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Tom Nichols @RadioFreeTom
, 5 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
I’m going to call foul. This is up there with “Perot voters wouldn’t have gone for Bush.” Yes, if you run these numbers, Clinton (and Bush) lose. But that is the wrong way to look at it. /1
The problem is that you cannot re-run history without Jill Stein (or Perot) being on the ballot. Asking Stein voters if they feel like idiots isn't going to produce an answer that says "Boy, I was nuts to fall for her shtick, but I see it now." That's not how humans act. /2
What would the election have been had Stein *never* been an option is the way to look at it. We can't answer that, but it's not crazy to wonder if the anti-Trump vote might have coalesced earlier or more firmly. Knowing Stein was an option wrecks the hypothetical. /3
And yes, pollsters can account for *some* of this, and make a good guess. But you cannot know what 2016 looks like without Stein (or Johnson) at all. How much did their activity push voters to say "this or nothing?" Asking them after the disaster isn't helpful, imo. /4
One other thing to consider. We don't know how Clinton's campaign (or Bush's) would have reacted without such a challenge. I assume Clinton loses in just about every world. Not so sure about Bush. But again, the very presence of Stein and others disrupts the hypothetical, imo /5x
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