A BiPOLLar Election: Pre Election Predictions Mislead Public
November 22, 2016
Filed under Opinion
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On Nov. 8 at 6 p.m., nothing could bring my mood down. It was election day and I, along with most of America, believed that Hillary Clinton was poised to win the election. So I prepared to watch the numbers roll in. Many of both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton supporters alike were prepared for a Clinton victory because all the majors polls had projected her winning by a landslide. In fact, two days before the election, the Los Angeles Times posted an electoral college map showing Clinton winning 352 electoral votes. When she only needed 270 to win, that gave her a comfortable cushion.
As the night started, everything was as the major news networks predicted. Clinton was winning New York and Illinois, and Trump was leading in states like Indiana and Kentucky. So far, no dramatic differences from the pre-election predictions. The drama began when the Florida polls were closing. Florida has a history of being a “swing state,” and an important one at that. With 29 electoral votes to offer, Florida’s results would set the tone for the night. And boy did it.
All research showed that if Clinton won Florida, she would have an easy path to winning. Even if Trump won in Florida, he was supposedly going to have many other hurdles to overcome in order to win the election. Even without all the votes in, it looked like Trump was trending to win Florida. “No big deal,” I thought. Plenty of other states hadn’t closed their polls yet, and it will be fine for Clinton.
Through the 9, 10, and 11 o’clock hours, the votes showed how wrong I was. On the night of the election, if you were watching the major news networks like I was, you could tell they were rattled by each state that turned red. They thought they had it all figured out, but their numbers were way off. So what does this mean for the future of politics? I think people will rely less on the polls that are released before elections or votes. Some believe that the pollsters just ignored the Trump supporters, and did not take them seriously. Other Trump supporters say they did not pick up the phone when they saw the caller ID said “Unknown Number.” Those are a few factors that skewed the data.
The predictions were also inaccurate because of the the electoral college. Though Clinton won the popular vote, Trump won more states with a higher number of electoral votes. Electoral votes trump popular vote in America. Trump campaigned in the states he thought he could win and that had more electoral votes.
I am anxious to see how this unique election changes politics. I think there could be a change in how candidates campaign. Clinton was counting on consistently blue states to vote Democratic again, so she did not do as much campaigning there. Trump, on the other hand, campaigned in states where many thought he had no shot at winning, and it paid off. This might change how candidates campaign.
Though many still defy him, I think Trump has been mature and respectable in the few weeks since the election, and I hope he continues to act that way. This election was unlike any other, and I am open-minded and hopeful to see how the next four plus years go with Mr. Trump, and I am anxious to see how this unique election changes the face of future politics.