Keep Calm And Just Look At The Polling Aggregate

Only a few more days of this, guys.

So, that happened. Consider the polling gurus. At this point in the election cycle, they’ve long been at work crafting electoral projections from a mountain of data. One large swath of the population wants to deny their expertise. Another wide swath of the population wants them to serve as therapist. Polling pros aren’t here for that, people. They have a tough job to do, and their continued employment depends on not being wildly wrong.

Then the election ends, and nobody wants to hang out with them anymore! It’s really no kind of life.

But since we all find ourselves here, together, at the end of all things, on this week’s podcast we have brought in HuffPost Pollster’s Ariel Edwards-Levy to walk us through what we need to know about the race’s final days. We’ll talk about polling methodology, stability and volatility, the basis for the HuffPost Pollster’s confidence and the many ways in which this kind of work is part science, part art.

Maybe you’ll feel better after this, maybe not. Look at it this way: Out of the billions of people on the planet, the two with the best chance of becoming president of the United States are Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

And this is all you are promised. Well, that, and the eventual return to the dust from whence you came (margin of error +/-1 percent).

We're going to go out on a limb here and say that Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton will be the next president.
We're going to go out on a limb here and say that Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton will be the next president.

Elsewhere on this week’s edition of “So, That Happened”: You have probably been wondering just what is going on over at the FBI ever since its director, James Comey, announced that the agency was pursuing a new and not-totally clear angle on the Clinton email scandal, despite longstanding bureau traditions of keeping the hell out of the way of electoral politics. Former Justice Department official Matthew Miller joins us to discuss Comey’s decision to politicize the FBI by injecting the agency into our lives at this late date.

The Washington Post’s Alyssa Rosenberg has just published a fantastic and fun study on the relationship between the entertainment industry and the police. It’s a fascinating look at the way pop culture and real police intertwine, shaping both Hollywood storytelling and law enforcement policy. We are fortunate to have Rosenberg here to talk about her ambitious project and what we can all learn from it.

Finally, it’s our last podcast before the election. The next time you hear from us, the world will have changed. We’ll have our final thoughts about the path we took to get here and what the future might look like. And we’ll offer our best prediction about how this will all turn out.

“So, That Happened” is hosted by Jason Linkins, Zach Carter and Arthur Delaney. Joining them this week: former Justice Department spokesman Matthew Miller and Washington Post columnist Alyssa Rosenberg, as well as Huffington Post reporters Ariel Edwards-Levy and Ryan Reilly.

This podcast was produced, edited and engineered by Christine Conetta.

To listen to this podcast later, download our show on iTunes. While you’re there, please subscribe to, rate and review our show. You can check out other HuffPost podcasts here.



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