We have now gone down the rabbit hole into Wonderland, politically speaking. It is two months until the Republican Convention and six months until the election. If you believe, as I do, that the election of Donald Trump as president would be a disaster, you will have many anxious moments between now and then. Reading speculative pieces by pundits about the ways in which Trump could win or the reasons why Democrats are foolish to feel confident is guaranteed to give you a permanently acid stomach.
The antidote is facts, data, statistics. Your best bet is to bookmark Sam Wang's Princeton Election Consortium on your computer and check it from time to time. Wang is a Princeton neuroscientist who, in his spare time, crunches poll numbers and runs computer simulations. He had a spectacular record in 2012, predicting the outcome of the presidential election extremely accurately and also correctly calling virtually all of the senatorial races.
His work differs from that of Nate Silver at 538.com essentially in relying entirely on statistics rather than on a combination of statistics and general political wisdom. It turns out that statistics alone actually are better predictors.
At the moment, six months out from the election, Wang gives Clinton a bit better than a 70% probability of winning. We will know a good deal more in the weeks and months to come.
One of the most interesting statistical tidbits I have found during my obsessive surfing of the web is this: If you add up the extremely unfavorable, unfavorable, favorable, and extremely favorable poll numbers for Trump and for Clinton, in each case the total is very close to 100%. In other words, almost everybody in America already has a strong positive or negative opinion about each candidate. This means that both of them are astonishingly well known, which in turn implies that the campaign is going to change very little [since there is a great deal of evidence that confirmation bias tends simply to strengthen already existing opinion.] There will be endless commentary about the impact of speeches, gaffes, debates, endorsements, and the like, but none of that, in all likelihood, will make much difference. Since Clinton is now rather strongly favored to win, she will probably simply increase that likelihood as we get closer to the election [since the percentage estimate is a function of closeness to the election as well as poll numbers.]
I await Bernie's call to support an on-going progressive movement.