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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

OTP November 2012 - Moneypoll! The Pundits vs. The Election-Data Nerds

Come next Tuesday night, we’ll get a resolution (let’s hope) to a great ongoing battle of 2012: not just the Presidential election between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, but the one between the pundits trying to analyze that race with their guts and a new breed of statistics gurus trying to forecast it with data.

In Election 2012 as seen by the pundits–political journalists on the trail, commentators in cable-news studios–the campaign is a jump ball. There’s a slight lead for Mitt Romney in national polls and slight leads for Barack Obama in swing-state polls, and no good way of predicting next Tuesday’s outcome beyond flipping a coin. ...

Bonus link: Esquire - The Enemies of Nate Silver

Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 31, 2012 at 11:42 PM | 11298 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: mr president, off-topic, politics, sabermetrics, usa

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   1501. DA Baracus Posted: November 04, 2012 at 03:00 PM (#4292657)
A couple theories:


I'd say that they should put that money into down ticket races, but since the money would have gone to candidates I wouldn't vote for, I'm glad they didn't.
   1502. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 04, 2012 at 03:01 PM (#4292658)
You mean sort of like "It's over. It's always been over." Let us know the next time you rag on coolstandings.com.


This is silly. With coolstandings we know for a fact what the team's lead is. But with Nate's system we don't know for a fact what Obama's lead is. That's the entire problem, Andy.

The Red Sox may be up by 5 games with 7 to play and still lose, but we know for a fact that they were up by 5 games (or whatever). There is no chance that they were "only" up by 2 games, unlike with Nate's situation where there is bias in the polling data and so Obama might not really be up by this much. There is no bias in the AL standings; as Brian McNamee would say, they are what they are.
   1503. greenback calls it soccer Posted: November 04, 2012 at 03:07 PM (#4292661)
The Red Sox may be up by 5 games with 7 to play and still lose, but we know for a fact that they were up by 5 games (or whatever).

You don't know the quality of the present Red Sox roster or the quality of their opposition's roster. Nor do match-ups get considered (e.g. Verlander's starting or a LH starter is going against a LH-heavy lineup). So, yeah, you've got a real number to start with, but converting that number into something more tangible -- the percentages -- requires educated guesses and adjustments on those guesses.
   1504. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 04, 2012 at 03:12 PM (#4292665)
So? You still know what the lead is. You are certain as to the starting point.
   1505. The Yankee Clapper Posted: November 04, 2012 at 03:16 PM (#4292667)
From an article suggesting Democrats Are Leaving Mail Votes On The Table:
In Florida, 406,634 registered Democrats have not returned their mail ballots compared to 362,920 Republicans. In comparison, registered Democrats have returned 700,970 mail ballots compared to 781,043 Republicans. Thus, even though Republicans outnumber Democrats in returned mail ballots by a wide margin, more Democrats have yet to return their ballot.




   1506. Random Transaction Generator Posted: November 04, 2012 at 03:24 PM (#4292669)
they'd hire a guy like Nate to investigate the ROI.


He does half the work for them for free!

He has a section on the right called "Return on Investment Index". It's maximum vote power based on affecting electoral college results.
Throw in a media size/cost index, and they should be able to figure out pretty quickly where to spend the money.

I would be VERY surprised if someone in Silver's milieu doesn't make some big bucks running those numbers in 2016.
   1507. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 04, 2012 at 03:24 PM (#4292670)
Our choice for America’s future: The New York Daily News endorses Mitt Romney for President

Four years after endorsing Obama, News finds the hopes of those days went unfulfilled


...Four years ago, the Daily News endorsed Obama, seeing a historic figure whose intelligence, political skills and empathy with common folk positioned him to build on the small practical experience he would bring to the world’s toughest job. We valued Obama’s pledge to govern with bold pragmatism and bipartisanship.

The hopes of those days went unfulfilled.

Achingly slow job creation...

The official unemployment rate stands at 7.9%, marking only the second month below 8% after 43 months above that level...

Recovery from the disaster that Obama inherited was going to take time. But four years is a long, long slog. Had the President guided a typical upswing, America would by now have regained essentially all its lost jobs. At his present pace, Obama would reach that milestone in the third year of a second term.

The regrettable truth is that Obama built a record of miscalculations and missed opportunities.

First came emergency economic stimulus...

Next came Obamacare. While the country bled jobs, the President battled to establish universal health insurance — without first restraining soaring medical bills. Then he pushed one of the largest social programs in U.S. history through a Democratic-controlled Congress without a single Republican vote.

R.I.P. and never to be resurrected — Obama’s promised bipartisanship.

While the legislation has yet to take full effect, the typical family’s health insurance premium has risen and many businesses will experience a hike of $70 per week per employee, further restraining wages or producing part-time jobs that lack coverage.

Next came trillion-dollar deficits...

   1508. Monty Posted: November 04, 2012 at 03:33 PM (#4292671)
Then he pushed one of the largest social programs in U.S. history through a Democratic-controlled Congress without a single Republican vote.

R.I.P. and never to be resurrected — Obama’s promised bipartisanship.


I'm not 100% sure I'm on board with this argument. If no Republicans joined Obama, aren't the Republicans the ones not being bipartisan?
   1509. Morty Causa Posted: November 04, 2012 at 03:34 PM (#4292672)
Yeah, all it took for the Post to realize the government's been running trillion dollar deficits is for it to happen under this particular president. Who am I? Where am I?
   1510. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 04, 2012 at 03:35 PM (#4292674)
I'm not 100% sure I'm on board with this argument. If no Republicans joined Obama, aren't the Republicans the ones not being bipartisan?


Regardless of what the answer is to this, it doesn't change the fact that Obama promised to be bipartisan and wasn't.
   1511. Morty Causa Posted: November 04, 2012 at 03:38 PM (#4292676)
I'm not 100% sure I'm on board with this argument. If no Republicans joined Obama, aren't the Republicans the ones not being bipartisan?


No, there was this evanescent wormhole somewhere in the last four years that he should have taken advantage of to shortcut the process and solve all the problems.
   1512. Monty Posted: November 04, 2012 at 03:38 PM (#4292677)
Regardless of what the answer is to this, it doesn't change the fact that Obama promised to be bipartisan and wasn't.


That's only if you define "bipartisan" as "promises not to do anything to which the other side objects."
   1513. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 04, 2012 at 03:39 PM (#4292678)
Yeah, all it took for the Post to realize the government's been running trillion dollar deficits is for it to happen under this particular president. Who am I? Where am I?


I don't think you know who or where you are, Morty Stockdale. The editorial I quoted above was from the News, not the Post. The News is not some rightwing paper; they slant left. And they endorsed Obama in 2008.
   1514. Morty Causa Posted: November 04, 2012 at 03:41 PM (#4292680)
Consider it corrected. Point still stands.
   1515. Morty Causa Posted: November 04, 2012 at 03:43 PM (#4292681)
If you think the Republican Party in the last four years has been receptive to bi-partisans overturess, you are in some sort of parallel universe.
   1516. The Yankee Clapper Posted: November 04, 2012 at 03:43 PM (#4292682)
Obama under 50% in Maine? A state he carried by more than 17% in 2008.
   1517. Morty Causa Posted: November 04, 2012 at 03:44 PM (#4292683)
Stockdale?
   1518. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 04, 2012 at 03:45 PM (#4292684)
Well, my point was that the News making a sea change to support Romney is noteworthy.
   1519. Monty Posted: November 04, 2012 at 03:48 PM (#4292686)
Obama under 50% in Maine? A state he carried by more than 17% in 2008.


RCP has Maine Obama +11.5. Even in the poll you quote ("a poll conducted last week for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram") he's up by 7%.
   1520. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: November 04, 2012 at 03:50 PM (#4292687)
Obama under 50% in Maine? A state he carried by more than 17% in 2008.
And even if that poll is gospel and even if Romney takes every single undecided, Obama still wins.

But that poll most likely is not gospel - RCP has it at O+11.5.
   1521. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: November 04, 2012 at 03:50 PM (#4292688)
Coke to Monty.
   1522. Lassus Posted: November 04, 2012 at 03:50 PM (#4292689)
Well, my point was that the News making a sea change to support Romney is noteworthy.

The sea change was the endorsement of Obama, not this one of Romney.


If no Republicans joined Obama, aren't the Republicans the ones not being bipartisan?

Regardless of what the answer is to this, it doesn't change the fact that Obama promised to be bipartisan and wasn't.
This has vaulted to the top of most awesomely nonsensical Ray responses ever.
   1523. Monty Posted: November 04, 2012 at 03:52 PM (#4292690)
Damn it, I can feel myself getting interested in the polling. Suddenly I want to have a live newsfeed of poll results on my desktop.

See, this is why I try not to pay too much attention. It's easy to get way too invested.
   1524. Morty Causa Posted: November 04, 2012 at 03:53 PM (#4292691)
Well, my point was that the News making a sea change to support Romney is noteworthy.


And my point was that the particular reason given doesn't stand up to the slightest scrutiny. Hey, a lot of people and organizations who in 2008 were sufficiently frightened by what loomed supported Obama who wouldn't have otherwise. Now it is otherwise. The question has always been whether he can retain enough of those sort of fairweather (foulweather) friends.
   1525. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 04, 2012 at 03:53 PM (#4292692)
The sea change was the endorsement of Obama, not this one of Romney.


That still wouldn't bode that well if a lot of people think that way.
   1526. DA Baracus Posted: November 04, 2012 at 03:56 PM (#4292693)
Obama under 50% in Maine? A state he carried by more than 17% in 2008.


2008: Obama 58, McCain 40.

That one poll: Obama 49, Romney 42, undecided 6.

Yes, Obama dropping 9 points isn't good. But Romney only picking up 2 isn't anything to get excited about. And of course, that's just one poll.
   1527. Danny Posted: November 04, 2012 at 03:56 PM (#4292694)
The sea change was the endorsement of Obama, not this one of Romney.

Not really, they endorsed: Clinton, Clinton, Gore, Bush, Obama, Romney. But there's very little chance the Daily News endorsement is going to affect any votes that matter.
   1528. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 04, 2012 at 03:56 PM (#4292695)
Marriage equality polling is actually looking really good. There's evidence that a lot of "undecideds" on marriage equality are actually decided no voters who don't like admitting that to pollsters. But polls are breaking 50% even in Maine and Minnesota. Read it at Towleroad.

ME: 55-42
MN: 52-45
WA: 58-37

There hasn't been any recent polling in Maryland that I could find, but over the summer the polls were good.
   1529. Morty Causa Posted: November 04, 2012 at 03:57 PM (#4292697)
That still wouldn't bode that well if a lot of people think that way.


As the Supreme Court once was fond of pointing out: that's a truism.
   1530. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 04, 2012 at 03:59 PM (#4292698)
The sea change was the endorsement of Obama, not this one of Romney.

That still wouldn't bode that well if a lot of people think that way.
We have extremely good evidence that a lot of people think that way. By the best aggregations of polls, Obama projects to perform several percentage points from his 2008 performance. Several million people have changed their minds. The question is precisely how many million - combined with questions about turnout, etc.
   1531. Lassus Posted: November 04, 2012 at 04:01 PM (#4292699)
The sea change was the endorsement of Obama, not this one of Romney.
Not really, they endorsed: Clinton, Clinton, Gore, Bush, Obama, Romney.


Well I'll be damned. I stand corrected.
   1532. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 04, 2012 at 04:12 PM (#4292702)
Here goes
O 49.5, R 49.

This is funny. "Johnny Sycophant" a.k.a. "Johnny Temporary" has spent months bashing me as a "troll" and a "poll truther" for daring to question the polls and Nate's vaunted model, and Johnny did so again in his 12:24 PM comment today (#1446). Then, just five minutes later, he predicted an election that's 78 percent closer than Nate is projecting, with Obama not even reaching 50 percent. What a clown show.
   1533. McCoy Posted: November 04, 2012 at 04:13 PM (#4292703)
Obama up .4 points according to RCP.
   1534. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 04, 2012 at 04:19 PM (#4292705)
RCP has Maine Obama +11.5. Even in the poll you quote ("a poll conducted last week for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram") he's up by 7%.

I don't expect Romney to win Maine, but today's poll is additional evidence of the nationwide shift away from Obama to Romney.

If you take away the hyper-partisan PPP poll, there have been only two or three polls of Maine since September, and Obama is underperforming 2008 by almost 10 points. The idea that Romney has made major gains from coast to coast except in Ohio is one of the great leaps of faith being made by the people banking on Nate's model.

***

On a related topic, it seems like a lot of the Nate defenders haven't posted their election predictions yet. Maybe they're just too spread out in this thread and there have been more than it seems (?).
   1535. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: November 04, 2012 at 04:21 PM (#4292706)
Silver:
Simple average of national polls released Thursday: Obama +0.9. Friday: Obama +1.2. Saturday: Obama +1.3. Today (so far): Obama +1.4
O-mentum!
   1536. Monty Posted: November 04, 2012 at 04:22 PM (#4292708)
On a related topic, it seems like a lot of the Nate defenders haven't posted their election predictions yet.


Hey, I did mine! Although I put very little thought into it and will be surprised if I'm particularly accurate.
   1537. Lassus Posted: November 04, 2012 at 04:25 PM (#4292709)
If you take away the hyper-partisan PPP poll, there have been only two or three polls of Maine since September, and Obama is underperforming 2008 by almost 10 points. The idea that Romney had made major gains from coast to coast except in Ohio is one of the great leaps of faith by the people banking on Nate's model.

As someone already said, nobody anywhere, here especially, has said Obama is doing better than 2008. They're saying he's still doing better than Romney.
   1538. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: November 04, 2012 at 04:25 PM (#4292710)
Obama wins his 2008 states minus IN, NC and, maybe, FL.
   1539. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: November 04, 2012 at 04:27 PM (#4292711)
On a related topic, it seems like a lot of the Nate defenders haven't posted their election predictions yet.


Somebody ask for a prediction? Here's mine: http://www.270towin.com/2012_election_predictions.php?mapid=bgcd

It'd be cool if we had an electoral college prediction thread/contest.
   1540. Danny Posted: November 04, 2012 at 04:27 PM (#4292712)
Krugman--Math is Hard:

This shouldn’t even be controversial, but of course it is. Partly that’s because it’s news some people don’t want to hear. But I think there’s also a math-is-hard problem: a political universe in which there are lots and lots of polls seems to play into some natural failings of our mathematical intuition.

First of all, from what I can see a lot of people have trouble with the distinction between probabilities and vote margins. They think that when I say, “state level polls overwhelmingly suggest an Obama victory”, I’m also saying “state level polls suggest an overwhelming Obama victory”, which isn’t at all the same thing. We have a lot of polls, almost all of which say that Obama will win Ohio; but they don’t by any means say that he’ll win it in a landslide.

Second, people clearly have a problem with randomness — with the fact that any poll, no matter how carefully conducted, has a margin of error. (And the true margins of error are surely larger than the statistical measure always reported, since sampling error isn’t the only way a poll can go wrong). Specifically, what I think people don’t get is the fact that when there are many polls of a state, some of them are bound to be outliers — not, or not necessarily, because the pollsters have done a bad job, but because there’s always noise in any sampling procedure.

What this means is that if you look at all the polls, you’re very likely to find one or two that tell you what you want to hear: Rasmussen has Ohio tied! Susquehanna has Pennsylvania tied! And it’s very tempting to select those polls and trumpet them — a temptation you really want to resist. The point isn’t necessarily that these are bad polling firms (as it happens, they are, but that’s beside the point); it is that even good pollsters will produce an occasional off result, and you really, really don’t want to start picking and choosing those off results to make yourself feel good.
   1541. The Yankee Clapper Posted: November 04, 2012 at 04:28 PM (#4292713)
If states follow their residents' reading preferences, Romney will win easily. But it may be that Democrats don't buy enough political books - from Amazon, at least.
   1542. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: November 04, 2012 at 04:28 PM (#4292714)
O-mentum!


So you're going with your gut?
   1543. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: November 04, 2012 at 04:29 PM (#4292715)
Actually, my gut's had a dull ache since eating a ham-and-cheese sandwich about 90 minutes ago.
   1544. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: November 04, 2012 at 04:34 PM (#4292717)
Math is hard, dammit! I hate math, despite the fact that I'm probably better at it than 95% of the general population.
   1545. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 04, 2012 at 04:37 PM (#4292718)

This is not true. And the race really isn't all that close. It's only close if you avoid/discredit large amounts of data.


To call a race where every national poll is within the margin of error, and most are dead heats, "not close" is just partisan foolishness.

Unlike baseball the games (polls) in April don't count as much as those in Nov., they don't count at all.
   1546. Shredder Posted: November 04, 2012 at 04:40 PM (#4292720)
Regardless of what the answer is to this, it doesn't change the fact that Obama promised to be bipartisan and wasn't.
Right. Obama took a plan created by Republicans, a plan far to the right of what he originally intended, and a group of people who announced they were dedicated to the one and only goal of removing him from office refused to vote for it. Clear evidence that Obama was not bipartisan. What a tool you can be, Ray.
   1547. Danny Posted: November 04, 2012 at 04:41 PM (#4292721)
Pew poll from last week (tied) versus today (Obama +3):

Last week:
Northeast: O +9
Midwest: O +6
South: R +9
West: tied

This week:
Northeast: O +21
Midwest: O +4
South: R +8
West: O +8
   1548. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 04, 2012 at 04:42 PM (#4292722)
Pew poll from last week (tied) versus today (Obama +3):

I only took a quick look, but today's seems to be a D+7 or D+8 sample. I doubt we'll see that on Tuesday.
   1549. Spahn Insane Posted: November 04, 2012 at 04:42 PM (#4292723)
But that poll most likely is not gospel - RCP has it at O+11.5.

Actually, any poll of Maine that doesn't split the congressional districts is silly, by definition. (I can see Obama leading by only 7 in ME-2.)

EDIT: I see from reading TFA that Obama does in fact lead ME-2 by 7, but also has a 7-point statewide lead. One of those figures is probably wrong; ME-2 is a lot more conservative than ME-1.
   1550. BDC Posted: November 04, 2012 at 04:43 PM (#4292724)
there's no way to grade Nate, whether the number is 15% or 25% or 35%

Ray, I agree with you (as I said somewhere way upthread), but mostly because that percentage chance is an unhelpful way of describing what might happen in an event that only happens once. But it's a familiar exercise: you take the World Series and you run 10,000 simulations of it, and in 83% of them the Giants win, or whatever. The single result of the actual World Series doesn't invalidate the simulation in the slightest, because there's still a die-roll chance of the 17% turning up. As Andy implies in #1489, if Nate was able to analyze 10,000 2012 Presidential elections, we'd have a good shot at seeing how often he was right, and thus to make more sense of the number. But that "percentage chance" of a unique event going one way or another is a kind of a conceptual stunt. It looks nice on the home page, but it's not very meaningful.

Put another way, let's say the betting line on Foreman beating Ali in Zaire was roughly the same as that for Obama beating Romney, in the 538 model. (It wasn't far off, actually). We don't know now whether the bettors were foolish or if Ali's victory represented his one side of the die turning up. We won't know the same Wednesday for the 538 betting line, no matter who wins. But who cares? trying to evaluate betting odds ex post facto is a game for either dreamers or professional gamblers. And there aren't enough Presidential elections to bet on to make your living by gambling on them.

I think Nate's more important contribution, by far, is the fascinating state-by-state essays he writes, and the amount of historical and demographical thought that goes into his blog. Whether the 5-1 shot or the 1-5 shot comes in, that analysis tells us something interesting. But it's not very soundbitey.

   1551. Danny Posted: November 04, 2012 at 04:44 PM (#4292725)
To call a race where every national poll is within the margin of error, and most are dead heats, "not close" is just partisan foolishness.

If there were no polls of individual states, it would be a dead heat. But there are polls of individual states, and ignoring them because they aren't favorable to your preferred candidate is just partisan foolishness.
   1552. McCoy Posted: November 04, 2012 at 04:44 PM (#4292726)
To call a race where every national poll is within the margin of error, and most are dead heats, "not close" is just partisan foolishness.

The only way we can say the race is an unknown and either can win is if you assume that all the polls are wrong and there error isn't random but biased against Romney. You can't simply argue that the results are within the margin of error you have to argue that the difference between the two is small and that they are biased against Romney. Is that what you are arguing?
   1553. Danny Posted: November 04, 2012 at 04:46 PM (#4292727)
I only took a quick look, but today's seems to be a D+8 sample. I doubt we'll see that on Tuesday.

Joe, have you or any of the other skewed party ID folks on the right ever provided a rebuttal to this column from Gallup?

The Recurring -- and Misleading -- Focus on Party Identification
   1554. Morty Causa Posted: November 04, 2012 at 04:48 PM (#4292728)
Right. Obama took a plan created by Republicans, a plan far to the right of what he originally intended, and a group of people who announced they were dedicated to the one and only goal of removing him from office refused to vote for it. Clear evidence that Obama was not bipartisan. What a tool you can be, Ray.


This and Romney's Mormonism sliding off them like water off a duck's back leads me to think that no matter what Obama comes up with they are going to be against it. In fact, maybe their contrariness should be tested. If Obama comes out for doing away with Social Securityand Medicare, the Republicans will probably push for higher taxes and benefits and a universal health coverage sysem a la France. They just want to win--nothing of substance means anything to them. They have no principles. Only winning matters. They are totally defined by what they view as the "Other."
   1555. McCoy Posted: November 04, 2012 at 04:48 PM (#4292729)
crickets
   1556. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: November 04, 2012 at 04:49 PM (#4292730)
I really don't want to get into the partisan stuff as the polls and the interpretation of them are more interesting this close to the election, but the charge that it was Obama who refused to be bipartisan is just off the charts hilarious.

Th Pew # is interesting and buttresses my optimism a bit. Pew also had the electorate as 52 to 30 in expecting an Obama win which is a good indication of support/enthusiasm. That said, what did you all make of the close #'s Reuters had, including Romney up in Colorado and the only 3 point spread PPP had in Wisconsin? #'s like that make me think this is going to be a nailbiter. Has Reuters/Ipsos had a lean one way or the other?
   1557. Steve Treder Posted: November 04, 2012 at 04:49 PM (#4292731)
Is that what you are arguing?

He isn't arguing. He's closing his eyes, sticking his fingers in his ears, and saying, "La la la la la!"
   1558. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 04, 2012 at 04:50 PM (#4292732)
Joe, have you or any of the other skewed party ID folks on the right ever provided a rebuttal to this column from Gallup?

The Recurring -- and Misleading -- Focus on Party Identification

We can discuss polling methodology all day, but the issue boils down to one very simple question: Do you, or do you not, believe the 2012 electorate will be as Dem or more Dem than 2012?

If you do, fine. But if you don't, then there's nothing you can do but question such poll results.
   1559. Danny Posted: November 04, 2012 at 04:51 PM (#4292734)
Politico: No mandate without white men:

If President Barack Obama wins, he will be the popular choice of Hispanics, African-Americans, single women and highly educated urban whites. That’s what the polling has consistently shown in the final days of the campaign. It looks more likely than not that he will lose independents, and it’s possible he will get a lower percentage of white voters than George W. Bush got of Hispanic voters in 2000.

A broad mandate this is not.
   1560. Monty Posted: November 04, 2012 at 04:51 PM (#4292735)
We can discuss polling methodology all day


...and have!
   1561. Spahn Insane Posted: November 04, 2012 at 04:52 PM (#4292737)
This has vaulted to the top of most awesomely nonsensical Ray responses ever.

It's not really "nonsensical," insofar as it makes sense if you operate under a dumb definition of "bipartisan" (i.e., thou shalt not push through any legislation to which the other side objects in lockstep, even [or especially!] when their lockstep opposition has been telegraphed far in advance.**). It's just, well, dumb.

**The people who criticize Obama for "not being bipartisan" are typically the same people who like to point out his "squandered two-year filibuster-proof Senate/congressional majority" as a basis for arguing that Obama didn't get enough done. Of course, the first argument is BS, the second is concern-trolling (they didn't actually WANT Obama to get anything done), and the two arguments are, to put it mildly, in tension with each other.

   1562. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: November 04, 2012 at 04:53 PM (#4292738)
Polling methodology sucks unless your guy/gal is winning.

Anyway, what's up in Missouri? Is Dr. Akin going to win?
   1563. The Yankee Clapper Posted: November 04, 2012 at 04:56 PM (#4292739)
. . . but the charge that it was Obama who refused to be bipartisan is just off the charts hilarious.

The new Bob Woodward book seems to offer a different view that isn't funny at all.
   1564. Spahn Insane Posted: November 04, 2012 at 04:57 PM (#4292741)
It looks more likely than not that he will lose independents,

Perhaps, but as noted elsewhere in the thread, "independent" /= "moderate" or "middle of the road." (The set of "independent" voters inclues those people but isn't defined by them.) Some "independents" label themselves thusly because they're to the right of the Republicans (or so they think). (Yes, I'm sure some indies run the other direction, to the left of the Dems, but I'm thinking they're outnumbered by "independent" tea party types. Whether Obama wins "independents" or not, fact remains a lot of those voters are Republicans in tea party drag.)
   1565. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 04, 2012 at 04:59 PM (#4292742)
(Yes, I'm sure some indies run the other direction, to the left of the Dems, but I'm thinking they're outnumbered by "independent" tea party types. Whether Obama wins "independents" or not, fact remains a lot of those voters are Republicans in tea party drag.)

There's no evidence for this in the party affiliation studies that have been done over the past several election cycles. If anything, far more Dems have defected to the "independent" column.
   1566. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 04, 2012 at 04:59 PM (#4292743)
(1552) All you need is for the polls to be oversampling Democrats. Many/most of these polls are projecting an electorate as, or more, Democratic as 2008. That's a very questionable assumption.
   1567. DA Baracus Posted: November 04, 2012 at 05:00 PM (#4292745)
Anyway, what's up in Missouri? Is Dr. Akin going to win?


He's only led in one October poll, but it's close. He's pretty much down 4. Definitely one to watch on Tuesday.
   1568. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: November 04, 2012 at 05:00 PM (#4292746)
YouGov's final poll has Obama up by 2.
   1569. McCoy Posted: November 04, 2012 at 05:02 PM (#4292747)
The whole Dem, Rep, Ind thing has been so stupid for a very long time this election year. Undecideds have been a very small minority this election year and have been for awhile and with the coming of the Tea Party Republicans have seen part of their base move to a place that gets labeled as Independent by pollsters. So you got two things happening. One, when a tea partier or some other conservative voter says he is voting for Romney we got people saying independents are breaking for Romney and two, it artificially reduces Republicans in the polls. So we get stupid things like the polls are D+9 or some such nonsense.
   1570. Spahn Insane Posted: November 04, 2012 at 05:06 PM (#4292748)
There's no evidence for this in the party affiliation studies that have been done over the past several election cycles. If anything, far more Dems have defected to the "independent" column.

The tea party hasn't been around for "the past several election cycles."
   1571. McCoy Posted: November 04, 2012 at 05:07 PM (#4292749)
According to Pollster there isn't a single national poll that they are tracking that has been released in November that has Romney leading the same holds true over at RCP as well.
   1572. DA Baracus Posted: November 04, 2012 at 05:08 PM (#4292750)
According to Pollster there isn't a single national poll that they are tracking that has been released in November that has Romney leading the same holds true over at RCP as well.


Then they're obviously biased.
   1573. McCoy Posted: November 04, 2012 at 05:09 PM (#4292751)
So the argument is that Dems have defected from the party and now are breaking for Romney and yet that isn't being picked up in any of the polls? Okay, sure.
   1574. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: November 04, 2012 at 05:09 PM (#4292752)
I don't know, it just seems that if Romney is going to win the polls should be reflecting some movement towards him rather than away, no? Some of the state polls make me nervous, but the national polls are now moving Obama's direction. I think, at this point, Pennsylvania might be the new Ohio. That's the state Romney is going to need to win as I don't see Obama losing Ohio. The early voting in Cuyahoga and Columbus is off the charts.
   1575. BDC Posted: November 04, 2012 at 05:10 PM (#4292753)
It's really hard to gauge attempts at bipartisanship in the 2009 Obamacare debate, IMO. One would expect a bipartisan initiative to lose votes on the far end of one's own party, and to gain them in the center of the other. That was true of 43's 2007 immigration-reform initiative, and it was true of Clinton's 1996 welfare-reform initiative (which ended up getting unanimous Republican support in the Senate, but only slightly more than half of the Democrats, the more conservative half). But the ACA was passed on a lockstep party-line vote. All the Republicans fled from it, but at the same time, oddly enough, none of the Democrats did. This suggests that partisanship itself defined policy, as several here have said, and to some extent on the blue as well as on the red side. The result was either fiendishly calibrated to the exact fault line between the parties, or (more likely) the actual content, within reason, didn't matter a ####.

EDIT for clarity
   1576. DA Baracus Posted: November 04, 2012 at 05:11 PM (#4292754)
Joe was this you?

Just FYI if you're some random dude and send us a 500 word e-mail about why our sampling is off we're not going to read it


(That's a joke btw)
   1577. McCoy Posted: November 04, 2012 at 05:13 PM (#4292756)
If this guy hadn't given his name I would have thought this was Joe

" the fact that u respond to tweets shows you aren't a legit polling company. Gallup wouldn't respond to a tweet."
   1578. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: November 04, 2012 at 05:13 PM (#4292757)
Now some dude is calling us accusing us of voter fraud, how does a polling company commit voter fraud?

A PPP tweet. Ha, interns!

More worrying, they have New Hampshire as 50-48 for Obama. That seems like a tossup now considering PPP's leaning.
   1579. McCoy Posted: November 04, 2012 at 05:14 PM (#4292759)
The right has Libertarians and Tea Partiers. What does the left have? The Green Party?
   1580. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: November 04, 2012 at 05:14 PM (#4292760)
Angry GOPers, standing on street corners, shouting gibberish at traffic...
   1581. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: November 04, 2012 at 05:16 PM (#4292762)
What does the left have? The Green Party?
Yes, the Green Party, in the sense the Dems "have" them at all. Aside from small pockets within already-blue regions*, the GP doesn't seem to carry much sway.

* - Like Arcata, CA - which, when I lived there, had the nation's only GP-majority Council.
   1582. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: November 04, 2012 at 05:17 PM (#4292763)
Clearly the folks at PPP are tired of this election cycle.
   1583. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 04, 2012 at 05:17 PM (#4292764)
More worrying, they have New Hampshire as 50-48 for Obama. That seems like a tossup now considering PPP's leaning.
New Hampshire voters are crazy. They are fickle, they love being undecided, and they seem to react to news cycle politics more than any other voters. I've been expecting New Hampshire to buck the national trend and go Romney while most of the other swing states come home for Obama.
   1584. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 04, 2012 at 05:17 PM (#4292765)
The tea party hasn't been around for "the past several election cycles."

Doesn't matter. GOP party ID has been stable for several cycles, while Dem party ID has declined.
   1585. McCoy Posted: November 04, 2012 at 05:19 PM (#4292766)
It looks like Gary Johnson could steal a point from Romney in Ohio and Colorado according to recent polls.
   1586. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: November 04, 2012 at 05:21 PM (#4292767)
Living in NH, it sure feels like a toss-up here.
   1587. Danny Posted: November 04, 2012 at 05:25 PM (#4292768)
Doesn't matter. GOP party ID has been stable for several cycles, while Dem party ID has declined.

Back in reality, from exit polls:

Year  Dem Rep
1992  38  35
1996  40  35
2000  39  35
2004  37  37
2008  39  32 


Where is this Dem ID declining? But, remember Gallup's dismissal of the Party ID people:

Many people use the exit polls as a standard. But exit polls use a distinct question wording, a different methodology (in person interviews at the polling place as opposed to telephone interviews), a different environment (people are asked their party identification just after having voted, which could affect how they answer), and different sampling techniques to develop who it is that is asked the question. So party identification figures as measured by a specific poll aren't easily compared to party identification as measured by an exit poll because of these and other potential issues.
   1588. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: November 04, 2012 at 05:25 PM (#4292769)
Via Sullivan:

"The first thing happens is, don't believe -- the public polls are wrong. That's the first sign of a campaign that's about to lose. The second thing, we're going to change the nature of the electorate, and you're not seeing it reflected in the polls. And the third thing is, the only poll that counts is Election Day. When you hear those things, you know you're about to lose," - Matthew Dowd, Republican political strategist.


   1589. McCoy Posted: November 04, 2012 at 05:31 PM (#4292772)
Clearly he is showing his liberal bias.
   1590. Steve Treder Posted: November 04, 2012 at 05:33 PM (#4292773)
Michael Tomasky today:

Objective reality says Obama is ahead. But to conservatives, there's always something wrong in objective-reality land, always a reason to claim that the world is in fact spinning in the opposite direction. Quinnipiac has too many Democrats! PPP is a Democratic firm! This one oversampled blacks, that one Latinos. And of course, these objections are never merely just stated. They're the rhetorical equivalent of dirty nuclear bombs. Conservatives on Twitter howl derisively at these polls as if their purveyors are offering alchemical cures for venereal disease.

We're all prey to "confirmation bias," as Paul Waldman called it in his American Prospect column Friday. We look at the polls that we know will be more likely to show the result we want to see. With Republicans, that has meant Rasmussen, obviously, and Gallup. With liberals it has meant...well, virtually every other polling operation under God's golden sun, more often than not, because the simple fact remains that Obama has led in most polls for a year, nationwide and statewide.

But there's confirmation bias, and there's denial. Pennsylvania is up for grabs? If you say so, wingosphere. But Obama's led in 53 straight polls there, journalist Eric Boehlert tweeted yesterday. In the last two days we've seen about 20 different state polls. Obama led in 18. If my guy were on the business end of results like those, I'd be psychologically preparing myself.
   1591. Kiko Sakata Posted: November 04, 2012 at 05:35 PM (#4292774)
New Hampshire voters are crazy. They are fickle, they love being undecided, and they seem to react to news cycle politics more than any other voters. I've been expecting New Hampshire to buck the national trend and go Romney while most of the other swing states come home for Obama.


I was going to say something similar to this. I would say that NH is the least important swing state (no offense to NH'ers) in that it's probably the most idiosyncratic. If Ohio shifts, that has implications for PA, MI, WI, IA. If CO moves, that could have implications for NV. But NH is just sort of its own thing. In 2004, it was the only state to shift OUT of Bush's column. That, and it's pretty small in terms of Electoral votes.
   1592. 'Spos stares out the window, waits for spring Posted: November 04, 2012 at 05:36 PM (#4292775)
Obama 332
   1593. McCoy Posted: November 04, 2012 at 05:37 PM (#4292776)
A true toss up would have Romney leading in some national polls, Obama leading in some, and a tie in others. We aren't seeing that at all.
   1594. DA Baracus Posted: November 04, 2012 at 05:39 PM (#4292778)
I lived in New Hampshire during the 2008 primaries and I was disappointed in the lack of craziness I saw. Though the guy with a "Kucinich = Truth" sign was hilarious.
   1595. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 04, 2012 at 05:40 PM (#4292779)
Back in reality, from exit polls:

Year  Dem Rep
1992  38  35
1996  40  35
2000  39  35
2004  37  37
2008  39  32 

Where is this Dem ID declining?

Now show us the numbers for 2010 and 2012. (I've linked them several times.)
   1596. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: November 04, 2012 at 05:43 PM (#4292782)
NBC/WSJ 48-47 Obama
Battleground 48-48
   1597. bobm Posted: November 04, 2012 at 05:46 PM (#4292783)
New low for Elias Sports Bureau

The Carolina Panthers beat the Washington Redskins, 21-13, on Sunday afternoon at Washington D.C.'s FedEx Field. and if a "Redskins Rule" discovered by one statistician years ago holds true, it's very good news for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

Steve Hirdt is the executive vice-president of the Elias Sports Bureau, and he's worked on the "Monday Night Football" staff longer than anybody else -- a total of 31 years. As the show's director of information, it's Hirdt's job to come up with interesting statistical tidbits for the show's announcers to throw out there. ...

Quite by accident, he discovered a "Redskins Rule" that has proved to be just about flawless over the last 18 such elections, and one that will come into play when the Redskins face the Carolina Panthers this Sunday -- just two days before Election Day.

"I started looking through the Redskins' press guide where they list all the scores in the back," Hirdt said, via ESPN. "I was making a list of the last home game before the election because that was the game we were covering. I tried to align it with the Democrats or the Republicans and then looked at the incumbents."I was shocked to see it lined up exactly right, that whenever the Redskins won their last home game prior to the presidential election, the incumbent party retained the White House, and whenever the Redskins lost their last home game prior to the election, the out-of-power party won the White House."


http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nfl-shutdown-corner/rooting-intersection-football-politics-keep-redskins-rule-mind-213658972--nfl.html
   1598. Danny Posted: November 04, 2012 at 05:50 PM (#4292784)
Now show us the numbers for 2010 and 2012. (I've linked them several times.)

There are no exit polls for 2012, and everyone (including you) knows the electorate looks very different in midterm elections than it does in presidential elections.
   1599. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: November 04, 2012 at 05:52 PM (#4292785)
Obama 290; Senate: D (effectively, counting the I's) 52; House: haven't worked it out yet, but definitely stay R

I know a guy who set his fantasy football lineup as the Redskins would win, in order to get the political outcome he wanted.
   1600. Random Transaction Generator Posted: November 04, 2012 at 05:54 PM (#4292786)
Matthew Dowd, Republican political strategist.


Who, by the way, picked it Obama 303, Romney 235 (O 49.1, R 48.3).

He's on my list of public picks.
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