Data. The world can be successfully navigated as long as you have the data. If you simply follow the data and adjust your actions accordingly, even if you emotionally disagree with what the data is telling you, then you’ll be successful. This maxim has been the backbone of my life.
But, what happens if you live in a collapsing society where the data is no longer accurate? Where all the historically trusted data sources confidently report the opposite of what actually happens?
As I reported on this blog a few months ago, the UK recently passed Brexit. The odd thing about this was that ALL the polls, ALL the pundits, and ALL the betting pools, which many believe are more accurate than polls, were wrong. Dead wrong.
I talked about how the polls and betting pools probably can’t be trusted anymore. I wasn’t sure about it going forward, but clearly that was the case with Brexit.
Now you know what happened with the Hillary/Trump election. Pretty much everyone in the universe with real data behind them was convinced that Hillary would not only win, but would win somewhat easily. True, there were the alt-right internet devotees who had always been screaming that “Trump will win in a landslide,” but admittedly, these folks just had a lot of hope, passion, and anger, not data.
Though he lost the popular vote (since America is still a left-wing country and will become more so as time goes on), Trump still won, shocking the punditry and elites alike. Again, the polls, punditry, and betting pools were completely wrong.
Thinking this might be the case, four days before the election, I took a snapshot of all the national polls and the swing state polls, which are the only states that matter. I kept these until the day after the election to see how accurate these polls were. My source for all these polls was the average, aggregate polls at realclearpolitics.com.
Here was my snapshot of the aggregate polls for the swing states on November 4th; four days before the election:
As you can see, Hillary not only wins, but wins pretty easily with a reasonable margin for error.
How did the actual election turn out? It looked like this:
Isn’t that amazing? Out of 11 swing states, the polls got five wrong (correction, they got four wrong; there’s an error above). That’s an almost 50% inaccuracy rate. Moreover, many of these wrongly called states were high electoral states. The polls had Hillary winning by 40 electoral votes in these states, but Trump won them, and won them by 82!
Even in the states the that polls called correctly, the polls were still way off in terms of how many votes the candidates actually received. Look at this:
What about national polls? Check out this snapshot I took on November 4th showing polls for all four presidential candidates for the entire five months before the election:
As you can see, Trump was clearly trailing in the polls almost the entire time, yet he won the election.
Here’s some more detailed numbers for the national polls during the week before the election:
Remember, these were the polls a week before the election, so the usual excuse of “it’s too soon for the polls to be accurate” doesn’t apply. These were the real numbers a week before the day of the election, and they were still wildly, insanely wrong.
Why did everyone get this so wrong? I’ve read several articles on this topic, and the short answer is that there is no answer, or at least no explanation that has any consensus. Some say it’s because people now lie in polls more often. Others say it’s because it only applies to people with land phone lines, which tends to skew the samples. Still others say it’s because flaws in how they use demographic modeling.
I can’t say definitively why the polls this year on things like Trump and Brexit have been so horribly wrong, but the fact that A) they’re wrong and B) the experts can’t even explain why they’re wrong, shows me that the system is continuing to break down. Either the breakdown is for technical reasons, or it’s because people in the Western world are becoming more and more irrational. It doesn’t matter. This is a sign of the times, folks.
As of now, I will no longer believe or trust any poll that attempts to predict the outcome of a national election anywhere in the Western world. This really sucks, because it’s going to make it that much harder to anticipate future events, and how to profit from those events. Yet, such is the reality of living in a slowly collapsing empire.
I will still pay attention to polls that ask for people’s opinions (not elections, but opinions), but only if the polls are clearly weighted to one side or the other. But, as far as “how are you going to vote?” type of polls, I’m ignoring them as of right now; they’re useless to me at this point.
Enjoy the decline, folks. It’s going to start getting much more hairy from here.
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