Calm down. GOTV. Individual polls still need to be ignored as Biden still leads

Is getting angry better than being nervous.

One poll does not a victory make. Nate Cohn calls the Selzer poll result for Iowa a “miss”, but it does suggest a trend, like the closing state poll in Florida. More useful is Cohn’s conclusion that at this moment Biden wins with 306 to 232 electoral votes “if state polls are as wrong as they were in 2016”, a reversal of 2016.

Usually, that would be all that was worth saying. But the Selzer poll is different. It is put on a pedestal. (Selzer) is the gold standard of the gold standard. So this isn’t a case where I have to remind you to still take note of an outlying result. This is probably a case where I have to go a little further to remind you that no pollster is perfect, and that no pollster can defy the inherent limits of a random sample of 800 voters.

The Selzer poll has an exceptional track record, but any pollster with as many polls under her belt as Ms. Selzer will inevitably wind up with misses — even bad misses. As I put it ahead of the Iowa caucus in 2016: “Of course, even if Ms. Selzer’s methodology was perfect, there’s no reason to expect her results will be. It’s the nature of the game; even a perfectly conducted poll will occasionally yield imperfect results, and sometimes terrible ones.” Her final poll, released that day, showed Mr. Trump leading by five points; Ted Cruz would win by three.

[…]

The polls this week at least raise the possibility that’s changing. Our average now puts Mr. Biden up by more in North Carolina than in Florida.

Looking ahead. Tomorrow at 5 a.m., you get the final Times/Siena polls of the cycle in Arizona, Florida, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. I’d guess that all of the other major players will be weighing in with their final polls of the cycle over the next two days as well.

www.nytimes.com/…

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— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) November 1, 2020

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— The Lincoln Project (@ProjectLincoln) October 31, 2020

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— Jeremy PLEASE WEAR MASKS! Konyndyk (@JeremyKonyndyk) November 1, 2020

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— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) November 1, 2020

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— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) November 1, 2020

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— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) October 31, 2020

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— Katie Porter (@katieporteroc) October 31, 2020

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