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Posted by G3 (Member # 6723) on :
 
IMHO, you gotta watch Florida, Virginia and Ohio. Romney takes those and he's the next president. Without all 3 breaking for Romney, I think Obama takes this thing.

The RCP average has Romney up 1.8 in Florida - a state that has gone GOP in 2 of the last 3 elections. This is looking like a Romney win right now.

RCP average in Virginia is a tie. This is also a state that went GOP in 2 of the last 3 elections and the trending is going very hard to Romney over the last few polls. He very well may take this one.

That leaves Ohio as the true tossup when you look at polling - maybe even a Obama win if you take the polls at face value. But here's why you should not. What were the election results in 2010 in Ohio? Anybody know? Let's let the NYT spell it out:
quote:
The defeat of Gov. Ted Strickland by John Kasich, a Republican, was one of the most painful outcomes of the election for Democrats and President Obama, who campaigned repeatedly in Ohio, as did Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and former President Bill Clinton.

The ouster of 5 of the 10 Democrats serving in Ohio’s 18-member Congressional delegation also caused Democrats plenty of heartburn.

But a string of other local Republican victories in the state could hurt Democrats for years to come.

Republicans defeated Democrats in all major races for statewide office ...

It was a GOP landslide in 2010 and there's no reason to believe that's changed - in fact, there's every reason to believe it's stayed the same or gotten better.

Now, what's the polling? A Oct 22 CBS News/Quinnipiac poll gives Barry a 5 point lead (down from 10 points in September - there's that momentum shift). How did they get the 5 point lead? By doing the sample 35D/34I/26R. Yes, give Barry a 9 point advantage in a state that went in a landslide to Republicans 2 years ago ... sure. And even then, he only ekes out a barely outside the MOE 5 point lead.

Ohio is in play.

My dark horse state: Pennsylvania. This is currently in the toss up category on the RCP average although Barry does have the edge (blue state the last 3 elections). However, you can't threaten coal mining and make friends there.

FL, VA, OH. Anybody else got a state they're watching?

[ October 25, 2012, 12:19 PM: Message edited by: G3 ]
 
Posted by JoshuaD (Member # 1420) on :
 
I think your analysis is way off. Florida and Virginia are almost certainly going to Mr. Romney.

Ohio is likey going to Mr. Obama, but it could swing the other way.

The election is likely going to be decided by the other, smaller states: Iowa, Colorado, Wisconsin, Nevada, and New Hampshire.

Here's my analysis from earlier today that I posted to Fb:

quote:
270 electoral votes wins the election.

Mr. Obama has 237 locked up.
Mr. Romney has 235 locked up.

The remaining "swing" states are:
Ohio (18)
Virginia (13)
Wisconsin (10) [Mr. Ryan's home state]
Colorado (9)
Iowa (6)
Nevada (6)
New Hampshire (4)

Virginia (13) will most likely go to Mr. Romney. The polls have been solidly in his favor there by a few % points, and historically it has been a Republican state (with the exception of 2008).

Ohio (18), Iowa (6), and Wisconsin (10), collectively being referred to as "The Midwest Firewall" all favor Mr. Obama, but the margins are very close. Some polls show solid (but small) leads for Mr. Obama in these states, and some polls show a dead even race. Most of the "collective" polls (i.e. systems that look at a bunch of polls and average them together intelligently) have a slight favor towards Obama in these states.

Colorado (9) is sometimes lumped in as part of the firewall, but it has more confused polling. Most of the collective polling systems seem to suggest small margins favoring Mr. Obama, but some polls are showing a significant edge for Mr. Romney.

Nevada (6) seems to have a small but solid edge in Mr. Obama's favor.

New Hampshire (4) is a close state, but most polls suggest that it favors Mr. Obama.

The most likely routes to victory for Mr. Romney are:
Virginia + Wisconsin + Colorado
Virginia + Colorado + Iowa + Nevada + New Hampshire
Ohio + Virginia

Mr. Obama's most likely route to victory is to secure his "midwest firewall":
Ohio + Wisconsin + Colorado

Or by losing one piece of the firewall, but picking up enough ground elsewhere to offset:
Ohio + Wisconsin + {Iowa, Nevada, or New Hapmshire}
Ohio + Colorado {Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire}

A 269-269 split can occur if Mr. Romney wins Virginia, Colorado, Iowa and Nevada, and Mr. Obama wins the rest. This results in some crazy stuff. By the 12th amendment, the house of representatives chooses the President (with each state getting one vote, as opposed to each representative getting a vote), and the almost certain result would be Mr. Romney. However, the Senate chooses the VP, and it's very likely that they would choose Mr. Biden.



[ October 25, 2012, 12:34 PM: Message edited by: JoshuaD ]
 
Posted by Wayward Son (Member # 210) on :
 
My go-to place for election forecasts is FiveThirtyEight.com, and Nate had an interesting article a couple of days ago: "Ohio Has 50-50 Chance of Deciding The Election."

quote:
But this year, all the clichés about Ohio are true. In our most recent simulations, Ohio has provided the decisive vote in the Electoral College about 50 percent of the time.
Whoever Ohio picks will win it (IMHO).

FiveThirtyEight also has a nice state-by-state breakdown, under "State-by-State" projections on the sidebar.

Currently, he has Colorado as a tossup (52% chance for Obama), Florida to Romney (68% chance), Iowa and Nevada to Obama (66% and 76% chance, respectively), and Ohio to Obama (73% chance). Virginia is a tossup (53% chance for Obama), while Wisconsin is Obama's (82% chance).

Of course, these odds can change with each new poll that comes out.

[ October 25, 2012, 12:55 PM: Message edited by: Wayward Son ]
 
Posted by TCB (Member # 1677) on :
 
G3 said:
quote:
[Ohio] was a GOP landslide in 2010 and there's no reason to believe that's changed - in fact, there's every reason to believe it's stayed the same or gotten better.
Well, there was the resounding defeat of Issue 2 (an anti-union measure championed by the GOP) in 2011. It was a big deal in Ohio last year, indicating that the pendulum has swung back to the left somewhat substantially - maybe not enough that Romney can't win, but enough that, if he does, it will be close.
 
Posted by JoshCrow (Member # 6048) on :
 
Oh man, I think the prospect of an electoral college tie resulting in a Romney/Biden administration is almost too funny to pass up. It would also leave Ryan out of things, which makes me happy since I tend to see Romney more favorably than his running mate.

[ October 25, 2012, 01:17 PM: Message edited by: JoshCrow ]
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
To be honest, if Biden were Romney's running mate, I would not be voting for Obama. I am only voting this year specifically to keep Ryan out of the White House.
 
Posted by G3 (Member # 6723) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:
Of course, these odds can change with each new poll that comes out.

That's why I look at RCP average a lot, it tends to smooth the polling results out and give you a a more reliable trend (reliable polling may be an oxymoron though).
 
Posted by Wayward Son (Member # 210) on :
 
Then from the RCP average for Ohio you'll see that Obama is still the leader in that race, even if you discount the CBS News/Quinnipiac poll. But only by a hair.

So, yeah, Ohio's still in play. And probably Romney's most important state.
 
Posted by G3 (Member # 6723) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:
Then from the RCP average for Ohio you'll see that Obama is still the leader in that race, even if you discount the CBS News/Quinnipiac poll. But only by a hair.

So, yeah, Ohio's still in play. And probably Romney's most important state.

Precisely why I gave that one extra attention. Barry's up, but just barely - within the MOE of all the polls - and only by giving him what seems to be a unsupportable advantage of nearly double digit leads in the sampling given recent history there.

I think it's much more in play than even the RCP average indicates.
 
Posted by JoshuaD (Member # 1420) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
To be honest, if Biden were Romney's running mate, I would not be voting for Obama. I am only voting this year specifically to keep Ryan out of the White House.

Could you give me a short summary of why you feel so strongly about Mr. Ryan? I know you and I disagree about the role of government, but I don't understand the strong vitriol you feel. I understood it with Sarah Palin. With Mr. Ryan I don't.
 
Posted by hobsen (Member # 2923) on :
 
JoshuaD's analysis seems on target, and G3's remark, "(Ohio) was a GOP landslide in 2010 and there's no reason to believe that's changed" is simply untrue. Republican voters tend to be older - many retirees - and they are much more likely to vote in every election. In this case Ohio voters have been flooded with information about the crucial role likely to be played by their state, and turnout can be expected to be very high. Moreover Democrats have expected for months that Ohio would be critical, and I expect they will send a horde of campaign workers to the state to get out their vote.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
Joshua: I live about 15 minutes north of Paul Ryan's district, and I've seen what he's done to it. He's been a major player in the gutting of my state, and there are only a couple figures in Wisconsin politics that have been more harmful to the prosperity and community of the region.
 
Posted by G3 (Member # 6723) on :
 
Saying it's untrue is simply untrue.
 
Posted by G3 (Member # 6723) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
Joshua: I live about 15 minutes north of Paul Ryan's district, and I've seen what he's done to it. He's been a major player in the gutting of my state, and there are only a couple figures in Wisconsin politics that have been more harmful to the prosperity and community of the region.

Yeah, practically a 3rd world nation ain't it? [Roll Eyes]
 
Posted by JoshuaD (Member # 1420) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
Joshua: I live about 15 minutes north of Paul Ryan's district, and I've seen what he's done to it. He's been a major player in the gutting of my state, and there are only a couple figures in Wisconsin politics that have been more harmful to the prosperity and community of the region.

What did he do exactly? I'm not at all familiar with Wisconsin politics.
 
Posted by Wayward Son (Member # 210) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by G3:
Saying it's untrue is simply untrue.

Got any reasons why we should believe you over hobson?
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
quote:
Yeah, practically a 3rd world nation ain't it?
It's pretty hard right now. I'm in a good position, myself, but a lot of my friends and neighbors are out of work and the state's economy has nosedived relative to the rest of the country since Republicans took over the government a couple years back.

-------

Joshua: broadly, Ryan's a proponent of outsourcing and capitalizing as many functions as possible, and has regularly pushed for moving shared social costs to local governments down from the state level (and moving costs from the federal government down to the state.) While this is entirely consistent with his ideology -- he's a True Believer, unlike Romney, except insofar as he was (perfectly understandably) willing to scrabble for pork for his district like everybody else -- it's meant that Wisconsin's response to the nationwide recession has been, in practice, to cut back on services while paying more for them. Because Republicans control the government, though, they've been able to stage the disclosure of the reports revealing this cost so that they're buried in the news cycle, meaning that he's been able (along with Scott Walker and the Fitzgeralds) to crow about Wisconsin's incredible "successes" to people who aren't paying attention or actually examining metrics for success. He's also obnoxiously Catholic, an inveterate braggart and self-aggrandizing liar, and generally a fist-pumping, popped-collar douchebag who has figured out that as long as he's willing to cite crap, no one will actually examine his citations.

[ October 25, 2012, 08:17 PM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]
 
Posted by Viking_Longship (Member # 3358) on :
 
If you look at the RCP map with no toss ups Romney has to take Fl, OH and Va to win. Obama has to have one of them to win.
 
Posted by Viking_Longship (Member # 3358) on :
 
quote:
He's also obnoxiously Catholic
Which I find hard to square with his admiration with Ayn Rand.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
I didn't say he was consistently or sensibly Catholic. [Smile]
 
Posted by G3 (Member # 6723) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:
quote:
Originally posted by G3:
Saying it's untrue is simply untrue.

Got any reasons why we should believe you over hobson?
Well Dr. Hfuhruhurr, I suggest you start at the top of the thread.
 
Posted by JoshuaD (Member # 1420) on :
 
Tom: thanks foe your thpughts . ::-)

Viking: Mr. Romney is certainly winning Florida and is very likely winning VA. Ohio has a good chance of going to the president, however. That's why I'm focusing on those other Midwest states.
 
Posted by Viking_Longship (Member # 3358) on :
 
RCP if you choose "no toss ups" indeed shows Romney winning in Fla and Va, but Obama winning Ohio and the midwest. I suspect G3 is calling this right.
 
Posted by G3 (Member # 6723) on :
 
It's possible we could see a popular vote win for Mitt but a electoral vote win for Barry. Very exciting....
 
Posted by G3 (Member # 6723) on :
 
Joshua called Wisconsin as in play, and he's right, Rasmussen has it at 48% each among the LV, plus:
quote:
Ninety-six percent (96%) of Badger State voters say they are sure to vote in this election. Romney leads 51% to 47% among these voters.

Among the 90% who say they’ve already made up their minds whom they will vote for, it’s Romney 51%, Obama 48%.

Even it Mitt takes Wisconsin, I think he still needs Ohio unless the other small state Joshua mentioned all break for Mitt - seems hard to do but it could happen.

[ October 26, 2012, 02:58 PM: Message edited by: G3 ]
 
Posted by hobsen (Member # 2923) on :
 
A week ago Real Clear Politics estimated Romney had more states locked up in his favor than Obama did, but that Obama had a slight lead in the toss up states. Today they are suggesting Obama has 201 certain electoral college votes to Romney's 191, but that without tossups the polls suggest Obama would win by 281 to 257. RCP takes a very crude approach by just averaging polls published without any screening for quality, but there are so many polls being published now that this may work. And it does suggest Romney may win the popular vote and lose the Electoral College, as happens from time to time. Even with all the passions aroused, the polls suggest voters have no clear favorite in this election, and if the eventual winner claims a mandate he will be vastly overstating his success.

What is more certain is that Republicans will have a big advantage in the House and Democrats in the Senate. That should produce gridlock in any case, but if Romney unseats a sitting President infuriated Democrats will block everything he proposes and try to throw him out in 2016. And if he accomplishes nothing, they should have an excellent chance of that. At a time it is not clear Congress could do anything about U.S. problems even with good cooperation, a Romney win should mean nothing at all can be done.

In my dispute with G3, I was making too literal an interpretation of his words. After all, if just one voter has died since 2010, that is literally a reason the 2012 election might turn out differently - and he said there were no reasons. But my real objection is that I think it makes some sense to compare the 2012 election with 2008, and advance reasons 2012 might turn out differently, but that comparing 2012 to 2010 is like comparing apples to oranges. Statistical analysis suggests a very slight negative correlation between successive elections, meaning the party which won one is slightly more likely to lose the next - but it is so slight outcomes are essentially a coin toss even if that negative correlation is real.
 
Posted by Viking_Longship (Member # 3358) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by G3:
It's possible we could see a popular vote win for Mitt but a electoral vote win for Barry. Very exciting....

There's even a potential electoral tie this year.
 
Posted by Greg Davidson (Member # 3377) on :
 
Ties go to the likely Republican majority in the House to elect the President; but at least a Democratic majority in the Senate would enable a Democrat as Vice President.
 
Posted by edgmatt (Member # 6449) on :
 
JoshuaD covered that part already...

quote:
A 269-269 split can occur if Mr. Romney wins Virginia, Colorado, Iowa and Nevada, and Mr. Obama wins the rest. This results in some crazy stuff. By the 12th amendment, the house of representatives chooses the President (with each state getting one vote, as opposed to each representative getting a vote), and the almost certain result would be Mr. Romney. However, the Senate chooses the VP, and it's very likely that they would choose Mr. Biden.

 
Posted by Greg Davidson (Member # 3377) on :
 
I knew I read it somewhere [Smile]
 
Posted by AI Wessex (Member # 6653) on :
 
If the electoral college ends up in a tie and the House and Senate elect Romney and Biden, I would expect to see the official position of Executive Food Taster come into being.
 
Posted by edgmatt (Member # 6449) on :
 
[LOL]
 
Posted by G3 (Member # 6723) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davidson:
Ties go to the likely Republican majority in the House to elect the President; but at least a Democratic majority in the Senate would enable a Democrat as Vice President.

This would be fun to watch. Biden would probably be barred from entering the Whitehouse, attending any official events or speaking on behalf of the administration. He'd finally be reduced to the insignificant court jester he truly is.
 
Posted by JoshuaD (Member # 1420) on :
 
G3: stop it.
 
Posted by G3 (Member # 6723) on :
 
JoshuaD: No, you stop it.

[ October 29, 2012, 11:07 AM: Message edited by: G3 ]
 
Posted by G3 (Member # 6723) on :
 
Since I'm saying Ohio is the final key, I'll track it a bit:

quote:
The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Ohio Voters shows Romney with 50% support to President Obama’s 48%. One percent (1%) likes some other candidate, while another one percent (1%) remains undecided.
The MOE is 4% so it's a toss up but last week Rasmussen had it 48-48 so the trend, such as it is, is developing there.

Interesting:
quote:
National security has been an area where the president has typically had an advantage over Romney this year. But, the Republican challenger now has a 52% to 42% advantage on the issue.

<snip>

... just 46% of the state’s voters now approve of the job he is doing. Fifty-one percent (51%) disapprove. This includes Strong Approval from 29% and Strong Disapproval from 44%, giving the president a slightly worse job approval rating in Ohio than he earns nationally.

Forty-seven percent (47%) have a favorable opinion of the president and 52% have an unfavorable view. Those figures include 32% with a Very Favorable opinion and 42% who have a Very Unfavorable view of him.

Romney is viewed favorably by 53% and unfavorably by 45%, including 40% with a Very Favorable opinion of the former Massachusetts governor and 32% with a Very Unfavorable one.

Benghazi may be affecting things ...

Ohio may be leaning Mitt.
 
Posted by JWatts (Member # 6523) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by edgmatt:
JoshuaD covered that part already...

quote:
A 269-269 split can occur if Mr. Romney wins Virginia, Colorado, Iowa and Nevada, and Mr. Obama wins the rest. This results in some crazy stuff. By the 12th amendment, the house of representatives chooses the President (with each state getting one vote, as opposed to each representative getting a vote), and the almost certain result would be Mr. Romney. However, the Senate chooses the VP, and it's very likely that they would choose Mr. Biden.

And the Vice President part was news to me. Or at least, something I had long forgotten.
 
Posted by G3 (Member # 6723) on :
 
More from Ohio; Gallup's Party ID poll turned up Democrats 35%, Independents 29%, Republicans 36%. R+1 in Ohio. Wuuut? I find that hard to believe.

From Politico:
quote:
"In sum, this data indicates this election remains very close on the surface, but the political environment and the composition of the likely electorate favor Governor Romney. These factors come into play with our “vote election model” – which takes into account variables like vote intensity, voters who say they are definite in their vote, and demographics like age and education. In that snapshot of today’s vote model, Mitt Romney leads Barack Obama by five-points – 52% to 47%. While that gap can certainly be closed by the ground game of the Democrats, reports from the field would indicate that not to be the case, and Mitt Romney may well be heading to a decisive victory."
That “vote election model” of theirs sounds kind of arbitrary but I guess they got some idea that it's reasonable - but note the hedge at the end. That being said:

quote:
In the ten most recent national polls included in RCP’s average, one number was remarkably consistent – Barack Obama’s number is pegged at 47%. Asked what that told John McIntyre [principal contributor to Real Clear Politics], he replied, “[Obama's] likely to lose.” 2) Hugh questioned J-Mac what he made of Ohio numbers that don’t necessarily square with the rest of the national numbers, and John had this to say:
quote:
Well look, you know, our Real Clear Politics average had it at about five, five and a half before the first debate. It’s now at two. And these state averages lag the national average. So I suspect that if the national average just stays where it is, to continue to tighten. And then you get a dynamic so it’s like the President’s at 48% in Ohio. But if he’s at 48% on the ballot test, and he’s only up a point in the average? That almost, the edge almost leans to Romney at that matter, because the undecideds are probably going to break, you know, they’re not, it’s very unlikely they’re going to break for the President. So I think with the fact that the state polls lag the national polls, so I think Ohio’s actually closer than two points right now. And you give, you know, the President’s not at 50%. He’s at 48%. I would give, right now, the slight edge to Romney in Ohio.

If it really is R+1 in Ohio, if all this really is accurate, it could be all over for Barry in Ohio.

My dark horse state, Pennsylvania has developments: Mitt just launched a $2.1 million dollar ad buy in Pennsylvania. He ain't dropping that kind of scratch if he thinks it's a sure loser; his internal polls must tell him there something there worth spending for.
 
Posted by TCB (Member # 1677) on :
 
If Romney wins PA then he's already won every other swing state, plus a few other "leans Democrat" states. The end result would be 2008 in reverse. I doubt any Romney insiders have even dared to dream that big. [Smile]

I think it's more likely they're sitting on so much cash right now that they're not sure what to do with it all, and figured spending money in PA would generate favorable headlines that could help them in more competitive states.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
quote:
He ain't dropping that kind of scratch...
Last year, Mitt Romney earned $2.1 million per month.
 
Posted by JWatts (Member # 6523) on :
 
The race is pretty close to even. (Despite Nate Silver's hilariously partisan blogs masquerading as the mathematical Truth. Is Mr. Silver still claiming that Obama has a 70%+ chance of winning?).

This from Pew today:
quote:

As the presidential campaign enters its final week, Barack Obama has failed to regain much of the support he lost in the days following the first presidential debate and the race is now even among likely voters: 47% favor Obama while an identical percentage supports Mitt Romney.

So, in all likelihood the race will come down to Ohio. It's improbable that either candidate will win at this point without carrying Ohio.
 
Posted by DonaldD (Member # 1052) on :
 
74.6%
 
Posted by Wayward Son (Member # 210) on :
 
quote:
Despite Nate Silver's hilariously partisan blogs masquerading as the mathematical Truth. Is Mr. Silver still claiming that Obama has a 70%+ chance of winning?
74.6% chance for election day as of 10:57 PM on Oct. 28. (80.1% chance if the election were held today.) But, of course, that is "chance," as in a dice roll, and is based on the sum of all the polls, tweaked by his own formula to account for possible problems that he sees in the polls.

It ain't writ in stone, but it seems to be the best guess based on data and math rather than partisanship. After reading a few of the blogs, you can see that he is far more concerned with trying to be accurate than the particular outcome.

Do you have a better guess? If so, what is it based upon?
 
Posted by TCB (Member # 1677) on :
 
JWatts said:
quote:
The race is pretty close to even. (Despite Nate Silver's hilariously partisan blogs masquerading as the mathematical Truth. Is Mr. Silver still claiming that Obama has a 70%+ chance of winning?).
Just curious - do you think any prediction methodology that results in something other than an approximately 50% chance of an Obama victory is partisan? Or is it Silver's methodology in particular that you disagree with?
 
Posted by G3 (Member # 6723) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by TCB:
If Romney wins PA then he's already won every other swing state, plus a few other "leans Democrat" states. The end result would be 2008 in reverse. I doubt any Romney insiders have even dared to dream that big. [Smile]

I think it's more likely they're sitting on so much cash right now that they're not sure what to do with it all, and figured spending money in PA would generate favorable headlines that could help them in more competitive states.

Maybe, my guess is its more likely he's forcing Barry to spend here too now which siphons off from other states.
 
Posted by G3 (Member # 6723) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by TCB:
JWatts said:
quote:
The race is pretty close to even. (Despite Nate Silver's hilariously partisan blogs masquerading as the mathematical Truth. Is Mr. Silver still claiming that Obama has a 70%+ chance of winning?).
Just curious - do you think any prediction methodology that results in something other than an approximately 50% chance of an Obama victory is partisan? Or is it Silver's methodology in particular that you disagree with?
Well, I think anything so out of whack with all polling data is highly suspect. Barry can't seem to crack 48% in Ohio,how the guy translates that to a greater than 70% chance is more about wishful thinking than actual math. All polling puts it in a dead heat with mitt slowly trending to advantage, silver seems to ignore that reality.
 
Posted by Wayward Son (Member # 210) on :
 
quote:
Barry can't seem to crack 48% in Ohio,how the guy translates that to a greater than 70% chance is more about wishful thinking than actual math. All polling puts it in a dead heat with mitt slowly trending to advantage, silver seems to ignore that reality.
You really should familiarize yourself with his methology before hurdling yourself to that conclusion. [Smile]
 
Posted by hobsen (Member # 2923) on :
 
Florida and Pennsylvania are close to opposites. Since Romney has a strong advantage in Florida, it would be unclear why he made a campaign appearance there recently - but his advisers no doubt fear that a major Obama effort might sway enough black and Spanish speaking voters to put the state in play before they realized they had trouble.

The opposite holds in Pennsylvania, which should be solid for Obama. But his advisers want to make sure the state stays theirs, so they are matching Republican efforts.

What both states have in common is that they are very expensive, and any candidate who wants to change how they lean would have to spend a lot of money and time. So any efforts in those states will probably be bluffs, or desperation moves. Such have some attraction because less attention and fewer polls mean one candidate or another might be better off than appears on the surface, so a major effort could just possibly pay off.
 
Posted by JWatts (Member # 6523) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by TCB:
JWatts said:
quote:
The race is pretty close to even. (Despite Nate Silver's hilariously partisan blogs masquerading as the mathematical Truth. Is Mr. Silver still claiming that Obama has a 70%+ chance of winning?).
Just curious - do you think any prediction methodology that results in something other than an approximately 50% chance of an Obama victory is partisan? Or is it Silver's methodology in particular that you disagree with?
Nate goes through a lot of statistical math and I have full confidence in his basic math abilities. But he openly admits that he weighs 'certain' polls heavier than others, using his own judgement. At that point, he's just choosing a set of assumptions and running with them. Garbage in, garbage out.

At this point in time he has a very short track record. In the election of 2008 he had direct access to the Obama inside polling information. So how much of the credit do you credit him and how much goes to the polling agency he was relying on? In the 2010 election he was ok, but certainly not exceptional in his predictions. It should be notable, that no one else is claiming anything like the confidence Nate's opinion columns evidence.

But the Left continues to quote his results as if he was an Oracle. It's confirmation bias big time. You can make the statistics say anything if you choose your own assumptions to fit a desired conclusion.
 
Posted by G3 (Member # 6723) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:
quote:
Barry can't seem to crack 48% in Ohio,how the guy translates that to a greater than 70% chance is more about wishful thinking than actual math. All polling puts it in a dead heat with mitt slowly trending to advantage, silver seems to ignore that reality.
You really should familiarize yourself with his methology before hurdling yourself to that conclusion. [Smile]
I have, and I have also familiarized myself with the other polls. Silver is on a rather massive outlier and as such is highly suspect. Maybe he got it right and every single other polling organization with decades of experience got it wrong this time but which seems the more likely?
 
Posted by G3 (Member # 6723) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by hobsen:
The opposite holds in Pennsylvania, which should be solid for Obama. But his advisers want to make sure the state stays theirs, so they are matching Republican efforts.

That they even have to make sure it stays theirs indicates a rather massive shift mat be occurring. PA should have been as much a lock as NY and CA.

[ October 30, 2012, 10:04 AM: Message edited by: G3 ]
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
quote:
PA should have been as much a lock as NY and CA.
*laugh*
 
Posted by TCB (Member # 1677) on :
 
JWatts said:
quote:
At this point in time he has a very short track record. In the election of 2008 he had direct access to the Obama inside polling information. So how much of the credit do you credit him and how much goes to the polling agency he was relying on? In the 2010 election he was ok, but certainly not exceptional in his predictions. It should be notable, that no one else is claiming anything like the confidence Nate's opinion columns evidence.
I see where you're coming from, but I think you're overstating Silver's confidence a bit - his forecast is probabilistic, not really predictive, and it still gives Romney a significant chance of winning. Also, he's not the only one who sees Obama as a moderate favorite - his odds are pretty close to those of betting markets, which, absent tampering, can't be anything except rational.

The analogy he gave a couple days ago was that the Giants lead the Redskins 24-21 late in the fourth quartee. Anyone could still win, but you can't really say it's a toss-up, either - the Giants are the favorites. We could trade a few posts convoluting the analogy ("but the Redskins are in the red zone and Eli Manning is out with a concussion" and so on), but you get my point. [Smile]

Anyway, I know most conservatives think it's biased, and it's possible that it is. But Silver actually does have interesting insights. No one else (that I read, at least) is writing about the election from the same point of view.
 
Posted by AI Wessex (Member # 6653) on :
 
The storm (aka Wetzilla) will have a psychological effect on the people of Virginia. Some analysts say those voters will viscerally blame Obama for their misfortune, others say they will look for stability in government as represented by him to help them overcome a natural catastrophe.

One thing they should know is that Romney has promised to cut FEMA spending and delegate the responsibility to the states for their own cleanup or privatize its operations altogether. Right now, the government will cover 75% of all costs associated with a declared disaster. What does Romney propose to do in its place?
 
Posted by Wayward Son (Member # 210) on :
 
quote:
Maybe he got it right and every single other polling organization with decades of experience got it wrong this time but which seems the more likely?
I don't understand who you are referring to. Nate uses the data from just about every single polling organization (Rasmussen, PPP, NBC, Fox, CNN, Grove, etc., etc.) and synthesizes it. He does not do his own polling.

Which polling organizations do you trust more than Nate and why?

quote:
But he openly admits that he weighs 'certain' polls heavier than others, using his own judgement. At that point, he's just choosing a set of assumptions and running with them. Garbage in, garbage out.
As Nate's columns discuss, you have to use your own judgement when looking at the polls. Some of them tend to lean toward one side or another (if only the candidate's own polls [Smile] ), so you have to give some more or less credibility than others. You'll tend to be wrong more times without judgement than with it.

quote:
It should be notable, that no one else is claiming anything like the confidence Nate's opinion columns evidence.
[shug] It may be confidence based on hard work, knowledge and data. It may be arrogance. It may be that, even with his confidence, he is predicting that Romney would win a quarter of the time.

What impresses me is not his confidence or the results he predicts. What impresses me is his detailed column of why he judges things as he does. He talks about his methodology, his judgements, his opinions, and how they influence his conclusions. He talks about likely-voter vs. all voter surveys and how much confidence to give in each. He talks about the influence of economics, of race, of local politics, and how they add up in his estimation. He tells you about all the factors he is considering.

Who else does so in that detail? Who else puts their thinking right out there, so you can judge yourself?

When someone is going into that much detail in his analysis, partisan bias tends to get lost. It's hard to keep things leaning on one side or the other when you are trying to weigh how much confidence you should give state polls vs. national polls, especially compared to off-the-cuff estimates that so many other commentators do. His focus on the math and statistics makes bias much less likely.

quote:
But the Left continues to quote his results as if he was an Oracle. It's confirmation bias big time. You can make the statistics say anything if you choose your own assumptions to fit a desired conclusion.
I'm sure the Left would be much less likely to quote him if he were predicting a Romney victory.

But then I bet the Right would have a whole lot more confidence in him, too. [Smile]

There is definitely a danger of confirmational bias with him. But there is that danger with anyone. As I stated before, Nate's obsession with statistics and details, and his daily essays about his methodology, means that there is probably less confirmational bias than most commentators. If you know of someone better, let me know. I would love to read his opinions, too.

The News Media likes to talk to him because he is a wealth of information. They can get him to explain his reasoning for as long as they need him to. Makes good TV.

Don't discount him just for that. He isn't perfect, but no one is. He just seems to be the best out there right now. [Smile]
 
Posted by JoshuaD (Member # 1420) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by TCB:
If Romney wins PA then he's already won every other swing state, plus a few other "leans Democrat" states. The end result would be 2008 in reverse. I doubt any Romney insiders have even dared to dream that big. [Smile]

I think it's more likely they're sitting on so much cash right now that they're not sure what to do with it all, and figured spending money in PA would generate favorable headlines that could help them in more competitive states.

PA is Mr. Romney's back up plan. Ohio, Iowa, Wisconsin, Nevada, and Colorado have been worked over by both candidates so much that there's not much more ground to gain there. So he's looking for a few other, higher ROI, inroads. I don't think anyone expects PA to turn towards Mr. Romney, but I think the analysis is "If any state is loose, let's find it." There's a small chance PA is, so they're taking a stab.
 
Posted by JoshuaD (Member # 1420) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by G3:
quote:
Originally posted by TCB:
JWatts said:
quote:
The race is pretty close to even. (Despite Nate Silver's hilariously partisan blogs masquerading as the mathematical Truth. Is Mr. Silver still claiming that Obama has a 70%+ chance of winning?).
Just curious - do you think any prediction methodology that results in something other than an approximately 50% chance of an Obama victory is partisan? Or is it Silver's methodology in particular that you disagree with?
Well, I think anything so out of whack with all polling data is highly suspect. Barry can't seem to crack 48% in Ohio,how the guy translates that to a greater than 70% chance is more about wishful thinking than actual math. All polling puts it in a dead heat with mitt slowly trending to advantage, silver seems to ignore that reality.
His methodology seems really solid. It's a very close race, but it's also a very well-understood race. There's not a ton of room for variance in the polls. So even a small edge spread out over a large number of polls can result in a significantly high chance of winning. Appearing to have 49% of the popular vote doesn't translate to having a 49% chance of winning the election. On election day, 49% of the vote gets you 0% of the presidency.
 
Posted by JoshuaD (Member # 1420) on :
 
quote:
Which polling organizations do you trust more than Nate and why?
I tend to think Nate's a little bit optimistic for the President, for what it's worth. It's a difficult thing to be completely non-biased, and I see a small bias (in desired outcome) sneak into the tone of his articles here and there. I tend to think that this is probably reflected a little in his analysis of the polls. Giving a certain set of polls just a little more weight, or another a little less weight, could really change the analysis of his algorithm.

That being said, he's the best out there, IMO.

[ October 30, 2012, 12:17 PM: Message edited by: JoshuaD ]
 
Posted by JoshuaD (Member # 1420) on :
 
I'll be very curious how this storm will affect the election in Virginia. There's not much for the President to lose there, but he can win everything if he picks up 1 voter out of 50.
 
Posted by JWatts (Member # 6523) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by JoshuaD:
I'll be very curious how this storm will affect the election in Virginia. There's not much for the President to lose there, but he can win everything if he picks up 1 voter out of 50.

Sure, if Obama could pick up an extra 2% he certainly could win the election, though not everything. But at this point even NPR has the President down by 1%. If the Left has started hoping that a hurricane will upset Romney's momentum, it's a sign of desperation.

Romney has started Ad spending in PA, Mason Dixon has stopped polling in FL (Romney has it locked in their opinion) and at this point the election is pretty much down to Ohio.

As to Nate Silver, I've got a simple check for bias. His entire model is based upon estimating the percentage vote per state, multiplying by the electoral vote and calculating the expected chance of winning. So if his model isn't biased, than after the election, regardless of who wins, his model should show an equal amount of over/under results for each state. Ergo, his state predictions should have 25 states voting over his predicted number for Obama and 25 states under his prediction for Obama. If there is no bias. If his model over predicts the Obama vote in more than 25 states, he's biased, not accurate. Simple enough to double check after the election.
 
Posted by yossarian22c (Member # 1779) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by JWatts:
As to Nate Silver, I've got a simple check for bias. His entire model is based upon estimating the percentage vote per state, multiplying by the electoral vote and calculating the expected chance of winning. So if his model isn't biased, than after the election, regardless of who wins, his model should show an equal amount of over/under results for each state. Ergo, his state predictions should have 25 states voting over his predicted number for Obama and 25 states under his prediction for Obama. If there is no bias. If his model over predicts the Obama vote in more than 25 states, he's biased, not accurate. Simple enough to double check after the election.

Actually I'll nitpick a little here. There is not the same amount of information for all 50 states. If his model has a small and balanced margin of error for the swing states then I would say his methodology is good. If the predictions are much more skewed in Alabama, Mississippi and California then it is likely the lack of information that caused the error, not some inherent bias in the method.
 
Posted by DonaldD (Member # 1052) on :
 
I'm pretty sure Joshua wouldn't characterize himself as being part of "the left" [Smile]
 
Posted by JWatts (Member # 6523) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by yossarian22c:
Actually I'll nitpick a little here. There is not the same amount of information for all 50 states. If his model has a small and balanced margin of error for the swing states then I would say his methodology is good. If the predictions are much more skewed in Alabama, Mississippi and California then it is likely the lack of information that caused the error, not some inherent bias in the method.

That shouldn't cause his polling results to skew towards Obama though (or Romney either). I'm not saying measure his range of error, just check if he was over/under. It's a 50/50 proposition. If there isn't any bias, the results should be even. If not, then he's got a bad model.
 
Posted by PSRT (Member # 6454) on :
 
quote:
So if his model isn't biased, than after the election, regardless of who wins, his model should show an equal amount of over/under results for each state.
One could also check his work from 2008, and one would find that in that election, his results under-reported how well Obama would do, suggesting that even if he is biased, its not showing up in his models, and that claims of a pro-Obama bias are more wishful thinking than data driven.
 
Posted by JoshCrow (Member # 6048) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by G3:
I have, and I have also familiarized myself with the other polls. Silver is on a rather massive outlier and as such is highly suspect. Maybe he got it right and every single other polling organization with decades of experience got it wrong this time but which seems the more likely?

Oh but only if you applied this kind of thinking to climate change...
 
Posted by G3 (Member # 6723) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by JoshCrow:
quote:
Originally posted by G3:
I have, and I have also familiarized myself with the other polls. Silver is on a rather massive outlier and as such is highly suspect. Maybe he got it right and every single other polling organization with decades of experience got it wrong this time but which seems the more likely?

Oh but only if you applied this kind of thinking to climate change...
The is no relation between the two. AGW has been exposed as a fraud via a whistle-blower and multiple scientific reviews. Silver's methodology may provide misleading results in this case but, as far as I know, it's not fraudulent.
 
Posted by PSRT (Member # 6454) on :
 
quote:
AGW has been exposed as a fraud via a whistle-blower and multiple scientific reviews
Only to ridiculously biased observers, who I wouldn't trust to know bias in others if it hit them in the face with a trout.
 
Posted by JoshCrow (Member # 6048) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by G3:
quote:
Originally posted by JoshCrow:
quote:
Originally posted by G3:
I have, and I have also familiarized myself with the other polls. Silver is on a rather massive outlier and as such is highly suspect. Maybe he got it right and every single other polling organization with decades of experience got it wrong this time but which seems the more likely?

Oh but only if you applied this kind of thinking to climate change...
The is no relation between the two. AGW has been exposed as a fraud via a whistle-blower and multiple scientific reviews. Silver's methodology may provide misleading results in this case but, as far as I know, it's not fraudulent.
Nevertheless, if your position is that the majority of climatologists with "decades of experience" are conducting a fraud, why would you suddenly give the benefit of the doubt to a majority of pollsters (who, it seems to me, have also given Obama the edge in odds anyhow)?

You seem pretty quick to lend credence to a "majority" view when it suits you, or oppose it when it does not.
 
Posted by Wayward Son (Member # 210) on :
 
quote:
I'm not saying measure his range of error, just check if he was over/under. It's a 50/50 proposition. If there isn't any bias, the results should be even. If not, then he's got a bad model.
Certainly, if it is within reason. After all, flipping a coin 50 times won't get you 25 heads and 25 tails most of the time. [Wink]
 
Posted by JWatts (Member # 6523) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by PSRT:
quote:
So if his model isn't biased, than after the election, regardless of who wins, his model should show an equal amount of over/under results for each state.
One could also check his work from 2008, and one would find that in that election, his results under-reported how well Obama would do, suggesting that even if he is biased, its not showing up in his models, and that claims of a pro-Obama bias are more wishful thinking than data driven.
So, $50 bet (to charity) if Mr. Silver shows no pro-Obama bias in his current listed predictions vs the final election tally then?
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by JWatts:
quote:
Originally posted by yossarian22c:
Actually I'll nitpick a little here. There is not the same amount of information for all 50 states. If his model has a small and balanced margin of error for the swing states then I would say his methodology is good. If the predictions are much more skewed in Alabama, Mississippi and California then it is likely the lack of information that caused the error, not some inherent bias in the method.

That shouldn't cause his polling results to skew towards Obama though (or Romney either). I'm not saying measure his range of error, just check if he was over/under. It's a 50/50 proposition. If there isn't any bias, the results should be even. If not, then he's got a bad model.
It doesn't have to be perfect in any given case- the test of how useful the formula is would be in whether it, on average, is less biased than the polling data that it draws from.
 
Posted by G3 (Member # 6723) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by JoshCrow:
quote:
Originally posted by G3:
quote:
Originally posted by JoshCrow:
quote:
Originally posted by G3:
I have, and I have also familiarized myself with the other polls. Silver is on a rather massive outlier and as such is highly suspect. Maybe he got it right and every single other polling organization with decades of experience got it wrong this time but which seems the more likely?

Oh but only if you applied this kind of thinking to climate change...
The is no relation between the two. AGW has been exposed as a fraud via a whistle-blower and multiple scientific reviews. Silver's methodology may provide misleading results in this case but, as far as I know, it's not fraudulent.
Nevertheless, if your position is that the majority of climatologists with "decades of experience" are conducting a fraud, why would you suddenly give the benefit of the doubt to a majority of pollsters (who, it seems to me, have also given Obama the edge in odds anyhow)?

You seem pretty quick to lend credence to a "majority" view when it suits you, or oppose it when it does not.

Do you think our understanding of polling is the same as our understanding of planetary atmospherics? You're making comparisons that are absurd.
 
Posted by TCB (Member # 1677) on :
 
JWatts said:
quote:
As to Nate Silver, I've got a simple check for bias. His entire model is based upon estimating the percentage vote per state, multiplying by the electoral vote and calculating the expected chance of winning. So if his model isn't biased, than after the election, regardless of who wins, his model should show an equal amount of over/under results for each state.
The issue I see with that is that the 538 model is essentially a poll aggregator - like the RealClearPolitics average, but fancier - with some economic indicators baked in. If the combination of state and national polls are systematically biased, Silver's model will reflect the same bias (garbage in, garbage out).

But if the polls are an accurate reflection of the election results, then, your're right - if his model is good it won't show any systematic bias.

Given all the commentary Silver has attracted in the past week, I expect we'll see plenty of post-mortems late next week, either from his defenders or detractors, depending on how the voting goes. [Smile]
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by TCB:
The issue I see with that is that the 538 model is essentially a poll aggregator - like the RealClearPolitics average, but fancier - with some economic indicators baked in. If the combination of state and national polls are systematically biased, Silver's model will reflect the same bias (garbage in, garbage out).

The active issue at hand is, actually, whether his attempts to identify and correct for such bias thorugh weighting and other adjustments are evenhanded or whether they actively introduce his own bias to the process. If his system is good, it should be able to take garbage and turn it into something useful. If his system is bad then it will have its own bias that has to be corrected for (if not making it outright inaccurate and thus completely unreliable)
 
Posted by AI Wessex (Member # 6653) on :
 
Isn't it pretty simple really? The RCP poll average vs the 538 analysis based on the polls. It should be pretty simple to see which model was more predictive.

FWIW, my opinion is that polls have value only in terms of their distance from the election itself. Thus, a poll a month ago represents a two month "trend", one 2 months ago represents 4 months. It doesn't matter if one week in the middle of those time spans is different from the others, as the average over the entire period matters. Now that we're within a week, a daily fluctuation might not matter, but 4 or even 3 days of trending is pretty significant.

If that's so, then Romney's lead in the popular vote is within the margin of error, but Obama's lead in the electoral college is not. It will be *very* hard for Mitt to win, no matter how the popular vote goes.

One last FWIW, I am one of those rare people who actually likes the electoral college system. If we all lived in a single representative environment, then the popular vote would be preferable. But - in theory - each state has a guaranteed representation in our government and in the national election. I've never even been to Wyoming, but I'm very happy that they have their electors!
 
Posted by G3 (Member # 6723) on :
 
More polls! Don't you just love'em! And a little analysis, from this morning:
quote:
Let’s look at the Ohio internals. Obama up by 5 with a D+8 turnout. Hmm. It was D+5 in 2008. Is D+8 likely this time around? Probably not. Also, the same poll has Romney winning Independents by 6 points, which is about the same margin that Obama won Independents by in 2008. Yet we are supposed to believe he’ll do better this time overall with a 13 point swing in the Independent vote?
and

quote:
The same polling company (CBS/NYT/Quinnipiac) released a poll in Virginia too. Obama apparently leads by 2 points. Yet at the same time he is losing the Independent vote by 21 points! The split? D+8.
Mitt's killing it in the independent vote but Barry holds the overall lead? Heavy, and potentially unsupportable, advantages to Barry in the sample and Barry is still just barely holding onto enough to call it a tossup. I think it's either much closer than the poll says or Mitt has the edge.
 
Posted by Wayward Son (Member # 210) on :
 
Oddly enough, Nate discusses the current discrepancy between the state polls and the national polls in today's blog. He even gives a table of the state polling estimates from his model and six other state-centric models.

And he agrees with you, JWatts.

quote:
Bias, in a statistical sense, means missing consistently in one direction — for example, overrating the Republican’s performance across a number of different examples, or the Democrat’s...

In a previous article, I examined the history of bias in public polls based on whether they’ve tended systematically to overrate the standing of the Democrat or the Republican. (The answer is that they don’t exhibit either bias on a consistent basis, as long as you’re using likely voter polls; registered voter polls will tend to overstate the vote for the Democrat.)

quote:
Given all the commentary Silver has attracted in the past week, I expect we'll see plenty of post-mortems late next week, either from his defenders or detractors, depending on how the voting goes.
And for the most detailed and comprehensive post-mortem, check out Nate's site. He'll dissect his model the most. [Smile]
 
Posted by JoshuaD (Member # 1420) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
If his system is good, it should be able to take garbage and turn it into something useful. If his system is bad then it will have its own bias that has to be corrected for (if not making it outright inaccurate and thus completely unreliable)

It doesn't work like that. You can't recover good information from garbage. The best yo can do is make guesses to identify the bad info and fill in the gaps, but you can't tease reliable data out from unreliable data in the way you're suggesting.
 
Posted by TCB (Member # 1677) on :
 
Pyrtolin said:
quote:
The active issue at hand is, actually, whether his attempts to identify and correct for such bias thorugh weighting and other adjustments are evenhanded or whether they actively introduce his own bias to the process. If his system is good, it should be able to take garbage and turn it into something useful. If his system is bad then it will have its own bias that has to be corrected for (if not making it outright inaccurate and thus completely unreliable)
I think that's true for particular polls. He's adjusting for polls not including cellphone-only voters, for instance, or a poll not screening for likely voters, or a poll having a partisan lean relative to the consensus. All that works for correcting an individual poll.

But Silver is assuming that the polls are, taken together, accurate (with the addition of a bit of economic data). If the collective polls are systematically biased in some way, then Silver's analysis will reflect the same skew. For example, if G3 is right and the electorate is very close to 2010's then Romney will win a landslide, and Silver's forecast will just as ridiculous as the polls are.
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by JoshuaD:
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
If his system is good, it should be able to take garbage and turn it into something useful. If his system is bad then it will have its own bias that has to be corrected for (if not making it outright inaccurate and thus completely unreliable)

It doesn't work like that. You can't recover good information from garbage. The best yo can do is make guesses to identify the bad info and fill in the gaps, but you can't tease reliable data out from unreliable data in the way you're suggesting.
That would be true if we were talking about a single source of data- but we're talking about multiple sources of data with different levels of bias and reliability. If a particular poll happens to be unreliable, (I take it you mean "inaccurate" by that) then you weight it less, or, eventually exclude it completely if becomes clear that it's so inaccurate as to be useless. If a poll is consistently biased (like, say, Rasmussen's consistent 3 point Republican bias) then you can apply a correction factor.

The entire point of aggregating them is explicitly so that you can fill in those gaps, and the correction factors that you apply on top of that are explicitly part of the process of identifying and filling the gaps.
 
Posted by AI Wessex (Member # 6653) on :
 
"Mitt's killing it in the independent vote but Barry holds the overall lead? Heavy, and potentially unsupportable, advantages to Barry in the sample and Barry is still just barely holding onto enough to call it a tossup. I think it's either much closer than the poll says or Mitt has the edge."

It's interesting reading along in the discussion here about polls. Most "liberal" members are talking about polling methodology and reliability, while G# is arguing that polls that *don't* show Romney winning are not only wrong, but biased. What does he care? The only poll that matters is next Tuesday. In the meantime, reading Nate Silver is like getting an education; reading RCP is like stacking oreos to see how high they go before you get hungry and just plain eat one.
 
Posted by D.W. (Member # 4370) on :
 
The Oreo plan sounds like the most productive to me. Mmmm
 
Posted by JWatts (Member # 6523) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by D.W.:
The Oreo plan sounds like the most productive to me. Mmmm

No, the Oreo plan is just sugar coated soy, designed to appeal to the unsophisticated palate. The Nutter Butter plan is obviously superior and has an approximately 74.6% chance of winning next week, but an 80.314159% chance if the contest were held today.
 
Posted by Wayward Son (Member # 210) on :
 
You're off by 0.000030%. [Smile]
 
Posted by DonaldD (Member # 1052) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by JWatts:
quote:
Originally posted by D.W.:
The Oreo plan sounds like the most productive to me. Mmmm

No, the Oreo plan is just sugar coated soy, designed to appeal to the unsophisticated palate. The Nutter Butter plan is obviously superior and has an approximately 74.6% chance of winning next week, but an 80.314159% chance if the contest were held today.
Actually, make that 77.4% next week or 79.5% if held today [Wink] Plus or minus a slice of pi, of course.
 
Posted by AI Wessex (Member # 6653) on :
 
"Plus or minus a slice of pi, of course."

Only if you're rounding up or down.
 
Posted by Wayward Son (Member # 210) on :
 
This argument is getting irrational.
 
Posted by NobleHunter (Member # 2450) on :
 
I think there's too many imaginary numbers.
 
Posted by AI Wessex (Member # 6653) on :
 
Imaginary numbers in politics include the number of voters in Texas who died 20 years ago but still somehow manage to send in their absentee ballots every 4 years.
 
Posted by NobleHunter (Member # 2450) on :
 
Unless they're just endlessly repeating. Then they wouldn't be imaginary numbers.
 
Posted by G3 (Member # 6723) on :
 
Let's look at the Quinnipiac/New York Times/CBS News Virginia poll again.

First, the history: in VA 2008 the actual, final breakdown was D39% R33% I27%. Obama beat McCain by one point among independents, 49%-48%. The end result, Obama wins VA by about 52-46.

Now, 4 years later this poll says we have a D35% R27% I35% electorate in VA. Independents are way up and among those I's, Romney has a 21 point lead. The end result, Obama declared up by 2% in the polls. My back of the envelope, on the fly, WAG says that would come in around Obama winning VA at about 50-48.

Obama loses, *massively*, among a considerably larger I electorate and still holds that kind of lead? It seems that poll has to be a little off. I don't buy a D+8 poll only putting Obama up by 2 either. If that's the case, voter enthusiasm for him must be truly in the ****ter.
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
A 60/40 split of those I's would be 21% and 14%, repsectively. That's Romney up by 20% among the I's. Total vote count, assuming otherwise perfect fidelity would be O: 49%, R: 48% leaving a bit of room for minor party blur.

How many of those I's and R's are undecided or breaking for Goode? There are some suggestion that he's got enough pull, particularly in SW VA, to bend those counts a bit. You only need to bleed 1% (in absolute terms) more away from Romney with votes for Goode or Johnson than are going to Stein to open that to 2% in Obama's favor. Especially when considering that people are much more willing to assert a minor party vote on the phone ahead of time than they are to actually follow through.
 
Posted by hobsen (Member # 2923) on :
 
There seems to be a real split this year, with some pollsters predicting over 300 electoral votes for Romney, and others the same for Obama. That is way outside what is supposed to be the margin of error for properly designed polls, and is a lot more than spin. After next Tuesday some sources will look brilliant, and others will need major redesign to regain credibility, but as yet it is hard to say which is which.

At least the hurricane is unlikely to have much effect. The really disputed states are too far west, except perhaps for Ohio, to have received damage. I at least had always assumed Romney would take North Carolina and Florida and Virginia, so what happens on the East Coast does not matter for the outcome.
 
Posted by AI Wessex (Member # 6653) on :
 
As we get down to the wire, the polls I'm seeing are solidifying for Obama. Essentially the Romney bounce after the first debate has run its course. But the election itself still poses interesting and potentially frightening possibilities for massive vote fraud. That's not the same thing as voter fraud. Vote fraud is the manipulation of vote tallies to favor one candidate over another. Ohio is the most sensitive state for that, followed by Virginia due to those states' dependence on electronic voting.

Back in 2010 Washington DC tested the security for their electronic voting option for military personnel. The result was that every time a vote was cast the University of Michigan fight song would play. As a Michigander, I can tell you that hearing the song just on Saturdays is annoying enough, so it was a cruel trick to hack the machines and install the song as they did. The simple beauty of their sabotage was that it was undetectable, as would any vote swizzling be without a paper trail. Most electronic voting machines don't include that as an option.
 
Posted by JWatts (Member # 6523) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by hobsen:
There seems to be a real split this year, with some pollsters predicting over 300 electoral votes for Romney, and others the same for Obama. That is way outside what is supposed to be the margin of error for properly designed polls, and is a lot more than spin. After next Tuesday some sources will look brilliant, and others will need major redesign to regain credibility, but as yet it is hard to say which is which.

Yes, there definitely seems to be a large gap in the polls. However, that might just be an artifact of a tight race.
 
Posted by yossarian22c (Member # 1779) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:
This argument is getting irrational.

*warning really bad math pun below [Big Grin]

The rationals are too dense to argue.

*A bit of math history below.

Honestly though all the numbers after the rational numbers were named with a since of word play.

Rational numbers - a ratio of two integers
Irrational numbers - numbers with a decimal representation that aren't rational numbers
Real numbers - any number with a decimal representation
Imaginary numbers - not real numbers
 
Posted by DonaldD (Member # 1052) on :
 
79.0% and 81.4% today. That still means that Romney would win once out of every five times, but it's getting to the point where Silver will look quite bad if Obama doesn't win.
 
Posted by NobleHunter (Member # 2450) on :
 
Silver will have a decent defense if *all* the state polls are garbage. If I remember the last Canadian election right, pretty much all the prognosticators were wrong because most of the polls were wrong about the level of support for the Conservatives.

While Silver compensates for bad polls, if all the polls are bad, then he really has nothing to work with. Another dodge would be that the nationwide polls are actually more accurate than the state polls, despite recent trends.

Of course, if he's wrong and the other poll aggregators are right or the vote percentages largely match the polls, then he he'll have to write a very awkward blog post following the election.
 
Posted by JWatts (Member # 6523) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by NobleHunter:
Silver will have a decent defense if *all* the state polls are garbage. If I remember the last Canadian election right, pretty much all the prognosticators were wrong because most of the polls were wrong about the level of support for the Conservatives.

While Silver compensates for bad polls, if all the polls are bad, then he really has nothing to work with. Another dodge would be that the nationwide polls are actually more accurate than the state polls, despite recent trends.

That's not a valid defense in Nate Silver's case. He has applied his own weighting to the polls on an individual basis. So he's picking the polls to use and deciding how much trust to give them.

Saying I trust poll X and then later saying that I'm not at fault, it was poll X that mislead me is not a valid defense. His only reasonable defense is if the specific polls he gave a higher weighting too were more accurate than other reliable polls were. However, even then he can't point to beating a poll with a notoriously bad record (say IBD/TIPP) as a sign of success.

Let's see how Nate Silver stacks up against Rasmussen or Gallup.
 
Posted by Wayward Son (Member # 210) on :
 
It came to me last night why I think Nate is a sincere poll watcher rather than a partisan.

Partisans spend most of their time talking about how the other side is wrong.

Nate spends most of his time talking about why he thinks he is right.

This, I think, is a pretty good test in most areas of dispute. [Big Grin]
 
Posted by NobleHunter (Member # 2450) on :
 
I'm not saying that "poll X is bad" is a defense. I'm saying that if there are no good polls then it's a defense. It's theoretically possible for the polls to completely fail to measure the mood of the electorate. He's going to be wrong if there's a systematic problem with essentially all of the polls.

As I said, I think that's what happened in Canada's last election.
 
Posted by AI Wessex (Member # 6653) on :
 
Here's an interesting analysis and attack on Nate Silver's credibility and predictions by Dean Chambers, founder of the ultra-conservative but "non-partisan" website unskewedpolls.com that reminds me of Noel's devastating analysis of the deficiencies of Hillary Clinton's foreign policy stewardship at State:
quote:
Nate Silver is a man of very small stature, a thin and effeminate man with a soft-sounding voice that sounds almost exactly like the “Mr. New Castrati” voice used by Rush Limbaugh on his program. In fact, Silver could easily be the poster child for the New Castrati in both image and sound. Nate Silver, like most liberal and leftist celebrities and favorites, might be of average intelligence but is surely not the genius he's made out to be. His political analyses are average at best and his projections, at least this year, are extremely biased in favor of the Democrats.
He then goes on to buttress his argument by saying:
quote:
He claims to have been highly accurate in predicting the 2008 election results, and perhaps he was.
Huh? Oh, he gives this further analysis to explain why that isn't important:
quote:
But it's highly unlikely his current methods and projections will have the level of accuracy unless he changes then quite a lot between now and election day. The race has shifted profoundly in favor of Mitt Romney while Nate Sillver is still projecting an Obama win. Unless he changes that, the credibility he earned in 2008 will be greatly diminished after this years election.
Deep thinking, deep thoughts. Here are some "analysis" articles recommended by this author (which I think he just happened to write himself, but I am not sure):
quote:
Mitt Romney leads by nine percent in new QStarNews presidential poll
Mitt Romney 54 percent 359 electoral votes projected at UnSkewed Polls site
Mitt Romney maintains strong electoral lead...
Romney leads in nine of 11 key swing states by UnSkewed Polls averages (new 10/28)

Gotta remember this guy's name and see what he says after the election.
 
Posted by kmbboots (Member # 6161) on :
 
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/wp/2012/10/30/the-nate-silver-backlash/

quote:
Every major political betting market and every major forecasting tool is predicting an Obama victory right now, and for the same reason: Obama remains ahead in enough states that, unless the polls are systematically wrong, or they undergo a change unlike any we’ve yet seen in the race, Obama will win the election.

There’s no doubt about that. Real Clear Politics, which leans right, shows Romney up by 0.8 percent nationally, but shows Obama up in Ohio, New Hampshire, Iowa, Nevada, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan. Romney is up in Florida and North Carolina, but note that his lead in Florida is smaller than Obama’s lead in Ohio. And RCP shows Colorado and Virginia tied. Pollster.com, meanwhile, shows Obama leading by a point in Colorado and Virginia and the race tied in Florida.


 
Posted by Wayward Son (Member # 210) on :
 
quote:
Here's an interesting analysis and attack on Nate Silver's credibility and predictions...
And here's another from Sean Davis at the Daily Caller, basically echoing NobleHunter's analysis.

quote:
Because the FiveThirtyEight model is a complete slave to state polls. When state polls are accurate, FiveThirtyEight looks amazing. But when state polls are incorrect, FiveThirtyEight does quite poorly. That’s why my very simple model and Silver’s very fancy model produce remarkably similar results — they rely on the same data. Garbage in, garbage out.
But Sean takes it a bit farther:

quote:
Nate Silver’s model could very well forecast every state correctly next week, assuming the polls accurately reflect the true voting population. But if they’re wrong, it’ll be Nate Silver whose value is at risk. If that happens, I have a great title for his next book: “The Snake and the Oil.”
The big difference between Sean's model and Nate's model is that, after the election, Sean will put his paper away until the next election. Nate will start tearing his model apart, trying to make it better.

What I don't understand is why Dean and Sean are so concerned about Nate. If Nate is wrong, he's wrong; Tuesday will tell, and they can laugh at him then. If Nate's right, then he's right; he didn't create the outcome, he just reported it. But why deride him before the election, or at all? He just another prognosticator, one who is trying to make a more scientific prognostication than the regular off-the-cuff prognosticators. Because it is somewhat mathematical, I believe it has a slightly better chance of being right. But even the best guess is still a guess. [Smile]

It feels like there is a bit of jealously going on here with these Nate haters, don't you think? [Smile]

[ November 01, 2012, 01:46 PM: Message edited by: Wayward Son ]
 
Posted by DonaldD (Member # 1052) on :
 
I know it won't be popular to point this out, but even when an election diverges from a poll, it doesn't necessarily mean the poll was 'wrong'; remember, every poll is published with a (usually 95%) confidence level. If you hit the 1/20 chance, then you hit the 1/20 chance.

Now, because Silver is averaging polls, and giving credence to some polls over others, and takes into consideration somewhat historical information, he should arguably have a better than 95% confidence level. But still, even if calling the election 80% for Obama (he's 'only' at 80% right now), 99 times out of 100, there is still the 20% chance that Romney could win and still be consistent with his modelling even if his modelling is 100% correct.

It won't be satisfying to many people, and Silver would likely accept the shaming that would come his way, but that's just statistics.

[ November 01, 2012, 02:01 PM: Message edited by: DonaldD ]
 
Posted by AI Wessex (Member # 6653) on :
 
"What I don't understand is why Dean and Sean are so concerned about Nate. If Nate is wrong, he's wrong; Tuesday will tell, and they can laugh at him then. If Nate's right, then he's right; he didn't create the outcome, he just reported it. But why deride him before the election, or at all?"

Because he's physically unattractive. But seriously, folks, Republicans and conservatives have an unsatisfiable need to control the conversation. I think this is consistent with conservative political thinking in general in which they want to disallow the possibility of abortion, same sex marriage, raising taxes -- anything they have a glimmer of insight into and disagreement with. That doesn't include just the deeds themselves, but any discussion of them. They think each of those things is in essence the result of a meme, and by disallowing the meme they can make the act itself disappear <poof!>.
 
Posted by AI Wessex (Member # 6653) on :
 
Romney is the one who's getting desperate. Now he's shifting his focus from lying about auto jobs in Ohio to making up lies about Medicare in Virginia:
quote:
“I happen to believe that the choice you make [on Nov. 6] will have enormous consequence for a senior who’s perhaps needing the care of a specialist,” the Republican candidate explained. “If he or she makes a call to the doctor and if Obamacare is installed and the president’s re-elected, why when making that call, you’re mostly likely going to have the receptionist come back and say, ‘Sorry, we’re not taking in more Medicare patients.’”

After pausing for boos and moans from his supporters, Romney continued: “Because the president is cutting Medicare to pay for Obamacare.”

Everywhere he goes he has a new fright tale woven of lies tailored for his audience.
 
Posted by kmbboots (Member # 6161) on :
 
I think that it has more to do with how pundits make their money. If it isn't a "horse race" with every little thing being a "game changer" no one will watch or listen to them and they will be out of jobs.
 
Posted by G3 (Member # 6723) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:
What I don't understand is why Dean and Sean are so concerned about Nate. If Nate is wrong, he's wrong; Tuesday will tell, and they can laugh at him then. If Nate's right, then he's right; he didn't create the outcome, he just reported it. But why deride him before the election, or at all? He just another prognosticator, one who is trying to make a more scientific prognostication than the regular off-the-cuff prognosticators. Because it is somewhat mathematical, I believe it has a slightly better chance of being right. But even the best guess is still a guess.

Do you know where Silver works? Guess ...

quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:
It feels like there is a bit of jealously going on here with these Nate haters, don't you think? [Smile]

It feels like there is a bit of defensiveness going on here with the Nate lovers, don't you think? [Smile]
 
Posted by Wayward Son (Member # 210) on :
 
quote:
Do you know where Silver works? Guess ...
So what? Does the place where you work influence how much we should trust your explanations and reasonings?
 
Posted by TCB (Member # 1677) on :
 
JWatts said:
quote:
That's not a valid defense in Nate Silver's case. He has applied his own weighting to the polls on an individual basis. So he's picking the polls to use and deciding how much trust to give them.
The polling data out of the swing states paints a pretty fairly consistent picture of where the race is at. The last seven polls out of Ohio show Obama +2, Obama +3, Obama +3, Obama +3, Obama +5, Obama +5, Obama +5. Granted, that list doesn't include Rasmussen, which will probably show something between tied and Romney +2, if past trends hold.

The only way you could weight those numbers to put Romney ahead would be to weight Rasmussen at 1.0 and every other poll at much closer to 0.

If Romney wins Ohio it probably means the professional polling industry made systematic errors. With the polls consistently showing a small difference, they even be minor systematic errors. The risk of systematic polling errors plus Ohio's reputation as a slightly right-of-center state is probably why Silver still forecasts Romney as winning Ohio one in five times.

If Silver gets it wrong it's more likely that he was fundamentally wrong in believing poll data rather than because he was simply partisan. And trusting poll data seems to make sense given that it's done a fairly decent job in recent history.
 
Posted by hobsen (Member # 2923) on :
 
If Nzte Silver is indeed deciding how much weight to give each poll subjectively, the criticism is justified. But I assumed the poll weighting was an automatic function of the election model he set running last June. That could have showed Romney leading, and right after the Denver debate I believe it did, but now it shows Romney with little chance.

What I do remember is Silver's action with respect to one poll - a Pennsylvania poll paid for by Pennsylvania Republicans which showed Romney leading by six points in the state, and which came out the same day my newspaper reported Romney had withdrawn all his campaign workers from Pennsylvania and conceded the state to Obama. Silver included it in his model at full value, even if Romney's action suggested even Romney's advisers did not believe it.
 
Posted by AI Wessex (Member # 6653) on :
 
It's pretty clear that the vote management in Ohio is corrupt and is being gamed for Romney. The story is only slowly developing but it is going to become a huge scandal for Republicans if Romney is declared the winner. Husted is the Ohio Secretary of State who tried to restrict early voting in Democrat areas of the state already, and has reduced the hours on each data that the early voting is allowed:
quote:
The Columbus Dispatch reported today that a data-sharing glitch and mistakes by election officials has caused thousands of absentee ballot requests to be rejected. While Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted maintains that this was a computer error, the Northeast Ohio Voter Advocates found an abnormally high rate of rejected absentee ballot requests in Cuyahoga County, a Democratic stronghold that includes Cleveland. The Cuyahoga Board of Elections determined that 865 ballot requests had been erroneously thrown out.

If these voters try to cast their vote in person, they will likely be forced to use a provisional ballot, as the absentee ballot error has thrown their registration status into question. At least 4,500 registered voters across the state will be left waiting for their absentee ballots, while as many as 6,000 provisional ballots cast by registered voters could be tossed out. The provisional ballots that do not get thrown out won’t be counted until November 17, according to state law, further dragging out the confusion.


 
Posted by Wayward Son (Member # 210) on :
 
Criswell predicts: Ohio will be so close, it will need a recount, which won't be resolved until Dec. 21, 2012.

IOW, the Mayans were right after all. [Wink]
 
Posted by Wayward Son (Member # 210) on :
 
Of course, even Criswell wasn't as loony as Glen Beck:

quote:
...[A]s he explained his theory yesterday that any poll showing that Romney and President Obama are tied in any state really means that Romney will win that state by three to six points, resulting in a landslide electoral vote victory of 321-217 for Romney, which "would be a mandate [and] a giant, giant spanking".
Criswell merely predicted that the world would end on Aug. 18, 1999. [Big Grin]
 
Posted by G3 (Member # 6723) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:
quote:
Do you know where Silver works? Guess ...
So what? Does the place where you work influence how much we should trust your explanations and reasonings?
It can, Silver works for the NYT - one of the most liberal newspapers there is. Would he not be influenced by that environment? Do you know where Nate was before the NYT? He was a blogger for Daily Kos. I'm not saying that means he's intentionally biased on his numbers but he's pushing something that is a rather large statistical outlier and in evaluating this it may be smart to figure in where he's coming from. He could be right, and everyone else is wrong, sure, it could happen. What are the odds though?
 
Posted by AI Wessex (Member # 6653) on :
 
Who cares, really. We'll know soon enough whether you or he knows more about what's going on.
 
Posted by JWatts (Member # 6523) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by AI Wessex:
Who cares, really. We'll know soon enough whether you or he knows more about what's going on.

Tuesday it is. [Wink]
 
Posted by NobleHunter (Member # 2450) on :
 
With our luck, we won't know until March.
 
Posted by Wayward Son (Member # 210) on :
 
quote:
...he's pushing something that is a rather large statistical outlier...
Just out of curiosity, what do the other polls that you are familiar with say?

Nate currently predicts 50.5% for Obama and 48.4% to Romney of the popular vote.

He's projecting about 303.4 electorial votes to Obama (give or take).

He estimates Obama has an 80.9% chance of winning this election.

Meanwhile, RCP gives 47.5% for Obama and 47.2% for Romney of the national vote.

And RCP projects Obama getting 290 electorial votes, which is pretty close to what Nate projects.

What does everyone else say?

[ November 02, 2012, 12:21 PM: Message edited by: Wayward Son ]
 
Posted by AI Wessex (Member # 6653) on :
 
Rove had an op-ed in the WSJ the other day where he claimed almost the mirror opposite of Silver, arguing that Romney is ahead in nearly all the polls. He didn't list them, however. His point was that Romney is unstoppable.
 
Posted by DonaldD (Member # 1052) on :
 
I'm not sure how much of an outlier 538 is...

Electoral College prediction:
538: 303 to 235
RCP: 290 to 248
Electoral-vote.com: 281 to 215 (tie 42)

As for the % to win - basically, 538 comes down to Ohio now - the vast majority of combinations have the winner in Ohio taking the EC majority.

Basically, Silver has Obama at an 80% likelihood to take Ohio based on state polling - you can argue about how to calculate the % chance of winning the state, but all polls have Obama up in the state.
 
Posted by kmbboots (Member # 6161) on :
 
Depends on who is counting the votes in Ohio. As that person is Jon Husted, I am not optimistic.
 
Posted by G3 (Member # 6723) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by DonaldD:

As for the % to win - basically, 538 comes down to Ohio now - the vast majority of combinations have the winner in Ohio taking the EC majority.

I also, at the start of this thread, put Ohio in that category. It's a pretty obvious thing to most of us I think.

quote:
Originally posted by DonaldD:
Basically, Silver has Obama at an 80% likelihood to take Ohio based on state polling - you can argue about how to calculate the % chance of winning the state, but all polls have Obama up in the state.

That's the outlier I'm talking about - 80%. The state is a toss-up, razor thin margins in most polling, within MOE. And not all polls have Obama up - Rasmussen has it Romney by 2.

[ November 02, 2012, 01:15 PM: Message edited by: G3 ]
 
Posted by G3 (Member # 6723) on :
 
just looked and found this:
quote:
Obama carried Ohio by a 51% to 47% margin in 2008, but just 46% of the state’s voters now approve of the job he is doing. Fifty-one percent (51%) disapprove. This includes Strong Approval from 29% and Strong Disapproval from 44%, giving the president a slightly worse job approval rating in Ohio than he earns nationally.

Forty-seven percent (47%) have a favorable opinion of the president and 52% have an unfavorable view. Those figures include 32% with a Very Favorable opinion and 42% who have a Very Unfavorable view of him.

Romney is viewed favorably by 53% and unfavorably by 45%, including 40% with a Very Favorable opinion of the former Massachusetts governor and 32% with a Very Unfavorable one.

With that, I find it impossible to believe there is a unbiased way to put Barry at 80% on Ohio. He might take it yet once all the votes are counted but a 80% chance? No, no way.

[ November 02, 2012, 01:20 PM: Message edited by: G3 ]
 
Posted by NobleHunter (Member # 2450) on :
 
Here's Silver's methodology:

http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/methodology/

It describes why he puts the chances at Obama taking Ohio at 80%. ETA: Or what process he used to reach that decision.

[ November 02, 2012, 01:28 PM: Message edited by: NobleHunter ]
 
Posted by DonaldD (Member # 1052) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by G3:
just looked and found this:
quote:
Obama carried Ohio by a 51% to 47% margin in 2008, but just 46% of the state’s voters now approve of the job he is doing. Fifty-one percent (51%) disapprove. This includes Strong Approval from 29% and Strong Disapproval from 44%, giving the president a slightly worse job approval rating in Ohio than he earns nationally.

Forty-seven percent (47%) have a favorable opinion of the president and 52% have an unfavorable view. Those figures include 32% with a Very Favorable opinion and 42% who have a Very Unfavorable view of him.

Romney is viewed favorably by 53% and unfavorably by 45%, including 40% with a Very Favorable opinion of the former Massachusetts governor and 32% with a Very Unfavorable one.

With that, I find it impossible to believe there is a unbiased way to put Barry at 80% on Ohio. He might take it yet once all the votes are counted but a 80% chance? No, no way.
Well, yes - but those numbers all come from a single (Rasmussen) poll, which is not even the latest Ohio state poll.

For a fuller picture, one could look at all the polls done for Ohio over a month or two weeks.

Looking at the most recent poll from each firm over the last month (25 polls in total) 18 show Obama leading, 3 are ties and 4 show Romney leading. Just for fun: 18 / (18 + 4) = 0.82, so roughly 80% of the polls show Obama 'winning' the poll. [Smile]

In the last 2 weeks, the polls (19 of them) show Obama having an average lead of 2.16% (2.24% for the full month).

Compare that to Florida, where Romney only has an average 0.74% lead over Obama for the past 2 weeks (12 polls).

If you consider Ohio to be a tossup, then so is Florida, which opens up many other paths to victory for Obama, and makes Romney's path more difficult.
 
Posted by G3 (Member # 6723) on :
 
I do consider FL a tossup with a small advantage to Mitt - that's precisely why I put it in my list of states to watch in the first post on this thread. For future reference ... I did the same for VA.

Let's go back and look at that OP:
quote:
The defeat of Gov. Ted Strickland by John Kasich, a Republican, was one of the most painful outcomes of the election for Democrats and President Obama, who campaigned repeatedly in Ohio, as did Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and former President Bill Clinton.

The ouster of 5 of the 10 Democrats serving in Ohio’s 18-member Congressional delegation also caused Democrats plenty of heartburn.

But a string of other local Republican victories in the state could hurt Democrats for years to come.

Republicans defeated Democrats in all major races for statewide office ...

That was only 2 years ago, there's no reason to believe that has changed and, in fact, most polling suggests that the sentiment that drove that GOP landslide is still strong - as my previous post demonstrates.

Looking at polling over time is a good deal but I think it's more important to look at the internals of those polls and the picture they paint there is somewhat inconsistent and definitely not favorable to Barry. He's losing independents by a huge margin, turnout patterns are not boding well and he's just squeaking by in polls that give him rather incredible demographic advantages. I don't know if he'll win OH or not but I think Rasmussen may be the more accurate poll in this.
 
Posted by TCB (Member # 1677) on :
 
Let's just be clear about what we're arguing about. Below are the current RCP averages in the battleground states. (RCP is run by conservatives, if that matters to you.)

MN: Obama +5.0
WI: Obama +5.0
PA: Obama +4.6
MI: Obama +3.0
NV: Obama +2.7
OH: Obama +2.3
IA: Obama +2.0
NH: Obama +2.0
CO: Obama +0.9
VA: Romney +0.5
FL: Romney +1.2
NC: Romney +3.8

You don't have to be biased to think that Obama is the favorite. You just have to take the polling consensus at face value, and there are good reasons to do that - polls are historically predictive of election results.

To think that Obama isn't the favorite requires that you don't take the polling consensus at face value, and there may be good reasons to view them skeptically. All of the credible arguments I've heard for not trusting polls involve criticizing likely voter screens, which is pretty much turnout assumptions.

Bottom line, we're arguing about whether the polling industry as a whole, nationwide is using valid turnout assumptions.

I trust professional pollsters to predict turnout better than pundits, so I would normally discount the conservative complaints. But the media coverage weirdly contradicts the polling data - they portray North Carolina, Florida, and Virginia as easy locks for Romney, and longtime Democratic bastions as toss-ups. Either they know something we don't or Romney is playing them like a fiddle.
 
Posted by G3 (Member # 6723) on :
 
They do know something they're not telling you and it's precisely what I'm telling you for the reasons I give. [Wink]

It's a lot closer than those polls imply.

[ November 02, 2012, 02:54 PM: Message edited by: G3 ]
 
Posted by Viking_Longship (Member # 3358) on :
 
TCB I think the media is trying to up the drama.

Whatever else happens I know the guy I'm voting for is going to lose.
 
Posted by G3 (Member # 6723) on :
 
quote:
Two weeks of Washington Post-ABC News tracking poll interviews find 84 percent of likely voters who supported Obama in 2008 support him this year, while 13 percent say they are switching to Romney and 3 percent are backing others or haven’t made up their mind yet.
13% defecting from Barry to Mitt? I'll have to see that to believe it, seems a little high.
 
Posted by JWatts (Member # 6523) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by TCB:
I trust professional pollsters to predict turnout better than pundits, so I would normally discount the conservative complaints. But the media coverage weirdly contradicts the polling data - they portray North Carolina, Florida, and Virginia as easy locks for Romney, and longtime Democratic bastions as toss-ups. Either they know something we don't or Romney is playing them like a fiddle.

The media isn't being played by Romney, most of them don't like Romney. I doubt they definitely know something we don't, but they also know that the polls probably are over-predicting Obama likely turnout.

From Reason:
quote:
Without seeing the demographic composition of the likely voters in each poll, it appears that several polls are extrapolating 2008 turnout beyond what will actually occur in 2012. Consequently, these polls may overestimate Democratic turnout and thus Obama’s lead in the polls. Excluding Rasmussen, the average Democratic share lead among these polls is approximately 5 points, when historically it has been 3 points among actual voters (excluding partisan Independents). If likely voter models have in fact overestimated Democratic turnout, Obama’s lead could shrink about one and a half points.
Reason
 
Posted by Wayward Son (Member # 210) on :
 
There was a bit of talk about bias on this thread, so I thought it might be interesting to see what the actual bias in the polls was.

Oddly enough (or perhaps not so odd, considering the expectations vs the results), there was a Republican bias in the polls, at least according to Nate Silver.

quote:
However, it turned out that most polling firms underestimated Mr. Obama’s performance, so those that had what had seemed to be Democratic-leaning results were often closest to the final outcome.

Conversely, polls that were Republican-leaning relative to the consensus did especially poorly.

Among telephone-based polling firms that conducted a significant number of state-by-state surveys, the best results came from CNN, Mellman and Grove Insight. The latter two conducted most of their polls on behalf of liberal-leaning organizations. However, as I mentioned, since the polling consensus underestimated Mr. Obama’s performance somewhat, the polls that seemed to be Democratic-leaning often came closest to the mark.

Several polling firms got notably poor results, on the other hand. For the second consecutive election — the same was true in 2010 — Rasmussen Reports polls had a statistical bias toward Republicans, overestimating Mr. Romney’s performance by about four percentage points, on average. Polls by American Research Group and Mason-Dixon also largely missed the mark.

It was one of the best-known polling firms, however, that had among the worst results. In late October, Gallup consistently showed Mr. Romney ahead by about six percentage points among likely voters, far different from the average of other surveys. Gallup’s final poll of the election, which had Mr. Romney up by one point, was slightly better, but still identified the wrong winner in the election. Gallup has now had three poor elections in a row. In 2008, their polls overestimated Mr. Obama’s performance, while in 2010, they overestimated how well Republicans would do in the race for the United States House.

Check out Nate's first chart in the article.

So while there was some bias in the polls this year, a vast majority of them broke Republican, especially among the larger polling firms.

Turns out the polls were not too Democratic, but rather they were not Democratic enough. [Smile]

[ November 12, 2012, 02:31 PM: Message edited by: Wayward Son ]
 
Posted by D.W. (Member # 4370) on :
 
I think every election should be "too close to call". Maybe then our voter turnout will be a bit more respectable.
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
That certainly did not work with the 2000 re-count-o-rama. Too Close to Call leads to examination of the vote system and magnification of its flaws, plus plain false accusations of fraud, resulting in a lower turnout in the next election.
 
Posted by Aris Katsaris (Member # 888) on :
 
quote:
I think every election should be "too close to call". Maybe then our voter turnout will be a bit more respectable.
These priorities seem upside down. We want voter turnout to be high so that the results can be representative, and so that the winner has a clear mandate.

To want the elections to be close (leading to an unclear mandate and general mistrust/distrust) *just* so as to to increase voter turnout...

Beware lost purposes.

[ November 13, 2012, 08:03 AM: Message edited by: Aris Katsaris ]
 
Posted by AI Wessex (Member # 6653) on :
 
I saw an article that articulates why the electoral system is a good idea better than I've been able to (summary):

1. Certainty. There have never been any "voting irregularities" in the electoral college. The electors vote for the candidate they are obligated to. The popular vote can be contested (Florida 2000) or subjected to a recount if the difference between the candidates is less than a certain amount. That's expensive and very time-consuming. It took 8 months after the 2008 election for Minnesota to declare Al Franken the winner and take his seat in the Senate.

2. Everyone's President. No part of the country has enough electoral votes to elect the President on its own. Electoral politics forces candidates to address the needs of states with different priorities and regional needs.

3. Swing state effect. Swing state voters are probably the best barometer of who better represents everyone. Since the voters are split between the candidates their constant appearances there highlight the "debate" for the rest of us. Admittedly neither Obama nor Romney talked about global warming or immigration in Ohio, but people in states like Alabama aren't going to give the time of day to the Democratic Party candidate. No matter how often s/he comes by Mobile, what would s/he talk about there?

4. The big state problem. If NY, CA and TX were all heavily Dem** or GOP, the vote stockpile in those states could overwhelm the rest of the country where people were evenly divided. You would end up with a "big state" federal system that could then dictate "national" priorities to the other 47 states.

5. Runoff elections. This is probably the biggest one. Clinton won only 43% of the popular vote in 1992 but got more than enough electoral votes. If we elect the President by popular vote we would have either had to have a coalition between Clinton-Perot or Bush-Perot (Parlamint - yuck!) or a whole new run-off election. The only time the electoral system didn't clearly pick a winner was 1824. Perot didn't get any electoral votes, but if he had and neither Bush/Clinton got 270 the election would have ended up in the House and it would have been a partisan dogfight.

** We need a TLA for the Democrats. I was thinking of DIP (Damn Immigrant Party).
 
Posted by Aris Katsaris (Member # 888) on :
 
This list kinda assumes the things that are to be proven
1. There's no voting irregularities in the electoral college, because the electoral college doesn't cast a meaningful vote. You don't know the name of a single "elector": They're numbers not decision-makers. It's not as if you were suspensefully asking yourself "but will the electors of Obama actually *vote* for Obama?". You already knew the election was over when the "electors" were chosen. The "electoral college" as a grouping of physical people is merely of symbolic importance.

2 and 3. At this point the list doesn't even care if it's contradicting itself. First it says that the candidates need to address the needs of different states -- then it concedes that the result is whichever states are already assumed lost to a particular candidate, said candidate doesn't need to give a crap about them.

4. This is just nonsense. It's the winner-takes-all-system that gives disproportional importance to the populations of big states.

5. And here it is just assumed that "runoff elections" and/or coalition are bad things.

Jeez, these are supposed to be arguments?
 
Posted by D.W. (Member # 4370) on :
 
quote:
These priorities seem upside down. We want voter turnout to be high so that the results can be representative, and so that the winner has a clear mandate.
WE certainly don’t want that. You may. If there is a near equal vote for extreme left as there is to the extreme right I want the winners to act like a damn centrist. THAT is representative.
 
Posted by AI Wessex (Member # 6653) on :
 
[To Aris:] Yes, I agree with them all. To your comments:

1. Why would the names of electors matter? It's all about proportional representation of states.

2/3. We don't have a parliamentary system, but use semi-sovereign state representation to elect the President. For purposes of electing the President Alabama's electoral votes matter, but we already know who they will vote for. They should still go to the polls as a matter of formality and because they have other things to vote on, like in California.

4. You're arguing for a different system than we have if you think winner-take-all (popular) and balanced representation (electoral college) are bad things. You'll have to wait for the revolution.

5. Yes, they are bad things if they are gamed and ours surely would be. It would be good if they were held that they take place a week after the general election so there would be a compressed advertising cycle. I'd like the general election to have restrictions like that, where no political ads are allowed until 6 weeks before the conventions or the election.

[ November 13, 2012, 09:27 AM: Message edited by: AI Wessex ]
 
Posted by Aris Katsaris (Member # 888) on :
 
quote:
WE certainly don’t want that. You may. If there is a near equal vote for extreme left as there is to the extreme right I want the winners to act like a damn centrist. THAT is representative.
You don't indicate how higher turnout will lead to winners acting like a "damn centrist", compared to a lower turnout.

quote:
You're arguing for a different system than we have
...I don't know what system you think I have been arguing for.

Right now I think I have just been arguing against the particular points that this particular list is making.
 
Posted by D.W. (Member # 4370) on :
 
quote:
You don't indicate how higher turnout will lead to winners acting like a "damn centrist", compared to a lower turnout.
I wasn't trying to. I want a higher turn out because it means people actually care about who represents them.

In addition to that I want the elected officials to try and represent all their constituents. If they campaigned as leaning in one direction but win by a narrow margin they should act as a slightly leaning centrist. If they win by a landslide then they should push their agenda all the more.

One is not a prescription for the other. They are two separate desires.


It also matters who they ran against. If an extreme left runs against a moderate and barely wins their agenda should be more left than if that same left candidate won narrowly against an extreme right candidate. In that case he should pursue a moderate agenda. I don’t think this is likely but it’s what I would love to see happen.

I don't like 29 people pushing around 28 people while 43 people look on with dissintrest.

[ November 13, 2012, 09:56 AM: Message edited by: D.W. ]
 
Posted by AI Wessex (Member # 6653) on :
 
"I don't like 29 people pushing around 28 people while 43 people look on with dissintrest."

It can be hard to justify our system logically, given that about half of us don't vote. Some don't because they think government is evil, but I bet more don't because they figure it doesn't matter what they do. That can be either because they recognize that they can't control how the election turns out, but probably more because they think it doesn't matter who is President. It may not matter because the government is like an ocean liner that keeps steaming ahead or because the two parties are so similar that neither would change course in any meaningful way even if they could.

Ideology is the only real differentiator these days, so elections are vicious battles -- not for hearts and minds -- but to see whose hearts and minds get to decide and impose social policy.

The Founders didn't think women or slaves should vote and didn't require that states hold popular elections for President at all, but could appoint the electors (and did appoint Senators) in whatever fashion they wanted. To vote at all in most states you further had to own property, so in the end only about 10% or so of lifelong inhabitants here could vote. Each state could enact further restrictions and most did.

Things are "looser" now, but federal representation hasn't changed all that much since the beginning.
 
Posted by Pyrtolin (Member # 2638) on :
 
quote:
1. Certainty. There have never been any "voting irregularities" in the electoral college. The electors vote for the candidate they are obligated to. The popular vote can be contested (Florida 2000) or subjected to a recount if the difference between the candidates is less than a certain amount. That's expensive and very time-consuming. It took 8 months after the 2008 election for Minnesota to declare Al Franken the winner and take his seat in the Senate.
The basic argument is false here.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faithless_elector

There have been 150 cases where electors have changed their votes to someone other than who they were nominally pledged to.

I think the system would be a little more interesting if we actually allowed electors to campaign directly and were able to select them as earnest representatives to pick the president, rather than simply making them essentially partisan functionaries.
 
Posted by AI Wessex (Member # 6653) on :
 
OK, I didn't read about them wascally electors. My understanding is that that is how it used to be done in Alabama and that popular votes were then allocated based on the ultimately selected electors' affiliations. This article argues that Kennedy should have lost the popular vote in 1960 because of that.
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
1. Certainty. There have never been any "voting irregularities" in the electoral college. The electors vote for the candidate they are obligated to. The popular vote can be contested (Florida 2000) or subjected to a recount if the difference between the candidates is less than a certain amount. That's expensive and very time-consuming. It took 8 months after the 2008 election for Minnesota to declare Al Franken the winner and take his seat in the Senate.
The basic argument is false here.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faithless_elector

There have been 150 cases where electors have changed their votes to someone other than who they were nominally pledged to.

Yes, but -- correct me if I'm wrong -- no election outcome in the last 120 years has ever been swung by a Faithless Elector.

Also, the 150 number is inflated by the 63 electors who refused to vote for Horace Greeley, on the not-so-wascally grounds that HORACE GREELEY WAS DEAD. Damned necrophobes. [Big Grin]

In the last 120 years, there have only been 9 faithless electors, and one of them appears to have been a "brainless elector" in Minnesota, i.e. it was clearly an error.

[ November 13, 2012, 11:20 AM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]
 


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