little green footballs

Did Trump Win Because Russia Hacked the Election?

Thu, Nov 17, 2016 at 11:49:39 am

Writer/cartoonist Dale Beran has a very interesting post at Medium about the possibility that Russia interfered with the presidential election to help Donald Trump: A Truly Fancy Bear.

So a friend of mine, a research scientist at a renowned university, came to me with this theory hoping I would punch some holes in it:

Why were our internal and public polls so unprecedentedly off the mark? Think-pieces have struggled to answer with ideas like “voting patterns have changed” (don’t they always?) or Conway’s “shadow supporters” purposefully misleading pollsters. But maybe the explanation is both crazier and much simpler. Maybe Russia, continuing their well established patterns of tipping elections and quietly toppling governments (see: Ukraine, entire Cold War), in line with their clear preference for Trump, took advantage of electronic voting and simply hacked a few key vulnerable counties in Wisconsin, PA, and FL to take out a historically anti-Russian Clinton in favor of Trump. The narrative writes itself but is meaningless without a smoking gun. A series of twitter-connected local journalists may have found one, and basic statistical testing can easily disprove or verify it.

Make sure to read the whole disturbing article. This isn't a crazed Alex Jones-style conspiracy theory; it's a thoughtful look at the evidence we have to date. And it concludes by suggesting a way the premise could be proved or disproved.