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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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   1801. Gonfalon B. Posted: November 05, 2012 at 03:46 AM (#4293070)
2000: Bush wins, GOP loses 3 seats
2004: Bush wins, GOP picks up 3 seats


Joe K:
In 2000, Bush lost the popular vote, which is consistent with a slight loss of House seats, and 2004 was a very close election.


Bless your forgiving heart. It's totally understandable that Bush was a net-zero in those two tough, close years. But Obama, that guy needs to deliver, and deliver big.

If, as Nate is projecting, Obama wins by over 2 points and wins well over 300 Electoral College votes but the Dems make only token gains in the House, it will be a substantial under-performance and a major missed opportunity.

Saying so doesn't make it so. Two of the last four Presidential winners to surpass 300 electoral votes "lost" House seats. Clinton had 370 electoral votes in 1992, and the Democrats lost seats. Bush Sr. had 429 electoral votes and the Republicans lost seats. Each of them won by a lot more than 2 points, too.

The two biggest electoral college trouncings since World War 2 (Nixon, Reagan, both over 500 EV) came with gains of just 16 and 12 House seats. Those would be nice but unexceptional pickup numbers for the midterm elections of the same period.

Strictly speaking, the 1996 House elections were consistent with the voting in the presidential race.

Clinton won by 8.5% in 1996, and the Democrats gained 2 House seats. If Obama wins by only 2.8%, the Dems should presumably expect to pick up two-thirds of one seat. Strictly speaking.
   1802. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 05, 2012 at 03:53 AM (#4293071)
Several counties in Florida came up with over-the-counter, in-person absentee balloting as a way to work around limited early voting. I think, acc to the Miami Herald, that county election HQ in Doral locked their doors, preventing same. Citizens protested, loudly, forcing the HQ to open their doors and resume allowing in person, absentee balloting.

Chaos and incompetence in Miami? Where's Capt. Renault when we need him?
   1803. Joe Kehoskie Posted: November 05, 2012 at 04:05 AM (#4293074)
This is simply wrong. And backwards, besides.

House seats and Electoral College votes aren't allocated in proportion?

***
Bless your forgiving heart. It's totally understandable that Bush was a net-zero in those two tough, close years. But Obama, that guy needs to deliver, and deliver big.

I guess you're deliberately ignoring the claim being made. The GOP already had a majority in the House in 2000 and 2004. The Dems, in 2012, do not.

Saying so doesn't make it so. Two of the last four Presidential winners to surpass 300 electoral votes "lost" House seats. Clinton had 370 electoral votes in 1992, and the Democrats lost seats.

Same problem. The Dems already had a House majority in 1992. Clinton also received just 43 percent of the vote.

The two biggest electoral college trouncings since World War 2 (Nixon, Reagan, both over 500 EV) came with gains of just 16 and 12 House seats. Those would be nice but unexceptional pickup numbers for the midterm elections of the same period.

Those were actually decent gains given the entrenched Dem majority in the House, which had existed since 1954.

Clinton won by 8.5% in 1996, and the Democrats gained 2 House seats. If Obama wins by only 2.8%, the Dems should presumably expect to pick up two-thirds of one seat. Strictly speaking.

Clinton beat Dole and Perot by 0.1 percent, and did so by co-opting the GOP Congress' achievements. Obama is projected to get over 50 percent of the popular vote and win by over 2 points, with over 300 Electoral College votes. His party holds just 191 House seats, and should be poised to make major gains unless the Dems recruited a very weak crop of candidates.
   1804. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: November 05, 2012 at 04:34 AM (#4293077)
Interesting. Princeton.edu has a java map (right hand menu) with the option of adding to all the polls 2 percent in favor of Romney. That should satisfy some of the complaints that Romney voters are somehow mysteriously underpolled. It still leaves Obama up in the EC, 213-206. That's gotta hurt. Ohio and Iowa still lean Obama, while CO, VA, and NH become tossups. PA and WI become 80% or better instead of 97.5%+ certainties.
   1805. Gonfalon B. Posted: November 05, 2012 at 05:02 AM (#4293079)
This POTUS/House correlation doesn't count because the winner lost the popular vote, and this correlation doesn't count because the election was very close, and none of these ones count because the winner's party already had the House majority, but these don't count either because even though the losing party did have the majority, their majority was entrenched, and this one doesn't count because there was a third candidate, and besides, Bubba totally ripped off all of our ideas. Take those away, and the remainder proves my case, except for one, maybe two exceptions. Whereas the 2012 election is without context or caveats or obstacles, and if Obama wins 50.8-48.4%, his mighty backwash should surge through the halls of Congress as if they were the Aegean Stables. Got it.

These are all of the seat swings in the House since 1966, arranged in ascending order.

+5, +5, +8, +8, +12, +15, +27, +31, +47, +49, +54, +63

+1, +2, +2, +2, +2, +5, +9, +12, +16, +21, +35

Can you guess which list represents the midterm election years, and which list is from Presidential election years? Careful, though: the answer is incredibly not tricky.
   1806. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: November 05, 2012 at 06:25 AM (#4293083)
Back from Amishland:
I think giving to charity is great. Giving to the Mormon Church so that they can drop millions upon millions of dollars to defeat a gay marriage bill is not quite the same as giving to the Red Cross.
The Mormon Church did not give millions upon millions of dollars to Prop 8. Individual Mormons did. The Church itself provided moral support and encouragement for Prop 8 backers, not cash.
   1807. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: November 05, 2012 at 06:41 AM (#4293084)
My official prediction is that Obama will carry every state.

He has a 100.0% chance to win. Every state.


Unskewing that, it's Romney with 103% of the popular vote and a Mormon Tabernacle Choir in every state capitol.
So you're saying it'll be President Gary Johnson?
   1808. Lassus Posted: November 05, 2012 at 08:04 AM (#4293087)
   1809. Spahn Insane Posted: November 05, 2012 at 08:08 AM (#4293088)
What, Lassus--you expected them to achieve basic competence in only 12 years post-recount?

Meanwhile, George Will goes poll truther!
   1810. Spahn Insane Posted: November 05, 2012 at 08:15 AM (#4293089)
The bottom line: our model predicts Democrats will win 194 seats (44.6%), one more than they currently hold, with a one in four chance that they will take back the House.

It'd be helpful to know what level of certainty they're applying to that one-seat gain, but if that's an "on-balance" probability, then the 25% chance the Dems'll net 25 seats seems...high.

If they mistyped "one in forty," it'd be more plausible.
   1811. Spahn Insane Posted: November 05, 2012 at 08:17 AM (#4293091)
So you're saying it'll be President Gary Johnson?

Don't be silly; it'll be Jill Stein in a landslide.
   1812. greenback likes millwall Posted: November 05, 2012 at 08:26 AM (#4293093)
Am I understanding Romney's charitable trust correctly -- that the money doesn't go to charity until he dies, and in the mean time he gets to pull $X per year from it, while the trust gets to accumulate gains tax-free? So the money will go to charity in part, but mostly the money goes back to Romney with a nice tax advantage. Who comes up with stuff like this?
   1813. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: November 05, 2012 at 08:45 AM (#4293095)
   1814. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: November 05, 2012 at 09:06 AM (#4293102)
The Dems already had a House majority in 1992. Clinton also received just 43 percent of the vote.


Clinton got 53.4% of the votes that went either R or D. That is the only relevant number, as 100% of the House Reps elected were either R's or D's.
   1815. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: November 05, 2012 at 09:08 AM (#4293103)
The two biggest electoral college trouncings since World War 2 (Nixon, Reagan, both over 500 EV) came with gains of just 16 and 12 House seats. Those would be nice but unexceptional pickup numbers for the midterm elections of the same period.


Those were actually decent gains given the entrenched Dem majority in the House, which had existed since 1954.


Unbelievable. You hand wave away Carter's under-performance in 1976 because the D's already had a huge majority, and then excuse Nixon and Reagan's under-performance because the Dems had a huge majority.
   1816. Random Transaction Generator Posted: November 05, 2012 at 09:09 AM (#4293104)
Larry Sabato says Obama will get 290 EV.


Added to the list.
Thanks.
   1817. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: November 05, 2012 at 09:12 AM (#4293105)
Clinton won by 8.5% in 1996, and the Democrats gained 2 House seats. If Obama wins by only 2.8%, the Dems should presumably expect to pick up two-thirds of one seat. Strictly speaking.


Clinton beat Dole and Perot by 0.1 percent,


Clinton beat Dole by nearly 10 points. Unless there were Perot reps getting elected that I missed, his presence is irrelevant. The Democratic candidate won the Dem or Rep vote by a whopping 54.7 to 45.3.
   1818. Random Transaction Generator Posted: November 05, 2012 at 09:18 AM (#4293107)
Edit: Misirlou beat me to it.
   1819. villageidiom Posted: November 05, 2012 at 09:20 AM (#4293108)
Unbelievable. You hand wave away Carter's under-performance in 1976 because the D's already had a huge majority, and then excuse Nixon and Reagan's under-performance because the Dems had a huge majority.
A Democratic majority proves the electorate was behaving irrationally, and thus we can't use those numbers to project. Duh.
   1820. Lassus Posted: November 05, 2012 at 09:25 AM (#4293109)
IN SWING STATES: 48%-48%

Headline in this morning's in-the-tank-lefty Utica Observer Dispatch.
   1821. SteveF Posted: November 05, 2012 at 09:35 AM (#4293112)
Clinton beat Dole by nearly 10 points.


I'd bet you're longing for the days when Republicans were like Bob Dole.
   1822. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: November 05, 2012 at 09:48 AM (#4293114)
I'd bet you're longing for the days when Republicans were like Bob Dole.

"Mister, we could use a man like Herbert Hoover again..."
   1823. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: November 05, 2012 at 09:49 AM (#4293115)
I'd bet you're longing for the days when Republicans were like Bob Dole.


I am actually.
   1824. just plain joe Posted: November 05, 2012 at 09:50 AM (#4293116)
Who comes up with stuff like this?


Lawyers for rich people; who are then able to get the appropriate laws passed.
   1825. JL Posted: November 05, 2012 at 10:15 AM (#4293125)
I agree it wasn't a 1:1 comparison. I just find it amazing that some people apparently switched their votes or stayed home because of Bush's 1976 DUI. It seems like a person would have to be totally apolitical to base their decision on such a thing.

Which is why it is silly to argue that things like Christie talking well about Obama or a slight increase in the unemployment rate will have no effect on the election. When an election is extremely close (leek 2000 was and like 2012 is), it only takes a relatively few votes to make a difference. That is not to say it will change it, only that dismissing soemthing as inconsequentional ignores reality.
   1826. Morty Causa Posted: November 05, 2012 at 10:20 AM (#4293127)
   1827. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: November 05, 2012 at 10:20 AM (#4293128)
Isn't it good for Christie if Obama wins? If Romney wins Christie can't run for another 8 years and then he'd have to deal with Ryan.
   1828. SteveF Posted: November 05, 2012 at 10:27 AM (#4293134)
If Obama wins? Aren't we past that?
   1829. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: November 05, 2012 at 10:36 AM (#4293141)
If Obama wins? Aren't we past that?

I am not one for counting chickens and such. After 2000, I believe nothing until the concession speech.
   1830. Ron J2 Posted: November 05, 2012 at 10:37 AM (#4293142)
I doubt the South and North don't fight over something between 1860 and 1945.


Coming in late, but ...

I think there's roughly no chance that there's no serious fighting over the territories -- regardless of Southern empire building elsewhere.

And it's reasonably likely that Southern efforts at empire building would bring it into conflict with the North.

And then there's the overall tension about escaped slaves.
   1831. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: November 05, 2012 at 10:37 AM (#4293143)
Isn't it good for Christie if Obama wins? If Romney wins Christie can't run for another 8 years and then he'd have to deal with Ryan.
It would be a good thing for Christie - if we lived in a world in which a NJ Republican could win the GOP nomination. Thing is, in that world Christie would be waiting for President Giuliani's second term to expire in 2016.
   1832. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: November 05, 2012 at 10:43 AM (#4293145)
any northern gop candidate has to have a huge political operation set up for the primaries/caucuses to avoid getting creamed. not that he or she has to 'win' but the candidate has to avoid getting embarrassed. it's already forgotten but if the governor had not had the folks on the ground and a lot of cash sen santorum might have won ohio as one example. gov romney's infrastructure was key in florida as another example.

   1833. Lassus Posted: November 05, 2012 at 10:45 AM (#4293147)
If Obama wins? Aren't we past that?

No.


It would be a good thing for Christie - if we lived in a world in which a NJ Republican could win the GOP nomination. Thing is, in that world Christie would be waiting for President Giuliani's second term to expire in 2016.

Christie will have no chance unseating Cuomo in 2020.


   1834. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 05, 2012 at 10:47 AM (#4293148)
I think it's good for Christie if New Jersey voters perceive him as post-partisan. If there's calculation in Christie's praise of the president, it's aimed at his immediate political future. He needs to win re-election in a blue state.
   1835. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 05, 2012 at 10:49 AM (#4293149)
Christie will have no chance unseating Cuomo in 2020.
I think Cuomo is a serious longshot for the nomination, and his chances are being hugely overplayed in the press. The base on the left is composed of people who currently hate Andrew Cuomo or will come to hate Andrew Cuomo when they learn more about him. He wants to win the nomination, but he seems to think the path to the nomination runs through Wall Street and the cocktail party circuit.
   1836. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: November 05, 2012 at 10:50 AM (#4293150)
Rasmussen polls

National

Romney 49-48

Virginia

Romney 50-48
   1837. robinred Posted: November 05, 2012 at 10:52 AM (#4293151)
If Obama wins? Aren't we past that?


Agree with Lassus and Shooty here.
   1838. Der-K: Hipster doofus Posted: November 05, 2012 at 10:54 AM (#4293153)
I thought we were post-post-partisan. Or is it post-post-post-partisan?
   1839. Ron J2 Posted: November 05, 2012 at 10:55 AM (#4293154)
Sherman wouldn't have been caught at Chickamauga


Don't see this as inevitable. Sherman got caught on the hop a few times during the Atlanta campaign. In at least one case he was very lucky that the general in charge of operations was Polk. Hood (before being appointed to army command) missed some opportunities too.

   1840. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: November 05, 2012 at 10:56 AM (#4293155)
It would be a good thing for Christie - if we lived in a world in which a NJ Republican could win the GOP nomination. Thing is, in that world Christie would be waiting for President Giuliani's second term to expire in 2016.

That's a fair point, but if Massachusetts Mitt can chameleon himself to the extent that he has and still manage to win the nomination, almost anything's possible. You can't get much bluer than Massachusetts.

Of course Christie would practically have to challenge the entire Democratic field to produce Trump-certified birth certificates in order to win over the Tea Party wackos, but if those folks can swallow Romney's past positions on mandates and abortion, who knows what else they might overlook? It really depends on just how much Christie would really want the nomination, and how much he's willing to talk the talk and walk the walk, and that much isn't known at this point. But if he ever does decide he wants to step up to a higher level, he couldn't have a better role model of shameless reinvention than Romney himself.
   1841. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: November 05, 2012 at 10:57 AM (#4293157)
RE: George Will - the man is project Minnesota to go red. MINNESOTA!
   1842. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: November 05, 2012 at 10:58 AM (#4293159)
Obama's odds are up 2.6% today on Intrade.
   1843. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 05, 2012 at 10:58 AM (#4293161)
If I were to predict an unexpectedly large Obama win, this would be the evidence I'd cite. Latino Decisions' pre-election poll shows Obama leading 73-24 among Hispanic voters who are likely to or have already voted in the election. An eight percentage point bump among 8-10% of the electorate would be an improvement of nearly a full point nationally from Obama's 2008 numbers.

I really don't like being confident before an election where I know intellectually the chance of a loss is significant. (I wasn't scared in 2008 because there simply was no significant chance of a loss, and really there wasn't a significant chance of a loss from 2007 onward.) But this is not 2008, the economy is not determinative. The polls are good, but not great. I don't like being confident, but I'm a little confident.
   1844. McCoy Posted: November 05, 2012 at 10:59 AM (#4293162)
RCP only has two tossup states leaning red now.
   1845. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: November 05, 2012 at 10:59 AM (#4293163)
Rasmussen polls

National

Romney 49-48

Virginia

Romney 50-48


Whether or not those two polls mean anything when measured against all the contrary ones, they'll definitely ensure that no Democratic poll worker will have a bite to eat until the polls close in any swing state. There's no motivator quite like fear.
   1846. just plain joe Posted: November 05, 2012 at 11:02 AM (#4293164)
I think there's roughly no chance that there's no serious fighting over the territories -- regardless of Southern empire building elsewhere.


If nothing else the North would find their position shaky as long as Virginia remained in the CSA, and thus able to control access to Chesapeake Bay and the Potomac. In the Turtledove series (which was mentioned upthread) the USA is forced to move the de facto capital to Philadelphia because Washington, DC was essentially undefendable and was being constantly bombarded/attacked. I believe that Washington ended up getting captured in one of the wars, and was then occupied by the CSA until they were driven out in a subsequent conflict.
   1847. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: November 05, 2012 at 11:05 AM (#4293165)
Silver's blog post on Saturday was spot-on in every particular. Obama led in 19 of 20 swing state polls -- that means something, and only a fool would suggest otherwise. The race isn't a "toss-up" -- otherwise there's no point to polls and polling -- but it is possible that the polls share a systemic error or errors (*) that would incorrectly project an Obama victory. He puts that possibility at around 16%. That seems about right.

(*) Scientific and sampling errors, that is -- not the "bias" of rightist fantasy.
   1848. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: November 05, 2012 at 11:07 AM (#4293166)
If I were to predict an unexpectedly large Obama win, this would be the evidence I'd cite. Latino Decisions' pre-election poll shows Obama leading 73-24 among Hispanic voters who are likely to or have already voted in the election. An eight percentage point bump among 10% of the electorate would be an improvement of nearly a full point nationally from Obama's 2008 numbers.

I'm way too superstitious to make predictions, but if it turned out that Latino voters put Obama over the top, that would be the sweetest possible result imaginable. It might even make the ####### Republicans realize that the likes of Joe Arpaio and Kris Kobach don't exactly represent our country's future.
   1849. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: November 05, 2012 at 11:09 AM (#4293167)
Mellman Group (I won't pretend to know what these polling outfits are or how good they are)

Obama +2 in Florida
Obama +3 in Virginia

   1850. Lassus Posted: November 05, 2012 at 11:11 AM (#4293169)
I think Cuomo is a serious longshot for the nomination, and his chances are being hugely overplayed in the press. The base on the left is composed of people who currently hate Andrew Cuomo or will come to hate Andrew Cuomo when they learn more about him. He wants to win the nomination, but he seems to think the path to the nomination runs through Wall Street and the cocktail party circuit.

Agree. Unless we have four years of utopian economic growth led by Andrew Cuomo's replicator technology, I really don't think he can be considered any kind of shoe-in, or even a given as a candidate. I don't think it's likely either, and even if I did, it is way too early to say.
   1851. AROM Posted: November 05, 2012 at 11:11 AM (#4293170)
In the Turtledove series (which was mentioned upthread) the USA is forced to move the de facto capital to Philadelphia because Washington, DC was essentially undefendable and was being constantly bombarded/attacked.


In a scenario where the US split into two countries, no way DC could stay the capital of the north. It just doesn't make sense to put you capital right on the border.
   1852. McCoy Posted: November 05, 2012 at 11:12 AM (#4293171)
From what I recall Turtledove has the Union not finding the cigars thus losing the Civil War. Then 20 years later or so they go to war again and the North is led by a bunch of incompetents which causes them to lose the war again. WWI breaks out and this time the South is the one that is largely incompetent and they lose the war badly which then sets up the rise of a Hitler like character in the South. At that point I stopped reading Turtledove as I grown to dislike his writing style.
   1853. bunyon Posted: November 05, 2012 at 11:14 AM (#4293173)
In a scenario where the US split into two countries, no way DC could stay the capital of the north. It just doesn't make sense to put you capital right on the border.

Albany, of course.
   1854. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: November 05, 2012 at 11:14 AM (#4293174)
The game is easy for the Wills and the Barones. There is a 16-25% chance of a Romney victory and so there's room to make crazy predictions like Will's about Minnesota. Romney wins and they're feted forevermore as the people who were smarter than all those liberals and their biased polls. Romney doesn't win, no one cares -- in our hyper-partisan environment, there's no professional harm in projecting and advocating silly things.
   1855. Danny Posted: November 05, 2012 at 11:15 AM (#4293176)
Mellman Group (I won't pretend to know what these polling outfits are or how good they are)

Mellman's had a pro-Obama lean this cycle.
   1856. Greg K Posted: November 05, 2012 at 11:16 AM (#4293178)
I really don't like being confident before an election where I know intellectually the chance of a loss is significant. (I wasn't scared in 2008 because there simply was no significant chance of a loss, and really there wasn't a significant chance of a loss from 2007 onward.) But this is not 2008, the economy is not determinative. The polls are good, but not great. I don't like being confident, but I'm a little confident.

I take an attitude towards most sporting events that I have a stake in that I term "cautious pessimism". I expect the worst, but until it's mathematically over victory is always imaginable. This sounds like the mirror image of that from the other side, whatever you might call it.
   1857. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: November 05, 2012 at 11:18 AM (#4293180)
The game is easy for the Wills and the Barones. There is a 16-25% chance of a Romney victory and so there's room to make crazy predictions like Will's about Minnesota. Romney wins and they're feted forevermore as the people who were smarter than all those liberals and their biased polls. Romney doesn't win, no one cares -- in our hyper-partisan environment, there's no professional harm in projecting and advocating silly things.


To be honest, this, moreso than the electoral outcome, may be the best thing that has a small chance of happening as a result of 2012: Nate Silver shows the general population indisputable* proof that the political pundit class is as stupid about politics as Murray Chass is as stupid about baseball.

*yeah; I know. Joe's already spinning up the "it was the media's fault" cognitive-dissonance machine as we speak.

(Random aside: anyone wants to know my politics from the ground up, go buy P.O.S. new album and listen without fear.)
   1858. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 05, 2012 at 11:20 AM (#4293183)
I take an attitude towards most sporting events that I have a stake in that I term "cautious pessimism". I expect the worst, but until it's mathematically over victory is always imaginable.
Do you continue to expect the worst when you're up two or three runs in the 8th inning? I mean, I continue to worry about the worst, but I also get confident. That's how I'm feeling now.

Of course it's a little different - I think it's highly unlikely anything will happen in the next day to change the race, so no one is making a 9th inning comeback, but I think it's entirely possible that we're not actually winning right now. But it adds up to roughly the same feeling.

(2008 was different because sometimes elections, unlike baseball games, are over before they begin. 2012 was never going to be one of those elections, so it was always going to dredge up these sports fan feelings.)
   1859. tshipman Posted: November 05, 2012 at 11:21 AM (#4293184)
The game is easy for the Wills and the Barones. There is a 16-25% chance of a Romney victory and so there's room to make crazy predictions like Will's about Minnesota. Romney wins and they're feted forevermore as the people who were smarter than all those liberals and their biased polls. Romney doesn't win, no one cares -- in our hyper-partisan environment, there's no professional harm in projecting and advocating silly things.


Outside of the primaries and senate races, this is the real value of 538: Exposing hacks. We see people make predictions that have very little grounding in reality, like Will claiming that Minnesota might go red.

The incentives for hackery are clear.
   1860. Greg K Posted: November 05, 2012 at 11:21 AM (#4293185)
In a scenario where the US split into two countries, no way DC could stay the capital of the north. It just doesn't make sense to put you capital right on the border.

I believe this is one of the reasons Ottawa is Canada's capital.
   1861. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: November 05, 2012 at 11:22 AM (#4293186)
the dems would be doing the gop a huge favor. gigantic favor. favor the size of newt's ego by nominating secretary clinton.

smart woman. get that. but the clintons time is past.

obviously not my call. but much obliged if y'all can make that happen.

one of the awesome things about a clinton nomination is that there isn't the racism buffer like with the president. you can get really ugly and not feel the pain of a the racist accusation.
   1862. bunyon Posted: November 05, 2012 at 11:24 AM (#4293189)
Do you continue to expect the worst when you're up two or three runs in the 8th inning?

Jim Leyritz 1996. I haven't felt good about anything since.


I mean, I continue to worry about the worst, but I also get confident. That's how I'm feeling now.


This is where I am in this election. I think it entirely possible the data is simply wrong. Not that it's been misinterpreted or skewed by bias, but just wrong.

   1863. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: November 05, 2012 at 11:24 AM (#4293190)
In a scenario where the US split into two countries, no way DC could stay the capital of the north. It just doesn't make sense to put you capital right on the border.


Yep. Just ask Serbia

The First World War began on 28 July 1914 when Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia. Most of the subsequent Balkan offensives occurred near Belgrade. Austro-Hungarian monitors shelled Belgrade on 29 July 1914, and it was taken by the Austro-Hungarian Army under General Oskar Potiorek on 30 November.
   1864. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: November 05, 2012 at 11:24 AM (#4293192)
but I think it's entirely possible that we're not actually winning right now.

This is they key, though. I think Obama will win, but my feelings for thinking about that have to do with a process I'm completely divorced from. I live in Manhattan and my family is in the Bay Area. We're as Blue as Blue gets and I can't pretend to have a feel for what the rest of the country is up to right now. Also, on a real, tangible level, the tv here at work is on CNBC non-stop and they've been waging a campaign against Obama since he was elected. The constant negative feedback I listen to about him has probably colored the way I think the rest of the country thinks about Obama.
   1865. tshipman Posted: November 05, 2012 at 11:24 AM (#4293193)
one of the awesome things about a clinton nomination is that there isn't the racism buffer like with the president. you can get really ugly and not feel the pain of a the racist accusation.


Yeah, that's really slowed down the Republican party--their inability to go negative on Obama.
   1866. bunyon Posted: November 05, 2012 at 11:25 AM (#4293194)
I believe this is one of the reasons Ottawa is Canada's capital.

President Jackson: I want to conquer Canada!

Secretary of War: We can do that. But you'll have to take Ottawa.

President Jackson: Yuck. Let them be.
   1867. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: November 05, 2012 at 11:26 AM (#4293197)
The game is easy for the Wills and the Barones. There is a 16-25% chance of a Romney victory and so there's room to make crazy predictions like Will's about Minnesota. Romney wins and they're feted forevermore as the people who were smarter than all those liberals and their biased polls. Romney doesn't win, no one cares -- in our hyper-partisan environment, there's no professional harm in projecting and advocating silly things.

Exactly. It's like playing with house money. Every pundit in their generation grew up reading about the legend of Louis Bean, and what could be more of a rush than to be mentioned in the same breath with the only pollster who predicted Truman's victory in 1948?

   1868. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: November 05, 2012 at 11:27 AM (#4293198)
smart woman. get that. but the clintons time is past.

My gut feel is she doesn't have the energy for another run. I have no idea who will emerge for the Dems in 4 years. I have more immediate worries!
   1869. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 05, 2012 at 11:27 AM (#4293199)
one of the awesome things about a clinton nomination is that there isn't the racism buffer like with the president. you can get really ugly and not feel the pain of a the racist accusation
The racism buffer is mostly ########, a product of right-wing fears rather than a political reality that has effects in the world. The sexism buffer will destroy any national Republican who makes Clinton's gender an issue. Just destroy them. There are way, way more women in the US than there are black folks, and women usually split their vote much more evenly. You can't risk that.
   1870. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: November 05, 2012 at 11:27 AM (#4293200)
one of the awesome things about a clinton nomination is that there isn't the racism buffer like with the president. you can get really ugly and not feel the pain of a the racist accusation.


So, Harvey, if I have your master plan down correctly, it's:

1. Spend all of the post-Nixon years so fundamentally alienating African American voters as to assure they vote Democrat every cycle.

2. Spend all of the post-Bush II years so fundamentally alienating Latino voters as to assure they vote Democrat every cycle.

3. Rub your hands gleefully at the prospect of sliming Hillary Clinton in 2016 such that you alienate women voters for every cycle into the future... (Prep the ground for this with a lot of patronizing white men telling women that it wasn't really *rape* rape if Jesus put a baby in the oven?)

I'm not sure this plan is as fool proof as you seem to think.
   1871. Der-K: Hipster doofus Posted: November 05, 2012 at 11:28 AM (#4293201)
Yeah, that's really slowed down the Republican party--their inability to go negative on Obama.

I think it's made a pretty big difference, actually.
   1872. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: November 05, 2012 at 11:28 AM (#4293202)
tship

there is negative and then there is ugly. with the clintons the restraints don't exist.

sorry. but true
   1873. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: November 05, 2012 at 11:28 AM (#4293204)
Yeah, that's really slowed down the Republican party--their inability to go negative on Obama.

Ha!
   1874. Greg K Posted: November 05, 2012 at 11:28 AM (#4293205)
Do you continue to expect the worst when you're up two or three runs in the 8th inning? I mean, I continue to worry about the worst, but I also get confident. That's how I'm feeling now.

I do sometimes find myself feeling confident in those rare moments when I let down my carefully constructed wall of pessimism. But I make sure to berate myself afterwards.

I was more poking fun at myself there as I wrote out my natural state of "cautious pessimism" and felt myself quite clever. Then on re-reading your comment noticed that what you were expressing was the more standard "cautious optimism".

Both serve their purposes. Ideally you should be able to imagine defeat when you're in the throes of victory, and victory when defeat seems inevitable. Like you, I don't hold with absolute confidence, (or absolute pessimism).
   1875. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 05, 2012 at 11:31 AM (#4293207)
Both serve their purposes. Ideally you should be able to imagine defeat when you're in the throes of victory, and victory when defeat seems inevitable. Like you, I don't hold with absolute confidence, (or absolute pessimism).
Absolute confidence is not impossible. In 2008, before I left for the bar with my friends, I programmed the TiVo to tape Fox News all night because I wanted to watch them call state after state for Obama. Unlike in sports, some events are large enough and well-enough understood that they can be very confidently called in advance.

This year, obviously, no TiVos are set.
   1876. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: November 05, 2012 at 11:31 AM (#4293209)
matt

with the clintons it isn't about gender.

sam:

president bush the second did reach out to latino voters to the annoyance of his party. just clarifying

and i was way out in front on this issue due to my ties to the latino community from my days working with the migrants at the canning company. if you dig up the main immigration thread i griped vociferously at the gop's approach
   1877. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: November 05, 2012 at 11:31 AM (#4293210)
Oops.
   1878. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: November 05, 2012 at 11:32 AM (#4293211)
Greenberg/Quinlan/Rosner (Who the ####?)

49-45 Obama in the national race.
   1879. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 05, 2012 at 11:32 AM (#4293212)
with the clintons it isn't about gender.
If they go negative and leave gender off the table, then it will be no different from going negative against Obama while leaving race off the table.
   1880. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 05, 2012 at 11:33 AM (#4293213)
Greenberg/Quinlan/Rosner (Who the ####?)
Democratic-affiliated firm. Stan Greenberg was Clinton's pollster in '92, iirc. Long record in Washington, respected, left-leaning.
   1881. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: November 05, 2012 at 11:33 AM (#4293214)
So, Harvey, if I have your master plan down correctly, it's:

1. Spend all of the post-Nixon years so fundamentally alienating African American voters as to assure they vote Democrat every cycle.

2. Spend all of the post-Bush II years so fundamentally alienating Latino voters as to assure they vote Democrat every cycle.

3. Rub your hands gleefully at the prospect of sliming Hillary Clinton in 2016 such that you alienate women voters for every cycle into the future... (Prep the ground for this with a lot of patronizing white men telling women that it wasn't really *rape* rape if Jesus put a baby in the oven?)

I'm not sure this plan is as fool proof as you seem to think.


But there are still the gays---the GOP will always have the gays.
   1882. bunyon Posted: November 05, 2012 at 11:33 AM (#4293215)
president bush the second did reach out to latino voters to the annoyance of his party. just clarifying

and i was way out in front on this issue due to my ties to the latino community from my days working with the migrants at the canning company. if you dig up the main immigration thread i griped vociferously at the gop's approach


Both true. But the party itself is quite antagonistic. I think it will correct - and as Latinos prosperity increases, they'll move toward the Rs as well.

The Rs are split. They need someone who can unite the wings. I hope that someone comes from the middle but I can imagine a Tea Partier who is a skilled pol uniting the party and moving it solidly right (the Teapers who run now have that grassroots feel but then go out and start talking inelegantly about rape).
   1883. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: November 05, 2012 at 11:35 AM (#4293216)
gov romney's infrastructure was key in florida as another example.


It sure was.

   1884. Random Transaction Generator Posted: November 05, 2012 at 11:35 AM (#4293217)
(the Teapers who run now have that grassroots feel but then go out and start talking inelegantly about everything)


Fixed that.
   1885. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: November 05, 2012 at 11:36 AM (#4293218)
sam:

president bush the second did reach out to latino voters to the annoyance of his party. just clarifying


The problem is that Bush's voice of sanity on this subject has long been drowned out by the nativists in his party, who mau-maued both McCain and Romney into something they never were previously in order to get the nomination.

and i was way out in front on this issue due to my ties to the latino community from my days working with the migrants at the canning company. if you dig up the main immigration thread i griped vociferously at the gop's approach

Well, I'm sure that if you were running, you'd have a better chance of winning Latino votes than Romney.

   1886. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: November 05, 2012 at 11:38 AM (#4293221)
matt

you are not following. you don't need sec clinton's gender to get ridiculously ugly

the president's race hindered those paths

i am surprised you don't think the gop can hurl a million times more mud at the secretary given that they have been pouring money into investigating the clintons nonstop since 1991. and i do mean nonstop.

i know of what i speak. if you want to say it won't be anything significant you can do that but you will be really, really wrong.
   1887. tshipman Posted: November 05, 2012 at 11:39 AM (#4293224)
tship

there is negative and then there is ugly. with the clintons the restraints don't exist.

sorry. but true


Exactly what ugly attack is there that Republicans haven't tried against Obama? He's been described as unAmerican, a Kenyan anti-colonialist, a radical Muslim, an angry black man, a shiftless layabout, a dangerous socialist, someone who would have only gotten into Harvard due to affirmative action, a borderline idiot who requires a teleprompter, etc. etc. etc.

Are there a bunch of awesome fried chicken jokes that only get passed around at the GOP mixers or something?
   1888. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: November 05, 2012 at 11:43 AM (#4293225)
matt

you are not following. you don't need sec clinton's gender to get ridiculously ugly

the president's race hindered those paths

i am surprised you don't think the gop can hurl a million times more mud at the secretary given that they have been pouring money into investigating the clintons nonstop since 1991. and i do mean nonstop.

i know of what i speak. if you want to say it won't be anything significant you can do that but you will be really, really wrong.


Harvey, it's not that the GOP doesn't have the ability to get ridiculously ugly about a Clinton, either Hillary or Bill. The question is how well that strategy would fly among independents.

Suggestion: Look at the 1998 congressional elections for a hint of how successful Ken Starr's crusade turned out to be. And look at Bill and Hillary's current poll ratings compared to Newt Gingrich's. That "Clinton scandal" meme has a long gone expiration date outside the Limbaugh / Hannity circuit.
   1889. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 05, 2012 at 11:44 AM (#4293226)
you are not following. you don't need sec clinton's gender to get ridiculously ugly

the president's race hindered those paths
To be clear, I'm following your argument, but I'm disputing your premises and your logic.

(1) I do not agree that the president's race hindered those paths.
(2) If I were to grant that point, I would argue that Clinton's gender will far more effectively hinder those paths than Obama's race did.
   1890. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: November 05, 2012 at 11:45 AM (#4293227)
tship:

gov romney halted the effort around reverend wright round 2. as one example.

the gop mostly halted the dvd that did get shipped to ohio homes about the president being illegitimate son of a commie. that was proposed as a nationwide effort.

you have to believe me. it could have been much worse.

i know that nobody here is inclined to say 'thanks' to gov romney but he put the kibosh on a number of ugly proposals.

   1891. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 05, 2012 at 11:49 AM (#4293229)
gov romney halted the effort around reverend wright round 2. as one example.

the gop mostly halted the dvd that did get shipped to ohio homes about the president being illegitimate son of a commie. that was proposed as a nationwide effort.

you have to believe me. it could have been much worse.
I believe the GOP did that because those ploys weren't goign to work.

Romney's very clear on the 47% tape when he's talking about strategy - his pollsters and focus groups found that swing voters have formed an opinion of the President which does not allow them to accept that he's anti-American or whatever. That's why he talked about Obama as a good man who didn't have what it takes to get the job done, a president who, when you consider his record rationally, doesn't deserve another term. Romney constructed his anti-Obama argument in this way not because he was foolishly keeping his powder dry out of some misguided non-political morality, but because the extreme negative attacks don't work on people who have already formed an opinion of the president.
   1892. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: November 05, 2012 at 11:49 AM (#4293230)
matt

well, it won't. gender is not the barrier that race is/was.

don't know what else to tell you.

the high priests in my party salivate over a clinton nomination.

there is no concern, none, of alienating female voters beyond the usual party platform stuff

i gotta confess that given that i have been right about all the other gop/tea party stuff for folks who are outside my party looking in to tell me i don't know what what is going on is a different experience

   1893. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: November 05, 2012 at 11:49 AM (#4293231)
gov romney halted the effort around reverend wright round 2. as one example.

the gop mostly halted the dvd that did get shipped to ohio homes about the president being illegitimate son of a commie. that was proposed as a nationwide effort.

you have to believe me. it could have been much worse.

i know that nobody here is inclined to say 'thanks' to gov romney but he put the kibosh on a number of ugly proposals.


I suppose Romney does deserve credit for that, but the idea that rehashing Rev. Wright or shipping out a wacko DVD was somehow going to help Romney convert a single undecided voter at this point is truly bizarre. If anything it would have backfired and energized the Democratic base even more.
   1894. Random Transaction Generator Posted: November 05, 2012 at 11:49 AM (#4293232)
the gop mostly halted the dvd that did get shipped to ohio homes about the president being illegitimate son of a commie. that was proposed as a nationwide effort.


It would have been a waste of money to ship it nationwide. What effect would it have had in California or Kentucky? Nothing is happening there that could be changed.

   1895. bunyon Posted: November 05, 2012 at 11:49 AM (#4293233)
(2) If I were to grant that point, I would argue that Clinton's gender will far more effectively hinder those paths than Obama's race did.

I know that my wife initially really didn't like Obama because of his behavior toward Clinton. Of course, she won't be voting R in 2016, so I wouldn't worry about her.
   1896. Kiko Sakata Posted: November 05, 2012 at 11:49 AM (#4293234)
I have absolutely no insider information and am just some guy speculating on the Internet, so take this for what it's worth, but Rev. Wright, Round 1, didn't sink Obama when he was in a highly competitive primary race in 2008. And Obama's outperforming his national numbers in Ohio, so if that's the only state where this DVD was shipped, I'm not seeing the potential danger to Obama's re-election chances of distributing this more widespread. My best guess is that Gov. Romney putting "the kibosh on a number of ugly proposals" was a good strategic move for his campaign.
   1897. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: November 05, 2012 at 11:51 AM (#4293235)
matt

gov romney was getting hammered to go the low road.

it was his call. yes he had the data to support it but he had leading figures telling him he was throwing the election.

karl rove used up a lot of his personal credibility supporting the gov's position

   1898. Random Transaction Generator Posted: November 05, 2012 at 11:52 AM (#4293236)
i know that nobody here is inclined to say 'thanks' to gov romney but he put the kibosh on a number of ugly proposals.


He dog-whistled the birther nonsense once, and got mauled by the press.

He knew that going "stupid ugly" wasn't going to work.

   1899. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: November 05, 2012 at 11:52 AM (#4293237)
well, it won't. gender is not the barrier that race is/was.

don't know what else to tell you.
We disagree. We'll see. This isn't the sort of thing that can get settled until it happens. I grant your superior insider knowledge, that counts for something.
   1900. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: November 05, 2012 at 11:53 AM (#4293238)
Harvey, I don't think anyone doubts your inside knowledge of the GOP or the Tea Party. The question is how much that knowledge applies to anyone outside those circles. But then if the GOP really wants to "bring it on" against Hillary if she were to be the next nominee, my only reaction to that would be the one Br'er Rabbit used to give to Br'er Bear.
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