United States: Why Trump Can Still Win

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By Thomas Philippon

By Thomas Philippon

Scalded cat fears cold water. Two weeks before the November 2016 election, Hillary Clinton was 7 points ahead of Donald Trump in national voting intentions, and an 86% chance of winning according to Nate Silver's “FiveThirtyEight” site. To figure out what this means, take a pencil, write the days of the week on 7 pieces of paper, and draw one. If it's "Thursday," you've drawn the scenario where Trump wins.

Today, Joe Biden has an 11 point lead nationally and an 88% chance of winning, according to "538". Trump would therefore have a 1 in 8 chance of serving a second term. What to think of these figures? Are they reliable? To answer, let's start by analyzing what happened in 2016. How did Clinton's 7 point lead melt like snow in the sun?

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Thomas Philippon is Max L. Heine Professor of Finance.