The math has been done: James Comey’s second letter finished off Clinton…

Late deciders went for Trump…

This also means that the late polls weren’t actually wrong.

People who decided late broke strongly for Donald Trump in the states that mattered, according to exit polls. And without this apparent late surge, Hillary Clinton would be our president-elect — not Trump.

In fact, if you look at the four closest states where Clinton lost — or, in the case of Michigan, where she’s expected to lose — exit polls show late-deciding voters in each of them went strongly for Trump in the final days. In Florida and Pennsylvania, late-deciders favored Trump by 17 points. In Michigan, they went for Trump by 11 points. In Wisconsin, they broke for Trump by a whopping 29 points, 59-30.

The author of the above piece disagrees with my conclusion…

What caused these voters to decide so late and break even more for Trump? Could it have been WikiLeaks or James Comey (we’reskeptical)? Or maybe Trump running a more disciplined campaign down the stretch? Or maybe it was just undecided voters breaking for the opposition party, as they are reputed to do. It’s not clear, but it seams clear they broke solidly in Trump’s direction.

Math…

In each and every one of those states, those swings, if accurate, would account for Trump’s victory. According to the most up-to-date results, Trump won Wisconsin by 0.9 points, Pennsylvania by 1.1 points and Florida by 1.2 points, and he’s leading in Michigan by 0.2 points.

Trump’s likely electoral vote margin, assuming he wins Michigan, is looking like it’ll be 306-232. Without those four states, he loses to Clinton by almost the exact same margin, 307-231. Even if he just lost Florida and any of the other three states, he would have lost. If he won Florida but lost the other three, he would have lost. We’re only talking a shift of 1 percentage point or a little more. It was that close.

And if you look back at those much-derided polls, the additions of these late-deciders to the calculus doesn’t make them look so bad. If you take the final Real Clear Politics average in each state and adjust for the late-decider swing, Trump actually should have been the winner in Florida, Michigan and Pennsylvania.

The final polling average had Clinton by 1 point in Florida, about even in Michigan and up 2 in Pennsylvania. Each of those averages went a little toward Trump at the end, thanks to GOP pollster Trafalgar Group doing one-day polls the Sunday before Election Day. But even without the Trafalgar polls, the apparent late-decider Trump surge could help explain why they had the “wrong” winner.

 

 

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