Hillary Clinton’s Odds of Losing? Same as NFL Kicker Missing a Field Goal

Hillary Clinton’s Odds of Losing? Same as NFL Kicker Missing a Field Goal August 11, 2016

The NY Times posted an interactive graph recently (updated today) suggesting that the probability of Hillary Clinton winning the election this November is, not surprisingly, quite high.

Public Domain, via WikiCommons
Public Domain, via WikiCommons

How high?

The Upshot’s elections model suggests that Hillary Clinton is favored to win the presidency, based on the latest state and national polls. A victory by Mr. Trump remains quite possible: Mrs. Clinton’s chance of losing is about the same as the probability that an N.F.L. kicker misses a field goal.

Now that’s a very interesting comparison, especially for football fans. But if you are a football fan, you probably also know that the odds of a NFL player missing, or making, a field goal depend dramatically on the distance from which the kick is attempted.

For a helpful run-down of the odds of field goal kicking, from every angle and distance, see this analysis. From 20 yards and closer, the odds are damn near close to 100%. From 50+ yards, they drop to just over 60%.

Kicking aside, the “Upshots” most recent analysis suggests that Clinton has an 87% chance of beating Donald Trump.

So yeah, that’s right about the average of NFL kickers during the 2015 season.

However, if you’re a Minnesota Vikings fan like I am, this comparison may have a different effect than was intended.

Last year, Vikings kicker Blair Walsh missed a 27-yard field goal in the waning seconds of their wild card game. They lost 10-9  to the Seahawks and were knocked out of the playoffs.

So, for those of us who don’t want to see Donald Trump in the White House, we can’t rest easy just yet.






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