According to statistics genius Nate Silver, the latest polls could well signal disaster for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
Anyone who follows Silver’s FiveThirtyEight.com election projections knows that Clinton’s likelihood of winning the presidential election has plummeted. According to the site’s “polls-plus” forecast, her chances of winning have been on a long decline. Clinton’s odds are now favored at about 59% from a high of nearly 80% in early August.
Silver analyzed the trendlines in an alarming article called, “Election Update: Democrats Should Panic … If The Polls Still Look Like This In A Week.”
Silver argues that a damaging stretch of news cycles has set off Clinton’s slide:
“It’s also become clearer that Clinton’s ‘bad weekend‘— which included describing half of Trump supporters as a ‘basket of deplorables‘ on Friday, and a health scare (followed by news that she had been diagnosed with pneumonia) on Sunday — has affected the polls. Prior to the weekend, Clinton’s decline had appeared to be leveling off, with the race settling into a Clinton lead of 3 or 4 percentage points. But over the past seven days, Clinton’s win probability has declined from 70 percent to 60 percent in our polls-only forecast and by a similar amount, from 68 percent to 59 percent, in our polls-plus forecast.”
And while it’s clear that Silver thinks it’s entirely possible Clinton could bounce back, he finds her current position extremely precarious:
“That’s not to imply the events of the weekend were necessarily catastrophic for Clinton: In the grand scheme of things, they might not matter all that much (although polling from YouGov suggests that Clinton’s health is in fact a concern to voters). But when you’re only ahead by 3 or 4 points, and when some sequence of events causes you to lose another 1 or 2 points, the Electoral College probabilities can shift pretty rapidly. A lot of light blue states on our map have turned pink, meaning that Trump is now a narrow favorite there instead of Clinton[.]”
Ultimately, we’ll have to wait a week or more to know for sure if Clinton’s election troubles stick or if she regains momentum, Silver concludes.
But whatever happens between now and Election Day, it’s more important than ever that anyone who cares about keeping Trump out of the White House makes sure to vote.
Watch FiveThirtyEight’s Clare Malone discuss the bad news for Clinton in the important swing state of Ohio, below.
Featured image from Liberal America media archives.