cincinnatus_c: (Default)
cincinnatus_c ([personal profile] cincinnatus_c) wrote2016-12-01 02:20 pm

Flukey narratives

Currently at Havelock: 4.8. High today: 9.3, at midnight.

Something that struck me in my annoyance after reading Mark Lilla's NYT piece about how HRC lost the election because of "identity liberalism" is that coming up with reasons why she lost is something like coming up with reasons why a baseball team under-performed its run differential. It's really easy to tell plausible stories (the manager is an idiot! the bullpen can't hold leads in close games! the hitters aren't clutch!), but analyses informed by actual evidence and not ideologically blinkered narrative suggest that it's probably just a fluke. (Of course, there are always actual reasons you can try to discover why a team didn't score more runs or give up fewer runs than it did on the whole, and of course if HRC had won the popular vote by five million votes instead of two and half million then she probably would've won the electoral college. (Although the point is, if she had won the popular vote by two and a half million, then she very very likely would have won the electoral college.) Maybe some people didn't vote for HRC because they're mad about washrooms, why not. Definitely some people didn't vote for her because they're mad at women. Apparently some people didn't vote for her because she's a Satanist who sacrifices babies at a pizza shop or something. By the sounds of it some people didn't vote for her because they thought Donald Trump was gonna save their jobs and she wasn't. I don't know a lot about it, but it sure sounds like some people didn't vote for her (or at all) because Republicans made it harder for people who tend to vote for Democrats to vote. But, unless you're a whole lot more rational than the average pundit, you only go looking for that kind of stuff to explain why the loser lost. If it was a fluke the loser lost, then it's a fluke you went looking for that stuff. (In other words: it is as true today as it was when Trump's campaign appeared to be running off a cliff, or as it was when the RNC decided after 2012 that Republicans were in trouble if they didn't start reaching out to women and minorities, that trying to win a presidential election by appealing to angry white guys is a pretty low percentage play.)) Hey, Nate Silver said going in that there was a bit less than a one in three chance she'd lose (although ... I wonder what Nate Silver would peg the odds of her losing at given that she wins the popular vote by 1.8 percentage points (and counting)!). Run the election twice more and maybe she wins them both ... although if there was a 70% chance she wins on any given run, there's a slightly worse than even chance she wins any two in a row, so. (Just try to get the guy next to you at a game to believe that a .700 team has a worse than even chance of winning any two games in a row.) Anyway, if HRC was a baseball team, based on her run differential and lousy record in close games this season, in the basically-two-team league she's playing in, the smart money would be on her to win the championship next season.