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Thread: Obama vs. Romney

  1. #16
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    According to a CNN poll (and I view CNN as being a reasonably neutral news source, somewhere between Fox News way off on the right and MSNBC off on the left), debate viewers gave the slight edge to President Obama.

    Quote Originally Posted by CNN
    (CNN) - Give the slight edge to President Obama.

    Thanks to an aggressive performance and a couple of zingers, a plurality of debate watchers questioned in a national survey say that the president won his final faceoff with Republican nominee Mitt Romney.

    But a CNN/ORC International poll conducted right after Monday night's faceoff here at Lynn University in south Florida also indicates that the debate may be a draw when it comes to whether it will affect the choice of voters who watched the showdown, and Romney held his own with the president on the commander-in-chief test.

    And according to the survey, unlike previous debates, there was a big gender gap, with women responding much more favorably to Obama's performance and men giving a small advantage to Romney.

    ...

  2. #17
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    OBAMA EVs - CHANCE OF WINNING (DATE)
    321.2 - 87.1% (10/4)
    ...
    283.1 - 61.1% (10/12)
    285.4 - 62.9% (10/13)
    285.6 - 63.3% (10/14)
    289.2 - 66.0% (10/15)
    287.0 - 64.8% (10/16)
    291.6 - 65.7% (10/17)
    287.2 - 70.4% (10/18)
    287.8 - 67.9% (10/19)
    288.6 - 67.9% (10/20)
    288.0 - 67.6% (10/21)
    290.8 - 70.3% (10/22)
    288.3 - 68.1% (10/23)
    290.8 - 71.0% (10/24)
    294.1 - 73.1% (10/25)


    FIVE CLOSEST STATES
    CO
    50.5% R (10/23)
    52.5% O (10/24)
    56.8% O (10/25)

    FL
    67.6% R (10/24)
    64.7% R (10/25)

    IA
    64.4% O (10/23)
    66.5% O (10/24)
    68.3% O (10/25)

    OH
    70.4% O (10/23)
    73.4% O (10/24)
    74.8% O (10/25)

    VA
    51.0% O (10/23)
    52.9% O (10/24)
    54.3% O (10/25)
    Last edited by Jeff Dieffenbach; 10-26-2012 at 06:34 AM. Reason: Additional data added

  3. #18
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    OBAMA EVs - CHANCE OF WINNING (DATE)
    321.2 - 87.1% (10/4)
    ...
    283.1 - 61.1% (10/12)
    285.4 - 62.9% (10/13)
    285.6 - 63.3% (10/14)
    289.2 - 66.0% (10/15)
    287.0 - 64.8% (10/16)
    291.6 - 65.7% (10/17)
    287.2 - 70.4% (10/18)
    287.8 - 67.9% (10/19)
    288.6 - 67.9% (10/20)
    288.0 - 67.6% (10/21)
    290.8 - 70.3% (10/22)
    288.3 - 68.1% (10/23)
    290.8 - 71.0% (10/24)
    294.1 - 73.1% (10/25)
    295.4 - 74.4% (10/26)
    295.5 - 73.6% (10/27)
    296.6 - 74.6% (10/28)

    FIVE CLOSEST STATES
    CO
    50.5% R (10/23)
    52.5% O (10/24)
    56.8% O (10/25)
    57.3% O (10/26)
    57.7% O (10/27)
    58.2% O (10/28)


    FL
    67.6% R (10/24)
    64.7% R (10/25)
    62.9% R (10/26)
    63.8% R (10/27)
    62.5% R (10/28)


    IA
    64.4% O (10/23)
    66.5% O (10/24)
    68.3% O (10/25)
    72.1% O (10/26)
    72.3% O (10/27)
    72.7% O (10/28)


    OH
    70.4% O (10/23)
    73.4% O (10/24)
    74.8% O (10/25)
    76.3% O (10/26)
    73.5% O (10/27)
    74.9% O (10/28)


    VA
    51.0% O (10/23)
    52.9% O (10/24)
    54.3% O (10/25)
    54.1% O (10/26)
    59.8% O (10/27)
    59.9% O (10/28)
    Last edited by Jeff Dieffenbach; 10-29-2012 at 09:30 AM. Reason: Updated through 10/28

  4. #19
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    OBAMA EVs - CHANCE OF WINNING (DATE)
    321.2 - 87.1% (10/4)
    ...
    283.1 - 61.1% (10/12)
    285.4 - 62.9% (10/13)
    285.6 - 63.3% (10/14)
    289.2 - 66.0% (10/15)
    287.0 - 64.8% (10/16)
    291.6 - 65.7% (10/17)
    287.2 - 70.4% (10/18)
    287.8 - 67.9% (10/19)
    288.6 - 67.9% (10/20)
    288.0 - 67.6% (10/21)
    290.8 - 70.3% (10/22)
    288.3 - 68.1% (10/23)
    290.8 - 71.0% (10/24)
    294.1 - 73.1% (10/25)
    295.4 - 74.4% (10/26)
    295.5 - 73.6% (10/27)
    296.6 - 74.6% (10/28)
    294.6 - 72.9% (10/29)
    299.0 - 77.4% (10/30)

    FIVE CLOSEST STATES
    CO
    50.5% R (10/23)
    52.5% O (10/24)
    56.8% O (10/25)
    57.3% O (10/26)
    57.7% O (10/27)
    58.2% O (10/28)
    55.4% O (10/29)
    60.7% O (10/30)


    FL
    67.6% R (10/24)
    64.7% R (10/25)
    62.9% R (10/26)
    63.8% R (10/27)
    62.5% R (10/28)
    64.7% R (10/29)
    59.3% R (10/30)


    IA
    64.4% O (10/23)
    66.5% O (10/24)
    68.3% O (10/25)
    72.1% O (10/26)
    72.3% O (10/27)
    72.7% O (10/28)
    70.9% O (10/29)
    74.4% O (10/30)


    OH
    70.4% O (10/23)
    73.4% O (10/24)
    74.8% O (10/25)
    76.3% O (10/26)
    73.5% O (10/27)
    74.9% O (10/28)
    73.3% O (10/29)
    77.6% O (10/30)


    VA
    51.0% O (10/23)
    52.9% O (10/24)
    54.3% O (10/25)
    54.1% O (10/26)
    59.8% O (10/27)
    59.9% O (10/28)
    57.8% O (10/29)
    61.8% O (10/30)
    Last edited by Jeff Dieffenbach; 10-31-2012 at 06:36 AM.

  5. #20
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    I have tended to disagree with NY Times 538 blogs prediction of Obama's win. They are currently predicting a 79% chance of Obama winning.

    In my opinion, a bad economy means bad news for incumbents. So this was always Romney's election to lose. For a while it looked like Obama might overcome that barrier because of a perceived bad opponent and his personal likeability. Since he never crossed the 50% barrier in opinion poll, I now think he is going to lose. Even though in every election we hear that the world will come to an end, if the other party wins, no such thing is going to happen. I just think we need a fresh beginning and an administration that will focus on the economy and the deficit. I will be very disappointed if we get bogged down in social agenda.

    After Obama loses, a post-mortem will indicate the following:

    1. Lack of a new second term agenda. From everything I follow, the policies in the next 4 years will be same as the first 4 years. Trillion dollar deficits will continue. He will keep talking about immigration reform and increasing taxes on those earning above $250,000 and I don't think either will happen.

    2. Too much reliance on protecting leads among women, hispanics, youth, and swing states. They did not focus on national polls. It is very rare to lose the national polls and win the presidency.

    3. Denver debate - no debate is supposed to change the trajectory of the race but this one did. This debate will be analysed for years to come. After months of advertising that Mitt Romney is an out-of-touch plutocrat, Obama's failure to level those charges in person made him lose credibility. While Romney just had to show up because he was never that evil person they made him out to be.

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Sawrikar View Post
    I have tended to disagree with NY Times 538 blogs prediction of Obama's win. They are currently predicting a 79% chance of Obama winning.
    I don't know how Nate Silver calculates the percent chance of winning. But, I look at this as an outcome of the state polls, not an independent measure. In the state polls, Romney has a much more difficult path to 270 EVs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Sawrikar View Post
    In my opinion, a bad economy means bad news for incumbents. So this was always Romney's election to lose. For a while it looked like Obama might overcome that barrier because of a perceived bad opponent and his personal likeability. Since he never crossed the 50% barrier in opinion poll, I now think he is going to lose. Even though in every election we hear that the world will come to an end, if the other party wins, no such thing is going to happen. I just think we need a fresh beginning and an administration that will focus on the economy and the deficit. I will be very disappointed if we get bogged down in social agenda.
    My worry is that a Romney win will make a Paul Ryan's European austerity plan more likely (I don't trust Democrats in the Senate to be as effective at blocking things as their GOP counterparts have been). And I'm now overwhelmed by the success of austerity. Will this mean a figurative "end to the world?" Maybe not in some instantaneous, dramatic way, but the notion of "boiling the frog" keeps coming back to me.

    I don't discount the social side of the equation. Having a Republican President choose the next 1-2 Supreme Court Justices troubles me. The GOP is simply far too Neanderthal for my liking. When we look back on this era a quarter century from now (and I hope to get a glimpse from a half century from now!), I think that the left will be proven "correct."

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Sawrikar View Post
    After Obama loses, a post-mortem will indicate the following:

    1. Lack of a new second term agenda. From everything I follow, the policies in the next 4 years will be same as the first 4 years. Trillion dollar deficits will continue. He will keep talking about immigration reform and increasing taxes on those earning above $250,000 and I don't think either will happen.
    With the current GOP House, it's hard to argue that an Obama Presidency will be able to deliver much more than it has. Such an outcome might well be better than the alternative, however.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Sawrikar View Post
    2. Too much reliance on protecting leads among women, hispanics, youth, and swing states. They did not focus on national polls. It is very rare to lose the national polls and win the presidency.
    It's not clear to me how ignoring those groups would have helped Obama.

    Winning the Presidency with a national vote loss is indeed rare--it's only happened 4 times, and 3 of those were in the 1800s. That said, the 4th was in 2000 (with the added feature of Bush having also lost the Electoral vote!), and it was only a few tens of thousands of votes in OH from happening in 2004.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Sawrikar View Post
    3. Denver debate - no debate is supposed to change the trajectory of the race but this one did. This debate will be analysed for years to come. After months of advertising that Mitt Romney is an out-of-touch plutocrat, Obama's failure to level those charges in person made him lose credibility. While Romney just had to show up because he was never that evil person they made him out to be.
    Agreed.

  7. #22
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    Obama's lead in the Electoral Vote continues to widen since Denver. Given how many of the large swing states are in the Eastern time zone (FL, OH, VA), we may well have a pretty good idea of the outcome relatively early in the evening on Tue Nov 6.


    • If Obama wins OH and VA, Obama likely wins
    • If Romney sweeps FL, OH, and VA, Romney likely wins
    • If Romney takes FL and one of OH and VA, we may be in for a somewhat longer night


    OBAMA EVs - CHANCE OF WINNING (DATE)
    321.2 - 87.1% (10/4)
    ...
    283.1 - 61.1% (10/12)
    285.4 - 62.9% (10/13)
    285.6 - 63.3% (10/14)
    289.2 - 66.0% (10/15)
    287.0 - 64.8% (10/16)
    291.6 - 65.7% (10/17)
    287.2 - 70.4% (10/18)
    287.8 - 67.9% (10/19)
    288.6 - 67.9% (10/20)
    288.0 - 67.6% (10/21)
    290.8 - 70.3% (10/22)
    288.3 - 68.1% (10/23)
    290.8 - 71.0% (10/24)
    294.1 - 73.1% (10/25)
    295.4 - 74.4% (10/26)
    295.5 - 73.6% (10/27)
    296.6 - 74.6% (10/28)
    294.6 - 72.9% (10/29)
    299.0 - 77.4% (10/30)
    300.4 - 79.0% (10/31)
    303.4 - 80.9% (11/01)

    FIVE CLOSEST STATES
    CO
    50.5% R (10/23)
    52.5% O (10/24)
    56.8% O (10/25)
    57.3% O (10/26)
    57.7% O (10/27)
    58.2% O (10/28)
    55.4% O (10/29)
    60.7% O (10/30)
    62.6% O (10/31)
    64.6% O (11/01)


    FL
    67.6% R (10/24)
    64.7% R (10/25)
    62.9% R (10/26)
    63.8% R (10/27)
    62.5% R (10/28)
    64.7% R (10/29)
    59.3% R (10/30)
    58.8% R (10/31)
    55.1% R (11/01)


    IA
    64.4% O (10/23)
    66.5% O (10/24)
    68.3% O (10/25)
    72.1% O (10/26)
    72.3% O (10/27)
    72.7% O (10/28)
    70.9% O (10/29)
    74.4% O (10/30)
    78.4% O (10/31)
    78.8% O (11/01)


    NH
    77.8% O (11/01)

    OH
    70.4% O (10/23)
    73.4% O (10/24)
    74.8% O (10/25)
    76.3% O (10/26)
    73.5% O (10/27)
    74.9% O (10/28)
    73.3% O (10/29)
    77.6% O (10/30)
    79.9% O (10/31)
    80.5% O (11/01)


    VA
    51.0% O (10/23)
    52.9% O (10/24)
    54.3% O (10/25)
    54.1% O (10/26)
    59.8% O (10/27)
    59.9% O (10/28)
    57.8% O (10/29)
    61.8% O (10/30)
    61.3% O (10/31)
    66.4% O (11/01)
    Last edited by Jeff Dieffenbach; 11-02-2012 at 07:23 AM.

  8. #23
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    Default Nate Silver and Mass Special Election

    1.05.2010: Wicked Awesome Thoughts on Massachusetts Special Election by Nate Silver

    The WNEC poll, incidentally, found that 73 percent of Democrats considered themselves highly very likely to vote, versus 78 percent of Republicans and 66 percent of independents. Based on current party registration statistics, that would make the projected electorate 39 percent Democrat, 13 percent Republican and 48 percent independent; based on 2008 exit polling results instead, the turnout would be 45 D, 19 R and 39 indie. With demographics like that, and the fact that independents in Massachusetts tend to lean Democratic, Coakley would have to be an exceptionally poor candidate to lose the race or Brown an exceptionally strong one, and neither of those things are true.

    Now, maybe the Republican enthusiasm advantage is a little bit larger than what WNEC shows. But I'm suspicious of comparisons with, for instance, Virginia; the reason the turnout swung so much there is partly because Virginia has a lot of swing voters. The turnout demographics didn't change all that much in New Jersey, on the other hand; Jon Corzine lost there because he was a crappy governor. And if New Jersey is less swingy than Virginia, Massachusetts is way less swingy than New Jersey. Also, turnout was pretty decent in the special primary, with 664,195 people voting in the Democratic race versus 162,706 in the Republican one, although the Democratic race was considerably more competitive.

    But the basic problem for Brown is -- what happens if Rasmussen or whomever shows the race close and the national parties start throwing some money into the contest? Then you have Democrats playing the Teddy Card and Republicans nationalizing the race and talking about killing a bill that Kennedy fought his whole life for; that's not a winning formula in Massachusetts.

    Or to put it another way: if perception has swung so much against the Democrats that they can't win a referendum on Teddy Kennedy's health care bill in Massachusetts, perhaps Brown would be doing them a favor by killing the thing.


    1.10.2010: Battle of the Massachusetts Polls by Nate Silver

    The Rasmussen poll shows the Democrat, Martha Coakley, up by 9 points. The Boston Globe poll, conducted by the University of New Hampshire survey center, has her up by 15. But the PPP poll actually has Scott Brown up, by 1 point. All three polls are of likely voters.

    The average of the three polls shows Coakley up by 8 points. As I've written before, I would probably take "over" on that 8 percent number. Fundamentally, this is still Massachusetts, and unless the Democratic candidate has some sort of fatal flaw (Coakley is a bit boring, but that's hardly an unpardonable sin), it's just going to be a really heavy lift for the turnout to be lopsided enough to allow the Republican to prevail.

    At the same time, while I'm taking the "over" on that 8 percent, I'm also taking the over on variance. Special elections are notoriously hard to predict. And we also seem to be at some weird sort of inflection point in the electoral cycle. You can point toward some evidence to make the case that the bottom is really falling out from Democrats, and you can point toward other evidence which suggests that the whole tea-party backlash, while not unimportant, is really just operating at the margins. So, I acknowledge that there is a fairly tangible shot of Brown winning -- higher than the 3-5 percent I assigned to him after seeing the Rasmussen poll, but lower than the 15-25 percent chance I gave him before seeing the Boston Globe result.


    1.12.2010 Massachusetts: It's Not Just About Turnout by Nate Silver

    The Rasmussen poll that just came out -- one which shows Coakley's lead shrinking from 9 to 2 points -- also shows Barack Obama with a 57 percent approval rating (versus 41 percent opposed) among likely voters, and the health care bill favored by 52 percent of likely voters (versus 46 percent opposed).

    If this were just about turnout, I would feel relatively safe about Coakley's position. The Democratic establishment has, somewhat belatedly, woken up to the closeness of the race, and polls like these will wake voters up too. And the Democrats have an experienced GOTV team on hand, with veterans from both the Obama and Hillary Clinton campaigns.

    But if the Rasmussen numbers are right, there's also a chance that Coakley could lose even with a less-than-worst-case turnout scenario. Although I sometimes have concerns about the tightness of Rasmussen's likely voter screens, the fact is that an electorate which gives a 57 percent approval rating to Barack Obama is one that they ought to be reasonably contented with on election day.

    Coakley's latest attempt at persuasion -- a commercial tying Scott Brown to the national GOP agenda -- feels like the right tune sung in the wrong key. Voters need to be reminded of just how oppositional the Republicans in Washington have become -- voting with near unanimity against not just the health care reform bill (which the commercial strangely sidesteps) but also the fair pay act for women, the jobs bill, the cap-and-trade bill (which ought to be popular in Massachusetts), the financial regulation bill, and the stimulus package. Then they need to be persuaded that Brown will support that pattern of obstruction and be a pawn in the Republicans' arsenal. Really, then, I'd take this commercial out of rotation and replace it with two separate spots (or one 60-second spot) which tackle the two flavors of the argument in a less compressed way. And Coakley could probably also use a third spot as a closer, which talks more optimistically about the Obama agenda, the Kennedy legacy, and relatively popular upcoming programs like the jobs bill.


    1.14.2010 OK, It's a Toss-Up by Nate Silver

    Earlier today I tweeted about how there wasn't enough evidence to describe the Massachusetts special election as a "toss-up", as some other forecasters have done, based on the information available to us at that time.

    Well, now there's some new evidence. And it isn't good for Martha Coakley.

    In particular, the evidence is a Suffolk University poll that shows the Republican, Scott Brown, ahead by 4 points, 50-46.

    You can still argue that Coakley is favored -- and I might even believe you. Hell, I might even wind up making that argument myself. But at this point, you can't really cite the public polling as a data point in favor of your argument.


    1.17.2010 538 Still Rates Massachusetts as Toss-up by Nate Silver


    If we were to weight the most recent polls more than we do, this would tend to benefit Scott Brown. And perhaps we should be doing that, but ...

    It should be kept in mind that a lot of Brown's support is pretty new, which would ordinarily imply that it is pretty soft. Yes, I know there's a core of people -- maybe a fairly large core -- who are really, really excited about Scott Brown. But they only get to vote once apiece. And what the earlier polling established is that it's almost certainly not 50 percent of the electorate -- it might be 35 percent or 40 percent, but it's not 50 percent. He still needs some swing voters to get him over the finish line. Some of those voters were probably tending toward Brown over the last 7-10 days, when he was winning virtually every news cycle. But the headlines in the last 72 hours -- the ones that those voters will be thinking about as they head into the ballot booth -- may be a bit more even-handed (especially given Obama's visit, etc.), and a voter who has swing once is prone to swing again.

    Recall how just before Election Day 2008, all the national polls, which had shown Obama leads ranging from 2 to about 13 points, miraculously converged on a +6 or +7 number. This may be a smart strategy for the pollsters, but from our point of view, it potentially renders the newer polls less independent of one another than their older ones, which means they potentially have less informational value.

    So, that's how the numbers got to where they got to. It's certainly tempting to take the Ockham's Razor argument for Brown -- "look at the trendlines, duuuude!" -- which has become the conventional wisdom even if nobody is saying it. And it's perhaps just as tempting to play the role of the contrarian, sort of buy the rumor and sell the news, and insist that Coakley will leg it out. But for the time being -- and subject to change based on last-minute polling -- I'm not comfortable with any characterization of this race other than too close to call. (Nick - I was unable to copy his table that showed 57% chance of Coakley winning).

    1.18.2010 Massachusetts Model Mayhem by Nate Silver

    On the heels of the PPP poll, the consensus of other analysts is liable to be that Scott Brown is favored (which I might agree with in the most literal sense), and favored by a large enough margin to characterize the race as something other than a toss-up (which I don't yet agree with.) That's fine; I can see how they get there. The only thing I'd really caution against is that, because our minds are wired to detect patterns, and the story of this race has been Brown! Momentum! Rawwr! it's perhaps easy to forget about some of the polls that did show Coakley ahead, like the Research 2000 poll (which is no less recent than the Suffolk or ARG polls), the Rasmussen poll (at least until they come out with a fresh one), and the Boston Globe/UNH poll, which is definitely old but showed a 17 (!) point lead. It's also easy to forget that all of these polls have their hitches: with the possible exception of Ann Selzer's polling in Iowa, there's no poll anywhere that should be thought of as the gold standard.


    1.18.2010 538 Model Posits Brown as 3:1 Favorite by Nate Silver 5:26 PM

    The FiveThirtyEight Senate Forecasting Model, which correctly predicted the outcome of all 35 Senate races in 2008, now regards Republican Scott Brown as a 74 percent favorite to win the Senate seat in Massachusetts on the basis of new polling from ARG, Research 2000 and InsiderAdvantage which show worsening numbers for Brown's opponent, Martha Coakley. We have traditionally categorized races in which one side has between a 60 and 80 percent chance of winning as "leaning" toward that candidate, and so that is how we categorize this race now: Lean GOP. Nevertheless, there is a higher-than-usual chance of large, correlated errors in the polling, such as were observed in NY-23 and the New Hampshire Democratic primary; the model hedges against this risk partially, but not completely.

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    Nick, sorry if I may be missing your point--are you highlighting that conditions can change quickly?

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    Love this from salon.com and a favorite writer of mine, Steve Kornacki. Be sure to savor the understatement in the very last parenthetical sentence [emphasis added].

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Kornacki
    Romney’s path to an Electoral College victory can be broken into two phases. The first involves getting within striking distance of 270, and it requires him to lock down five traditionally Republican states that Obama won in 2008: Indiana, North Carolina, Florida, Colorado and Virginia. Sweep those states and Romney will have 257 electoral votes. Then, if he can pull that off, comes phase two, which involves wining either (a) Ohio and its 18 electoral votes; or (b) some combination of Wisconsin (10 electoral votes) and New Hampshire (4), Iowa (6) or Nevada (4). Either of these routes would take Romney past 270. (He could also theoretically win just Iowa and Nevada to create a 269-269 tie, which the Republican House would presumably break in his favor.)
    Presumably, indeed.

  11. #26
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    Jeff,

    By posting a timeline of Nate Silver's blog postings, I wanted to point out a couple of things:

    a. How one can be wrong and still claim to be correct?. The morning before the election, Nate was calling it a toss-up and in the evening before the election, he finally makes Brown the favorite and then claims his model got the election right.

    b. In my opinion, he will follow a similar strategy in this election.

    c. The fallacy of his model is given in the statement from today's blog - Mr. Obama is not a sure thing, by any means. It is a close race. His chances of holding onto his Electoral College lead and converting it into another term are equivalent to the chances of an N.F.L. team winning when it leads by a field goal with three minutes left to play in the fourth quarter. There are plenty of things that could go wrong, and sometimes they will. But it turns out that an N.F.L. team that leads by a field goal with three minutes left to go winds up winning the game 79 percent of the time. Those were Mr. Obama’s chances in the FiveThirtyEight forecast as of Wednesday: 79 percent.

    A statement like the above even though it is accurate means different things when the opposing QB is Eli Manning, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, etc. and the odds also depend on who has possession. Continuing this analogy, in an election, it depends on who has momentum, is motivated, has money, etc.

    About the Republican House breaking the tie, they will obviously vote in favor of Romney but the dynamics are different. The vote is done on individual state basis and then each state casts a single vote. Since in the House, the majority of the states have a Republican majority, Romney will become the President. Also the House voting is based on the 2012 House and not the current House. I think the Senate decides the Vice-President and there I believe the process there is one-person one -vote.

    Even before the above happens, there is always a possibility of a "rogue or hero" elector, who can change his or her vote. Until the electors do the actual voting on Dec. 17th, there will be a lot of drama. Every state has its own rules, so every scenario of death, resignation, abstaining, etc. are possible.

    - Nick

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Sawrikar View Post
    Jeff,

    By posting a timeline of Nate Silver's blog postings, I wanted to point out a couple of things:

    a. How one can be wrong and still claim to be correct?. The morning before the election, Nate was calling it a toss-up and in the evening before the election, he finally makes Brown the favorite and then claims his model got the election right.
    That's not overly surprising given the relative toss-up nature of the 2010 Senate election in MA and the relative unknown-ness of the two candidates at the time. That said, I'm by no means a defender of Nate Silver's approach, as I don't claim to be an expert on that approach. On the surface, however, his track record appears to be strong.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Sawrikar View Post
    b. In my opinion, he will follow a similar strategy in this election.
    If he calls a shift in favor of Romney before Tuesday, and explains that shift, then it's a reasonable strategy. Assuming that it turns out correct, of course.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Sawrikar View Post
    c. The fallacy of his model is given in the statement from today's blog - Mr. Obama is not a sure thing, by any means. It is a close race. His chances of holding onto his Electoral College lead and converting it into another term are equivalent to the chances of an N.F.L. team winning when it leads by a field goal with three minutes left to play in the fourth quarter. There are plenty of things that could go wrong, and sometimes they will. But it turns out that an N.F.L. team that leads by a field goal with three minutes left to go winds up winning the game 79 percent of the time. Those were Mr. Obama’s chances in the FiveThirtyEight forecast as of Wednesday: 79 percent.

    A statement like the above even though it is accurate means different things when the opposing QB is Eli Manning, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, etc. and the odds also depend on who has possession. Continuing this analogy, in an election, it depends on who has momentum, is motivated, has money, etc.

    About the Republican House breaking the tie, they will obviously vote in favor of Romney but the dynamics are different. The vote is done on individual state basis and then each state casts a single vote. Since in the House, the majority of the states have a Republican majority, Romney will become the President. Also the House voting is based on the 2012 House and not the current House. I think the Senate decides the Vice-President and there I believe the process there is one-person one -vote.
    Thanks for that elaboration--I wasn't familiar with the details.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Sawrikar View Post
    Even before the above happens, there is always a possibility of a "rogue or hero" elector, who can change his or her vote. Until the electors do the actual voting on Dec. 17th, there will be a lot of drama. Every state has its own rules, so every scenario of death, resignation, abstaining, etc. are possible.
    While that's possible, isn't it far less likely than one candidate winning the EV vote and the other winning the national vote? Has it happened in the last century? Has it ever happened?

  13. #28
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    1960. Kennedy easily won the EV. He also won PV by 112,827 votes (34,220,984 to 34,108,157).

    However there is a lot of confusion in electoral tallies at three states -- Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. In AL, each voter casts 11 votes and that is the root cause of the problem.

    The details are fairly complicated but if you have time, this is the link - http://www.realclearpolitics.com/art...te_115833.html

    ------

    In any case, the EV majority was clear and in the end, it doesn't matter who won AL and by how many votes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Sawrikar View Post
    How one can be wrong and still claim to be correct?
    Nate Silver's model is a probabilistic one. He is not claiming that there is a 100% chance that Obama will win, nor was he claiming that Brown would win or lose. He was merely working with probabilities in a way that is actually quite simple mathematically (once you get beyond whatever he does to try to eliminate bias in the polls and weight them), which involves running large numbers of simulations accounting for the expected values, and their distributions (i.e., the poll averages and their standard deviations) to determine the likelihood of particular events.

    The likelihood that the most likely outcome will occur in every state is actually quite very small. So the likelihood that a simple "Silver was right" or "wrong" is similarly small.

    But as long as he is working with data that is valid, he is unlikely to be completely surprised (it is unlikely to have a result that never occurred in any of his simulations, for example).

    For a good description of what's going on on Nate Silver's blog, I recommend this link.

    Also, this excellent piece on what it means to be "too close to call": http://campaignstops.blogs.nytimes.c...-really-means/
    Last edited by Kim Reichelt; 11-02-2012 at 11:48 AM. Reason: to add second article link

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    Interesting take by The New Republic on the popular vote tally ... and how Obama might not take the lead in that category until days or even weeks after the election.

    Quote Originally Posted by The New Republic
    If Obama performs as strongly in California, Washington, and Oregon as he did in 2008, he could trail by several percentage points in the national popular vote while giving his victory or concession speech and ultimately seize the lead in the popular vote in the following days and weeks.

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