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Thread: Obama v. McCain

  1. #76
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    Karl Rove projecting significant Obama victory.
    http://www.salon.com/politics/war_ro...map/index.html

  2. #77
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    www.electoral-vote.com: Obama 364, McCain 171, Ties 3
    www.realclearpolitics.com: Obama 286, McCain 155, Toss Up 97

    I find it interesting that the McCain campaign has turned to Socialism as its current line of attack, almost 4 months to the day since John Toto first made that charge in this thread.

    Here's an excerpt from the first part of the Wikipedia entry for Socialism: Socialists mainly share the belief that capitalism unfairly concentrates power and wealth among a small segment of society that controls capital, and creates an unequal society. All socialists advocate the creation of an egalitarian society, in which wealth and power are distributed more evenly, although there is considerable disagreement among socialists over how, and to what extent this could be achieved.

    In the light of our nation's economic troubles, aren't most of us at least a little bit Socialist? Obviously, there's a spectrum ranging from pure unfettered Capitalism on the one hand to complete Socialism on the other. Anyone who thinks that the United States is headed for either end of that spectrum isn't thinking clearly.

    Obama's interest in redistributing wealth? Perhaps I'm mistaken, but hasn't our tax code been doing that since its inception, under both Republican and Democratic leadership? Aren't we really just talking about degree?

    To be against Socialism is to be against Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, public schools, police and fire departments, libraries, senior centers, public parks, and so on. So rather than engage in name-calling, why don't we turn our efforts to finding a blend of Capitalism and Socialism that both incentivizes and protects our citizenry.

  3. #78
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    Obama's position has weakened a bit in the last few days.

    www.electoral-vote.com: Obama 353, McCain 185
    www.realclearpolitics.com: Obama 278, McCain 132, tossup 128

    Tracking chart attached.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  4. #79
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    Salon.com is the first source that I've seen to provide a final tally: Obama 364, McCain 174. (I'm not sure if they are projecting NC for Obama using the approaches that the networks use, or just guessing.)

    This year, the electoral-vote.com projection was almost always right (although its margin was rarely as high as what it ended up being), unlike 2004, when it had Kerry leading through the end of August, then Bush leading for September and most of October, followed by rapidly alternating leads up until Bush's win on election day.

    So, to return to my original premise/question, are electoral projections better than simple X%/Y% comparisons? The short answer is that I don't know. What I should have done (and maybe this is still possible--I'd need to find the data) was track both electoral votes and national percentages from multiple sources to see how they compared.

    In the end, though, it's no eureka to conclude that a projection of whatever sort in April (or June, or September, ...) will be interesting but not predictive. Too many things, some late-arriving, from Swift Boats to pictures of candidates in tanks to financial collapses to Governors from Alaska, cannot be predicted, and these will dictate the outcome.

  5. #80
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    http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/

    I think this site is far and away the best for evaluating all the different polls, their methodologies, and ultimately their value. The proprietor of the site -- Nate Silver -- is also one of the founders of Baseball Prospectus, the ultimate in understanding the game through statistics. Go through the history and see how accurate they were on their projections.

  6. #81
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    Paul, yes, I love fivethirtyeight -- his analysis of the Franken-Coleman recount is really interesting.

    It's too bad he didn't draw a cumulative probability distribution curve for the electoral votes - the incremental curve, which is very pointy, is a bit hard to read (though it's main message was crystal clear)

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