I have been wondering lately what odds-maker Nate Silver has to say these days, and here he is, in his latest, which he titled "Dear Media, Stop Freaking Out About Donald Trump’s Polls":
Lately, pundits and punters seem bullish on Donald Trump, whose chances of winning the Republican presidential nomination recently inched above 20 percent for the first time at the betting market Betfair. Perhaps the conventional wisdom assumes that the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in Paris will play into Trump’s hands, or that Republicans really might be in disarray. If so, I can see where the case for Trump is coming from, although I’d still say a 20 percent chance is substantially too high.
Quite often, however, the Trump’s-really-got-a-chance! case is rooted almost entirely in polls. If nothing Trump has said so far has harmed his standing with Republicans, the argument goes, why should we expect him to fade later on?
One problem with this is that it’s not enough for Trump to merely avoid fading.Based on his assumption that too many of us are basing our excitement with Trump on the so-far meaningless polls for Iowa and New Hampshire, he's sticking by his earlier reckoning, that Donald Trump will not become our president.
So why does he insist those caucus and primary polls are essentially meaningless at this point? Because despite how much election stuff we see on TV right now, most voters in those two states aren't paying attention yet, with large percentages not deciding until the final week -- roughly 39% in Iowa, 50% in New Hampshire. In fact, calculating from past elections the percentage of voters in Iowa who have probably decided by now, Silver figures only about 20% have so far, so the real polls right now should look like this:
Undecided -- 80% (leading in the polls)
Trump -- 5%
Carson -- 4%
Cruz -- 3%
Rubio -- 2%
Bush -- 1%
Fiorina -- 1%
Huckabee -- 1%
Christie -- 1%
Silver's like the mommy at the slumber party, where all the girls are screaming-scared as they watch the horror flick, and Mommy has to come in the room and remind them that, calm down, kids, Freddy Krueger doesn't really exist! So, yeah, Nate, like a typical mom, really knows how to take the fun out of something.
But if we're really lucky, the Republicans will go ahead and "treat" Donald "unfairly", even knowing that this "breaks the deal" -- which would just be like them to, once again, do the wrong thing at the wrong time, and it would also be just like Trump to then ponder running as an independent, just to get even with them. Although if that happens, I'm betting it would be to just toy with them for awhile, just long enough to put the real scare into them that he thinks they deserve, and after what seems like an eternity, he'll announce that he's decided not to run.
Let's face it, he knows he wouldn't win as an independent anyway, so why waste all that time and money, especially if the end result would only be his forever being remembered as that egotistical schmuck who unilaterally put Hillary Clinton in the White House?