Friday, August 12, 2016

Trump Can't Handle Losing

Every day for the last week (or more) I feel like I could have written the same post about Trump's staggeringly bad poll numbers, and today is no exception. He got yet another broadside of terrible polls:

  • Down 14 in VA
  • Down 13 in CO
  • Down 9 in NC(!)
  • Down 5 in FL
After adding these polls to the model, Trump's probability of winning the presidency is down to 11%. He's more likely to lose Kansas than win Virginia. That makes me feel hopeful.

It probably comes through in my writing, but to clear up any doubt, I'm strongly pro-Clinton and anti-Trump. I mostly stick to math, it's what I do well and what I enjoy, but I just want to make sure that no one thinks I'm anything but pro-Clinton and anti-Trump.

There are many many takes available to read on the subject of why Trump is dangerous, foolish, lazy, and bigoted. He's shown himself to be unfit for the presidency time and again, when he shows contempt for the Constitution, when he calls people names, when he demonstrates his total lack of will power, when he foments violence, and when he gives voice to nutty conspiracy theories.

Driving into work today though, I thought of something else: the way he's handled the adversity of these last two weeks.

Two weeks ago, Trump's chance to win was near its peak, at around 26-27%. Then this happened:

It's been quite the downward spiral, starting with the DNC and Trump's spineless attacks on a Gold Star family, and ending... who knows when.

But that's OK! When the going gets tough, the tough Trump and his delegates...
  • Pretend the polls don't exist
  • Whine to Sean Hannity about the press night after night
  • Preemptively spout conspiracy theories about a rigged election
  • Bust out the 2012 classic that the polls are skewed
    • (Skewness is a measure of asymmetry in a distribution; saying the polls are skewed is meaningless AND wrong)
  • Remind everyone about the polls getting it wrong 68 years ago
and of course...
  • Joke about the assassination of their opponents 
  • Claim the President of the United States founded ISIS
It's hard to overstate how bad the last two weeks has been for Trump's campaign. The way he and his delegates have responded to that adversity, with denial, delusion, and finger-pointing, is just one more item on a long list of reasons he can never be president.