October 2, 2012

"New Polls Raise Chance of Electoral College Tie."

Says Nate Silver, speculating about something that would require "a deterioration in his polls between now and Nov. 6 — or that the polls have overestimated his standing across the board." (Overestimated? Do you think?)
Mitt Romney would probably win such an election, because Republicans will probably control a majority of state delegations in the incoming House of Representatives.

39 comments:

Christopher in MA said...

Laying the dolchstoss narrative down early, I see.

Jay said...

From the comments:

Do you write about this stuff just to keep me up at night?

It must be so daunting to be a good, Obama-loving liberal in America today!

cubanbob said...

Right on cue. Magically the polls start tightening up after October 1st. Who knew? So following Silver's upcoming narrative in which states and counties is Obama going to be demanding a selective recount of the yet to be determined hanging chads.

My gut (for whatever thats worth) tells me either Obama will win by a very close margin (maybe photo finish or margin of fraud like Franken) or Romney will win big.

Marshal said...

It's a 100% increase in the chances of a tie! Oh, from .3% to .6%, never mind.

An article on minutia, since nothing of substance has ocurred in a week. For Election Nerds Only.

Methadras said...

Leftard narratives are popping up like magic mushrooms in the situation rooms in leftard land.

Mary Beth said...

I thought the articles about how Obama thought practicing for the debates was "a drag" and how a Romney win in a debate could turn things around, were just noise so that the polls could begin reporting favorably for Romney.

Bob_R said...

I think the big wildcard in the polls is the fact that the response rate is dramatically lower than past polls (according to Pew.) I think that it's almost certain that current samples have a very different composition than past samples. I don't pretend to know what the difference is qualitatively or quantitatively. (I can make a plausible argument, but since the best argument I can think of is for the outcome I want to be true, it's probably wrong.) There is only one poll that matters. And if that poll is a lot different than the current ones, the pollsters will matter less in the future.

Clyde said...

"Unexpectedly" has been the most frequent word used by the MSM about the news during this administration. If Obama loses in November, you can bet your bottom dollar that "unexpectedly!" will figure prominently in all of their headlines and news reports.

garage mahal said...

Of the 25,001 simulations that we ran on Monday, a 269-269 tie came up in 152 model runs, or about 0.6 percent of the time.

So Silver is bored.

wildswan said...

In Jurassic Park the first sign of danger was water shaking in a glass - this effect was caused by the heavy step of the approaching dinosaur. I could be wrong but I seem to see the water shaking in the glass as the election comes closer and reality approaches the liberals. Polls tighten, the DNC says Romney will be a better debater, Hispanic TV asks about the Fast and the Furious ...

AF said...

(Overestimated? Do you think?)

He doesn't know, Professor Althouse, and neither do you. It's possible they do. It's possible they don't. There is no systematic reason to believe that they do, but that in itself doesn't mean that they don't.

Embrace the uncertainty, and try to focus on the concrete facts: Various companies have called up various numbers of Americans at various times and asked them who they intend to vote for. From the responses to these questions, the companies draw statistical inferences which are based on methodological choices, most of which are publicly available, and then publish the results.

There are many reasons to take the results with a grain of salt. One can peruse the data for flaws or errors (eg low response rates). One can question the methodology (eg flawed demographic assumptions). One can speculate that people are misrepresenting their preferences to the pollsters (it happens). One can predict that people will change their minds.

What one cannot do rationally and intelligently is to say the results are systematically flawed or biased without having a theory as to why. Is the idea that the raw data is simply fabricated or misreported to reach a predetermined result? If you embrace that degree of skepticism, you might as well skip the whole conversation, and ignore everything about the campaign except for raw video footage (peering closely to eliminate the possibility that the candidates are really robots or sophisticated animations). But if you don't think the pollsters are engaging in fraud, what is it about their methodologies that are generating biased results? If you don't have an answer to that question, you're just regurgitating your own prejudices about the election and not saying anything of value about the question at hand, namely whether the polls are biased.

Unknown said...

Isn't the change from 0.3% chance of a tie to 0.6% ???

Colonel Angus said...

I think it was on the WSJ radio the claim was made that Obama polls around 8-9 points higher on foreign policy.

I just find that utterly remarkable in light of the embassy attacks, our ambassador murdered the administration blames it on a YouTube video, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

bagoh20 said...

Oh crap! Such an occurrence would keep the left crying foul for the next 20 years, and you know damned well it would all be due to racism, because everything bad is.

Tim said...

Oohhh Nooos!

Another reason for "Why Romney Lost Me," lol.

F^cking electoral college. How dare it mute the votes of the dead and double voters from New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles!

garage mahal said...

F^cking electoral college. How dare it mute the votes of the dead and double voters from New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles!

I think the RNC shut that operation down. Well, had to shut it down after they were exposed.

Bryan C said...

"It looks like I'm wrong about everything, so now you should implicitly trust my increasingly unlikely scenarios because I admit that I'm mostly likely incompetent. Forward!"

Christopher in MA said...

"Unexpectedly" has been the most frequent word used by the MSM about the news during this administration. If Obama loses in November, you can bet your bottom dollar that "unexpectedly!" will figure prominently in all of their headlines and news reports.

Shortly to be followed by the return of the homeless, the abomination of high gas prices and the scandal of a dismal unemployment rate.

Tim said...

"I think the RNC shut that operation down. Well, had to shut it down after they were exposed."

Think?

When did you ever?

shiloh said...

"(Overestimated? Do you think?)"

Derisive sarcasm aside, Gallup has Obama at +6 today.

blessings

bagoh20 said...

After spending a few days in other states last week and talking with people who are not politics obsessed like us, it became clear to me that what we know: the facts we see, the bias, the cover ups, the corruption and the failures are mostly unknown among people who get their news from the MSM. Even when people do hear it, they are so suspicious of the media that they just don't let it change their minds anyway. This goes for people inclined to either side.

Matthew Sablan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ignorance is Bliss said...

But if you don't think the pollsters are engaging in fraud, what is it about their methodologies that are generating biased results?

One thing occurred to me recently. We generally get polling calls in the evening, when my wife and I are both home. While the call usually asks to speak to a registered voter, they don't specifically ask for my wife or myself. The are happy to talk to whomever answers the phone.

That by itself would mean that an adult in a single-parent household would be twice as likely to be polled as an adult in a two-parent household. I wonder which way single parents lean?

DADvocate said...

This would give Obama the perfect opportunity to declare martial law and pronounce himself president for life. Anyone who opposed him would have their Obama phone taken away.

SeanF said...

First, a 269-269 tie in the sums of EC votes won by state is neither a sufficient nor a necessary condition for the election to drop to the House. What is necessary is for no candidate to get more than 269 votes from the actual electors when they cast their votes.

Second, only the President would be chosen by election by the House of Representatives. The Vice-President would be chosen by the Senate.

President Romney and Vice-President Biden, anyone? :D

SeanF said...

I just noticed a mistake in my post. A 269-269 tie is a sufficient condition, but not a necessary one. :)

Ambrose said...

Has there ever been an election where someone didn't write an article saying - "This time it will be decided by the Congress."

Ambrose said...

Has there ever been an election where someone didn't write an article saying - "This time it will be decided by the Congress."

gerry said...

Right on cue.

You called it, cb. Didn't Silver diagnose last week a huge Obama tide?

toto said...

Presidential elections don’t (even possibly) have to be this way.

The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

Every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in presidential elections.

When the bill is enacted by states possessing a majority of the
electoral votes– enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of
538), all the electoral votes from the enacting states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all50 states and DC.

The bill uses the power given to each state by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution to change how they award their electoral votes for President. Historically, virtually all of the major changes in the method of electing the President, including ending the requirement that only men who owned substantial property could vote and 48 current state-by-state winner-take-all laws, have come about by state legislative action.

In Gallup polls since 1944, only about 20% of the public has supported the current system of awarding all of a state's electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the most votes in each separate state (with about 70% opposed and about 10% undecided). Support for a national popular vote is strong among Republicans, Democrats, and Independent voters, as well as every demographic group in virtually every state surveyed in recent polls in closely divided Battleground states: CO – 68%, FL – 78%, IA 75%, MI – 73%, MO – 70%, NH – 69%, NV – 72%, NM– 76%, NC – 74%, OH – 70%, PA – 78%, VA – 74%, and WI – 71%; in Small states (3 to 5 electoral votes): AK – 70%, DC – 76%, DE – 75%, ID – 77%, ME – 77%, MT – 72%, NE 74%, NH – 69%, NV – 72%, NM – 76%, OK – 81%, RI – 74%, SD – 71%, UT – 70%, VT – 75%, WV – 81%, and WY – 69%; in
Southern and Border states: AR – 80%,, KY- 80%, MS – 77%, MO – 70%, NC – 74%, OK – 81%, SC – 71%, TN – 83%, VA – 74%, and WV – 81%; and in other states polled: AZ – 67%, CA – 70%, CT – 74%, MA – 73%, MN – 75%, NY – 79%, OR – 76%, and WA – 77%. Americans believe that the candidate who receives the most votes should win.

The bill has passed 31 state legislative chambers in 21 states. The bill has been enacted by 9 jurisdictions possessing 132 electoral votes - 49% of the 270 necessary to go into effect.

NationalPopularVote
Follow National Popular Vote on Facebook via NationalPopularVoteInc

campy said...

Would love to see toto's bill passed, just for the fun of watching it all blow apart the first time it comes into play. I can guarantee some state will think it can wheedle some advantage in a close election.

Matthew Sablan said...

Because making New York and California even -more- powerful is a great idea.

SeanF said...

campy: Would love to see toto's bill passed, just for the fun of watching it all blow apart the first time it comes into play. I can guarantee some state will think it can wheedle some advantage in a close election.

Sure. Some small state gives its citizens the right to cast 1000 votes in the presidential election, divided up among the candidates however they wish. They then officially record a vote differential in the millions rather than in the thousands.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

There's also a 1.8% chance of civil war following the election, looking at the historical average of 1 civil war in 56 presidential elections.

Therefore, the chance of civil war is triple the chance of a tie.

Eustace Chilke said...

There's a much stronger practical case to be made for restricting the speech of pollsters than of anyone else alive on a cost benefit basis. Banish the thought, of course. To me the choice would resemble deciding whether to make houseflies extinct or some nuisance even more worthless.

edutcher said...

Oh, no!!!

The Lefties' guru is predicting a Romster win????

Tell it not in Christen, um, the Caliphate!

shiloh said...

(Overestimated? Do you think?)

Derisive sarcasm aside, Gallup has Obama at +6 today.


7 day rolling average, genius. They'll take longer to catch up.

Ras has him up by only 1.

mama grizzly pants down bush/cheney

lol lol lol

^^^^^^^^Say It Ain't So, Ned^^^^^^

Let your conscience be your guide

Mary Beth said...

I thought the articles about how Obama thought practicing for the debates was "a drag" and how a Romney win in a debate could turn things around, were just noise so that the polls could begin reporting favorably for Romney.

Something else to keep in mind. The Romster did very well in all those debates this winter and spring, while Choom hasn't had one in 4 years although, every time he talks without TOTUS, he sticks his foot in it.

"You didn't build that"

"The private sector is doing fine"

"We've had some bumps in the road"

"I am going to block out—any noise that’s out there"

furious_a said...

...because Republicans will probably control a majority of state delegations in the incoming House of Representatives.

...and I would have gotten away with it, too, if it weren't for those meddling Founders!

wyo sis said...

bagoh
I notice the same thing. People who don't specifically follow politics don't have any idea what's going on, and mostly don't care. And, not just about the election either. Some of the people I talked to on September 12 and 13 had not heard anything about our ambassador being assassinated.

kentuckyliz said...

I was speaking with some folks who don't follow politics or even the news...they think Obma just has to go.