Nasty At The End

[ Posted Wednesday, October 19th, 2016 – 22:10 UTC ]

Tonight was (finally!) the last presidential debate of the 2016 election season. I thought it was a better debate (if less entertaining) than the first two, personally. A lot of actual policy positions were discussed, the candidates interacted with each other without so much of the "everyone's screaming at once" interludes, and the moderator kept the subjects moving along at a good clip. So my overall impression of the final debate was that it was a lot more like a normal presidential debate than the previous two.

There were some brutal moments, of course, which is to be expected by now. Even though Trump was visibly trying to stay under control during this debate (a lot more than the last two times), he didn't succeed in doing so throughout the whole evening. Hillary Clinton turned in a solid debate performance, with a goodly amount of zingers launched at Trump and without any noticeable stumbles. She got wonky at times (as she is wont to do), but I don't think she said anything tonight that's going to hurt her in the next three weeks. Parts of tonight were just as hard-hitting as the first two debates, but on the whole it seemed a lot more civilized. At least until the next-to-last question, where Trump got nasty.

As always, I'm writing my snap debate reactions up before actually going online to see what anyone else thought about it, so perhaps I'll agree with the general consensus and perhaps I won't. It's always the risk that you have to run. One technical point before I begin, all these quotes were hastily jotted down, and might not be 100 percent accurate in the wording, but are pretty close. So don't quote anything you read here, look for the transcript instead.


Overall debate reactions

Chris Wallace is the first moderator ever chosen from Fox News, and I have to admit I've always liked his style on Sunday mornings, even if he is on Fox. Wallace grills Democrats, it is true, but he also puts Republicans through the wringer on his show -- refusing to be brushed off, and doggedly repeating his question until he gets an answer.

Tonight, Wallace was kind of in the background for a lot of the debate, at times letting things get out of control. But even having said that, I think he did a better job than the moderators at the first two debates. Substantive policy questions were asked -- much more than previously -- and there were spots where the political differences of not only the two candidates but the two major parties were clearly shown. The format of the debate was a lot less formal, which helped a lot. There weren't arguments about who got more time, as after their initial two-minute answers, the candidates were allowed to just engage in a back-and-forth. So say what you will about Fox News in general, but I thought Wallace did a pretty good job tonight. Maybe I like him because his initials are so memorable to me, who knows?

All kidding aside, I thought both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton turned in the best performance they're capable of. What I mean by that is that Trump was a lot calmer and quieter than he has been previously, and only flew off the handle a handful of times (instead of "for the entire second half of the debate"). He has obviously practiced his poker face, as he was less prone to grimacing all night long (although I did catch at least one eye-roll from him). Somebody also obviously pointed out his sniffing-into-the-microphone problem to him, and while he did sniff a number of times, there was only one or two really loud ones. Trump tried his best not to interrupt, and had some success at restraining himself, although on this score he didn't do as well -- he interrupted Clinton only about half the time tonight, which is an improvement but not by a whole lot. So, as I said, I think tonight was about as good as Trump could ever have hoped to have done -- the best performance he is capable of giving.

Hillary Clinton, of course, is measured on a different yardstick, because her best performance possible is a lot better than Trump could ever manage. But I thought she did a good job tonight of (once again) refusing to be baited by Trump while at the same time very successfully baiting him back (and she called him "Donald" all night, to boot). Trump snapped at this bait several times, mostly to his detriment. When baited, Trump gets louder, and he interrupts a whole lot, so it's not really all that good a look for him. Hillary, meanwhile, was pretty unflappable tonight. She was on solid ground on almost every answer, she was confident and controlled, and she kept the "laughing at what Trump says" faces to a minimum. Body-language-wise, Clinton looked pretty good, except for a tendency to look down while answering (assumably reading her notes). But other than that, she looked good.

The most telling thing about body language was that the two candidates refused to shake hands, either before or after the debate itself. Has this ever happened before in a televised debate? I'm sure the historically-inclined pundits will let us know, tomorrow morning.

In short, Hillary Clinton looked presidential tonight. She looked like someone you would want negotiating with foreign leaders. Donald Trump did not. He showed how easy it is to get under his skin, he showed his lack of depth on numerous issues, and he showed that he'll say anything when he personally feels put-upon. All things I would not want in a president, in other words.


Debate play-by-play

The debate began with a question about the Supreme Court. This was a welcome subject because I suspect a whole lot of people -- on both sides -- are holding their nose and voting for these candidates because the Supreme Court is so important to them.

Clinton answered with all the things she wants in Supreme Court nominees, which you could boil down to: "fights for the little guy," for the most part. Trump slammed Ruth Bader Ginsberg (for some reason), and then talked solely about the Second Amendment. In the back-and-forth which followed, Trump claimed Clinton was "very angry" and "extremely angry" about the D.C. v. Heller decision, so I guess he has gained the power to read other people's minds now, or something. Hillary shot back that Heller was disappointing because it was about protecting toddlers from guns lying around.

The next question was whether either candidate wanted to see Roe v. Wade overturned, and would they appoint justices who would do so or not. Predictably, Clinton strongly supports Roe and would fight for pro-choice justices. Also predictably, Trump would not. Trump didn't seem to understand how the court works, though, as he bizarrely predicted that Roe v. Wade would be overturned "automatically" and that it would then go back to the states to decide. Um, no. Nothing happens "automatically" at the Supreme Court -- a case has to be brought before them.

In the back-and-forth, Trump used some awfully graphic language about late-term abortion ("rip the baby out of the womb"), and Clinton invited Trump to meet with actual women who have gone through the procedure, and listen to their stories.

The next segment was on immigration, and Trump had some strange things to say on the issue. He said he wanted to deport "all of the drug lords" but then seemed to qualify the statement with "all of the bad ones," leaving me wondering how many "good" drug lords Trump thinks there are. Trump also admitted that millions of people have been deported under Obama, something that Republicans don't ever admit out loud, for the most part.

Clinton tried baiting Trump once or twice, saying that when he met with the Mexican president: "Donald didn't even bring [the border wall] up -- he choked!" But Trump mostly resisted rising to the bait. Clinton had to get defensive a couple of times, on voting for construction of some border fences, and for the WikiLeaked statement about wanting "open borders." Clinton did a pretty good job on the open borders issue ("read the rest of the quote -- I was talking about energy"), but not so good a job on the fact that she did indeed vote for border fencing while senator.

Clinton used the WikiLeaks question to pivot to talking about Russia hacking into our political process -- an obviously-rehearsed move. Trump even complimented her (sarcastically) about her "great pivot," when responding. Clinton at one point said Vladimir Putin would rather have Trump as president than her, because: "He'd rather have a puppet." Trump incoherently then responded with: "I'm not a puppet! You're the puppet!" -- displaying his mastery of playground taunts.

Chris Wallace jumped in here at some point and told Trump (who refused to admit that Russia had hacked anything) that there was indeed solid intelligence which proved this. Trump still refused to believe it, even though he has secret intelligence briefings with the people saying this. About a half-hour in to the debate, Trump got a lot less calm and a lot louder. This was also, incidentally, when he dropped his first "Wrong!" into the debate (it would by no means be his last). He then just flat-out called Hillary a liar to her face (which is about par for the course for debate season, this year). Hillary brilliantly countered with: "I'm just quoting you," on the subject of nuclear weapons.

Wallace moved on to the economy. This exchange started out with Hillary looking knowledgeable and Trump looking lost, as usual. Trump spent almost all his time on the previous question (about nuclear weapons) and accusing Hillary of wanting to double everyone's taxes. Hillary ran down her list of what her economic agenda was, in response. She also (wisely) passed up the chance to repeat her "Trumped-up trickle-down" lead balloon from the previous debate. Hillary's new phrase tonight was "middle-out," which I guess is econospeak for "helping the middle class to get ahead." She almost reminded me of The Simpsons "Treehouse of Horror VII" election episode when she said she believed in "middle-out, bottom-up, not top-down" economics, but then watching every minute of all these debates does make me a little loopy, at times.

Clinton clearly won this round at the end, however, after Trump used his "you talk, but you don't get anything done" line on her. Clinton responded with a brilliant takedown of what she's been doing for the past 40 years versus what Trump was doing at the same time. This is the one part of the debate I really want to search out in the transcript, because it was pretty devastating. Hillary masterfully compared her record to "what Donald was doing at the time," and the cumulative effect was impressive. Trump responded that he had built a "massive" and "phenomenal" company, and then tried to pivot to the Middle East.

About halfway through the debate, Chris Wallace asked the questions everyone knew were coming. For Trump, this meant asking about the nine women who have accused him of groping them (or worse). Trump, without a shred of evidence to back him up, stated that all those stories "had been debunked." He also breathtakingly claimed: "I didn't even apologize to my wife, because I didn't do anything wrong." He kept coming back to calling the accusations "lies" and "fiction," which he repeated over and over again.

Clinton then read Trump a few choice quotes he's made over the past week alone, on the subject of why Trump hadn't sexually assaulted these women because, according to him, they weren't hot enough for him to do so. Trump responded with: "Nobody has more respect for women than me," which drew a lot of audible laughter from the crowd. He then tried to blame all the women who have accused him of being Clinton stooges.

Clinton hit back even harder, running down all the offensive things Trump has said about all kinds of people and groups, to make her case of: "This is who Donald is," and: "This is a pattern." This was well-rehearsed, and well-delivered. She clearly won this round, and Trump was clearly on the ropes.

Wallace then zeroed in on Clinton with the question everyone was expecting, asking her about all the WikiLeaked emails, the Clinton Foundation, and the "pay to play" charge while she was Secretary of State. Clinton tried to pivot to talking about the good works the Clinton Foundation does, and Wallace asked the question again. But while this should have been the point that Clinton was on the ropes, Trump horned in on her answer, and Wallace let him finish. Trump couldn't make the case as well as Wallace had just been doing, and this left Clinton with an out -- talking specifically about Haiti and the work the Clinton Foundation did there. She then brought up Trump's foundation, and the original question she was supposed to be answering was lost. This should have been Trump's best moment of the night, but he was the one who wound up on the defensive.

After Trump basically admitted that he had (illegally) paid off a court judgment using Trump Foundation money (a no-no), Clinton hit him with: "We have no way of knowing if that's true because he won't release his tax returns," and pivoted to Trump paying no taxes. Again, Trump should have won this segment but wound up in a defensive crouch.

Wallace then asked what will be the most-talked about question of the night, asking Trump if he would stick to the pledge Mike Pence had recently made, to gracefully accept the election results if they lost, and Trump amazingly refused to do so. All he would say is: "I will look at it at the time," and: "I want to keep you in suspense." This will be resoundingly denounced far and wide, by tomorrow morning. It's probably being denounced far and wide even as I write this. Trump then moved on to -- again, impressing elementary-school playground audiences everywhere -- insisting that Clinton "should not even be allowed to run," as if there were anything in the Constitution to prevent her from doing so.

Clinton gleefully smacked back that Trump was being a big baby. Well, no, she didn't, but she essentially got this point across, accusing him of whining about all kinds of things "being rigged," from the primary elections he lost all the way back to losing an Emmy. Trump interjected: "I should have gotten it," proving her point beyond a shadow of a doubt.

Wallace then brought up the fight to retake Mosul, in Iraq. Hillary gave her stock answer about no U.S. troops in occupation, surging the intelligence (whatever that actually means), and a no-fly zone in Syria. More on that in a moment.

Trump hit Hillary on the whole history of Iraq, and called the Iran deal "the stupidest deal of all time." Then he descended straight into conspiracy theory, claiming that the timing of the Mosul initiative was all to help Hillary Clinton get elected. The Iraqi government was actually responsible for the timing of this offensive, and Trump just sounded downright paranoid at this point. A few exchanges later, Trump tried to hit Clinton with an old Bernie Sanders quote, and Hillary finally gave the answer she should have given the first time he tried this at a debate: "You should ask Bernie who he supports for president now." Trump then insisted that "Aleppo has fallen," even in the face of Chris Wallace telling him it just wasn't so.

Then Wallace asked a question I've been waiting to hear asked for a very long time now, to Clinton. If we created a no-fly zone in Syria, what would Clinton do if a Russian plane ignored us and flew right through it? Would she shoot it down?

Clinton didn't really have an answer for this. She insisted that she'd negotiate with the Russians before creating the no-fly zone, and strike some sort of deal with them first. Wallace tried to ask once again about what specifically she would do about a Russian plane flying through a no-fly zone, but Clinton never directly answered what was, to me, a very obvious question. U.S. versus Russian warplanes is a game that nobody in their right mind should want to play, but that's exactly what any declaration of a no-fly zone would lead to. Is Syria worth fighting World War III over? Why will nobody advocating for a no-fly zone (and Hillary Clinton in particular) answer that very basic question?

We headed into the home stretch at this point, and Wallace tried to raise the subject of entitlement reform, but neither candidate really wanted to talk about it. Trump shared his fantasy that he'd usher in four percent growth rates immediately, and Clinton dragged up a very old ad (1987) that Trump had paid $100,000 to run in the New York Times, which actually (gasp!) criticized Ronald Reagan. This might hurt Trump more than any other answer of the night with a certain segment of the population, because he uttered the words: "I disagreed strongly with Ronald Reagan."

The penultimate question is going to be the second-most quoted bit of the debate, but not for the question or the answer from Hillary Clinton. Clinton was talking about Obamacare, Social Security, and Medicare, and took a sideswipe at Trump in her answer. Trump shot back with: "Such a nasty woman. Such a nasty woman." This soundbite is (I would bet good money) even now being copied and pasted into a whole bunch of new Hillary Clinton for president ads targeted towards women. It would be political malpractice not to do so, in fact.

Wallace tried to pull a surprise move on the candidates at the very end. The debate rules didn't allow closing statements, but Wallace (out of the goodness of his own heart) decided to -- on the fly -- allow them to make their case for being president in their final few minutes.

Hillary Clinton made a positive case for herself, saying she wanted to reach out to all Americans (even Republicans) and grow the economy for everyone. She wanted to see more good jobs, rising incomes, and a chicken in every pot. Well, OK, I just threw that last one in there myself, because I couldn't help notice the historical similarities.

Trump spent at least half of his final minutes slamming Hillary as hard as he could, predicting total disaster for millions of Americans if she's elected. Oh, and he'd also make American great again, of course.

As the final debate of the season (whew!) finished up, the two candidates refused to shake hands. Not too surprising, really. It's really the perfect way to close the most bitter debate season in televised history, that's for sure.

-- Chris Weigant


Cross-posted at The Huffington Post

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant


33 Comments on “Nasty At The End”

  1. [1] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Whoops! Somehow I turned off comments when I posted this. It's been fixed. Mea culpa.



  2. [2] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    Republicans should be in full-fledged panic now. The Orange One is constantly telling his Trumpthugs that their votes won't count and the election is rigged. They should just stay home. Why stand in line?

  3. [3] 
    neilm wrote:

    As I said in the last thread, I missed the debate and only saw the headlines. BBC and CNN (plus my wife when I got home) all lead with the "won't respect the result" statement. My wife also said that the "wrong" interruptions really made her sick to her stomach. Does Trump have any idea how these interrupt put downs sound to women?

    All in all, Hillary just had to make sure Trump was the headliner after the debate. Planned and executed.

  4. [4] 
    neilm wrote:

    Sorry. Meant to thank you for a great article CW. Respect.

  5. [5] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    neilm -

    Our motto here has always been: "I watch the debates so you don't have to!"


    Thanks for the kind words.

    To everyone -

    Looks like I missed a Trump gaffe, as I didn't even note down his use of "hombres." The internet did notice, however...



  6. [6] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    JFC -

    I'm reading snarky comments to debate articles now that are saying exactly the same thing: "Stay home, Trumpkins! The election is rigged, so don't even bother voting! That'll show them!"




  7. [7] 
    neilm wrote:

    I don't get the "hombres" issue. Maybe it is because I didn't grow up here. My wife mentioned it and when I asked her the implications it is one of the few times she couldn't explain things to me (she is something of an expert at explaining Americana to a Brit). So frankly I don't get it, but I do know it is a very unusual word, even more so, I'd venture, in a presidential debate.

  8. [8] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    Donald really should refrain from speaking Mexican.

  9. [9] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    neilm -

    I'm rather good at explaining Americanisms to Brits (and Irish).

    "Hombre" is Spanish for "man," obviously. But in Americana, it's a word from Westerns, kind of like the etymology of "pardner."

    In 50's Westerns, "hombre" is almost always preceeded by "bad" (as Trump did so tonight). So it's seen as a put-down, and it's also seen as a bad example of "Spanglish." Cultural appropriation, and all that.

    So my guess is that Latino groups will be at the forefront of reaction to the word -- yet another group Trump is making zero inroads with...

    Does that help?



  10. [10] 
    chaszzzbrown wrote:

    My favorite interchange was:

    "There was even a time when he didn't get an Emmy for his TV program three years in a row, where he started tweeting that the Emmys were rigged against him," Clinton noted.

    "Should have gotten it," Trump interjected.

    I mean, really. Seriously?

  11. [11] 
    Kick wrote:

    Great recap. :)

    When they go low, we go vote. #NastyWoman

  12. [12] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    "I'll keep you in suspense"

    "I should have gotten it"

    The GOP got what it deserves for nominating a self-absorbed reality TV diva - a penthousewife who wants to be queen.

  13. [13] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    There really won't be any suspense. The Orange Menace is a Twitter Troll and all of his bowel movements are forever preserved. He's not going to concede.

  14. [14] 
    neilm wrote:

    CW [9]

    Thanks. Soundo like Rudi, Roger and the boys were riffing. I bet Kellyanne was hoping that he wouldn't go all 1950s on stage.

  15. [15] 
    TheStig wrote:

    I didn't notice any sniffing from Trump, but his optics were terrible. His eyes were bloodshot (I noticed this during the second debate as well) and he presented the facial contortions that I have come to expect from 4.5 hrs of debate viewing time: Mussolini in profile (jaw jutting), carp like in frontal aspect (lips pursing ooh, ooh, ooh). There were a few quick back views too (why? I dunno maybe the producer is registered D? :)). I will simply note that Trump is not a guy who should be fat shaming anybody. There were moguls of back fat underneath that suit. The Donald could stand to lose a good 60 pounds. Put a suit on a younger Jabba The Hut and he'd pass for Trump.

    Hillary is not the natural public speaker that her husband is, but she has clearly spent a lot of time learning to appear friendly and approachable, and mostly pulls it off, in the sense that airline attendants and grand parents do. She has a lot of debate experience, and it showed. She was very effective in rattling the Donald and much more coherent. She speaks in short paragraphs, and can manage time when she wants to. Not great, but highly serviceable, with a lawyers attention to detail.

    Trump does not speak English during debates. He cannot complete a sentence, so don't even think about paragraphs. He naturally communicates in tweets. Call it "TwEnglish,"
    but it's a broken form, it implies a thought, sputters some nonsense and then moves on to the next implication. It's about as solid as jello. You can read into it what you want. In that sense it's a form of dog whistle, but more fun!

    Throughout these debates, Trump has shown himself to have about 30 minutes of stamina. He fades for the remaining 60 minutes, when not speaking, his eyes close and his head drops, which I suppose is meant to signal deep thinking, but also looks a lot like a guy, who doesn't sleep much, dozing. Trump has been consistently walloped in those final 60 minutes, because Clinton paces herself well and outlasts him.

    Trump needed a big win last night. He did not get it. His closing threat of a "November Surprise" will not go unnoticed and was a "Yuugge" blunder. I don't think his odds will move much lower, but only because they can't go a lot lower.

  16. [16] 
    TheStig wrote:

    For a guy who doesn't do much fact checking, Chris Wallace did a lot of fact checking during the debate. He also managed to corral the candidates into their allotted time better than earlier first I though he must be turning off the mics, but that doesn't seem to have been the case....Hillary!

    Wallace is well known for asking pointed questions, but he also tends to help an interviewee focus during follow up. Trump did not exploit this very effectively, Clinton did. Trump is simply not very fast on his feet.

    All and all, I think Wallace did a very fine job. I think one moderator works better than two. This was the most "traditional" "debate" of the series.

  17. [17] 
    TheStig wrote:

    The morning reviews are in, and they do not look good for Trump! The Musical. It is no Hamilton. Close Trump! down for retooling, maybe take it out again cautiously in small venues 2020.

    Is there going to be anything left of Trump's vaunted multi-billion $$$ Brand Name? Once associated with luxury and an inflated price tag, but now associated with trailer park. Will this be reflected in this years Forbes top 100 American Plutocrats list?

    Trump! network. Don't think so. If you can't manage 90 minutes of watchable content once every couple of weeks.....just fill in the blanks, Trump! style.

  18. [18] 
    TheStig wrote:


    "Trump needed a big win last night. He did not get it. His closing threat of a "November Surprise" will not go unnoticed and was a "Yuugge" blunder. I don't think his odds will move much lower, but only because they can't go a lot lower."

    I do think the odds of a Clinton winning in a blowout are much higher given last night's debate. I run The UpShot state probabilities from NYT, 538, HP, PW, PEC and DK through two of my own math models about once a week. Actually it's one model and a special case of the one model, but that's a detail. I then compare the Upshot six probabilities of a Clinton win. The results indicate that 5 of the six (NYT,538, HP, PW and DK) prediction shops behave as if the 50 states and DC behave in a highly correlated fashion, all states tend to drift D or R in the same direction on any given election day. In other words, the upcoming election is going to be a strong wave election, effectively decided by roll of one die. The exception among the six is PEC (Princeton Electoral Commission) which seems to evaluate local state effects as fairly important i.e. a smaller wave effect.

    A median wave Clinton EV looks to be about 350, a blow out in excess of 400 EV is not fantasy (5%). Trumps equivalent 5% dream is 300 EV, not a blow out at all.

  19. [19] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    There were a few times during the debate when Trump was obviously riffing - like you or I might if asked to say a few words about 'microbial biology'. He seemed to have fewer prepared lines than in earlier debates, and substituted word salads instead.

    Despite that, I think the press would have been far more generous to Trump had he not decided to play coy on the question of concession. The bar for him was set ridiculously low, and he managed somehow to take that bar and smash himself in the face with it anyway.

    That said, he probably picked up some support from the religious right, owing to his raw description of late-term abortion, and for lending credibility to propagandist James O'Keefe's latest fake videos.

  20. [20] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Their is a slight intersection between Trump's "rigged elections" charge and reality. That reality is called the electoral college. If you live in most of the 50 US states and D.C., your vote really doesn't matter much, the allocation of your state's EVs is pretty much a foregone conclusion from one Presidential Election to the next and it is usually all or nothing. I wonder if this doesn't play into the casual acceptance of Trump's completely unsupported claim of rigged elections by his low information followers.

  21. [21] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Not a big fan of the electoral college. Or the wildly disproportionate allocation of senate power to small states. The tail wags the dog.

  22. [22] 
    neilm wrote:

    TS [18]

    The 538 gave some insight into their correlation model at the end of the article below.

  23. [23] 
    neilm wrote:

    TS [20]

    I think California has passed a rule that they will proportionately allocate EVs if more than 2/3 of other states agree. I think this would be great for the country because the candidates would need to appeal to everybody, regardless of which state they live in.

  24. [24] 
    TheStig wrote:


    This idea has been the subject of in the past, I think it's the most feasible path towards something close to proportional election of the President that we are likely to see.

    I'm all for it!

  25. [25] 
    TheStig wrote:


    I'm pretty sure the matrix is constructed post simulation and does not drive the simulation. Nate wrote an article a few months ago that seemed to imply his model WAS driven by a big state by state matrix, but with further inquiry to other sources (that answer my emails) I concluded it unlikely, a problem of mathematical under identification on the one hand, and on the other, there really isn't enough election data to estimate the correlations with much confidence.

    Based on what Silver published in his blog around 2012, I think Nate was breaking model variance into a local and national component as I do, but he may have moved forward into other schemes since. I've toyed with the idea of census urban/suburban/rural codes and even the Target/Walmart ratio (slightly kidding).

    The Special Case model worked well in 2012 for me late in the election, it agreed well with Silver and Prediction markets and bookies. It's working well late in this 2016 election - and I have a lot more data sets to play with in 2016. The nice thing about the special case is that you don't need to run simulations at all, the answer is a simple computation.

  26. [26] 
    apophis wrote:

    Trump calling Clinton a nasty woman might be closer to the truth than one might think..

  27. [27] 
    TheStig wrote:

    apophis, RE Paddy power payout

    The Paddy Payout puzzled me until I considered it didn't cost them much at 2/9 odds. Plus they probably figure a lot of that money will get plowed back into other Paddy wagers, or even back into their Betfair division which is still running the Clinton:Trump battle. At the very least, it got them a lot of free advertising on line and in print.

  28. [28] 
    apophis wrote:


    You have probably read this, but it might be of interest to others.


  29. [29] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    TheStig [21],

    Not a big fan of the electoral college.

    I wasn't either, and I could never figure out why we used this process to elect our President....until this election. They serve as America's safety net to keep someone like Trump becoming President.

  30. [30] 
    apophis wrote:

    Ran the numbers this morning. This data entry stuff is getting about as old as this election.

    Clinton 340 Trump 198 with probability of Clinton win @ 99%.

    Watching Utah for fun. McMullin may take the EV.

    It seems Clinton has decided not to run out clock and has moved into red states. Texas and Georgia will be on my watch list.

  31. [31] 
    Kick wrote:

    Trump looked extremely agitated right after the debate... ripping a page off his notebook and scowling. Angry. Sad!

    Why doesn't he smile more?

  32. [32] 
    TheStig wrote:


    I hear you on data entry, I try and add a new set every week.

    Are you working from state polling data or state probabilities of party victory? Simulation or computation?

  33. [33] 
    TheStig wrote:


    "serve as America's safety net to keep someone like Trump becoming President." That was the original intent....the people cannot be trusted to elect the President directly. An educated and well informed electorate should eliminate the concern....uh, yeah, I take your point.

    Take a look at the duration of civilizations through time...not all that long on average.

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