ChrisWeigant.com

Confront Them With Their Own Words

[ Posted Tuesday, September 20th, 2016 – 17:03 UTC ]

Lester Holt has his work cut out for him, that's for sure. Holt, news anchor for NBC, will be the moderator for the first presidential debate. It will quite likely be the most-watched television debate in American history. It will also probably generate a few moments that historians will later endlessly replay when trying to explain the 2016 election. In other words, there will be soundbites.

Holt's job is a tough one. Any presidential debate moderator's job is a tough one, but this year things are so different that it's going to be hard for Holt to keep control of the situation. Nobody knows what Donald Trump will do, and there's a real possibility that he'll essentially hijack the debate and run it on his terms alone. Holt's got to be prepared for this. So does Hillary Clinton.

The debate topics have been announced already, and they're already being ridiculed for being incredibly vague. The three topics will be: "America's direction," "Achieving prosperity," and "Securing America." You can fit pretty much any subject under the sun into one of those three buckets. Anything dealing with the future of anything? America's direction. Anything about improving people's lives in any way? Achieving prosperity. Anything about foreign policy or domestic policy? Securing America. In other words, not exactly subjects which limit the possible conversation in any way. Perhaps this was done intentionally, to keep the two candidates guessing about what will actually be asked -- that's really the only reason imaginable why such vague subjects would be announced. Keep them on their toes, in other words.

Out of the three people on the stage next Monday, Lester Holt should now be doing the most preparation. The candidates will try to ignore his questions and pivot to their campaign slogans and talking points -- that's a given. Holt's job is to press for actual answers to concrete questions. He's got to hold the candidates' feet to the fire, unless he wants the ridicule that was heaped on his NBC coworker Matt Lauer.

Getting a straight answer is one part of Holt's job, but not allowing the candidates to lie unchallenged is another. This shouldn't even really be a subject for debate (although somehow it is, these days). Moderators are umpires -- they need to call the strikes, balls, and outs. Umpires don't ask both players: "Do you think that was an out, or was the tag made too late?" for obvious reasons. That's the ump's job, and Holt's job includes challenging falsehoods uttered from the podiums.

Tripping up Clinton will be fairly easy to do, because at times she offers up rebuttals to her own answers on a silver platter, by resorting to "lawyerly" language. Clinton parses her words so carefully that the caveats and loopholes are pretty plain to see. Challenging these hair-splitting statements is pretty easy to do: "Why did you use that convoluted phrase instead of just confirming or denying the simple question I asked?" This leads Clinton into the weeds of explaining exactly why she can't make a simple statement, with qualification heaped on qualification. In some ways, this innate caution is an asset, because America really does want presidents to exercise caution in both speech and deed. But at the same time, such caution can appear too weaselly during a debate. It's not as entertaining as bluster, in other words, and America also wants a certain amount of bluster from our presidents.

Which is the perfect segue to Donald Trump, really. Lester Holt's job will be to face the gale-force bluster coming from Trump's side of the stage, and not shirk from his duty. Tripping Trump up is harder to do, because by this point he's taken just about every position on just about every issue. He can pick and choose which he believes on any given day, really, and his supporters don't seem to mind one bit.

To counter both Clinton and Trump, I personally am hoping the network relies heavily upon videos of past statements from both of them. For Clinton, this means rehashing all the scandals Republicans have tried to throw at her, and examining in detail how her statements shifted over time. For Trump, this means having lots of clips ready to roll where -- in his own words -- he contradicts the positions he's currently holding.

Having a candidate face an old video clip is a powerful tool. It removes the complaint from the candidates that the questions are somehow biased or willfully opinionated. "Sorry, it's not media bias, these are your own words" is all the response such complaints deserve.

Both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, by this point in the campaign, are pretty predictable. All it really takes is watching or reading the last few weeks of campaign appearances or interviews they've done to see how they're going to answer any given question. The stock talking points are there, and you can be sure they'll be trotted out during the first debate.

All Lester Holt (and his research team) has to do is to prompt these talking points with an obvious lead-in question. Then after the talking point is finished, have the contradictory video ready to roll. "OK, I realize that that's what you are saying now, but a few months ago you were saying something different -- let's watch, and then I'd like your reaction." Then hit the candidates with their own words.

Some might complain that this brand of "gotcha" is too demeaning or not worthy of a highbrow presidential debate. Perhaps that was true in the past, but this campaign has been so different that different journalistic tactics are a necessity. Fact-checking the debates afterwards is just not enough any more. The moderator has to do such fact-checking on the fly, because that is when people are tuned in. A lie, as the old saying goes, can go halfway around the world while the truth is still putting its shoes on. The only way to counter this is to immediately challenge any falsehoods uttered on the debate stage.

Nobody has any idea what is going to happen during the first debate. I even have my doubts that there will be a second or third debate, because I think the likelihood of Donald Trump pronouncing "they're not being fair to me" and refusing to participate in future debates is actually pretty high. So this may be the only debate of the election season, and even if it isn't, it'll almost certainly be the one with the biggest audience.

Donald Trump seems prepared to just wing it at the first debate. He's pretty confident in his ability to ad-lib his responses, since he did so well with that strategy in the primary debates. But this debate will be a lot different for him. He'll be debating an opponent who isn't scared of offending his core base of votes (Clinton has already proven this, with her "basket of deplorables" statement). In the primaries, the other Republicans had to walk a tightrope, because they not only wanted to defeat Trump, they also wanted to co-opt all his voters. Clinton won't be hamstrung by this fear, so she'll be attacking Trump's positions from an entirely different direction.

But the biggest difference will be the fact that there will only be two candidates on stage next Monday night. Clinton's already done several one-on-one debates, so she's used to the dynamic. Trump has always had at least five or six others on the stage with him, so the situation will be a different one than he has previously faced. A one-on-one debate is different in several ways than debating in a crowd. The first big difference is the amount of time each candidate will have to speak. When there are multiple candidates, the moderators are forced to spread the questions around so much that each individual candidate only gets maybe 10 or 15 minutes of speaking time, in a 90-minute debate. One-on-one, each candidate will get roughly half the available time -- which will be a lot more than a total of 10 minutes. And more speaking time means more chances that you'll say something you'll later regret, to state the obvious.

The second difference in a one-on-one debate is that it is impossible to set your foes against each other when there is only one of them on stage with you. Trump masterfully played the other Republican candidates off each other in the primary debates, because he knew if he could get Chris Christie squabbling with Rand Paul, then Trump could just sit on the sidelines and occasionally toss a barb into the fray. That won't be possible when facing Clinton.

The polls have tightened to the point where next Monday's debate could be decisive for the entire race. A serious error by either candidate could cause a monumental shift in support at this point -- and this could go either way. It's a sad fact for a political pundit to admit, but most American elections are decided not by people who read political punditry on a regular basis. There will always be roughly 40 percent support for any given Republican or Democratic presidential candidate. It's the 20 percent in the middle who decide elections, however. And that 20 percent hasn't made up their minds yet, as astonishing a concept that is for those of us who obsess over politics on a daily basis.

The undecided slice of the electorate is the most important audience for this debate. Many of them have not heard all the details of the various controversies that have already happened during the campaign. Because they haven't, I sincerely hope Lester Holt has them all cued up on video, just to remind the candidates what they've been saying. A moderator questioning a position or an opponent attacking a position is not the same as seeing a video of your own words contradicting what you've just said. If Lester Holt is smart, he'll realize this and he'll have such clips already prepared. Because the most powerful way to make candidates squirm is to hit them with their own words.

-- Chris Weigant

 

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

48 Comments on “Confront Them With Their Own Words”

  1. [1] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    I have to assume that Big Orange is getting some word salad advice for the big night from Newt "If you quote me, you're lying" Gingrich.

  2. [2] 
    neilm wrote:

    This is going to be interesting. I'm surprised CW thinks there will be "ready to roll" videos of prior statements, as I don't remember this in prior debates, but perhaps that is the new way.

    The key to the debate will be whether there are 25 questions with 1-2 minute answers from each, or 6-8 questions with some time devoted to each, with Holt playing the moderator in a back-and-forth.

    If it is the former then Trump will be able to lie and make up nonsense with little or no consequences (you'd expect Hillary to call him out, but if she spends all her time pointing out Trump's lies, she will have no time for her own positions).

    The latter will be more difficult for Trump, and it will be time to see if America wants somebody competent in the White House or a second rate celebrity with a sad little ego.

    I trust America and think that Trump will be punished for spouting nonsense. I don't want to think that we live in a country where wildly unqualified and revolting people can become President because they have some puerile entertainment value.

  3. [3] 
    BigGuy wrote:

    A couple of thoughts regarding moderator bias:

    1. I would like to think the viewing audience would form their own opinions on this during the debate and factor that into their analysis.
    2. I would think rather negatively of a candidate that backed out of future debates based on such bias. All presidents are lightning rods for criticism much of which would be unfair from their point of view.
    3 Bill Moyers and Michael Winship had an interesting believe the bias woud be against Secretary Clinton. Only Martha Raddatz gets lukewarm approval based on her 2012 debate performance.

  4. [4] 
    BigGuy wrote:

    I inadvertently posted the previous comment without the link to the Bill Moyers aricle and before finishing editing. I missed a couple of things.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bill-moyers/theres-no-debate_b_12090380.html?

  5. [5] 
    neilm wrote:

    My guess for village idiot posts: 8

  6. [6] 
    Michale wrote:

    My guess for village idiot posts: 8

    Well, yer up to 2... Only 6 more to go.. :D

    :D

    Michale

  7. [7] 
    Michale wrote:

    CW,

    Excellent analysis!

    This is one aspect that I look for in other Weigantians.. Non biased commentary.... Only 2 even come close to it..

    If I were going to write a commentary about the debates, this would be eat. Extremely fair and unbiased.

    Kudos... :D

    Now for my analysis of the first debate..

    The only real question is, will Hillary be able to actually MAKE it thru the end of the debate..

    Given her recent track record of health issues, her simply making it thru to the end of the debate without collapsing is a "win" for her...

    Hillary is going to be concentrating so hard on just staying upright, I doubt she is going to be able to put up much of a fight..

    On Trump's side, he is going to have to guard against playing the bully.. Hillary will have the frail elderly woman part down pat. If Trump is TOO rough on her, that will cost him.. Trump is also going to have to be careful of letting his ego take control. He will have to make sure his recently discovered inner peace will carry him thru the debate...

    To sum up...

    If Hillary can remain upright and coherent for the entire 90 mins, that will be a win for her..

    If Trump can manage to not let Trump 1.0 out of his cage, that will be a win for Trump...

    Michale

  8. [8] 
    Michale wrote:

    http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2016/09/20/13/3895A15400000578-0-image-m-3_1474373891915.jpg

    The dark circles under her eyes..

    The pale complexion...

    The cock-eyed eyes...

    The haggard tired look...

    Yea, sure.. SHE can stand under glaring hot lights for an hour an a half... :^/

    She couldn't even SIT for an hour and a half in low humidity with a cool breeze...

    Michale

  9. [9] 
    Michale wrote:

    I mean, seriously..

    Look at the facts..

    Hillary's momentum is dropping like a stone.

    She is LOSING in many battleground states...

    And she opts to take a week off???

    Come'on people. I know that SOME of you can rise above Party loyalty and think logically and rationally...

    What do those facts tell you?

    Michale

  10. [10] 
    Michale wrote:

    Which one of ya'all had said that Hillary's "deplorable" comments and her utter face-plant on 9/11 would not affect any of her poll numbers??

    Whoever it was, would you care to revisit the issue and revise your statement?? :D

    It's tough being dead on ballz accurate most of the time.. :D

    Michale

  11. [11] 
    Michale wrote:

    http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/election-update-democrats-should-panic-if-the-polls-still-look-like-this-in-a-week/

    5 Days ago, Nate Silver (ya'all's preferred prognosticator.... when he says what ya'all want to hear) said that if the polls are the same or worse in a week, Democrats should panic...

    Start searching around for ya'all's panic button, people. :D

    Michale

  12. [12] 
    Michale wrote:

    Tobe Berkovitz, a Boston University professor who specializes in political communications, said that on a 1 to 10 scale, with 10 being the most damaging, the video footage rated “a 15.”

    Berkovitz added: “No matter what you say and no matter how you say it, everyone sees the presidential nominee basically collapsing, almost on the street. When you are saying, ‘I want to be commander in chief and I have the toughness and the strength to lead America during trying times,’ well, you don’t want to see that person being carried into a van.”

    These are the FACTS that no amount of partisan spin or Party loyalty can hide or obfuscate...

    Americans don't want a candidate that will collapse while on the job.. Americans don't want a candidate that doesn't have to stamina to make it thru the day without a nap time...

    If ya'all could step outside your Party loyalty, you would see that I am right...

    Michale

  13. [13] 
    Michale wrote:

    How panicked should Democrats be about Donald Trump’s poll surge? We asked 8 experts.

    It is now no longer the case that we need a major new catalytic event to think Donald Trump can win. Hillary Clinton hasn’t just lost the massive 8-point cushion she had in late August — she’s now clinging to a narrow 1.5-point lead in the polling averages that are widely viewed as the best gauges of the race.

    Last week, I wrote that Trump had cut into Clinton’s lead but that something dramatic would still have to change for him to really be in contention in the presidential race.
    http://www.vox.com/2016/9/16/12929616/donald-trump-polls-win

    Michale

  14. [14] 
    Michale wrote:

    Democrats panic as black voters ditch Clinton

    In a surprising development, black voters are abandoning Hillary Clinton and Democrats are scrambling to stop the hemorrhaging of their crucial voting bloc.

    A recent Los Angeles Times tracking poll reported Clinton’s support among black voters fell almost 20 percent to about 71 percent.

    A poll in Michigan showed similar results. The Free Press/WXYZ-TV poll found black support for Clinton in Michigan fell from 85 percent in August to 74 percent.

    President Obama received 93 percent of the black vote, according to exit polls during the 2012 presidential election.
    https://www.conservativereview.com/commentary/2016/09/democrats-panic-as-black-voters-ditch-clinton#sthash.IcB2uSkl.dpuf

    Like I said.. The Left Wingery REALLY needs to start mentally prepare themselves to say "President Trump"..

    Or start planning their move to a country that is more in keeping with their views..

    Like Iran.... Or North Korea.... Or Libya.... :D

    Michale

  15. [15] 
    Michale wrote:

    Democrats panic as black voters ditch Clinton

    In a surprising development, black voters are abandoning Hillary Clinton and Democrats are scrambling to stop the hemorrhaging of their crucial voting bloc.

    A recent Los Angeles Times tracking poll reported Clinton’s support among black voters fell almost 20 percent to about 71 percent.

    A poll in Michigan showed similar results. The Free Press/WXYZ-TV poll found black support for Clinton in Michigan fell from 85 percent in August to 74 percent.

    President Obama received 93 percent of the black vote, according to exit polls during the 2012 presidential election.
    http://tinyurl.com/z55dooz

    Like I said.. The Left Wingery REALLY needs to start mentally prepare themselves to say "President Trump"..

    Or start planning their move to a country that is more in keeping with their views..

    Like Iran.... Or North Korea.... Or Libya.... :D

    Michale

  16. [16] 
    Michale wrote:

    Test

    conservativereview

    Michale

  17. [17] 
    Michale wrote:

    CW,

    NNL Filter Report..

    The NNL Filters don't like a conservativereview when it precedes a dot com..

    Just FYI

    Michale

  18. [18] 
    Michale wrote:

    “He’s a racist and she is a liar, so really what’s the difference in choosing both or neither.”
    http://tinyurl.com/z55dooz

    The difference is Trump has never said anything that was racist or never gave ANY indication that he was racist..

    Democrats, on the other hand, created the KKK and fought tooth and nail against Civil Rights legislation...

    We also know for a fact how much Hillary has lied...

    The choice for President amongst black Americans should be a no brainer...

    If black Americans want to live off welfare for the rest of their lives, they should vote Clinton..

    On the other hand, if black Americans want the tools to stand on their own two feet and MAKE something of their lives for themselves and their children...

    Trump is the only logical choice....

    Michale

  19. [19] 
    Michale wrote:

    CW,

    NNL Filter Report..

    The NNL Filters don't like a conservativereview when it precedes a dot com..

    Just FYI

    I am beginning ta think yer NNL filters have a liberal bias.. :D heh

    Michale

  20. [20] 
    Michale wrote:

    In some ways, this innate caution is an asset, because America really does want presidents to exercise caution in both speech and deed. But at the same time, such caution can appear too weaselly during a debate.

    Agreed

    While it's true that Americans can, at times, appreciate caution, Americans HATE caution that is nothing but exercises in CYA.....

    If you cannot make a firm stand on what you believe, it's better to just keep quiet..

    That is one of Trump's biggest strengths.. There is no mealy-mouth platitudes or discussions of what the definition of 'is' is.. With Trump, you know EXACTLY where he stands..

    Granted, it might be a DIFFERENT stand than last week or last month... But it's still a firm stand...

    But, unlike Clinton, there is no "weasely" lawyering with Trump...

    Americans appreciate that...

    As evidenced by the fact that Trump is pulling ahead of Clinton..

    Michale

  21. [21] 
    Michale wrote:

    Between mid-June and today, Hillary Clinton has spent over $140 million in ads, 98% of which are negative ads against Trump...

    Contrast that to Trump who has spent less than $40 million..

    And yet, the race is essentially tied....

    Hillary's biggest mistake is that she is running a conventional campaign against an unconventional candidate...

    Which perfectly illustrates Hillary's problem as our would-be POTUS...

    She simply CANNOT handle the unexpected...

    For Hillary, everything is scripted and everything MUST adhere to the script...

    When the unexpected happens, she falls.. She is lost.. She simply CANNOT function...

    16 GOP candidates ran a conventional campaign..

    They ALL lost...

    So it will be with Hillary Clinton...

    If there is a flaw in my logic, by all means... Point it out...

    Michale

  22. [22] 
    Michale wrote:

    “Obama didn’t earn a legacy with the black community, even though we put you there.

    You fought for the rights of gay people; you fought for the rights of this people and that people. You fight for Israel. Your people are suffering and dying in the streets.”
    -Louis Farrakahan

    As much of a racist moron as Farrakahan is, he does have a point in this latest rant of his..

    Obama and the Democrats haven't done squat for black Americans..

    The ONLY reason for black Americans to vote for Hillary is to get more of the same..

    Michale

  23. [23] 
    neilm wrote:

    18.

  24. [24] 
    Michale wrote:

    Ya know, Neil??

    For someone who claims that he "doesn't even see" my posts....

    You sure keep good tabs on them... :D

    You got caught in another lie.... :D

    Michale

  25. [25] 
    Michale wrote:

    Why don't you just admit what everyone already knows..

    You follow my comments breathlessly... :D

    Michale

  26. [26] 
    Michale wrote:

    AND you were completely and utterly wrong when you said '8' comments..

    Don't you EVER get tired of being wrong all the time??? :D

    Michale

  27. [27] 
    Michale wrote:

    HILLARY CLINTON COULD LOSE THE ELECTION BECAUSE MILLENNIALS DON’T LIKE HER
    Polls show how young Gary Johnson and Jill Stein supporters could hand Donald Trump the White House.

    http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2016/09/hillary-clinton-millennial-voters

    The writing is on the wall, my fellow Weigantians...

    You can't ignore it, just because you don't like what it says....

    Michale

  28. [28] 
    Michale wrote:

    Only 32% of likely voters believe that Mrs. Clinton is honest, compared with a larger but still dismal 40% for Mr. Trump. Fifty percent think he is “honest enough” to be president, while only 43% think she is. Just 37% say she is more transparent than Mr. Trump; 54% say the opposite.

    Asked to explain why they do not regard Mrs. Clinton as honest enough to be president, roughly equal shares of the naysayers cite her private email server, the Benghazi attack, and their impression of her as evasive and calculating. (Only 39% believe that she bases her policies on a set of core values.) And 34% of the electorate, including 38% of independents, say that her use of a private email server changed their opinion of her honesty.
    http://www.wsj.com/articles/its-still-clintons-race-to-lose-1474413142

    So much for the claim that Hillary's email server scandal didn't have any effect on her support...

    Michale

  29. [29] 
    Michale wrote:

    I realize that reading all this bad news about Hillary may be annoying for ya'all..

    You could always counter with some GOOD news about Hillary...

    Oh... wait..... :D

    Michale

  30. [30] 
    Michale wrote:

    ‘We Out Like The Taliban!’ Charlotte Citizens Riot After Police Shooting [VIDEO]
    http://dailycaller.com/2016/09/20/were-like-the-taliban-charlotte-citizens-riot-after-police-shooting-video/

    The Democrat Party's pit bulls, (O)BLM have admitted that they are "just like the Taliban"...

    Shocking..... :^/

    Advantage: TRUMP....

    Who could have predicted this....????

    Oh... Wait....

    Michale

  31. [31] 
    Michale wrote:

    Charlotte faces aftermath of protests ignited by fatal police shooting; 12 officers injured
    http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/local/crime/article103009432.html

    Another justified shooting that is ONLY an issue because of political considerations..

    And these "fine upstanding" protesters use the shooting of this black man as an excuse to loot a Walmart and steal LED TVs and IPADS...

    Advantage: TRUMP

    Michale

  32. [32] 
    Michale wrote:

    If Hillary Clinton doesn't denounce these thugs, these "super predators" then she simply cannot win the election....

    On the other hand, if she DOES denounce these thugs, these "super predators", then she will likely lose the election..

    Ya gotta admire Hillary for engineering the PERFECT lose-lose situation....

    Michale

  33. [33] 
    Michale wrote:

    It's not rocket science, my friends..

    I don't care if you are black, white, red, pink, yellow or green with purple polka-dots..

    If you don't obey the lawful orders of police and you have a gun in your hand...

    YOU WILL BE SHOT

    It's that simple..

    Michale

  34. [34] 
    Michale wrote:

    On a street in Ohio, defiant Democrats flock to Trump

    The story of these defections goes back to March when over 6,171 registered Democrats voted in the GOP primary that was a showdown between Trump and Ohio Gov. John Kasich?. Even the Democratic mayor of Struthers was caught with a Trump For President sign in his front yard.

    But the Democrats here have not come back home. Instead, many of them are still looking to Trump.

    “I’ve been a lifelong union guy, a working guy,” said Jeff Kulow, a 25-year member of the Teamsters who recently retired. “Can you imagine people like me going to Trump or going Republican?”

    Kulow said President Obama, a politician “against everything I believe in,” has been the tipping point. He blamed a $650 increase in his health care premiums directly on the Affordable Care Act?.

    “They just don’t get it anymore with us,” Kulow said of the Democratic Party. “Maybe in an upscale area or downscale, maybe they’ll resonate. But around here — all working class and middle class, everyone has left the Democratic party. I can’t see myself ever going back.”
    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/on-a-street-in-ohio-defiant-democrats-flock-to-trump/

    Looks like Paula has her work cut out for her.. :D

    Michale

  35. [35] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Confronting people with their own words only works if they want to hear what you have to say.
    I have contacted many activists, politicians, journalists, etc. with their own words and been superficially dismissed or ignored.
    For example, When Ralph Nader wrote his open letter to Obama about Obama ignoring him and other activists I used his words to illustrate that Mr. Nader was doing to me what he complained Obama was doing to him. No response.
    When he wrote about his "Breaking through Power Conference" I pointed out how his reasons for having the conference were the same reasons he should include a discussion on Voucher Vendetta and how that would demonstrate the ideals of the conference by helping this idea break through the power structure of the anti-establishment establishment. No response.
    After his recent Radio Hour with Jill Stein I again contacted him using their words on how the media ignores Nader and Stein. No response (yet).
    If Ralph Nader will not even respond to his own words, there is no chance it will have any effect on Clinton or Trump.
    But I bet if try you could find quotes from Clinton and Trump that would indicate they should support including Johnson and Stein in the debates which over 70 percent of citizens say they want.
    Then it might make a difference who was asking the questions and how those questions were answered and followed up.
    If it's just Clinton and Trump then the only quote worth using is to paraphrase a character from Star Wars with "May the farce be with you".

  36. [36] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Neilm -2

    "I personally am hoping the network relies heavily upon videos of past statements from both of them." -CW

    I suspect this is a "serving suggestion" from CW, and a good one at that.

    Over at the Debate Commission web site:

    "The CPD is in discussion with technology and civic groups that will provide data to the moderators to assist them in identifying the subjects that are most important to the public."

    http://www.debates.org/index.php?page=2016debates

    Seems to leave the door open to real time assistance to the moderator, including video clip augmented fact checking. That said, I can't find any evidence it's going to actually happen.

  37. [37] 
    neilm wrote:

    Try this poll simulator - best way to see the effects of chance in polls:

    http://rocknpoll.graphics/

  38. [38] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    CW wrote:

    I even have my doubts that there will be a second or third debate, because I think the likelihood of Donald Trump pronouncing "they're not being fair to me" and refusing to participate in future debates is actually pretty high.

    Considering that he's done that before, I'd also say the odds are high.

    I've been wondering for awhile why the networks aren't using video to augment the questioning in debates on a more regular basis. For instance, although Megyn Kelly managed to ultimately win her showdown with Trump, wouldn't the whole thing have gone differently if she had confronted him with a video montage of him saying all of those things that she quoted? It would have made it much tougher for him to turn it into a attack on Kelly.

  39. [39] 
    altohone wrote:

    Hey CW

    "There will always be roughly 40 percent support for any given Republican or Democratic presidential candidate. It's the 20 percent in the middle who decide elections, however"

    Quite a lot of polling suggests the winner may only get a plurality of around 40%... and that it's not the 20% in the middle but rather on the fringes that will decide it this year.
    After admitting this year's election is unusual, you should be willing to admit that reality too.

    I realize establishment thinking is hard to overcome, and even talking about the third parties is frowned upon among your peers, but I believe you can still rise to the occasion.

  40. [40] 
    Michale wrote:

    Considering that he's done that before, I'd also say the odds are high.

    And if the context was the same then as it is now, then you would have a point..

    But it's not, so you don't...

    For instance, although Megyn Kelly managed to ultimately win her showdown with Trump, wouldn't the whole thing have gone differently if she had confronted him with a video montage of him saying all of those things that she quoted?

    Yea.. A "montage" is really fair, iddn't it..

    Clinton Coughing Montage
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pn45Qt8yCR8

    Using your "logic" Clinton is near death...

    Michale

  41. [41] 
    Michale wrote:

    I had another "montage" I wanted to share, but that's better kept in private... :D

    Michale

  42. [42] 
    Michale wrote:

    And if the context was the same then as it is now, then you would have a point..

    But it's not, so you don't...

    However, if you WANT to claim the context is the same, I'll be happy to oblige ya..

    Yes, Trump dumped a couple of debates..

    And STILL won the election... :D

    Michale

  43. [43] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Neilm - 36

    That's a nicely executed little simulation illustrating margin of error in a large population that be re-sampled. However, when all is said and done, margin of error is just a measure of random sampling error, a pollster really wants a prediction interval stating the probability candidate A is ahead of candidate B (or B,C,D etc if there are multiple parties). Prediction intervals are not the same as margin of error.

    Margin of error and prediction intervals are minor problems. The big problem is trying to figure out how well any given polling sample represents the population that actually shows up to vote.

  44. [44] 
    neilm wrote:

    TS [42] - Agreed. This election will be a real test of e.g. the 538 model - with conventional candidates the expected turnout could be modeled with some accuracy, and thus the "LV" polls could be counted on.

    The higher passion for Trump could unsettle the models and he could be doing better than the models are predicting. On the other hand, Trump's lack of GOTV and ground game might hurt him chances and so the models could be overestimating his numbers.

  45. [45] 
    neilm wrote:

    Does anybody know if Hillary has restarted her ad campaigns in Colorado and/or Virginia again, or does she feel (unlike RCP) that they are still safe bets for her?

  46. [46] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I'm guessing she thinks they are safe bets. ;)

  47. [47] 
    Kick wrote:

    [45] neilm,

    Does anybody know if Hillary has restarted her ad campaigns in Colorado and/or Virginia again, or does she feel (unlike RCP) that they are still safe bets for her?

    As of today, HRC has not restarted ads in Virginia or Colorado. Trump ran ads for only 2 weeks in both those states and now has none in either.

    Clinton has ads in:
    Nevada
    Florida
    North Carolina
    Pennsylvania
    New Hampshire
    Ohio
    Iowa
    Nebraska/2CD
    Arizona

    Trump has ads in only 4 states:
    Florida
    Ohio
    North Carolina
    Pennsylvania

    There is a chart at this link that nicely illustrates the weekly ad buys since June.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/graphics/2016-presidential-campaign-tv-ads/

  48. [48] 
    Michale wrote:

    I'm guessing she thinks they are safe bets. ;)

    Famous last words.. :D

    Michale

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