Well, yes and no.

YES, meaning that all the polls showed Clinton winning easily.

NO, meaning that all those same polls showed that Trump still had a small (5–8%-ish) possibility of winning.

Polls are statistics, after all. If you spend your entire life flipping coins EVENTUALLY you’ll have a streak where heads (or tails) will come up 100 times in a row. You’ll eventually experience the outlier. Its not that statistics is suddenly wrong, or that the polls are suddenly wrong; it’s just that you finally hit the outlier.

Not being statisticians, journalists never really thought about this. Like most people, they thought of polls as being more like the odds at Vegas. If the Browns are 100–1 to beat the Patriots, then they (like most people) consider a Patriots win to be a done deal, forgetting that what 100–1 really means is that if you play that game 100 times, the Browns ARE going to win one of them.

Well, this time the Browns won. That doesnt mean, however, that suddenly the outliers are going to start popping up winners all over the place.

Written by

Data Driven Econophile. Muslim, USA born. Been “woke” 2x: 1st, when I realized the world isn’t fair; 2nd, when I realized the “woke” people are full of shit.

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