Wrong Number

The press didn’t see it coming. Or did they? This week, we examine the role of data – and delusion – in this election. Nate Silver reflects on the promise and pitfalls of polling, and Zachary Karabell discusses how financial indicators gloss over the gritty realities of American life. Plus: how a plan to dismantle the electoral college could make elections more democratic, and election coverage more interesting.

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Making the Most of a ‘Placid’ Market

At long last, the presidential election of 2016 is entering its final stages. In one form or another, this election has occupied an outsized place in American life since the middle of 2015, by far the longest and most extensive political campaign we’ve ever experienced. Much of this campaign season’s noise will have little impact on markets, the economy, interest rates, economic growth, or the fate of companies. In many respects, there is an inverse relationship between the furor of this election and its clear impacts—particularly if Hillary Clinton and the Democrats win.

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Why Trump, Hillary Will Not Take Down the Market

In this election cycle, will investors be winners or losers? Let’s just get this out of the way: the bulk of this year will be consumed by election noise. There is no way around that. That noise, in turn, will drive out other stories, unless there is a major disruptive event (a terrorist attack, such as the recent one in Brussels, a natural disaster, unexpected political upheaval in the world, or expectations of a possible Brexit coming to fruition). That noise also will subtly influence investors’ behavior, or at least how they view the world. There is no way to avoid that.

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How Big Business is Lining Up With Hillary

Hillary Clinton doesn’t want to win over just the middle class. She wants to win over business elites as well. And in this tightening labor market, with business worried about losing workers to the growing demand for higher wages, there’s ample evidence that what she has started to advocate is increasingly aligned with what many businesses are beginning to do.  

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Is Hillary Running for Bill’s Third Term?

When Hillary Clinton announces her candidacy on Sunday, the Republicans will no doubt redouble their efforts to make the case that a vote for Hillary is a vote for Barack Obama’s third term—and the GOP believes no one wants that, for Pete’s sake. Clinton’s campaign, by contrast, will almost certainly make a very different case: If they vote for her, Americans will be getting something far closer to Bill Clinton’s third term.

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Hillary’s Not the Problem

For Hillary Clinton—and most of Washington—email-gate may be a relatively new issue, but it is an issue with a decades-long pedigree in American history. Once upon a time, in the era before email and whose “server” was whose, it wouldn’t have been an issue at all: Dean Acheson, for instance, lived in no fear that the public would have access to his personal letters musing about the intentions of Stalin or the presence of possible Soviet spies in the State Department alleged by Joe McCarthy, or any number of other matters of state. Long before that, presidents in particular were free to keep or dispose of their papers as they saw fit; one obscure president, Chester Arthur, sealed his obscurity by instructing his family to burn his papers after his death.

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