A Humiliated Trump Brags About Meaningless Internet Polls to Boost His Damaged Ego

The Ron Paul of 2016
Politics • Views: 52,680

One of the laws of the Internet is that online polls — the kind that let anyone vote by clicking a “submit” button — are completely unscientific, meaningless, and easy to spam. They’re intended to be fun, and nothing more.

These types of polls usually have some very weak methods that try to prevent people from voting more than once, but anyone with the Tor browser (for one example) can easily get around these restrictions and vote as many times as they can click the buttons. People with a modicum of technical knowhow can even write a script — or use a pre-written one — to automate this process and simulate clicks by the thousands.

The more obsessive the followers, the more clicks on the buttons. It’s impossible to prevent this kind of spamming, and that’s why no serious person relies on Internet polls.

And that’s why I had a good laugh this morning when I saw Donald Trump tweet this YOOOGE list of meaningless Internet polls to boast that he “won” last night’s debate with Hillary Clinton.

“Such a great honor!”

I mean, we knew the guy was ignorant about the Internet and technology in general, but this breaks new ground in pathetic. It’s reminiscent of when Ron Paul’s followers used to spam every Internet poll on the web, then proclaim he won all the polls and therefore was sure to win the election! (We know how that prediction turned out.)

Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton didn’t mess around with these dumb Internet polls; she posted a list of editorial pages from US newspapers.

No serious person relies on Internet polls to tell them anything real, and no serious political commentator believes Donald Trump “won” this debate. In fact, Hillary Clinton beat the pants off the tiny-fingered fascist, and he knows it. He’s trumpeting these Internet polls in a desperate effort to shore up his damaged ego.

And by the way, that CNN/ORC poll Trump didn’t include in his list? It was the only real scientific poll among them, and here are the results:

And another piece of very bad news for Trump out of this debate: among people who actually put money on the line to predict elections, his chances of winning took a nose dive after the debate.

I watched Monday evening’s debate in split-screen, tracking movements in political prediction markets as the two candidates went back and forth. During the 90 minutes of the debate, nearly $1 million was traded on the prediction market at betfair.com. Bettors liked what they saw from Mrs. Clinton. The first major shift in the odds occurred within the first half-hour, and the odds of a Clinton presidency continued to rise as the debate went on. At no point did the markets move in Donald J. Trump’s favor.

When he boasted of his temperament, the audience laughed, and the market tilted further against him.

All told, Mrs. Clinton’s odds of winning the election rose from around 63 percent in the minutes before the debate started to 69 percent by the end. Likewise, Mr. Trump’s chances of winning the White House declined by five percentage points. Other prediction markets, such as PredictIt, showed an even larger move against Mr. Trump.

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Last updated: 2016-01-01 10:29 am PST
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