10 Things We Didn’t Account For In The HuffPost Presidential Election Forecast

We’re biased toward reliable data.

The Huffington Post on Monday released its presidential forecast model, which uses polling data to project who’s likely to win the election. (Spoiler: It’s Hillary Clinton.) But we didn’t include some things that many people think will determine who will become the next president. Here are the top 10 with our reasons for ignoring them:

10. Yard sign counts: Also known as the “Peggy Noonan adjustment,” yard sign counts are easily quantified but often not reliable. Just ask Mitt Romney.  

9. Crowd size: Size doesn’t matter in presidential elections unless it’s the size of your voting bloc on Election Day.

8. Unskewed polls: Just… no. Take the polls as the pollsters release them or don’t take them at all.

7. Twitter followers, likes, retweets: Twitter is not a ballot, folks.

6. Chuck Norris’ endorsement: Norris is awesome, but not presidential-election-prediction awesome.

5. Coughing and/or sniffling: The side effects of antibiotics and antihistamines might include winning the presidency ― who knows? No one actually listens to those lists at the end of drug commercials.

4. Game-changers and double-downs: There’s no good way to define either of these things. Anything can fit one of those two terms, which means the model would have to adjust to a new event every five minutes. We didn’t feel like working that hard.

3. What “many people say”: OK, technically we do include what many people say, but only if they said it to pollsters. There are no uncited sources in the model.

2. Funny or Die videos: There might be a “Between Two Ferns” bump, but we’ll wait until 2020 to build it into the model.

1. Gut reactions: There’s no way to quantify the gut-punch that this election has been to all of us.

Jason Linkins, Elise Foley, Christina Wilkie and Marina Fang contributed to this list.