Labor Day has come and gone, which means the presidential race is at the “beginning of the end,” FiveThirtyEight‘s Nate Silver said Tuesday. It also means, Silver said, that people should no longer dismiss polls out of hand.
Silver and other polling experts, like The New York Times‘ Nate Cohn, point to Labor Day as a historical “inflection point” where polls become more reliable after months of volatility (although this particular contest between President Trump and his Democratic challenger, former Vice President Joe Biden, has been fairly steady). Cohn recently explained that the data gets messy in the immediate aftermath of the party conventions, but suggested things normally settle down after the holiday. By that point, there’s only two months left until Election Day and even less time before early voting begins in some states, so the numbers should start to solidify, although it certainly doesn’t mean the race won’t change before Nov. 3.
All things considered, Trump is far from out of the game — Silver adds that the race is tighter when it comes to the Electoral College — but the time crunch is becoming more significant.
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