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Our Long National RCP Nightmare Is Over

 Member Newsletter
April 25, 2024 12:09 p.m.

For most of this election season so far, FiveThirtyEight hasn’t surfaced its own presidential race average. Compiling these averages in a sophisticated and honest way is actually kind of complicated. (They explain their methodology here.) We used to play in this space with PollTracker. So I know from experience. For me it’s not that I put so much weight on the specific number. It’s just a simpler way of visualizing the trend over time.

Well, now they’ve finally rolled theirs out. So I don’t have to be so reliant on RealClearPolitics, which has both a clumsy methodology and goes to comical length to add or not add polls to juice their favored candidate. All that said, the absolute averages as of today as remarkably similar. Trump up .4% on FiveThirtyEight and .3% on RCP. This reminds us of some of the ironies and … how can I say it, melancholy and ennui of complexity. The FiveThirtyEight model is HUGELY complex and sophisticated. It factors in all sorts of different variables. It incorporates findings from individual states into the national averages and vice versa. And yet for all this statistical leg work the averages as of this moment are essentially identical.

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