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Tuesday, October 02, 2012

OTP: October 2012-THE RACE: As Candidates Prep, Attention in DC split between politics and baseball

While President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney bone up in Nevada and Colorado for Wednesday’s opening debate, back in the nation’s capital attention is split between the hard-fought presidential race and baseball playoffs.

The Nationals won the first division baseball championship for a Washington team since 1933 by clinching the National League East race Monday night.

Washington, D.C., has the only ballpark where so many Cabinet members, politicians and other luminaries routinely gather and where fans now are openly rooting for a particular president — one who served more than a century ago, Theodore Roosevelt.

“Let Teddy Win” banners and buttons are everywhere. Fans like 2008 GOP presidential nominee Sen. John McCain of Arizona say it’s time for Roosevelt’s 500-plus losing streak to end.

[...]

“Teddy, you are the victim of a vast left-wing conspiracy by the commie pinko libs in this town,” McCain said in a video played in the stadium Monday night. “But you can overcome that.”

The October 2012 “OT: Politics” thread starts ... now.

Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 02, 2012 at 02:14 PM | 6119 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: nationals, politics

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   3101. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: October 18, 2012 at 06:47 PM (#4275927)
From what I hear elegant mathematics and "foundational underpinnings" are more important than actually explaining what is happening in the real world at many grad schools.

Yep. Lots of theory based on how people "should" rationally act, not so much stuff about how people actually act (which is often irrational).
   3102. Lassus Posted: October 18, 2012 at 07:00 PM (#4275936)
Eh, most every place has at least a few foods that are awesome. New Zealand has really good mussels, killer meat pies, great dairy products, and some tasty desserts (ANZAC biscuits, Lamingtons, Pavlova). Great Britain has... um... pork pies. Those are pretty great. A proper cream tea is nothing to sneeze at either. Also, fried stuff. Everybody likes fried stuff.

This was the ringingest of endorsements. Heh.
   3103. McCoy Posted: October 18, 2012 at 07:12 PM (#4275949)
Isn't McCoy a huge prosthelytizer for the PB&J?

I don't know about that. We had a discussion about banning peanut butter from schools because someone somewhere might be allergic to nuts but that's about all the talking on peanut butter and jelly I've had here.
   3104. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 18, 2012 at 07:25 PM (#4275965)
[Except] your facts don't support mocking Michelle Obama's quote. Your moving the goal posts because you got caught being fast and loose with the facts you used to support your argument. Just admit it and move on. You might gain some credibility.

How do my facts not support mocking Michelle Obama's claim? The idea that we're in the middle of a "huge recovery" is contradicted by just about every economic metric, from GDP to U6 to food stamp enrollment.
   3105. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: October 18, 2012 at 08:02 PM (#4276018)
Great news!
Romney now leading Obama 52-45 in the Gallup LV, and Romney up +1.0 at RCP.


A long and sometimes technical post about Gallup's latest from Nate Silver, "Gallup vs. the World":

"[Gallup]'s results are deeply inconsistent with the results that other polling firms are showing in the presidential race, and the Gallup poll has a history of performing very poorly when that is the case.

Other national polls show a race that is roughly tied on average, while state polls continue to indicate a narrow advantage of about two points for President Obama in tipping-point states like Ohio.

...Of the daily tracking polls, the Gallup survey receives the largest weight in the [538.com] trend-line calculation. It uses a larger sample size than most other polls, and it has a methodology that includes calls to cellphone voters. On the other hand, the pollster ratings are also based in part on past accuracy, and Gallup’s performance is middling in that department. It mostly gets a lot of weight by comparison, since the tracking surveys are a mediocre group on the whole. The trend-line adjustment also looks at other national polls when they are published, like the New York Times/CBS News or the Wall Street Journal/NBC News surveys. This is a high-quality group of polls; the disadvantage is that they are published only occasionally.

...This is, obviously, a rather detailed answer to the seemingly simple question of how much information is provided by the Gallup national tracking poll, as opposed to all the other state and national surveys. Nevertheless, any rigorous attempt to consider the value of the Gallup poll would probably get you to something of the same answer. Perhaps the Gallup poll accounts for 5 or 10 percent of the information that an election analyst should evaluate on a given day.

...Usually, when a poll is an outlier relative to the consensus, its results turn out badly.

You do not need to look any further than Gallup’s track record over the past two election cycles to find a demonstration of this. In 2008, the Gallup poll put Mr. Obama 11 points ahead of John McCain on the eve of that November’s election. That was tied for Mr. Obama’s largest projected margin of victory among any of the 15 or so national polls that were released just in advance of the election. The average of polls put Mr. Obama up by about seven points. The average did a good job; Mr. Obama won the popular vote by seven points.

In 2010, Gallup put Republicans ahead by 15 points on the national Congressional ballot, higher than other polling firms, which put Republicans an average of eight or nine points ahead instead. In fact, Republicans won the popular vote for the United States House by about seven percentage points — fairly close to the average of polls, but representing another big miss for Gallup.

Apart from Gallup’s final poll not having been especially accurate in recent years, it has often been a wild ride to get there. Their polls, for whatever reason, have often found implausibly large swings in the race. In 2000, for example, Gallup had George W. Bush 16 points ahead among likely voters in polling it conducted in early August. By Sept. 20, about six weeks later, they had Al Gore up by 10 points instead: a 26-point swing toward Mr. Gore over the course of a month and a half. No other polling firm showed a swing remotely that large. Then in October 2000, Gallup showed a 14-point swing toward Mr. Bush over the course of a few days, and had him ahead by 13 points on Oct. 27 — just 10 days before an election that ended in a virtual tie.

In 1996, Gallup had Bill Clinton’s margin over Bob Dole increasing to 25 points from nine points over the course of four days. After the Republican convention in 2008, Gallup had John McCain leading Mr. Obama by as many as 10 points among likely voters. Although some other polls also had Mr. McCain pulling ahead in the race, no other polling firm ever gave him larger than a four-point lead. It’s not clear what causes such large swings, although Gallup’s likely voter model may have something to do with it.

...To be clear, I would not recommend that you literally just disregard the Gallup poll. You should consider it — but consider it in context. The context is that its most recent results differ substantially from the dozens of other state and national polls about the campaign. It’s much more likely that Gallup is wrong and everyone else is right than the other way around."
   3106. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: October 18, 2012 at 08:13 PM (#4276029)
Gonfalon, you just beat me to it. After visiting 538 I got distracted by reading through some of the other threads. I'd almost forgotten just how wildly fluctuating many of those past Gallup polls have been, and in both directions.
   3107. Tilden Katz Posted: October 18, 2012 at 08:16 PM (#4276030)
And the new "welfare numbers" are a complete misrepresentation.
   3108. Danny Posted: October 18, 2012 at 08:24 PM (#4276041)
Romney also leads on the RCP Electoral College Map 206 - 201 (NC went from toss-up to R).

Because they, hilariously, have Michigan and Pennsylvania marked as "Toss Ups."
   3109. Morty Causa Posted: October 18, 2012 at 08:49 PM (#4276082)
Welfare, as the article makes clear, has traditionally been payments by states to families with children. Those recipients also get Medicaid. Then there's the SSI program, a federal proram which until 1974 was a state program. Recipients of these benefits are also entitled to Medicaid (if you have Medicare, too, then you essential have complete health coverage, assuming the medical provider accepts payment under Medicaid). Then you must consider that the old and infirm, once they are incapacitated to the extent they can't care for themselves, go into nursing homes, which Medicaid pays, if you're entitled to Medicaid (see preceding). Nursing home care is very expensive, and the longer we live the more there are, and will be, the old and infirm who need it. There may be ways to reduce this Nursing Home culture, but that would probably require a wholesale revamping of our thinking (socialism, forsooth!).
   3110. McCoy Posted: October 18, 2012 at 09:22 PM (#4276128)
Because they, hilariously, have Michigan and Pennsylvania marked as "Toss Ups."

Eh-what?
   3111. McCoy Posted: October 18, 2012 at 09:29 PM (#4276135)
I really don't understand the point of Joek posting links and adding little "factoids" to the conversation. I mean what's the point of tossing a stupid grenade into a crowded room? Oh wait, I know, because that is what trolls do.
   3112. Quaker Posted: October 18, 2012 at 09:36 PM (#4276145)
Because they, hilariously, have Michigan and Pennsylvania marked as "Toss Ups."


And yet there was a Susquehanna poll today showing Romney +4 in PA.
   3113. McCoy Posted: October 18, 2012 at 09:44 PM (#4276174)
Nate Silver on the Daily Show. . .Nate tied his tie too short and Jon tied his tie too long. That is all.
   3114. SteveF Posted: October 18, 2012 at 09:50 PM (#4276185)
You could have made a pretty punishing drinking game out of the number of times he'd touch his mug without taking a sip.
   3115. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 18, 2012 at 10:37 PM (#4276252)
I really don't understand the point of Joek posting links and adding little "factoids" to the conversation. I mean what's the point of tossing a stupid grenade into a crowded room? Oh wait, I know, because that is what trolls do.

Back to the "trolling" thing, huh? That's a Seamus-level argument.

Anyway, kind of a funny post by Nate today. He gives Gallup the most weight in his model but then gives us all the reasons that Gallup is garbage.
   3116. McCoy Posted: October 18, 2012 at 10:39 PM (#4276255)
Back? It's been the argument since probably your third post here.
   3117. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: October 18, 2012 at 10:52 PM (#4276276)
Anyway, kind of a funny post by Nate today. He gives Gallup the most weight in his model but then gives us all the reasons that Gallup is garbage.

You really don't have a clue about how Nate's model works, do you? But then when it comes to polls you simply read what you want to read and spin everything else.

...To be clear, I would not recommend that you literally just disregard the Gallup poll. You should consider it — but consider it in context. The context is that its most recent results differ substantially from the dozens of other state and national polls about the campaign. It’s much more likely that Gallup is wrong and everyone else is right than the other way around."
   3118. Danny Posted: October 19, 2012 at 12:14 AM (#4276333)
And yet there was a Susquehanna poll today showing Romney +4 in PA.

Commissioned by the Republican State Committee of Pennsylvania.

There have been 20 polls of PA in the past month, four of them by Susquehanna. Five of those 20 polls have shown Romney within two points of Obama--the four by Susquehanna and one commissioned by the conservative PAC "Let Freedom Ring."
   3119. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 19, 2012 at 12:22 AM (#4276337)
You really don't have a clue about how Nate's model works, do you? But then when it comes to polls you simply read what you want to read and spin everything else.

Sorry, but if you deliberately weight the Gallup poll heavier than all others but then find the need to tell your readers, "To be clear, I would not recommend that you literally just disregard the Gallup poll. You should consider it," something has gone amiss.

If Gallup's track record "over the past two election cycles" was so shaky, then why was it deliberately given the most weight of any poll in the model? And why did it take a big Romney lead for this disclaimer to be rolled out?
   3120. Famous Original Joe C Posted: October 19, 2012 at 12:22 AM (#4276338)
[3118] to add to that, the other four major polls were Obama +7, 7, 4, and 4.
   3121. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: October 19, 2012 at 12:23 AM (#4276340)
I'm told that those polls aren't accurate. They're not giving the correct answer.
   3122. Famous Original Joe C Posted: October 19, 2012 at 12:26 AM (#4276341)
Joe K - highest weight of the DAILY TRACKING polls. You didn't even read all the way through what was posted here, let alone what the actual 538 methodology is.
   3123. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 19, 2012 at 12:30 AM (#4276343)
I'm told that those polls aren't accurate. They're not giving the correct answer.

It's funny how quickly times change. Nate went from mocking "poll truthers" two weeks ago to joining the club today. (And not only did he become a poll truther, but he became a poll truther with regards to the poll he deliberately gave the most weight in his 2012 model.)
   3124. Famous Original Joe C Posted: October 19, 2012 at 12:31 AM (#4276345)
Tracking polls are mediocre as a group. Gallup is the best of a lousy group, so among that lousy group it gets the most weight. It's right there in the words.
   3125. Famous Original Joe C Posted: October 19, 2012 at 12:31 AM (#4276346)
Edit: double post
   3126. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 19, 2012 at 12:32 AM (#4276347)
Joe K - highest weight of the DAILY TRACKING polls. You didn't even read all the way through what was posted here, let alone what the actual 538 methodology is.

Is there another individual poll that's given more weight than Gallup? If so, the article and accompanying charts don't indicate it.

Anyway, the funniest thing about all of this Gallup-bashing is that Gallup changed its methodology, barely a month from Election Day, in response to criticism from David Axelrod, but now Axelrod & Co. are furious because the revised methodology is yielding the opposite of the desired results. Somewhere, Yosemite Sam is laughing.
   3127. tshipman Posted: October 19, 2012 at 12:34 AM (#4276348)
Yeah, I think a lot of that is that the other tracking polls have issues.

Rand Poll is interesting, but sort of out there. It uses the same 3,500 people and tests them. It's an interesting concept, but hasn't really been tested.

Rasmussen has methodology problems and uses Robocalls.

IPSOS/Reuters is an online poll, which is obviously worrisome.

Gallup doesn't call cell phones, and they have some funky screens on the likely voter (compared to other outfits), but they're certainly the most reliable of the dailies.
   3128. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 19, 2012 at 01:51 AM (#4276368)
Tying up a loose end from last week:

California official whose agency under-reported unemployment stats was Obama campaign donor

Marty Morgenstern, the secretary of the California agency that substantially under-reported unemployment claims last week, contributed to President Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential election campaign, The Daily Caller has learned.

On Oct. 11, the federal government reported that weekly jobless claims were down significantly, suggesting a dramatic national increase in economic growth. But within hours, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that one major state had failed to fully document jobless claims.

Speculation among market watchers and economists initially focused on California, but the state’s Employment Development Department strongly denied that it had failed to properly document the data.

“Reports that California failed to fully report data to the U.S. Department of Labor, as required, are incorrect and irresponsible,” California Employment Development Department director Pam Harris said in a statement last week. “The California Employment Development Department, which administers the Unemployment Insurance (UI) program in the state, has reported all UI claims data and submitted the data on time.”

But early Thursday, the federal government revealed that California had, in fact, under-reported jobless data, skewing the national jobless claims results.
   3129. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: October 19, 2012 at 02:35 AM (#4276374)
You're a week behind. Business Insider had covered this last week:
In other words, had all of California's jobless claims been processed in time to make the jobless-claims release, this jobless number would still have been better than economists were expecting--but not as much better as it appeared.
Fox Business also had this last week (yes, I picked this source on purpose) as did everyone else.

Sorry, no conspiracy. It's also no shock that the Daily Caller — the right-wing Daily Beast wannabe to the point of stealing the name — would try and spin it as a left-wing conspiracy I don't blame them, they're just doing their job water-carrying for the GOP.
   3130. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: October 19, 2012 at 02:53 AM (#4276377)
Anyway, the funniest thing about all of this Gallup-bashing is that Gallup changed its methodology, barely a month from Election Day, in response to criticism from David Axelrod, but now Axelrod & Co. are furious because the revised methodology is yielding the opposite of the desired results. Somewhere, Yosemite Sam is laughing.

In addition to its campaign-long registered voters model, Gallup also began releasing its "likely voters" results for the first time earlier this month. In 2008, Gallup released its first "likely voters" results in October. In 2004, Gallup released its first "likely voters" results in October. In 2000, Gallup released its first "likely voters" results in October.

Axelrod!
   3131. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: October 19, 2012 at 03:13 AM (#4276379)
Tying up a loose end from last week:
I also wanted to add that just last week, JoeK was calling the BLS a bunch of lying incompetents. Today, he believes 100% in the accuracy and veracity of their statements. This is an appropriate reaction for him, as he is the Mitt Romney of BBTF.
   3132. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 19, 2012 at 03:18 AM (#4276381)
You're a week behind. ...

Fox Business also had this last week (yes, I picked this source on purpose) as did everyone else.

Last week you were complaining that BLS hadn't confirmed that it was California that failed to report some jobless numbers, but now, when I link to such a story, you're claiming to have accepted a Fox Business report as dispositive last week. Whatever.

I also wanted to add that just last week, JoeK was calling the BLS a bunch of lying incompetents. Today, he believes 100% in the accuracy and veracity of their statements. This is an appropriate reaction for him, as he is the Mitt Romney of BBTF.

Liar (and that one's deserved). I didn't say anything about the BLS today; I simply linked to an article that confirmed the suspicion from last week vis-a-vis the missing California numbers' impact on the jobless numbers.

***
In addition to its campaign-long registered voters model, Gallup also began releasing its "likely voters" results for the first time earlier this month. In 2008, Gallup released its first "likely voters" results in October. In 2004, Gallup released its first "likely voters" results in October. In 2000, Gallup released its first "likely voters" results in October.

Try to keep up.
   3133. CrosbyBird Posted: October 19, 2012 at 04:59 AM (#4276385)
Reading that, it's kind of hard to figure out the source of your complaint. Is the problem that we're too statist, or too far to the right?

They're two different axes. Mind you, I didn't say that we're "too far to the right," but that both of our political parties are far right of center, as compared to other first-world countries. In some places, I think we are too far to the right and in others I think we are too far to the left, but in the aggregate, America is a right-wing nation. You can obviously carve out exceptions, generally within the scope of the First and Fourth Amendments.

Statism manifests in both right-wing and left-wing policies. Restrictions on speech that deal with a perceived unfair political influence or oppression of minority groups tend to be driven by the left in this country and rejected by the right. Reduction of privacy and tougher criminal sanctions tend to be driven by the right and rejected by the left. America is probably one of the least statist first-world countries in most governmental policies.

Actually now that I remember it, you're not necessarily opposed to a single payer health care system, but from the POV of its opponents that's about as statist a position as one can have. Which brings me back to my question above.

Not only not opposed, but generally speaking, in favor of single-payer. I don't think that healthcare is a problem that can be adequately addressed under free market principles; it would be better if we didn't need government involvement but it is a necessary evil. Frankly, I don't care how opponents characterize universal healthcare; to me, it is both a moral imperative for a wealthy country to provide care to its citizens and a pragmatic imperative. I've said in the past that the negative effects of inadequate healthcare (and the anxiety associated with the possibility of financial ruin) damage the productivity of our society more than the cost to provide service, and also that providing such service is akin to "domestic national defense" in preventing social unrest.

I'll let pass the "two wings of one party" bit, which shows that either you're a bit crazy or that 95% of the rest of the country is. But that's already been rehashed over and over upthread and there's no point in doing it once again.

There are far more similarities between the two parties than there are differences. That doesn't mean that the differences aren't substantial or important, nor am I suggesting that voters might as well flip a coin because nothing will change. Even though I consider myself a highly disenfranchised voter, I strongly favor the Democrats over the Republicans, and the primary reason is that the Republicans are much more influenced by religion than the Democrats. If the Republicans somehow were to divorce themselves from the religious right, and reject their anti-abortion, anti-science, anti-homosexuality leanings, it would be a much harder decision.

Then again, I think the greatest threat to our social and cultural evolution as a nation and as a species is the poisonous influence of religion.

So, to me, your position is fair enough if you're willing to take responsibility for the fact that such a vote makes you culpable for the chance your least-favorite party will win and do marginally worse things.

I live in NY, so this is not a problem. If enough states agree to a popular vote compact, I'll feel obligated to vote for one of the parties that actually has a chance of winning because my vote will matter again for something more than a protest of a system that I can't influence anyway.
   3134. Bitter Mouse Posted: October 19, 2012 at 07:50 AM (#4276400)
I live in NY, so this is not a problem. If enough states agree to a popular vote compact, I'll feel obligated to vote for one of the parties that actually has a chance of winning because my vote will matter again for something more than a protest of a system that I can't influence anyway.


Most of what you said was very OK (I don't agree with all of it, but so what), but I wanted to comment on this part. Maybe it is just the context of the thread and your comments, and even though I understand the impulse (I fall victim to it also), but ...

All politics is not Federal politics and certainly not the Presidential election. Especially if you are not a fan of the two big parties and don't want to try change them directly you can still participate in other elections especially since third parties and individuals can make a difference there. The major parties are formed out of what happens at the lower levels, politicians do not arrive fully formed on the nation scene.

If you believe you can't do anything, that your voice and your vote don't count, then you are automatically correct. But don't believe that, because it is not true.
   3135. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: October 19, 2012 at 08:12 AM (#4276403)
C-Bird,

That last post of yours (#3133) was a model of forthrightness and clarity. Having read what you've written before, I could have guessed most of your answers, but I wanted to give you an opportunity to address all the points I raised in one post. You display an ability to make critical distinctions that's rare on threads like this, and I don't think it should go unnoticed.
   3136. RollingWave Posted: October 19, 2012 at 08:13 AM (#4276405)
Given the way electoral laws are setup in the US, the odds or a 3rd party succeeding on anything more than a very very local level is close to nil
   3137. dlf Posted: October 19, 2012 at 08:42 AM (#4276412)
   3138. Bitter Mouse Posted: October 19, 2012 at 08:42 AM (#4276413)
Given the way electoral laws are setup in the US, the odds or a 3rd party succeeding on anything more than a very very local level is close to nil


Sure, except in Maine this year. And Minnesota previously. And other places. But yes the deck is stacked against third parties and against changing either of the big two. I just think giving up is a terrible response to a daunting task.
   3139. JL Posted: October 19, 2012 at 09:46 AM (#4276460)
How do my facts not support mocking Michelle Obama's claim? The idea that we're in the middle of a "huge recovery" is contradicted by just about every economic metric, from GDP to U6 to food stamp enrollment.

Then cite to that evidence. When you cite to an article on 2011 statitics to mock a claim made in October, 2012, people won't take you serious. If the "liberals" did this on this site you would be all over them and rightly so.

Look, you wanted to take a shot at the Obama's and got lazy doing it. Pretending that it was anything else is silly. I won't hold my breath on you admitting that though.
   3140. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: October 19, 2012 at 09:46 AM (#4276461)
Given the way electoral laws are setup in the US, the odds or a 3rd party succeeding on anything more than a very very local level is close to nil

Sure, except in Maine this year. And Minnesota previously.
Parties != Candidates

A successful third party is one that actually functions as a party. Has a platform and positions, runs candidates up and down the slate, builds an infrastructure. All that stuff. Minnesota and Maine (and Vermont and Connecticut and many others) have had successful individual politicians run outside of the party structure. In none of these cases has a viable third party emerged from the individual candidate's success.
   3141. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: October 19, 2012 at 09:48 AM (#4276466)
You really don't have a clue about how Nate's model works, do you? But then when it comes to polls you simply read what you want to read and spin everything else.


The lack of understanding that JoeK has amply demonstrated with respect to mathematics, analogies, hypotheticals, deductive logic, inductive logic, is simply stunning, I wonder if he's just as baffled by the tides as Bill O'Reilly
   3142. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: October 19, 2012 at 09:53 AM (#4276472)
But yes the deck is stacked against third parties and against changing either of the big two. I just think giving up is a terrible response to a daunting task.
It depends on what you mean by "giving up". In a US with different electoral laws, I'd be happy to support a Green or Working Families party over the Democrats. In a first-past-the-post system, with one-candidate one-district representation, ideological third parties are going to function simply as stalking horses for the major party with which they most disagree. Look at the complete disasters in Canada and the UK, where conservative parties drawing only 40% of the vote have won big majorities because the left and center left split their votes. If that's "success", I want no part of it.

Now, I do think there are things that a left third party can do. (1) Build infrastructure at the local level, try to get people onto city councils and school boards and maybe some statehouses, running from currently one-party districts. (2) Work to get election laws changed so that third parties don't have to siphon their support from the ideologically nearest major party. Anything more than that, I pretty much oppose regardless.

For third parties that don't stand ideologically to one side or the other, I don't think there's much to do either. I tend to believe that most people who support these parties are either (a) actually partisans who like to posture as being above the messiness of all that human politics, Friedman-style** or (b) supporters of ludicrously unpopular ideologies whose goal needs to be just the everyday work of convincing other people before they can think about being a viable political party.

**And recognizing that you're a partisan doesn't mean giving up on changing the parties. It just means, if you have a strong preference for one of the major parties over the other on 75% of issues or more, then you should join that party and work to change it from the inside of the 25% or less that you disagree with.
   3143. Morty Causa Posted: October 19, 2012 at 10:11 AM (#4276482)
Given the way electoral laws are setup in the US, the odds or a 3rd party succeeding on anything more than a very very local level is close to nil


Yes, that is true, but only in narrow, superficial sense, and that sense is if you define and accept success only if standard-bearers candidates of a third party are actually elected to office. Effect of third parties plays out in broader ways. Third parties do influence the policies of the main two parties, which in turn influences government policy.

In our history, we have seen new parties develop, and on a couple of occasions either became a dominant party or in an Invasion of the Body Snatchers succubus process pretty much transmogrify a party.

It started at the very beginning with dissenters Jefferson and Madison starting their own party, and you may note that they were elected, then continued with Andrew Jackson radically changing the nature of the Democratic Party.

Later the abolitionists and Lincoln did the same with the creation of the Republican Party. That same party became the big business party, although for a while it was also had a reform progressive element, reaching its apogee with TR's ascension and with his concept of a very active and aggressive national government that included trying to put big business in its place.

Progressivism had its influence on the Democratic Party, too. The socialism influence of the early 20th century on the way the Democratic Party changed, culminating in the election of radically different president, FDR, which transformation continued with HST, JFK, and LBJ. That's change with a big difference.

The old left was then altered with New Left doctrinaire ideology, liberal in outcome, illiberal in process, in terms of deference to minorities and to women. The war protestors and feminist had their way, took control of the party, and in 1972 very much had different candidate running for President. That's big change.

At the same time, when the dynamic changes, interests have to be accounted for somewhere. The Republican Party absorbed the old Dixecrats (which had they become Republicans earlier, Richard Nixon would have probably won in 1960), which had found dynamic expression in Wallace for a while, and which carried a Moral Majority with it into the Republican Party. Now, we see a good old faux Libertarianism strain making itself know (yeah, it’s a corruption of the Holy Text, but that’s what happens in politics when you have to vie for diverging interests), which we've seen the influences of on the federal courts, including or especially the Supreme Court and in official federal economic policy.

I’m sure I left out some trends and strains of influences, but the point is that it's not at all as if the two parties are these unchanging monoliths.
   3144. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: October 19, 2012 at 10:25 AM (#4276502)
Gallup doesn't call cell phones, and they have some funky screens on the likely voter (compared to other outfits), but they're certainly the most reliable of the dailies.


1: Gallup calls cell phones - so says Gallup

2: Their likely voter screen misfired badly in 2008 and 2010, time will tell for 2012, but their results are certainly out of line with everyone else

3: Most reliable???? When? Certainly not the last few election cycles, their results swing wildly
   3145. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: October 19, 2012 at 10:43 AM (#4276527)
Gallup doesn't call cell phones, and they have some funky screens on the likely voter (compared to other outfits), but they're certainly the most reliable of the dailies.


1: Gallup calls cell phones - so says Gallup

I think tshipman was probably confusing Gallup's cell phone policy with Rasmussen's, which by law isn't allowed to call cell phones.
   3146. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: October 19, 2012 at 10:44 AM (#4276528)
Last week you were complaining that BLS hadn't confirmed that it was California that failed to report some jobless numbers, but now, when I link to such a story, you're claiming to have accepted a Fox Business report as dispositive last week. Whatever.
And you provided a link showing I didn't say that at all. LIAR. I wrote that post on the 11th, and at that time "they didn't have the numbers because California didn't report them", which was true then and still true now. The two links I provided were posted on the 12th. I didn't claim that I linked to them on the 12th, only that the issue was briefly a news item then, and was address then. EOS.

Liar (and that one's deserved). I didn't say anything about the BLS today; I simply linked to an article that confirmed the suspicion from last week vis-a-vis the missing California numbers' impact on the jobless numbers.
You understand that the article's source was someone in the BLS? I guess you don't. And not only did it not "confirm" anything — the Daily Caller article had no new information, but was simply repeating old information that the Business Insider article address, but the Daily Caller article focused more on insinuating that there's a conspiracy at work — just like every other column in the Caller.
   3147. formerly dp Posted: October 19, 2012 at 10:51 AM (#4276538)
You understand that the article's source was someone in the BLS? I guess you don't.


You're making the common mistake of assuming that Joe both reads and understands the articles he links to.
   3148. tshipman Posted: October 19, 2012 at 11:00 AM (#4276544)
I also wanted to add that just last week, JoeK was calling the BLS a bunch of lying incompetents. Today, he believes 100% in the accuracy and veracity of their statements. This is an appropriate reaction for him, as he is the Mitt Romney of BBTF.


Thank you for posting this, LAAofA. I read Joe's post last night on my phone and almost got out of bed to post something similar. +1

1: Gallup calls cell phones - so says Gallup


That's my bad there. Andy, I actually was thinking only of Gallup. Maybe they didn't use to call cell-phones?

In any case, it's pretty clear that Gallup has the best methodology compared to the other trackers. They just have small samples and some goofy weights (compared to other pollsters).
   3149. Morty Causa Posted: October 19, 2012 at 11:03 AM (#4276548)
According to our 2009 metrics, the aftermath of the most recent U.S. financial crisis has been quite typical of systemic financial crises around the globe in the postwar era. If one really wants to focus just on U.S. systemic financial crises, then the recent recovery looks positively brisk.


According to this article, systemic collapses take time for recovery, and this recovery is better than most .
   3150. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: October 19, 2012 at 11:17 AM (#4276558)
In any case, it's pretty clear that Gallup has the best methodology compared to the other trackers. They just have small samples and some goofy weights (compared to other pollsters).

But here's where I get confused by terminology. Why aren't those goofy weights considered to be part of their methodology? As we can see by Gallup's history, their results fluctuate in both directions** far more than either other polls or common sense would seem to suggest. This week Romney's numbers are much higher than the norm, but IIRC with the past month or two we've seen the same thing for Obama, and then there's that 10 point McCain lead in 2008, and so on.

The only conclusion I can draw from all this is that it's a smart idea to assign lesser weight to tracking polls in general, for the reasons that Nate spells out. Don't ignore them, but weigh them accordingly and put them in context.

**Nate claims that Gallup also exhibits a slight Republican bias, but IMO that's not nearly as significant as the wild fluctuations in their results. We can note and factor in a consistent bias, but it's much harder (for me, anyway) to "translate" erratic week-to-week swings that often go far beyond what every other pollster has recorded.
   3151. CrosbyBird Posted: October 19, 2012 at 11:18 AM (#4276559)
All politics is not Federal politics and certainly not the Presidential election. Especially if you are not a fan of the two big parties and don't want to try change them directly you can still participate in other elections especially since third parties and individuals can make a difference there. The major parties are formed out of what happens at the lower levels, politicians do not arrive fully formed on the nation scene.

That's definitely true, but generally speaking, I believe that my local politicians really are the most suitable candidates. For example, I certainly have issues with Bloomberg but he was the guy I wanted as mayor. The place that I probably should pay the most attention is in judicial elections, because that's probably where I could exert the most influence. (I do regularly vote in my co-op's election of board members, though. Can't get more local than that!)

3135: Thanks for that, Andy. At first I was a little annoyed at the "crazy" comment, but I realized that my earlier post wasn't entirely clear on how I felt about similarities/differences in the parties and that my position could be misinterpreted as "the two parties are indistinguishable." I'm glad to have been able to clarify in what I hope was a snark-free way.
   3152. Bitter Mouse Posted: October 19, 2012 at 11:33 AM (#4276566)
Back from the dentist.
Parties != Candidates

A successful third party is one that actually functions as a party. Has a platform and positions, runs candidates up and down the slate, builds an infrastructure. All that stuff. Minnesota and Maine (and Vermont and Connecticut and many others) have had successful individual politicians run outside of the party structure. In none of these cases has a viable third party emerged from the individual candidate's success.


True. I think that a way to change things is to have a strong grass roots local party and pair it with a candidate who breaks out for whatever reasons. I did not vote for Ventura, but my biggest annoyance with him is he got elected and did zero to actually grow the Independence (was it Reform? not sure any more) party like he claimed he wanted to. MN has a long history of third parties (see DFL history) and he could have done something.

Don't get me wrong I would have been against it because it likely would have pulled votes away from my party, but the hypocrisy of the whole thing annoyed me.

Anyway as detailed above the traditional thing third parties do is influence (or replace) one of the big two. So do that. Anyway I just think defeatism is feeble, but I am glad folks are articulating (and very well) their positions (great posts CrosbyBird).

Back to work - these reports are not going to speed themselves up.
   3153. zonk Posted: October 19, 2012 at 11:33 AM (#4276567)
Given the way electoral laws are setup in the US, the odds or a 3rd party succeeding on anything more than a very very local level is close to nil

Sure, except in Maine this year. And Minnesota previously.

Parties != Candidates

A successful third party is one that actually functions as a party. Has a platform and positions, runs candidates up and down the slate, builds an infrastructure. All that stuff. Minnesota and Maine (and Vermont and Connecticut and many others) have had successful individual politicians run outside of the party structure. In none of these cases has a viable third party emerged from the individual candidate's success.


Precisely -

Most of those '3rd party' successes are really more a matter of well-known pols who just run as independent... I know Ventura sorta kinda tried to ignite a true 3rd party, but seems like it pretty much disappeared when he did.

I do, however, believe that Vermont has a legitimate 3rd party -- at least, at the state level... I don't recall if they're affiliated with the Greens or not -- but the Vermont Progressive party tends to pull a half dozen+ plus state legislature seats.

The problem with so many 3rd party wish casters is that they just seem to start so top-down. That's a twofold problem - first, if you consider most 3rd parties are anti-establishment/anti-authoritarian -- how in the world does it make any sense for those movements to rally around a singular Presidential or even gubernatorial candidate? It's the very definition of an authoritarian structure -- get THE top guy and that top guy will make everything better? Second, any success pretty much ensures it becomes a single person-centric cult of personality -- not a true "party" or movement. A 3rd party executive branch type is going to have NO allies in the legislature -- which means the party platform in essence becomes whatever that one leader says it is. Not only would that make it difficult get things done, but there's no core discipline to shared principles, either.

Living in a deep blue part of Chicago, I do occasionally vote Green -- whenever I feel like my Democrat isn't as blue as s/he should be (I voted Green against Rahm a couple times when he was my rep, for example... but I'm pretty happy with Quigley, so I probably won't this time).

That's one reason why I actually do respect the Green party -- they do try to slate as much of the ballot as they can, they do focus on state legislatures and congressional seats, and they are interested in building an actual party -- not some pie-in-the-sky Presidential candidate who will magically make everything better.
   3154. BDC Posted: October 19, 2012 at 11:43 AM (#4276575)
I voted for Nader when I was dissatisfied at how far Clinton & Gore had drifted rightwards, but then for Kerry and Obama, who seemed to represent at least a fractional drift back towards the left. (Who knows if all the votes lost to Nader helped pull them back.)

What I don't usually consider is where I live. I've voted in Texas mostly, and indeed it's a pretty red state, and indeed Bush won here and so did McCain and so will Romney. But obviously if everyone felt their vote didn't count, nobody would vote at all. Elections usually go to the persistent, sometimes even ahead of the numerous.
   3155. Bitter Mouse Posted: October 19, 2012 at 11:50 AM (#4276582)
Elections usually go to the persistent, sometimes even ahead of the numerous.


As my Mom says all the time, the world is run by those who show up.
   3156. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: October 19, 2012 at 12:01 PM (#4276590)
Blue States are from Scandinavia, Red States are from Guatemala

This is as good a summary of what's at stake in this election as I've seen. Whenever we hear the term "states' rights" brandished by a Republican, we shouldn't be under any illusions as to what that noble-sounding principle will mean in practice.
   3157. formerly dp Posted: October 19, 2012 at 12:02 PM (#4276591)
Silver gives Romney a 99.6% chance of victory in my state. So I'm not terribly worried about voting Green in this election.
   3158. Famous Original Joe C Posted: October 19, 2012 at 12:09 PM (#4276597)
Silver gives Romney a 99.6% chance of victory in my state. So I'm not terribly worried about voting Green in this election.


Being from MA, this is why I felt fine about voting Nader in 2000.
   3159. Famous Original Joe C Posted: October 19, 2012 at 12:15 PM (#4276601)
Andy, enjoyed that article in [3156].
   3160. zenbitz Posted: October 19, 2012 at 12:20 PM (#4276607)

I think 3 (or more) parties in the US system is mathematically unstable. Probably the main reason is the whole "primary election" sub-system at the National and State level. This turns 95% of elections into 2-person horse races which of course means 2 parties.

Also because representatives (at both state and federal level) are apportioned by locality. So say, in California 15% (made up number) would vote for a Green congress rep, we don't get 15% Green representatives, because they are swamped at the local level.

It's probably theoretically possible to have essentially one party in the US system. I think you would have to split off at least 3 or 4 extremes from both parties that have nearly zero in common (Libertarians / SoCons / Greens / ??? ), with the Democratic Republicans holding the 70% in the center. I think Cold was arguing that this is effectively the case already. Thing is, as soon as some faction within the majority party gets butt hurt they can split off and ally with a minor party... which forces all the other minors to choose sides.
   3161. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: October 19, 2012 at 01:04 PM (#4276642)
Andy, enjoyed that article in [3156].

Thanks. I thought it raised an issue that the Democrats should be emphasizing a lot more than they do, namely the vast overall difference in quality of life standards between the blue states and the red states. It's fine for Romney to brag about how "states' rights" enabled Romney to establish Romneycare in Massachusetts (an accomplishment he belatedly sees as a positive), but what in the hell does that do for people without insurance in states like Texas or Arkansas?
   3162. Fresh Prince of Belisle Posted: October 19, 2012 at 01:13 PM (#4276646)
Silver gives Romney a 99.6% chance of victory in my state. So I'm not terribly worried about voting Green in this election.


And even that 0.4% chance is irrelevant. If Obama's close in a state in which he has a 0.4% chance of winning right now, he's got an 80s landslide anyway and Romney concedes by about 9 PM.
   3163. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: October 19, 2012 at 01:22 PM (#4276652)
Green Party ballot access:
2004, 25 states, 50% possible EVs
2008, 32 states, 68% possible EVs
2012, 37 states, 82% possible EVs

PROGRESS!
   3164. zonk Posted: October 19, 2012 at 01:30 PM (#4276654)
Green Party ballot access:
2004, 25 states, 50% possible EVs
2008, 32 states, 68% possible EVs
2012, 37 states, 82% possible EVs

PROGRESS!


But I just don't understand how the hell it matters focusing on the Presidential ticket... What earthly good would a Green President actually be able to accomplish -- Congress would stymie him/her at every single step... and forget arm-twisting, what earthly leverage would a Green President have over any Senators or Congressmen?

Rather than worrying about EV eligibility - the Greens would be much, much better served trying to carve out a few congressional seats (which, as I noted above, I do think the party itself is trying to do, even if its acolytes don't pay that as much mind as they should).

I would imagine that there are a good 20-30 congressional seats - and probably 2 or 3 states at the Senate level - where the Greens could legitimately compete. Plenty of very urban liberal districts, plus a Vermont here, maybe even an Hawaii there.

Get a dozen seats in congress and suddenly -- you have a block that could legitimately get some of their legislative priorities at least a seat at the table, and in the case of a few closer votes -- get some riders and add-ons. Plus - imagine if the Democratic party needed those dozen Green seats to win the speakership. You think the Democratic party isn't going to be forced to move left whether it wants to or not?

   3165. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: October 19, 2012 at 01:31 PM (#4276657)
Ezra Klein interviews the Editor-in-Chief of the Gallup poll. The numbers shown here were posted yesterday and have dropped since then to 0.3 in RCP and +6 in the Gallup poll.

According to Real Clear Politics, Mitt Romney is, on average, up by one point in the polls. According to both Nate Silver and InTrade, President Obama has a better-than-60-percent chance of winning the election. I think it’s fair to say that the election is, for the moment, close.

But not according to Gallup. Their seven-day tracking poll shows Romney up by seven points — yes, seven — with likely voters. But he’s only up by one point with registered voters.

It gets weirder: Dig into the poll, and you’ll find that in the most recent internals they’ve put on their Web site — which track from 10/9-10/15 — Obama is winning the West (+6), the East (+4), and the Midwest (+4). The only region he’s losing is the South. But he’s losing the South, among likely voters, by 22 points. That’s enough, in Gallup’s poll, for him to be behind in the national vote. But it’s hard to see how that puts him behind in the electoral college.

If Gallup is right, then that looks to me like we’re headed for an electoral college/popular vote split. Last night, I spoke with Frank Newport, editor-in-chief of Gallup, to ask him if I was missing something. He said I wasn’t. “That’s certainly what it looks like,” he says.

But Newport was cautious in interpreting his numbers. Gallup’s poll cheered Romney supporters because it showed Romney gaining ground even after the second debate. But Newport didn’t see it like that. Remember, he warned, it’s a seven-day poll. “I think we’re still seeing leftover positive support for Romney and I don’t think we’re seeing impact yet from the second debate,” he says.

What you think is going on in the race depends on whether you think the electorate will ultimately look more like Gallup’s “likely voter” model, where the race is a blowout, or all registered voters, where it’s a dead heat. So I asked Newport to explain the likely voter model to me.

“The likely voters model takes into account changes in the response to questions about how closely they’re following and how enthusiastic they are,” he said. “It’s not just capturing underlying movement — it’s representing changes in enthusiasm.”

That sounds, I replied, like a model that would tend to overstate the effects of major events that favored one candidate or the other, as their supporters would grow temporarily more enthusiastic and attentive, while the other side would grow temporarily disillusioned. Newport agreed. “I wouldn’t use the word ‘overstate,’ ” he said. “But it would be very sensitive to changes in enthusiasm. The Denver debate clearly had an impact on Romney’s people. I think your insight is correct there. Whether we see a dulling of that over the next several days is what I want to see.”
   3166. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 19, 2012 at 01:38 PM (#4276661)
Then cite to that evidence. When you cite to an article on 2011 statitics to mock a claim made in October, 2012, people won't take you serious. If the "liberals" did this on this site you would be all over them and rightly so.

BBTF: Where liberal opinions are facts, and where non-liberals are held to doctoral-dissertation-level citation standards.

***
The lack of understanding that JoeK has amply demonstrated with respect to mathematics, analogies, hypotheticals, deductive logic, inductive logic, is simply stunning, I wonder if he's just as baffled by the tides as Bill O'Reilly

How's my spelling?
   3167. BDC Posted: October 19, 2012 at 01:42 PM (#4276664)
Third-party electoral success in the US has ranged from ephemeral to nonexistent since the Civil War, for structural reasons several have discussed here. But single-issue coalitions have flourished, and continue to do so. Prohibition was one (Dan Okrent's wonderful book Last Call shows how), and the NRA is another. (The NRA may seem to align with the GOP nowadays, but their power doesn't come from following the party or vice versa; it comes from being a sword of Damocles over any legislator who shows the slightest tendency to support gun control.) Green concerns are perhaps too diverse to reduce to single-issue politics, but the way for a Green cause to triumph in this country would be via a concerted targeting of close elections, showing that Greens could make the difference either way (thus compelling both parties to adopt the Green side of the big issue, whichever one was chosen). This does require fanatical concentration, of course. The more Green agenda items you add into your lobbying, the more diffuse the impact of that lobbying.

So, Chevy Volts for everyone it is!
   3168. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: October 19, 2012 at 01:52 PM (#4276666)
I do, however, believe that Vermont has a legitimate 3rd party -- at least, at the state level... I don't recall if they're affiliated with the Greens or not -- but the Vermont Progressive party tends to pull a half dozen+ plus state legislature seats.


FWIW, this works in Vermont because the Republicans are so weak there. Both state houses are 2/3 Democrats, so a voter on the left can vote for a third party without worrying about it. Functionally, Vermont is a one-party state.
   3169. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 19, 2012 at 01:56 PM (#4276668)
3: Most reliable???? When? Certainly not the last few election cycles, their results swing wildly

If Gallup isn't the most reliable, then why did Nate deliberately give it the most weight?

***
And you provided a link showing I didn't say that at all. LIAR.

No, you specifically complained about not having BLS confirmation in the post I linked in #3132. If you want to pull an Obama and deny the obvious, that's up to you.

***
Thank you for posting this, LAAofA. I read Joe's post last night on my phone and almost got out of bed to post something similar. +1

Yes, let's "celebrate the BLS"!

A government groupie. How strange.
   3170. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 19, 2012 at 02:10 PM (#4276676)
LOL. If one of the other dead people's families says the opposite, then what?
Why deal in a hypothetical world when we have a perfectly good actual world?

No longer a 'hypothetical world':

The mother of an American diplomat killed during a terrorist raid on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi has hit out at Barack Obama for describing the attack as 'not optimal', saying: 'My son is not very optimal - he is also very dead.'
   3171. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 19, 2012 at 02:15 PM (#4276680)
If Gallup isn't the most reliable, then why did Nate deliberately give it the most weight?

Because it is released every day, it has the largest sample size, and it contacts cellphone users as well as landline users.
   3172. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: October 19, 2012 at 02:15 PM (#4276681)
Most of those '3rd party' successes are really more a matter of well-known pols who just run as independent... I know Ventura sorta kinda tried to ignite a true 3rd party, but seems like it pretty much disappeared when he did.

I'm going to go out on a limb and predict that the Connecticut for Lieberman Party will buck this trend!
   3173. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: October 19, 2012 at 02:17 PM (#4276683)
So, Chevy Volts for everyone it is!


If you live in a city and you're not getting 100+ MPG on your scooter, you're an idiot.
   3174. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: October 19, 2012 at 02:22 PM (#4276686)
Third-party electoral success in the US has ranged from ephemeral to nonexistent since the Civil War, for structural reasons several have discussed here. But single-issue coalitions have flourished, and continue to do so.


The strategic mistake of the modern Thirds is that each of them target a MAJOR, rather than each other. The Libs desperately want to convince the GOP to stop being reactionary religious nutters. Never going to happen. The Greens want desperately to convince the Dems to become Christian-Socialists. Never going to happen.

The Greens and Libs should get together and bang out a feasible, if imperfect for both sides, "liberaltarian" platform. End the failed "war on drugs." Embrace civil liberties and end torture. Be a party for peace and defense instead of never ending adventurism. Agree to disagree on the domestic finances, as the Congress is going to own that anyway. Combine the Gs and Ls and you have a real, honest to god, third party option all of a sudden.
   3175. JL Posted: October 19, 2012 at 02:26 PM (#4276689)
BBTF: Where liberal opinions are facts, and where non-liberals are held to doctoral-dissertation-level citation standards.

So when you get call on your BS, you whine liberal bias. Strong work. Keep it up.
   3176. just plain joe Posted: October 19, 2012 at 02:29 PM (#4276690)
If you live in a city and you're not getting 100+ MPG on your scooter, you're an idiot.


Ah, the scooter people. About 80% of the people who ride scooters here are toothless, brain-dead meth addicts/juicers who have lost their driver's licence for one reason or another. Very few of these people even care enough to wear helmets; I have no idea what keeps them all from being killed.
   3177. McCoy Posted: October 19, 2012 at 02:31 PM (#4276695)
If I remember correctly Gallup is worth 12% while all the other tracking polls are worth 24%. This isn't really difficult to comprehend and has been explained at various times in various ways. Every single poll has errors and noise so Nate combines them all to smooth out those errors and give a clearer picture. In the case of the tracking polls we have one poll that is way out there while the rest are saying something different so 2/3rds of the weighted value of the tracking polls is saying X while 1/3rd of the weighted tracking polls are saying Y. Combine them both and you get Z. What you don't get is "let's ignore X because I really like to believe in Y".

At this moment it appears the popular vote is going to be close but as has been said numerous times now by numerous people all over the country for numerous months the electoral map is heavily favoring Obama.
   3178. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: October 19, 2012 at 02:35 PM (#4276699)
If Gallup isn't the most reliable, then why did Nate deliberately give it the most weight?


Because it is released every day, it has the largest sample size, and it contacts cellphone users as well as landline users.

Joe seems to think that a minority party in a parliamentary system that gets 12% of the votes on the national level should therefore be the dominant party in parliament. Nate can explain it to him 100 more times and he'll just keep repeating the same non sequitur question.
   3179. Spahn Insane Posted: October 19, 2012 at 02:35 PM (#4276700)
As we can see by Gallup's history, their results fluctuate in both directions** far more than either other polls or common sense would seem to suggest.

Right, and not just over the course of recent election cycles--within the last several weeks of THIS cycle. Frankly, I didn't believe Obama really had an eight-point national lead in mid-September or whenever it was, and I don't believe Romney leads by seven nationally now. For whatever reason, Gallup's methods seem hypersensitive to movements in general.

EDIT: Coke to the Gallup honcho himself, apparently (as quoted in 3165), as to the last sentence in my post.
   3180. McCoy Posted: October 19, 2012 at 02:42 PM (#4276706)
538

On Thursday, that story was one of President Obama continuing to hold leads in most polls of critical states. Of the 13 polls of swing states released on Thursday, Mr. Obama held leads in 11 of them.

Mr. Obama did draw into a tie, however, in Public Policy Polling’s most recent national poll, improving from a four-point deficit in a poll they conducted last weekend.


   3181. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 19, 2012 at 02:46 PM (#4276711)
So when you get call on your BS, you whine liberal bias. Strong work. Keep it up.

Since you're so big on citations, is there any evidence that welfare spending was cut in 2012? If not, what point are you trying to make?

***
The Greens and Libs should get together and bang out a feasible, if imperfect for both sides, "liberaltarian" platform. End the failed "war on drugs." Embrace civil liberties and end torture. Be a party for peace and defense instead of never ending adventurism. Agree to disagree on the domestic finances, as the Congress is going to own that anyway. Combine the Gs and Ls and you have a real, honest to god, third party option all of a sudden.

This is a perfect example of a way to make 5+5=4. The Greens and libertarians have about two major issues in common, and they tend to have major disagreements about the main "green" one. This "liberaltarian" alliance has been predicted for years but never materializes, for good reason.

***
Joe seems to think that a minority party in a parliamentary system that gets 12% of the votes on the national level should therefore be the dominant party in parliament. Nate can explain it to him 100 more times and he'll just keeps repeating the same non sequitur question.

Nonsense. Nate deliberately gave Gallup the most weight but is now telling his readers that Gallup is the least reliable — and was known to be the least reliable when he constructed his 2012 model. Makes no sense.
   3182. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: October 19, 2012 at 02:47 PM (#4276712)
The Greens and Libs should get together and bang out a feasible, if imperfect for both sides, "liberaltarian" platform. End the failed "war on drugs." Embrace civil liberties and end torture. Be a party for peace and defense instead of never ending adventurism. Agree to disagree on the domestic finances, as the Congress is going to own that anyway. Combine the Gs and Ls and you have a real, honest to god, third party option all of a sudden.


I like this, but I think they should be even more fundamental than that. They should come up with a uniform platform focused on electoral reform, based on something simple like preference voting rather than something pie-in-the-sky like proportional representation based on overall vote totals. Build party infrastructures (and try to win the local dogcatcher races on traditional party platforms) and support each other in races where one has more of a chance at it, with the pledge that they will place electoral reform before everything else. Once we have preference voting then they're free to go for each other's throats.
   3183. Spahn Insane Posted: October 19, 2012 at 02:47 PM (#4276713)
On Thursday, that story was one of President Obama continuing to hold leads in most polls of critical states. Of the 13 polls of swing states released on Thursday, Mr. Obama held leads in 11 of them.

One of the two exceptions is the aforementioned Susquehanna poll of PA.

On that pont--I haven't gotten a poll call in a long time (been a long time since I lived in a swing state, and I've been landline-free for a while now), so I'm curious as to how polling outfits that are expressly commissioned by one party or the other introduce themselves when the call's answered. In Susquehanna's case, for instance, do they say (whether by robocall or live), "This is a call from Susquehanna, on behalf of the Republican party of Pennsylvania"? If so, it would certainly help to explain any partisan slant of such polls, whether R or D--wouldn't voters of the opposition party be more likely to hang up at that point than they'd be in response to an outfit that was (at least superficially) nonpartisan?
   3184. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: October 19, 2012 at 02:49 PM (#4276714)
Don't worry, Joe, Nate still gives Gallup more weight than this Investors Business Daily tracking poll, but I thought you might enjoy unskewing it.

IBD/TIPP 2012 Presidential Election
Daily Tracking Poll
Day 11: Oct. 19, 2012


Obama: +1.7
Obama 46.5% | Romney 44.8%

Obama widened his lead over Romney among likely voters.

Romney’s lead among male voters shrank to just 2 points from 5 points two days ago.

Among those describing themselves as “conservative,” just 69% said they were voting for Romney — versus 73% just two days earlier.

Likewise, Romney lost a bit of support among those calling themselves “upper income,” with that cohort now in a dead heat, down from a 5-point edge for Romney on Wednesday.

Romney also remained knotted with Obama among Catholic voters, who make up just under a third of the total.



   3185. zonk Posted: October 19, 2012 at 02:49 PM (#4276716)

I'm going to go out on a limb and predict that the Connecticut for Lieberman Party will buck this trend!


Actually - IIRC - a CT progressive found that the Con for Lieb folks hadn't really done much more than create the thing as an apparatus for Joe. He registered -- as the only member -- and then caused all sorts of mischief like trying to actually get Lieberman off the ballot by writing party nominating guidelines and proclaiming himself the nominee, etc.

I'm not going to bother googling the old guffaws, but it was rather entertaining for a while... I think he even tried to field a slate of candidates for 2008.
   3186. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: October 19, 2012 at 02:50 PM (#4276717)
Nonsense. Nate deliberately gave Gallup the most weight but now essentially told his readers that Gallup is the least reliable — and was known to be the least reliable. Makes no sense.
It makes perfect sense.

1) He did not say that Gallup was the least reliable. He said that they had performed only at a middling quality, and that they were prone to wide swings.

2) The weighting of polls is done first by sample size, then by pollster quality. The big thing that Gallup brings to the table, in comparison to other tracking polls, is a large sample size. The heavy weight given to Gallup is due to their sample size.
   3187. Spahn Insane Posted: October 19, 2012 at 02:50 PM (#4276718)
Nate deliberately gave Gallup the most weight but now essentially told his readers that Gallup is the least reliable — and was known to be the least reliable. Makes no sense.

But the "least reliable" comment is based largely on Gallup's performance in this cycle (in terms of both degree of fluctuation and comparison to the consensus), though he notes its performance in '08 and '10--and he's been emphatic that he's not changing his methodology midstream. Any adjustments to the formula would wait until after the election. And much of the weight he gives Gallup, as explained above, is based on the sheer volume of their polling compared to others, as well as what he considers to be their sound methodology (even if the RESULTS in recent cycles have been sketchy).
   3188. zonk Posted: October 19, 2012 at 02:53 PM (#4276719)

I like this, but I think they should be even more fundamental than that. They should come up with a uniform platform focused on electoral reform, based on something simple like preference voting rather than something pie-in-the-sky like proportional representation based on overall vote totals. Build party infrastructures (and try to win the local dogcatcher races on traditional party platforms) and support each other in races where one has more of a chance at it, with the pledge that they will place electoral reform before everything else. Once we have preference voting then they're free to go for each other's throats.


The thing is that they are so diametrically opposite on domestic spending that I couldn't see it ever working... I mean - you'd have one side believing Social Security is weak sauce that really ought to be a national pension, while the other faction believing it to be one of the greatest threats to liberty around.

On some issues - there's more disagreement than exists between the Dems and Republicans.

I guess I'm just not sure who would I see as the constituency, even if they decided to just 'release' party members to vote with their faction on 50% of things.
   3189. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: October 19, 2012 at 02:54 PM (#4276720)
Also, in safe districts there should be third parties trying to beat the incumbent on grounds of honesty and ideological purity. Nothing breeds corruption more than safe seats, and this means that we need to make those seats unsafe. When I lived in Cambridge (MA) my state representative hadn't had a race in something like a decade. A local guy got on the ballot as a Green and ran a serious campaign, basically by spending a couple of thousand dollars and Kinko's and making a serious effort to shake hands and have a chat with every voter in the district. He didn't win, but he got 37% of the vote and forced the incumbent to campaign and actually clarify some positions for the first time in living memory. Every safe state house district needs to have someone like this in it.
   3190. zonk Posted: October 19, 2012 at 02:55 PM (#4276722)
Here's the Connecticut for Lieberman guy -- John Orman...

He actually was the official 'party' chairman in 2006 -- and here is the platform that he produced:

1.If you run under Connecticut for Lieberman, you must actually join our party.
2. The party will nominate people for office who have the last name of Lieberman and/or who are critics and opponents of Senator Lieberman.
3. If any CFL candidate loses our party's nomination in a primary, that candidate must bolt our party, form a new party and work to defeat our party's endorsed candidate.
4. We in the CFL intend to run the same candidate for three different jobs at the same time, ie. House, Senate and Governor.
   3191. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 19, 2012 at 02:57 PM (#4276724)
2) The weighting of polls is done first by sample size, then by pollster quality. The big thing that Gallup brings to the table, in comparison to other tracking polls, is a large sample size. The heavy weight given to Gallup is due to their sample size.

So the bigger sample size is yielding a less-reliable result? That seems rather counterintuitive.

***
But the "least reliable" comment is based largely on Gallup's performance in this cycle (in terms of both degree of fluctuation and comparison to the consensus), though he notes its performance in '08 and '10

He did more than just mention 2008 and '10; he pointed to them as evidence of Gallup's unreliability.

No matter how you slice it, it shouldn't have taken a big Romney lead to inspire the disclaimer Nate posted yesterday. Disclaimers that are posted after the fact tend to look more like spin than disclosure.
   3192. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: October 19, 2012 at 02:59 PM (#4276726)
I guess I'm just not sure who would I see as the constituency, even if they decided to just 'release' party members to vote with their faction on 50% of things.


The constituency is people who want an electoral system that makes third parties viable. This is like Cato the Elder in the Roman Senate ending every speech on every topic with "Carthage must be destroyed." I'd expect that a Libergreen would be a single-issue representative, willing to make a deal with whoever on whatever if it included a pledge to support preference voting or whatever other method makes the most sense.

EDIT: They could even pledge to only vote on the sort of things they agree on (civil liberties) and to abstain on votes on everything else except electoral reform. There have been single-issue parties before that have had an effect on national politics. Make this another one.
   3193. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: October 19, 2012 at 02:59 PM (#4276727)
And you provided a link showing I didn't say that at all. LIAR.

No, you specifically complained about not having BLS confirmation in the post I linked in #3132. If you want to pull an Obama and deny the obvious, that's up to you.
I said on the 11th that the BLS did not have any confirmation. The correction came on the 12th, at which point Business Insider picked up the story, and... well, in the link, they went to the BLS, California, did their own digging, and came up with the whole no-conspiracy thing.

You really should read the links. There's actual information in there and everything.
   3194. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: October 19, 2012 at 03:01 PM (#4276729)
So the bigger sample size is yielding a less-reliable result? That seems rather counterintuitive.
That's just idiotic.

It's not counterintuitive. It's a function of poll quality being determined by more factors that just sample size.
   3195. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: October 19, 2012 at 03:04 PM (#4276731)
No matter how you slice it, it shouldn't have taken a big Romney lead to inspire the disclaimer Nate posted yesterday. Disclaimers that are posted after the fact tend to look more like spin than disclosure.
I see we've reached the point in the thread where Joe realizes he doesn't understand the substance of the issue and starts to argue the spin. This is where I bow out.
   3196. Spahn Insane Posted: October 19, 2012 at 03:04 PM (#4276732)
No matter how you slice it, it shouldn't have taken a big Romney lead to inspire the disclaimer Nate posted yesterday. Disclaimers that are posted after the fact tend to look more like spin than disclosure.

Except that this isn't the first time Nate has noted Gallup's odd results. It's fair, perhaps, to question the weight he applies to Gallup in relation to other tracking polls in light of that, but I'm not nearly enough of a stat nerd to do that with any authority.

EDIT: Also, contrary to your assertion upthread, Nate has expressly denounced those who engage in "poll-truthing" on both sides of the political fence during the past several weeks.
   3197. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 19, 2012 at 03:11 PM (#4276737)
I said on the 11th that the BLS did not have any confirmation. The correction came on the 12th, at which point Business Insider picked up the story, and... well, in the link, they went to the BLS, California, did their own digging, and came up with the whole no-conspiracy thing.

The articles last week were based on sources within the BLS, and you complained that this didn't constitute official BLS information. Yesterday, the BLS issued an actual revision, and now you're saying, "Who cares? BLS sources confirmed this last week." While your attempts to hand-wave the same story two different ways are somewhat clever, they're also unpersuasive.
   3198. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 19, 2012 at 03:17 PM (#4276743)
That's just idiotic.

It's not counterintuitive. It's a function of poll quality being determined by more factors that just sample size.

Does Nate or does Nate not give the Gallup poll the most weight?

The idea that a statistical model would or should value a subjective assessment of methodology over actual results is what's "idiotic." If you're a pollster and your results are consistently bad, then your methodology is bad.

I see we've reached the point in the thread where Joe realizes he doesn't understand the substance of the issue and starts to argue the spin. This is where I bow out.

Ah, the patented MCoA "bow out." Classic. It seemed like you had already "bowed out" as soon as Romney took the lead two weeks ago. Haven't seen you around here much lately.
   3199. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: October 19, 2012 at 03:20 PM (#4276745)
2) The weighting of polls is done first by sample size, then by pollster quality. The big thing that Gallup brings to the table, in comparison to other tracking polls, is a large sample size. The heavy weight given to Gallup is due to their sample size.


So the bigger sample size is yielding a less-reliable result? That seems rather counterintuitive.

As is the idea that OBP is often a better measure of offensive value than BA. Of course if you read that interview with Gallup's editor-in-chief Frank Newport in #3165, you'll see one of the main reasons for Gallup's volatility, explained in the Gallup's spokesman's own words.

But the "least reliable" comment is based largely on Gallup's performance in this cycle (in terms of both degree of fluctuation and comparison to the consensus), though he notes its performance in '08 and '10


He did more than just mention 2008 and '10; he pointed to them as evidence of Gallup's unreliability.

Yes, while any unbiased observer would have simply ignored any evidence like that, in order to demonstrate his objectivity.

No matter how you slice it, it shouldn't have taken a big Romney lead to inspire the disclaimer Nate posted yesterday. Disclaimers that are posted after the fact tend to look more like spin than disclosure.

Except that Nate has made similar observations about polls when they showed pro-Obama numbers that went well beyond the consensus. His consistent theme has been that outlier results should be taken with a grain of salt.
   3200. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: October 19, 2012 at 03:23 PM (#4276747)
Does Nate or does Nate not give the Gallup poll the most weight?

He gives Gallup more weight than any other national tracking poll. Period. 12% is 12%. And that 12% still leaves 88% as a counterweight. I'm not sure why you keep trying to inflate one poll out of many way beyond its actual significance---but I can guess. (smile)
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