Friday, August 5, 2016

The Sky Is Falling

The media tirade against Donald Trump has reached a new high. A few days ago news stories came out that Mr. Trump will drop out, he's being asked to drop out, or that Republicans are planning in case he drops out.

Reading a few of these stories it's clear that they are largely wishful thinking. The New York Times story is based on the fact that prediction markets (British bookies in this case) give the Republican party a slightly larger chance of gaining the Presidency than Donald Trump. No indication from the Times whether the chance Hillary will be elected is different from the chance the Democrats will take the Presidency. The difference in percentage is small (24.1 vs 25.8) and the volume of betting on Republicans is much lower than on Mr. Trump (so probably has a higher margin of error, though I don't have any real idea how to interpret the numbers at So this different is likely not statistically significant but, because Republicans get a slightly higher percentage than Donald Trump, is enough for the New York Times to argue that bettors think Donald Trump will drop out.

Other news stories are similarly thin on facts and big on speculation and innuendo. The Economist has dedicated a large part of its United States section on why Mr. Trump is a disaster (as they have done every week for months).

The media is running scared.

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