What is the big statistical lesson of 2016? Here at STATS.org, we believe 2016’s major message is that statistical issues should be reported clearly and frequently to avoid miscommunication to lay audiences. This message was highlighted by the mismatch between the 2016 presidential election predictions and outcome.
What if you flip a coin twice, and both times it lands on “heads.” Does the coin seem rigged? The chance of two heads over two coin flips is 25 percent—less than the 29 percent chance that ESPN’s FiveThirtyEight gave Donald Trump for winning the presidency . Although this probability was smaller than the 71 percent probability assigned to a Hillary Clinton win based on the final FiveThirtyEight pre-election forecast, the Trump win wasn’t as shocking an outcome as some journalists reported.