Jim Mosquera Blog | The Election's Outcome Did Not Matter | Talkmarkets
Principal at Sentinel Consulting

Jim Mosquera is the author of the books, Escaping Oz: An Observer's ReflectionsEscaping Oz: Navigating the crisis and more

The Election's Outcome Did Not Matter

Date: Friday, November 18, 2016 4:32 PM EDT

The election ended over one week ago and as of now the Democratic challenger leads by more than 1 million votes over the President-Elect with still a sizable number of votes yet to be counted.  Regardless, the popular vote margin is not expected to change the outcome of the Electoral College vote next month.  My son has asked me a couple of times since Election Day about how I felt regarding the outcome.  I suggested that I didn't have a strong opinion on whether a Republican or Democrat became president.  He expressed great doubt despite my reassurances.  

The mainstream media is now questioning the polling organizations suggesting they got it all wrong.  There have been expressions of shock on the part of Clinton supporters for what seemed like a certain victory.  I'm no pollster though I have had some training in statistics given my Industrial Engineering degrees.  I saw a number of polls within the final two weeks of the election that had Clinton with a slight lead over Trump, another had Trump with a slight lead over Clinton, and yet another (I believe it was an NBC/WSJ poll) showed Clinton ahead by a few points.  Keep in mind these are national polls, not state polls.  For the polls where the race was deemed close, many were within the margin of error.  As I noted to a friend recently, if the election was a football game, Clinton would have home field advantage, which conferred at most 3 points.  That would have been my opening line the day before the election.  This meant, in my mind, that the election was a dead heat, either candidate had a good chance of winning.

The Democratic side, I believe fell victim to some amount of confirmation bias by presuming that a slight lead in a national poll translated into an election night victory.  What they didn't anticipate was the loss of states carried by President Obama in the previous elections.  My guess is that some Democratic voters didn't feel passionate enough about Clinton to support her despite their antipathy for Trump.  This group may well have included Sanders supporters.  This election, without doubt, had a large percentage of voters who were simply voting against the other party rather than for their own.  There were others that simply did not vote.  Which brings me back to the question my son asked me.  Why did I not have a strong opinion on the election's outcome?

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