Could the Brexit shock be out-Trumped?

Could The Donald deliver a second surprise?

Very few people really expected the Brexit vote to end as it did. Even the Leave campaigners were preparing speeches to thank their street campaigners when they had to perform an about-turn and make the winning speeches. Even the online petition (now with over 4 million signatures) for another vote was initiated by a Leave campaigner who expected to lose the referendum.

Similarly everybody expects that the US presidential election is Hillary’s to lose. That Donald Trump, considered by many as almost a joke contender, couldn’t win. He couldn’t, could he? Could he?

Well the recent news may suggest that the second unbelievable national poll result may become a reality.

Let’s look at the recent voting-intention polls.

According to Investor’s Business Daily, Donald Trump has just taken a one-point lead over Hillary Clinton.

And five days ago, in the latest ABC News/Washington Post tracking poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates, Donald Trump took a one-point lead – the first time he has led in this particular poll, and he also recorded his highest rating in this particular poll.

2016_general_election_vote_preference_10-31-16

A few months ago everybody thought that Trump’s bid was a major own-goal by the GOP, that he was a joke candidate with no chance of winning. A bit like Boris Johnson perhaps? (Boris Johnson was thus described by Ken Livingstone, the incumbent, whom Boris subsequently beat.)

Now everybody has to take seriously the chance that he will win, even if they don’t have to take him seriously.

So while a majority of polls still place Hillary in the lead (just as a majority of polls placed “Remain” in the lead), the gap is within statistical error ranges, even if the poll respondents are random and representative (which is frequently not the case with plebiscite polls).

Well, we don’t have to wait much longer to find out.

[Updated 8 November to include the Fake Gary Lineker tweet and replace the ABCNews poll graphic with a higher fidelity version.]

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