Stirewaltisms: Crunched by the Numbers

JD Vance. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images.)

CRUNCHED BY NUMBERS 

First,  gentle readers, an apology. In recent weeks, I failed to tend our statistical garden with a careful eye. Our standard is to use the five most recent high-quality public polls in our averages for presidential approval and the generic ballot, but we have recently neglected to delete older polls.

This did not make recent averages in any way wrong, only stale and inconsistent for the sake of comparisons to averages at earlier points in the cycle. I am sorry for the error, and lament that I have to waste your time explaining my lapse in the last note before the midterm election comes to a hissing, clanking, shuddering halt.

I know from our Mailbag that many of you ignore the Statshot averages, but explain it, I must. That’s because these averages are the most useful predictors for performance in any midterm election. And also, when we screw up in the news business, we ought to wear it right out front, as Townes Van Zandt wrote, “for all the honest world to feel.”

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