My friend Mark Evanier is frustrated by the non-stop din of pundits who are sure they know what’s going to happen in the presidential election, but offer little evidence to back up their words, and don’t explain how the electoral math will work:
I’m also getting e-mails from folks linking me to articles saying Hillary is certain to beat Donald or that Donald is certain to beat Hillary. Most of the latter seem to have been written by pundits who, 48 hours before the polls closed in 2012 were confidently predicting a Romney landslide. It seems that though they got that wrong two days before that election, they’ve become infallible 253 days ahead of Election Day. And that’s without knowing who the running mates will be, who’ll win the debates, what additional stances and promises we’ll hear from the nominees, what new scandals will emerge, what stupid things each of them will say, etc.
I’m unimpressed by predictions that are unaccompanied by maps or lists that break down each candidate’s chances in each state and how many electoral votes each could win. In fact, I think those are the only forecasts that have any value at all. You want to convince me your guy or gal will be sworn in next Inauguration Day? Break out the electoral map and tell me which states he or she will win…and don’t kid yourself or me. The G.O.P. nominee ain’t gonna lose Texas or Utah and the Democratic candidate has New York and California for sure.