Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Pro-Clinton fanatics and media need to give-up their election conspiracy theories, and focus their energies on tomorrow

There have been calls lately for Hillary Clinton to officially challenge the election results in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania with their 46 electoral votes, all which Clinton would need to reach the 270 electoral vote threshold. There are also calls for individual electors to “voluntarily” switch their votes from Donald Trump to Clinton. There are also claims of “irregularities” in the voting tabulations in Wisconsin, and further conspiracy claims of the Russians “hacking” into voting machines and altering the vote counts.

This latter has received much bizarre support. While it may be true that the Russians were behind the WikiLeaks revelations of Clinton wrong-doing, we should not be “blaming” the Russians for Clinton’s habit of corruption and perjury. Claims of Russian “hacking” into the election machines to change the results in favor of Trump are absurd, for this reason: vote-tabulating machines are not connected to the Internet, which means that hackers cannot access into and alter the results on these machines. If there is any “hacking,” it is more likely to be done by partisan political operatives secretly tampering with voting machines. 

Much has been made about Clinton’s “wide” margin of victory in the popular vote, and indeed she won that part of the election by the widest margin ever by the losing candidate. The latest numbers at this time show Clinton ahead by 1,666,036 votes. But we need to look askance at this number, since Clinton won by over 5 million votes in California and New York combined—meaning that Trump won the rest of the country by more than 3 million votes. 

Does Clinton have a “case” in the swing states that Barack Obama one by comfortable margins in 2012? Trump is ahead in Wisconsin by 27,000 votes, in Michigan by 13,000 votes, in Pennsylvania by 58,000 votes, and Florida by 113,000. In 2012, Obama’s 74,000 vote margin in Florida represented the only contest that could conceivably have been “contested,” except that Obama would have won the election without Florida. Trump’s margin of victory there makes it a highly unlikely candidate for “review.” Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight debunked theories of vote tampering in Wisconsin by pointing out the various voting shifts from 2012 to 2016—based on education level and income—which reflected national trends rather than mere local anomalies. At this point, only Michigan’s vote could change the final outcome, but not enough to help Clinton.

It is also highly unlikely that many if any electors will switch their vote unless there is a spectacular scandal that surfaces very soon. Otherwise, any such significant switch will only call into question the integrity of our election system, which was established by the “founders” and codified in the U.S. Constitution. Only a constitutional amendment can change that. 

Many wonder why the pre-election polls were so “off,” after favoring Clinton by a “substantial” margin. First of all, we know that polling can be disastrously wrong. We found this out during the Michigan primary, when a few polls showed Clinton ahead of Bernie Sanders by 20 points or more, and Sanders “shocked” the “experts” by winning the state by a narrow margin. It has also been pointed out that the “national” lead by Clinton did not accurately reflect the reality of the electoral vote count, and in “swing” states where polls were daily offering contradictory numbers. And the polling itself should be questioned. The only poll out of dozens tracked by RealClearPolitics that consistently predicted a Trump victory was the USC Dornsife / LA Times Presidential Election Poll. This poll claims to “represents a pioneering approach to tracking changes in Americans' opinions throughout a campaign for the White House. Around 3000 respondents in our representative panel are asked questions on a regular basis on what they care about most in the election, and on their attitudes toward their preferred candidates.” Do other polls tend to rely on more “reliable” voters because their votes are more “predictable”?

Polls also show that Obama’s approval ratings have hovered above 50 percent for quite some time now. Clinton obviously hoped that she could use his “popularity” to help her win, especially among minority voters. Yet polls showed that Clinton was not regarded as “trustworthy.” Neither was Trump, of course, but there was a difference: Trump’s untrustworthiness was of a “public” variety, while Clinton’s was of the “private” variety—and every time another “leak” was revealed about yet another example of illegal and unethical activities that no one was supposed to know about, people couldn’t help but wonder what else there was. Clinton simply could not be trusted or believed by too many voters. If she had been a “clean” candidate she likely would have won by “landslide” margins. Thus her “untrustworthiness” polling should have been taken far more seriously than it was.

In any event, the election is over, and Clinton fanatics are doing her no service by re-feeding her megalomania. People have to turn their attention to putting pressure on Trump to represent “all” Americans as he has been claiming to do of late. I think that he wants to, because he likes being “liked”; but the people he has recruited to “assist” him clearly have other plans. We will see if being a political “novice” and “outsider” will work for or against him soon enough.

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