all that was, last night proved that the polling firms clearly have no idea how people are going to vote. They were wrong on all counts!

All the polls showed a difficult path for Donald Trump to win the 270 electoral college votes needed to win the presidency. Not one of the polls showed a Trump win. But in the end, Donald Trump proved all of them wrong. Over the years I have heard many complaints that election polling is detrimental to voter turnout in that voters might not cast a vote if the polls show their candidate is winning, or losing badly. I can see their argument but I didn’t necessarily agree with it.

However, last night the polls were proven to be fundamentally wrong across the board. They are expensive for the news media outlets and for the candidates. Many decisions are made based on them. Voters may or may not be swayed by them. But the question is – do election polls have a place in future elections?

Obviously, the answer is no as demonstrated by last night’s results. No matter how the polling companies spin it, there is no denying that polling is inaccurate for elections.

There is much commentary that will follow this election cycle. To say that this election was unconventional is an understatement. Along with the polling fiasco, there was much talk about the “Latino surge” but in the end, it seems that it was nothing more than wishful thinking like the one made after the 2012 election. To be sure, early indicators show that Latinos voted in higher numbers but in the end, they were not enough to make a difference.

By midnight, eastern time, it seemed to me that Donald Trump would be the next president of the United States. According to my version of the electoral college map, it looked like Trump would reach the 270 very quickly with a win in Arizona, or Pennsylvania. The early results from Arizona showed that Trump would likely win the election. He was also leading in Pennsylvania.

map-splsh

New electoral map added at 06:50am ET (corrected at 07:59am ET)

ec-map3

The major news media outlets were not yet ready to declare a winner, but from my perspective it looked to me like Donald Trump won the race.

Like everyone else, I have much commentary I want to share about this latest development. So, expect more later this week. If I am wrong about Trump’s win when I wake up tomorrow morning, I’ll update my election map and add a new post.

If Donald Trump won, as I believe he did, you can expect me to write more about him and his shenanigans for some time to come.

For now, good night and we’ll see what develops over the night.

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