How can you know which pollsters are the most reliable as we approach the 2020 general election?

Nathaniel Rakich of FiveThirtyEight –

So far, it hasn’t been a great year for pollsters. The 2020 presidential primary polls had a weighted average error — i.e., the absolute difference between a poll’s margin (between the top two candidates) and the actual vote share margin — of 10.2 percentage points. That’s roughly tied with the 2016 presidential primaries for the biggest error in primary polling this century.

We encourage you to check out the new ratings, especially when a new poll comes out and you want to gauge its reliability.

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Posted in 2020 election, Controversial, FiveThirtyEight, polls | Tagged

Amid the Coronavirus Crisis, a Regimen for Reëntry

Atul Gawande in The New Yorker –

Health-care workers have been on the job throughout the pandemic. What can they teach us about the safest way to lift a lockdown?

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Posted in Coronavirus, Healthcare

Trump campaign spending unprecedented sums on legal fees as lawsuits pile up

Karl Evers-Hillstrom of OpenSecrets.org –

President Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign is spending unprecedented amounts of donor dollars on lawsuits and cease-and-desist orders as it wages an expensive reelection battle.

The Trump campaign has spent more than $16 million on legal and compliance services between the 2018 and 2020 election cycles, according to OpenSecrets’ analysis of campaign expenditures. That sum accounts for roughly 10 percent of the campaign’s total spending through the end of March.

No other presidential campaign has ever spent that much money on legal services.

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Posted in 2020 election, Controversial, Donald Trump

How are Trump and Biden spending their campaign cash?

Karl Evers-Hillstrom of OpenSecrets.org –

President Donald Trump and his Democratic rival Joe Biden have different ideas about how to spend campaign cash.

Flush with cash, Trump’s campaign is shelling out millions of dollars on ads blasting the former vice president, while Biden’s camp is still staffing up as it transitions into a general election campaign.

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Posted in 2020 election, Donald Trump, Fundraising, Joe Biden, Money in politics

Where The Latest COVID-19 Models Think We’re Headed — And Why They Disagree

Ryan Best and Jay Boice of FiveThirtyEight –

Models predicting the potential spread of the COVID-19 pandemic have become a fixture of American life. Yet each model tells a different story about the devastation to come, making it hard to know which one is “right.” But COVID-19 models aren’t made to be unquestioned oracles. They’re not trying to tell us one precise future, but rather the range of possibilities given the facts on the ground.

One of their more sober tasks is predicting the number of Americans who will die due to COVID-19. FiveThirtyEight — with the help of data compiled by the COVID-19 Forecast Hub — has assembled nine models published by scientists to illustrate possible trajectories of the pandemic’s death toll.

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Posted in Coronavirus, Federal budget, FiveThirtyEight | Tagged