Trump, Brexit, and the state of the race

Along those lines, as we are usually reminded, the race is ultimately decided in the states, not by a national vote. To win the Electoral College, Trump simply needs to flip Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania. The state polling shows Clinton’s leads in those states to be 3.4 points, 2.7 points, and 0.5 points, respectively. This isn’t consistent with a 12-point Clinton lead, or even the six-point lead that the national average shows…

Again, nothing here should be taken as a prediction that Trump is favored. But when I say Trump probably has a 20 percent chance of winning (down from the 30 percent chance I saw a month ago), I really mean that if you ran this election 100 times, Trump would win 20 of them.

That isn’t an “outside shot.” As my colleague David Byler noted over the weekend, if you toss a coin twice and get a head, then a tail, an outcome with just a 25 percent chance of happening just occurred. Or as Emory University political scientist Drew Linzer observed, the probability of Brexit occurring, according to betting markets, was as low as 10 percent, while the chances of the Cavs winning the NBA championship fell to five percent at one point.

While polling can give us a good take on where things stand today, I feel somewhat like a pilot flying without gauges when trying to figure out how things are likely to play out. Because just about all of the major analysts aren’t just against Trump – they loathe him – we’re basically situated like the British analysts were when looking at the Brexit election. Good arguments are quickly dismissed, while bad arguments slip through all too easily. This increases the chances that we will miss things we might have otherwise seen, and will latch on to things that we shouldn’t. It just adds an awful lot of uncertainty to this election. That should make us all nervous.