Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Data Died on Election Night

No, not this Data…

I’m talking about polling data.

The previous post on this blog predicted that Trump would lose at about the same margin as Mitt Romney did in 2012, even though the candidates and the race itself were very different. No matter what electoral map you looked at in recent weeks, it was not reasonable to think that a blue state would magically turn red or a red state would magically turn blue. Even if Trump picked up one or two blue leaning states, he still would have needed all or most of the toss up states, which may have been about ten states depending on when you looked and with what map. If a toss-up is truly a toss-up, then it’s like flipping a coin. Flip a coin 10 times in a row and see if you get something like 8-10 heads. It’s possible, but actually try it and see if it happens. I’ll bet good money that it won’t.

If the polling data is wrong, then a prediction that flows from said data must obey the universal law of “garbage in, garbage out”. There was obviously a large group of people more interested in just voting for Trump than being polled about it. I suspect a lot of pollsters will be eating crow in the days to come with plenty of beaks and feathers to spare.

But can Trump make America great again? Depends on how we define greatness and what we are comparing it to. Maybe the economy will get better and the border will be less porous and maybe other nations and peoples around the world will “fear” us more, but is this true greatness?

Doing God’s will on Earth is what the Kingdom of God on Earth is all about and thus what greatness is all about. So what are the ways in which we do not do the will of God on Earth? Most dissent from Catholic teaching involves something to do with human sexuality and I’m afraid many of our newly elected or re-elected leaders care little about such things or all the data that surrounds them. Maybe these issues are seen as nothing to do with politics, but deep down they must know that politics and life are joined at the hip.

Abortion, homosexuality, contraception, fornication, marriage, divorce and remarriage all have an aspect of sexuality to them. Consequently, many, if not most, of the ills in our society can be traced back to these points of sexual confusion or dissension. What is the data surrounding all the unwanted pregnancies and the resulting increase in poverty and single parent homes? How about the number of unborn children being killed and that will be killed in the future? Think of the impact from broken homes due to divorce? Ignorance and dissent about the true purpose of sex also brings us pornography, sexual addictions, molestation, sexually-transmitted diseases and marriage confusion. The amount of emotional pain due to fornication is probably not considered by most as something that will impact the rest of the culture in any significant way, but think of the huge number of people bonding and breaking up with different sexual partners over and over again and how this impacts their character? How then, does their character impact everyone else around them?
The only way to make America great again, or great at all, is to actualize the prayer we say at every Mass. “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” So as the dust settles on this particular election cycle, let’s continue to pray for that.


  1. I don't know that all the polling data was wrong. Trump and HRC wound about even in popular vote (maybe with HRC a little ahead as Calif. votes get tallied.) IBD predicted Trump ahead by 1 point; the USC polls consistently predicted Trump ahead. And most of the polling differences were within an error margin of the actual difference. Where the polling failed was in not taking account of 1) lower turnout for HRC than had been for Obama (a small difference, but important for the final result); 2) amongst people who thought both candidates were morally unfit for the presidency, a greater proportion held their noses and voted for Trump.
    But I agree that the best thing we can do is to pray for President Trump and our country.

    1. Hi Bob,
      The post is really referring to the electoral college (state polls).
      “State polls were off in a way that has not been seen in previous presidential election years,” From this article...