View Poll Results: How much to feel secure? (Please select one each from both types of questions)
I would feel secure if my candidate were leading by 3 percent 1 2.70%
I would feel secure if my candidate were leading by 5 percent 1 2.70%
I would feel secure if my candidate were leading by 7 percent 7 18.92%
I would only feel secure if my candidate were leading by at least 10 percent 18 48.65%
I would feel secure if my candidate had a 60% probability of winning 1 2.70%
I would feel secure if my candidate had a 70% probability of winning 3 8.11%
I would feel secure if my candidate had a 80% probability of winning 7 18.92%
I would only feel secure if my candidate had at least a 90% probability of winning 17 45.95%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 37. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 05-20-2020, 12:01 PM
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How big a lead (in the polls) does it take for you to feel safe?


The 2016 polling actually wasn't that far off: The popular vote ended up being similar to what pre-election polls had predicted, but the Hillary campaign stumbled in the Rust Belt swing states.

Generally, how much of a lead does it take for you to feel safe? Suppose Biden were only 5% ahead of Trump (in both swing states and in national popular vote,) do you feel good? What about percentage likelihood of victory - do you feel good at 70% chance of win?
  #2  
Old 05-20-2020, 12:03 PM
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I won't feel safe until the votes are counted. But, a lead of 5% of more in the battleground states would reduce my anxiety somewhat.
  #3  
Old 05-20-2020, 12:07 PM
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538 gave Hilary a 70% chance at winning and I was nervous as hell before results started coming in. It got worse from there.

If I wasn't worried about other shenanigans it would probably take a 538 >99% for me to feel safe. Like, Trump is actively getting impeached with GOP support and throwing objects at reporters, dropping N-bombs in public levels of insanity.

Today Trump threatened to withhold federal aid from two states if they go ahead with mail-in ballots (actually it was for even less than that). I fully expect voter suppression at the least and throwing out ballots/actively changing totals at the worst. I won't feel safe until Biden is sworn in.
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Old 05-20-2020, 12:22 PM
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Your poll is missing options, namely "I won't feel secure no matter what."
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Old 05-20-2020, 12:26 PM
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I won't really feel safe until the Senate announces the electoral vote total. I actually felt safe in 2016 until Comey put his fist on the scale, then it was pure terror.
  #6  
Old 05-20-2020, 12:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snarky_Kong View Post
Your poll is missing options, namely "I won't feel secure no matter what."
I had considered that, but didn't want to include it because I felt it might become something of a cop-out option. I wanted posters to actually have to put a number to their feelings.
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Old 05-20-2020, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Snarky_Kong View Post
538 gave Hilary a 70% chance at winning and I was nervous as hell before results started coming in. It got worse from there.

If I wasn't worried about other shenanigans it would probably take a 538 >99% for me to feel safe. Like, Trump is actively getting impeached with GOP support and throwing objects at reporters, dropping N-bombs in public levels of insanity.

Today Trump threatened to withhold federal aid from two states if they go ahead with mail-in ballots (actually it was for even less than that). I fully expect voter suppression at the least and throwing out ballots/actively changing totals at the worst. I won't feel safe until Biden is sworn in.
I was about to say. Obviously 70% wasn’t high enough to be safe. Maybe 90%.
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Old 05-20-2020, 12:31 PM
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I would feel mostly safe if, in late October, 538's model has the Democrat as at least 90% likely to win. IIRC, that's where they had Obama both in '08 and '12. No polling lead will make me feel even mostly safe if the 538 model doesn't have the Dem as at least 90% likely to win, and no polling lead will make me feel mostly safe before late October.
  #9  
Old 05-20-2020, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by iiandyiiii View Post
I would feel mostly safe if, in late October, 538's model has the Democrat as at least 90% likely to win. IIRC, that's where they had Obama both in '08 and '12. No polling lead will make me feel even mostly safe if the 538 model doesn't have the Dem as at least 90% likely to win, and no polling lead will make me feel mostly safe before late October.
iiandyiiii is right - how big a lead it takes is pretty much a function of how far it is from the election. Today, on May 20, I'm not sure any lead would make me feel secure. In September, a large lead would work. In October, I'd feel good with a high-single digits lead, as long as that carries in the battleground states. In November, mid-single digits would work with the same caveat.
  #10  
Old 05-20-2020, 01:19 PM
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I had considered that, but didn't want to include it because I felt it might become something of a cop-out option. I wanted posters to actually have to put a number to their feelings.
Ok, then you need a "Higher than 90%."

Like, a 10% chance (if we assume polls give an accurate estimate) is still a fucking lot. If I played Russian roulette with a 10 chamber revolver I wouldn't be all that happy about it.
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Old 05-20-2020, 03:40 PM
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If it's 99.9% two minutes before the polls close, I still won't feel secure. I won't feel truly secure until Biden takes the oath on Jan. 20, 2021.
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Old 05-21-2020, 01:41 PM
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The 2016 poll average was more accurate than the 2012 poll average

https://i.imgur.com/OvNY5XNr.jpg
  #13  
Old 05-21-2020, 05:33 PM
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How close to the election is it? A 10-point lead in May is a lot less meaningful than one in October, especially in a year of big, dramatic news events.
  #14  
Old 05-21-2020, 05:39 PM
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I won't really feel safe until the Senate announces the electoral vote total.
Isn’t that the job of Mike Pence?

However, I totally agree with the basic idea that when your President talks like a dictator, drama wouldn’t end because CNN projects Biden the winner.
  #15  
Old 05-21-2020, 06:15 PM
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How close to the election is it? A 10-point lead in May is a lot less meaningful than one in October, especially in a year of big, dramatic news events.
I agree. Every day that the election is away adds one percentage point to the uncertainty. Right now, Biden would have to be polling at 230% for me to feel confident.
  #16  
Old 05-21-2020, 06:21 PM
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Thanks for the responses everyone.

Now, for a follow-up question:

What is the minimum polling lead that would have to be overcome for you to suspect that there was cheating at play? For instance, in 2016, nobody seriously claimed Trump cheated to win the election because pre-election polling wasn't that far off; it was an entirely believable, albeit dismaying, result. But suppose Biden is leading by 10% on the eve of Election Day but Trump ekes out a narrow win, would you suspect cheating? What if 7%?
  #17  
Old 05-21-2020, 06:29 PM
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Thanks for the responses everyone.

Now, for a follow-up question:

What is the minimum polling lead that would have to be overcome for you to suspect that there was cheating at play? For instance, in 2016, nobody seriously claimed Trump cheated to win the election because pre-election polling wasn't that far off; it was an entirely believable, albeit dismaying, result. But suppose Biden is leading by 10% on the eve of Election Day but Trump ekes out a narrow win, would you suspect cheating? What if 7%?
I will suspect cheating if Nate Silver says that the data suggests that cheating appears to be a likely explanation for some discrepancy.
  #18  
Old 05-21-2020, 06:34 PM
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However, I totally agree with the basic idea that when your President talks like a dictator, drama wouldn’t end because CNN projects Biden the winner.
I distinctly remember when the news called Florida for Al Gore, I turned to my co-worker and said, "Well, Gore won." Then a while later, they retracted their call. So, as my spouse likes to say while watching football games, "It ain't over until it's over."

And in retrospect Bush v. Gore looks like quaint shenanigans compared to what I'm predicting we will see this coming November (and December and January).
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  #19  
Old 05-21-2020, 06:37 PM
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I will suspect cheating if Nate Silver says that the data suggests that cheating appears to be a likely explanation for some discrepancy.
Right.

With most ballots possibly mailed in weeks before, the election eve polling average will not be the only one to consider.

Plus, a polling failure is not evidence of massive cheating. Instead, it is evidence of failed polling.
  #20  
Old 05-21-2020, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Snarky_Kong View Post
538 gave Hilary a 70% chance at winning and I was nervous as hell before results started coming in. It got worse from there.
Silver was very clear that with the paucity of state-level data, there was a 1 in 3 chance of Trump winning. You cannot look at national polls only; the state data is where the value of predictions is best, and gathering data from states was difficult in 2016. I can't recall, but I think the polling became more accurate in 2018 - it'll be interesting to see 2020 polls at the state level. Better, I hope.

Trump's popularity has been badly bruised by his initial response, but he has time to recover. Biden, by contrast, is playing this like a referendum election, which is the smart move, IMO. But I don't know if he can win just be being option B. If he is to be elected, it will be because Trump's voters are beginning to peel away.

If you go back to the election of 1932, which in my mind may be the closest parallel to what this election cycle is, FDR was not just an option B; he was offering a combination of a brand name (The Roosevelt name), a lot of optimism, and big plans for the future.

I see Biden as a household name - he's got that working for him. But he doesn't necessarily come across as optimistic, and he's fallen a bit short on offering anything like an FDR-like plan. That's where he might need to do more than make nice with Bernie Sanders voters - he might actually need to coopt some of his ideas, or at least go halfway in that direction.
  #21  
Old 05-22-2020, 02:16 PM
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Seriously, I will not feel secure until Biden actually takes the oath on Jan. 20 and the orange menace vacates the WH. Even a 90% probability still leaves a 10% chance of Trump winning.

One thing: if 50% or more vote by mail, most will have voted before a Comey can come along and screw things up. Of course, considering how Trump teated the a-hole afterwards, there may be no one willing to play that role.
  #22  
Old 05-22-2020, 02:51 PM
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Another key polling metric will be Trump voter enthusiasm, which was one major reason why Silver/538 didn't write off Trump despite trailing in the national polls in 2016. A slight dip in polling would be bad for Trump but it's especially bad if even his supporters start giving up and feeling deflated.
  #23  
Old 05-22-2020, 10:10 PM
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I was scarred by 2016 and I'm still in recovery. I wouldn't feel safe even if Fox news couldn't find a single person in the country willing to vote for Trump.
  #24  
Old 05-22-2020, 10:32 PM
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I can't really vote on this. I felt secure when Obama was beating Romney by a very small percentage, but for this election, I would be uneasy even if Biden was beating Trump by 25%. I won't relax until someone other than Trump (almost certainly Biden) occupies the position of POTUS.
  #25  
Old 05-23-2020, 07:07 AM
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I'm safe the day after he's sworn in.
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  #26  
Old 05-23-2020, 09:29 AM
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I won't feel safe until Biden steps foot into the White House after being sworn in. I won't put anything past Trump and his team of sycophantic Republicans.
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  #27  
Old 05-23-2020, 09:54 AM
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I won't feel safe until Biden steps foot into the White House after being sworn in. I won't put anything past Trump and his team of sycophantic Republicans.
I'm about there. I won't feel secure until the White House is vacated, the Senate is retaken, the House beefed up, and the sociopath is either dead or his tweeting little hands are in manacles.

And even then . . .

Let's just say I won't ever feel secure.
  #28  
Old 05-23-2020, 10:23 AM
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For those saying they won't feel secure unless their candidate's odds of winning are 99% or greater (paraphrased) - does it work the other way? Would you feel a bit of hope even if your candidate's chances of winning were only 1% or less?
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