2016 Campaign or "It's Easy To Lie With Statistics"
Every Facebook "like," credit card swipe, Google search, petition signature, request for information... every electronic move you make both on the internet and in the real world is out there. You may not realize it but there's a very accurate profile of just about every American out there. It's there to help others motivate you to take action! Who are some of the largest users of this data? The Democratic and Republican National Committees. Their voter databases are massive.
For the last week every journalist, every pundit, has been looking for someone to throw under the bus on this one. How did an 11 point lead and 90% chance of a win in some polls turn into a loss? How could this happen? The fact is, none of those were true, it was just an illusion.
We've been discussing the Trump and Clinton data contest internally since June. The fact is, this isn't the "failure of data" that the news outlets would have you think it is. The most accurate poll over the last three election cycles, the Investor's Business Daily poll had it tied for weeks. No, this was a human failure of epic proportions. Human failure to put data in context. Trump was always recognized as a non-standard candidate, yet the news outlets insisted on using the Obama/Romney 2012 race as their starting point. That mistake should be apparent to all by now. The presentation of polling results as having a 3% margin for error without noting it's 3% on each side for a total of 6% has been done for years. The truth is Trump's data team at Cambridge Analytica recognized the emotion in the flyover states that the others missed. They saw it the first week of October...before Comey. What they saw was middle America sick of the status quo, and distrusting of the media. What clue did they use that others missed? Facebook data was a large piece. Overlaying Facebook profiles and Google search data is psychological profiling. Combine that data with television habits of Baby Boomers and you're able to deliver messages via smartphone that will influence you while watching Sean Hannity. The timing can be just as important as the message (we know that you surf the net on your smartphone while watching television.) So how did the Trump campaign exploit this? The path of least resistance was to pick a fight with the media. The main stream media got played on this one, they pushed him over the top.
The fact is, polling was never intended to be forecasting.
So the next time you "like" or before you sign that "Get rid of the Electoral College" petition, remember, there's a guy like me that wants you to.
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