Girls, I have a confession: I’m seeing my ex again. Yep, the model. The FiveThirtyEight elections forecast model — the statistical analysis designed to predict the winner of the presidential election. I know, I swore I’d never go back to him, but before you say anything, this time things are gonna be different.
I know he hurt me four years ago. He painted beautiful predictions of our future together. We were going to have a big, gorgeous house — The White House — and officially start using labels like “President” Hillary Clinton. He said it was “statistically likely,” but as we all know, he lied. The glass ceiling didn’t shatter that night — my heart did.
But girls, that was four years ago. He’s using a new methodology now. He knows how devastated I was, and I know he would never do that to me again.
Tina, I understand why you’re worried. To you, it sounds like the model’s just saying the exact same things that broke my heart in 2016, things like “Joe Biden has a 76% chance of winning.” And, no, it doesn’t make me suspicious that 76% is the exact same probability he gave to Hillary Clinton. What do you think, he uses that line on everybody? You girls just don’t know him like I do.
Look, I’m comfortable with the model. He makes me feel safe. Enough time has passed, and I know I can trust him now, even though he specifically told me “the only thing that’s certain is uncertainty,” that “elections are fluid, multivariate situations,” and that “we should absolutely expect things to change over the next few months.”
I know it sounds like he’s being noncommittal, but you don’t hear the things he says when it’s just us, in his weekly Politics Newsletter — for subscribers only.
No, Brooke, he is not blatantly telling me there’s a 1 in 4 chance things aren’t going to work out the way I hope, and Madison, I actually do understand how percentages work, so you don’t need to explain it again.
Our relationship already feels so different from last time. I haven’t been obsessing over him. I can casually check the latest polls without picking out the dress I’m going to wear to the inauguration. But if we get drunk later tonight, am I going to take out my phone to see what the model’s up to? Yeah, I might do that, and that’s totally normal.
You girls are my best friends, and I want you to support me the way I’ve supported you through all your relationships. Tina, do I need to remind you that you got pretty serious with the New York Times needle four years ago? And at one point, didn’t he give Hillary a 99% chance of winning? I didn’t say “I told you so” when that didn’t work out.
So save the date for November 3, 2020, because I’m throwing another election party at my house, but this time, it’s actually gonna be fun. No crying, no betrayal, just a great night where we all learn to trust again. It’s going to be a magical night — I am sure of it.