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Polling Part Two: the Electability trap

This whole primary election cycle, I've been thinking a lot about how pollsters and the media have been forming (or attempting to form) self-fulfilling prophesies regarding the preferred primary candidate. With so much focus surrounding the importance of beating Donald Trump this election cycle, it seems the main question pollsters/the media have been asking is not who is the best/smartest/experienced candidate, but rather who is the most electable candidate.

Maggie Koerth's recent article in FiveThirtyEight very succinctly described exactly why this whole concept of "elect-ability" is, well, kind of floppy. At the base of it seems to be our inability to accurately gauge how other voters assess candidates. For example, "74 percent of Democrats and Independents said they’d be comfortable voting for a female president, but only 33 percent of those same people believed their neighbors would be as open-minded". So if we're trying to assess how "elect…

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