November 7, 2012

Nate Silver got everything right, didn't he?

Steel yourself, people. Nate Silver is now a god. The Nate naysaying cannot survive.

Bow down, oh ye lowly questioners of the unknowable algorithm!

IN THE COMMENTS: Brent says:
Silver has won this fiscal conservative over. Having debated why Silver was wrong for weeks with my brother-in-law, I have conceded that Silver is great at what he does. It took balls to give Obama a 92% chance of winning, when everyone else was calling it a draw. Calling it a draw was a coward's move by the other pollsters. I believed all the conservative hype about turnout and over sampling of D's. It gave me hope and was easy to believe.
And didn't it seem as though Silver was providing that service to the timorous Dems who read the NYT?
Next time around, I am simply watching Silver's blog and considering it accurate. If he calls if for the other guy, I am not going to look for excuses as to why he is wrong. If he turns out to be wrong, then that will be great news for me. But it will be much easier to deal with the results in the end. 
All hail The Great Nate Silver!

94 comments:

chrisnavin.com said...

It's worth noting how much this type of quantitative reasoning is changing finance, politics, weather, media etc.

The new medium is hardware and software.

LarryK said...

Didn't he predict Obama would have a 2.7% margin in the popular vote? Not that it matters, but at least he got that wrong.

Jay Retread said...

Ann, how is that "distancing yourself from the political fray" thing going for you this morning?

alan markus said...

What exactly did Nate Silver do that a bunch of other predictors did not do? I didn't keep track of who predicted a win versus a loss, but he certainly wasn't the only one. Real Clear Politics seemed to be pointing towards a pretty close win at the end.

roesch/voltaire said...

In contrast to Dick Morris, Karl Rove, Newt Gingrich, Jim Cramer and many of the bloggers here who predicted a landslide for Romney, based I guess on their hopes/spin, Nate Silver is a bit more objective in reading the tea leaves.

Roost on the Moon said...

Nobody is going to make you worship Nate Silver. Jeez, you conservatives and your victim poses.

You loudly proclaimed that the mainstream media was presenting an inaccurate picture of the electorate.

It turns out it wasn't. That's all. Instead of pretending to be persecuted, maybe just slightly adjust your worldview to account for new evidence.

ndspinelli said...

Roost, Obama is the first president to be reelected w/ fewer votes than his first term election since the 1940's. It was accomplished by the most negative campaign on record. I agree there are some conservatives who are in denial on some facts, but so are you.

Kelly said...

I'll never doubt again.

Brent said...

Silver has won this fiscal conservative over. Having debated why Silver was wrong for weeks with my brother-in-law, I have conceded that Silver is great at what he does. It took balls to give Obama a 92% chance of winning, when everyone else was calling it a draw. Calling it a draw was a coward's move by the other pollsters. I believed all the conservative hype about turnout and over sampling of D's. It gave me hope and was easy to believe. Next time around, I am simply watching Silver's blog and considering it accurate. If he calls if for the other guy, I am not going to look for excuses as to why he is wrong. If he turns out to be wrong, then that will be great news for me. But it will be much easier to deal with the results in the end.

Bill said...

LarryK said...

Didn't he predict Obama would have a 2.7% margin in the popular vote? Not that it matters, but at least he got that wrong.
----
Well, he said 2.5%, and as of right now, it's 2.2%. That's pretty spot on, if you ask me.

edutcher said...

Considering I'm still skeptical about OH (and probably a lot of other places), I'll withhold judgment.

AF said...

You've got to distinguish between Silver's writing and his numbers.

His writing was generally aimed at quelling the anxieties of the latte liberals.

His numbers were all about getting it right, just like any other quant in gambling or finance.

Now it's true that Silver's numbers provided plenty of material for his soothing writing, but I see that as more or less a coincidence. If the numbers had been bad for Obama, he wouldn't have spun them. Now whether people would have kept reading him is a different question.

Russ said...

My issue with Silver's estimates (and the polls in general) were that the numbers didn't seem to add up.

There DID seem to be huge democratic oversampling, and that seemed to be in contradiction to the enthusiasm gap, and the independent gap, and the closing of the gender gap.

I still find it hard to believe that less people (not percentage) voted republican in this election than for McCain/Palin.

machine said...

"On the biggest political story of the year, the conservative media just got its ass handed to it by the mainstream media. And movement conservatives, who believe the MSM is more biased and less rigorous than their alternatives, have no way to explain how their trusted outlets got it wrong, while the NY Times got it right. Hint: the Times hired the most rigorous forecaster it could find."

Math & Science Rule!

Triangle Man said...

It did seem that Silver ws providing sucor, especially to my conspiracy-minded and anti-science friends and family. The concerns about bias in the underlyying polls was real, but near the end that concern is the only reason that Silver's model gave Romney any chance for a win. It turns out that if the polls were biased, they were predictibly so.

Triangle Man said...

As pointed out byXKCD pundits are the biggest losers here. Thier opinions mean nothing in the face of data.

machine said...

Dick Morris is a genius!


just kidding...

wyo sis said...

The lefties on this forum seem to want some kind of acknowledgement of their superiority.
They won't get that.
I will acknowledge their victory and their tactics, even nAte Silver's greatness.

But, winning is good.

EMD said...

A lot of people were pointing to 2010, but forgetting to note that was a midterm election.

More people show up to vote for Presidencies. Especially when a cult of personality exists around the incumbent.

I railed against D+11 polls because those were certainly off.

Bender said...

It took balls to give Obama a 92% chance of winning, when everyone else was calling it a draw.

If everyone else was calling it a draw (and the popular vote percentages were tight), then Silver had at worst a 50-50 chance at being wrong. With those odds, those are some pretty tiny balls he's got.

But if forecasting an Obama win (or a Romney loss) is proof of balls, then can someone please get me a wheelbarrow so I can get around with mine? Many of us told you a year ago that Romney was a dull, uninspiring bad candidate, a disaster waiting to happen. Why do you think we were so insistent and so pissed when he walked to the nomination even though he never could top 30 percent support in the primaries?

edutcher said...

Russ said...

I still find it hard to believe that less people (not percentage) voted republican in this election than for McCain/Palin.

Funny thing, that.

In the immortal words of Walter Winchell - and Paul Harvey, "This is Chicago".

LarsPorsena said...

Blogger roesch/voltaire said...

In contrast to Dick Morris, Karl Rove, Newt Gingrich, Jim Cramer and many of the bloggers here who predicted a landslide for Romney, based I guess on their hopes/spin, Nate Silver is a bit more objective in reading the tea leaves.

11/7/12 9:23 AM
__________________________________

Yep! for 2012 election cycle he's the Oracle of Delphi. Well done, Mr. Silver.

Geraldus Maximus said...

I bought in to the argument of skewed polls as well. I listened to interviews with pollsters. They could not explain why they thought the Obama 2012 turnout would be greater than in 2008. The CNN poll of +11 D just seemed like craziness and spin. The internals showed a marked shift by independents from Obama to Romney. Republicans were broken glass voters. All of that seemed to point to the polls being full of crap.

Now it looks like Romney got fewer votes (in absolute numbers) than McCain in 2008. I honestly don't see how that happened. I'm not calling shenanigans or conspiracies but I still don't understand how that is possible.

Whatever, I am still a bitter clinger to God so in the end it will all be OK.

EDH said...

machine said...
And movement conservatives, who believe the MSM is more biased and less rigorous than their alternatives, have no way to explain how their trusted outlets got it wrong, while the NY Times got it right.

Careful. I'm not sure Silver himself would necessarily discount overwhelming MSM bias in favor of Obama as one of the underlying variables that drove the numbers and prevented Obama from suffering the fate of most poorly performing incumbent presidents, absent that kind of media bias, in terms of preserved credibility, momentum and turn-out.

His aggregated meta-polling methodology doesn't concern itself with modelling voter behavior, but instead weighing the predictive history of multiple polling organizations.

LoafingOaf said...

"In contrast to Dick Morris, Karl Rove, Newt Gingrich, Jim Cramer and many of the bloggers here who predicted a landslide for Romney, based I guess on their hopes/spin, Nate Silver is a bit more objective in reading the tea leaves."

----

Rove got into a fight with Fox News last night when they called Ohio. He couldn't accept reality. Dick Morris, on his Twitter, was very slow to accept reality too.

I actually had Althouse's bloggingheads prediction in mind last night, where she said if Romney was gonna win he'd win big, and otherwise Obama would squeak it out. It was clear pretty quick Romney wasn't gonna win big. The surprise was how big Obama won.

LoafingOaf said...

"Now it looks like Romney got fewer votes (in absolute numbers) than McCain in 2008. I honestly don't see how that happened. I'm not calling shenanigans or conspiracies but I still don't understand how that is possible."

---

Obama turned out more centrist than people thought 4 years ago.

J.R. said...

Intrade got it all right. You can look at Silver, or any other prognosticator, and he may have gotten right, but it seems Intrade is always spot on.

edutcher said...

Geraldus Maximus said...

Now it looks like Romney got fewer votes (in absolute numbers) than McCain in 2008. I honestly don't see how that happened. I'm not calling shenanigans or conspiracies

I am. Look at all the stories about it yesterday.

DADvocate said...

I believed all the conservative hype about turnout and over sampling of D's. It gave me hope and was easy to believe.

I pretty much went that route too. The one thing I wondered about was the over sampling. Many places have more registered Democrats than Republicans. If you sample Democats in the proportion to the overall percentage, even if it's more than Republicans, it's not over sampling.

I never bothered to check any of this because it didn't really matter.

K in Colorado said...

With Romney getting 1 million less total votes overall than McCain, does anyone think it was some Christian groups that decided they could not vote for a Mormon, regardless of what that meant for the national election?

Lem said...

Intrade got it all right. You can look at Silver, or any other prognosticator, and he may have gotten right, but it seems Intrade is always spot on.

Thats the one that I thought would get it right and when it didnt change... It gave me pause.

Mike said...

Silver was more correct than the righty experts I relied on for analysis, including Michael Barone who has encyclopedic knowledge of every congressional district in the nation. Silver was pretty dang close to perfect. The RCP average of polls was close to correct. The election was a D+7 one after all. The art of polling, in fact, is not dead!

EMD said...

The election was a D+7 one after all.

If it's John Kerry running, is it a D+7 election?

shiloh said...

Indeed, as many of the con presidential prognostications at Althouse were downright embarrassing!

Bender said...

Now it looks like Romney got fewer votes (in absolute numbers) than McCain in 2008. I honestly don't see how that happened.

There was ZERO sense of urgency in the Romney campaign; in fact, he expressly said that he wasn't going to "set my hair on fire" getting riled up about anything. There was no sounding of the alarm from the Romney camp. Rather than warning of the dangers of Democrats being anywhere near governance, Romney promised to work with them.

Romney and the Republican Establishment allowed the current economy-in-the-toilet to become the new normal. High unemployment, near $4/gallon gas are now business as usual.

Why should everyday people come out to vote if Romney, et al. make no attempt to show how the nation is at stake if they do not?

Bendir01c said...

Nate Silver is not God and what he's doing isn't revolutionary.

http://election.princeton.edu/

shiloh said...

"Intrade is always spot on."

Intrade was wrong about Obamacare.

Thank you Chief Justice Roberts! :)

Maguro said...

Yes, but it goes beyond Silver. The entire polling industry was really vindicated last night. All Silver did was to take the swing state polling consensus, and particularly their likely voter screens, more or less at face value. Undoubtedly a great night for the pollsters.

garage mahal said...

I wonder when conservatives start to get pissed at their media outlets that were feeding them a steady stream of horseshit.

edutcher said...

K in Colorado said...

With Romney getting 1 million less total votes overall than McCain, does anyone think it was some Christian groups that decided they could not vote for a Mormon, regardless of what that meant for the national election?

Does anybody wonder about all those voting machines that racked up a Zero vote for every Romney selection, but the reverse never happened? I notice Diebold down in Canton is building a big new addition to the facility.

Turnout was up in GOP precincts, down in Dem ones.

Romney was turning away people at his rallies while Zero was playing to half full ones, smaller one.

Everybody knew the stakes, but turnout was numerically down while enthusiasm was up?

Think about it.

Mike said...

I wonder when liberals start to get pissed at their media outlets that were feeding everybody a steady stream of horseshit.

CyndiF said...

If I were emperor, all college students would be required to pass a probability and statistics course. The commentary on Silver, both from those who support him and those who downplay him, shows how few people understand what he was doing and what his predictions meant.

John Lynch said...

electionprojection.com has been very accurate for several cycles. He was dead on this time.

Look at the polls next time, people. Don't make excuses when they don't say what you want them to say. The Romney bounce died in the last week, the polls showed it, and with it died his chances.

And yes, Garage, there are a number of people that I don't read anymore because they lied about election chances.

John Lynch said...

Bigger picture, George W Bush was the only Republican presidential candidate to get a majority of the popular vote since his father in 1988. Think about that. The Republican party is not able to find someone who can appeal to a majority of voters, even now when things are pretty bad.

It turns out that W was a lot smarter than he's been given credit for.

John Lynch said...
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phx said...

Jeez, you conservatives and your victim poses.

Amen. It's about time someone started to recognize that.

EDH said...

garage mahal said...
I wonder when conservatives start to get pissed at their media outlets that were feeding them a steady stream of horseshit.

Probably sometime before many of the swing voters who voted for Obama realize the same about the MSM and Obama.

LoafingOaf said...
I actually had Althouse's bloggingheads prediction in mind last night, where she said if Romney was gonna win he'd win big, and otherwise Obama would squeak it out...

Obama turned out more centrist than people thought 4 years ago.


Many perceived Obama as being objectively in the zone of historically failed one-term presidents, but observed the MSM doing its best to build a protective barrier around him. (A less favored candidate would have faced a steady drumbeat of stories on higher gas prices, the Benghazi treachery, his vacant second term agenda, etc.)

As a result of Romney's post-debate momentum that cut through the media narrative, however, some predicted that either:

(1) a "preference cascade" would take place among swing voters that would swamp the reliability of the underlying polling methodologies -- and therefore Silver would be wrong this time. Uniquely this time because of the unprecedented degree to which Obama's objective record was allowed deviate from the historic norm of what permits a first-term president to be reelected, or

(2) Voter perception filtered through media bias might give Obama a pass in combination with electoral college demographics to provide Obama the margin of victory.

Obviously, the latter held according to Silver's meta-polling methodology.

Silver's research does not say anything about why the candidate received the result. Nor does it say for how long the underlying perceptions will hold.

John Lynch said...

And I think I'm going to prune the list of blogs and news outlets I read. I'm not interested in watching them wallow in second term crazy talk the way the libs did after 2004.

Geraldus Maximus said...

Also, the huge gap between Obama's 2008 and 2012 early voting numbers was an indicator that just such a preference cascade was taking place.

As to media bias, it seems that Sandy was the finger in the dike that interrupted Romney's momentum. Comparing the poll numbers (Pew, Rasmussen, etc) from 10 days ago to the day before the election poll we see the "wave" subsided.

I think that Sandy saved Obama's bacon by allowing his incumbent positives (showing up in a bomber jacket to hug Christie) to over ride the mounting negatives.

C'est la vie.

Peter said...

The fact that Nate Silver got some things right just means he's at least as accurate as the proverbial stopped clock.

But Intrade- now, that's a fine predictor. It's fineness comes from the fact that people lie to pollsters (for any of a number of reasons), but most try very hard not to lie to themselves when wagering their own cash.

Bob Ellison said...

Back when I was in college, we'd look at the 2008 and 2012 results and wonder whether, with regard to Presidential races at least, the electorate has undergone a "re-alignment". Silver made the right call, a gutsy call, and I'm going to be very curious about his analysis and predictions (when due) in 2016.

Paul Zrimsek said...

A good cautionary note there in AF's comparison between Silver and the financial quants-- who likewise knew all the answers, until all of a sudden they didn't.

EMD said...

I think that Sandy saved Obama's bacon by allowing his incumbent positives (showing up in a bomber jacket to hug Christie) to over ride the mounting negatives.


This was again a turnout election, and the Ds beat the Rs because of Obama, who is basically Jesus to a lot of voters. (I've heard it said more than once about him being a savior, etc.) The enthusiasm gap was never really there, although a more generic Dem probably would have gone down in a very close race.

Dave said...

Nate Silver says that the most inaccurate polls this election season were those by Rasmussen. He faults their methodology and notes that they have generally skewed Republican. As I occasionally dropped by this blog over the last months and saw Althouse again and again quoting Rasmussen polls to the exclusion of all others, it was clear she and many of her followers weren't willing to look at the big picture.

I hated going to Silver's site the week after the first debate when Obama seemed to be in free fall. But the bottom was reached on October 12th when the slow steady ascent to 90% began. Silver doesn't just average polls like RealClearPolitics. His analytical program includes other information as well - economic data, comparisons to previous elections, etc. It's fun to follow when your guys are winning, but not when they're losing like the Congressional Contest in 2010. Silver predicted 53 seat pickup for Republicans very close to the result.


Dave said...

EMD said..."The enthusiasm gap was never really there,"

You're right. And in some states Republican choices to limit early voting days and/or impose stricter ID requirements actually made minorities (especially African Americans) more enthusiastic.

Also, Pew's last poll showed that a greater percentage of Obama voters were voting "for" their candidate instead of "against" the other candidate. 80% of Obama voters were voting for him vs. 60% of Romney voters who were voting against Obama. According to Pew, the candidate whose supporters are more positively motivated usually wins.

jurassicpork said...

Because, God only knows, Dick "Romney Will Win in a Landslide" Morris had a much higher accuracy rate than old 538, eh, Ann? (eyeroll)

Alan said...

After seeing his name all over the place for the past few weeks, I finally got around to Googling Nate Silver. I was beginning to wonder if he was the Internet's Tyler Durden.

machine said...

Bob Dylan is more accurate than Dick "the genius" Morris...

but Fox news will continue to hire "the genius"...

K in Colorado said...

Dave, I'm not so sure about that, since there were roughly 8 million less votes cast than in 2008. Interesting to note that Obama received roughly 7 million less votes than 2008, while Romney had roughly 1 million less than McCain. Which brings me back to my earlier comment that with everything I heard about Republican intensity and enthusium, how did Romney end up with 1 million less votes? Not that this would have made a difference, since having this extra million would have still left Romney 1 million below Obama.

machine said...

Yep...there it is:

"Fox News contributor Dick "the genius" Morris appeared on Fox & Friends very early Wednesday to weigh in on the previous night’s election results...“we need to understand just how weakly this president was re-elected, by the skin of his teeth.”

unreal...

Paul Zrimsek said...

Which brings me back to my earlier comment that with everything I heard about Republican intensity and enthusium, how did Romney end up with 1 million less votes?

The most economical assumption would be that everything you heard about Republican intensity and enthusiasm was bullshit, wouldn't it?

Paul Zrimsek said...

On the bright side, unless you're actually running a campaign or betting serious money, who's going to win is about the most harmless thing you can possibly be wrong about.

Bender said...

how did Romney end up with 1 million less votes?

What is the obvious answer? Because those one million voters did not want to vote for Romney. Because Romney could not convince them to vote for him.

Meanwhile, of the votes he did receive, how many of those were votes FOR Romney and how many were votes AGAINST Obama?

I sure as hell did not vote FOR Romney. And most people I know who voted Republican did not vote FOR him. Rather, they sought to vote Obama out of office. So the percentage of real pro-Romney vote goes down even further.

Why? Is it the fault of everyone except one? Is it the MSM's fault, the weather's fault, the American people's fault?

Or is the person most responsible the candidate himself? He spent six years trying to sell himself and he never was able to do it. That is not on the American people, that is on him. He, who claimed he is more competent than anyone else, is responsible. If the job didn't get done it is because he didn't do the job. True, there were a lot of people deluding themselves in anxious fear of Obama's re-election, but that is all it was.

machine said...

"I wonder when conservatives start to get pissed at their media outlets that were feeding them a steady stream of horseshit."

then this: "Romney was turning away people at his rallies while Zero was playing to half full ones"

= Never...Dick Morris is a genius!

Bill Harshaw said...

My own prediction: Silver's new book will become a best seller--Ann you should provide an Amazon link.

pm317 said...

Bow down, oh ye lowly questioners of the unknowable algorithm!

Was this also the same algorithm used to program the voting machines? That is not difficult to do. It is also like insider trading, isn't it? and illegal. So what happened here? The numbers and what we saw on the ground don't match.

jim said...
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jim said...
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jim said...

No ... all hail the great Mathematics.

Shocking indeed that the party that considers evolutionary biology or climatology to be left-wing conspiracies (& in Texas thinks the same of critical thinking skills) chose to ignore basic math in favor of a faith-based approach to interpreting election data.

Either the GOP is going to admit it has a severe confirmation bias problem, & do what it takes to get over it - or it's going to become a regional party that has to hope for a Democratic Nixon or Hoover to have even a slim shot at the White House.

The prospects of that wake-up call are abysmal: the right-wing meme of the day is "Obama Has No Mandate" ... with bigger mandates than Bush had in either of his terms, back when criticism of a wartime POTUS was analogous to hating America & supporting terrorism. The subtext is hardly arcane: if we can just keep obstructing his policies - even when they're right out of the GOP's own playbook, like RomneyCare or cap-&-trade - we can deny Obama a functional mandate. That this also short-circuits democracy & disenfranchises the majority of American voters is a mere externality of no consequence to people who "create their own reality" whether the real world plays along or not.

pbAndjFellowRepublican said...

"And didn't it seem as though Silver was providing that service to the timorous Dems who read the NYT?"

There is some clever way of relating this to Althouse's pushing of Ras polls in her posts.

But, I'm too busy (and too dumb) to think of it.

Anywho, later.

Alex said...

That this also short-circuits democracy & disenfranchises the majority of American voters is a mere externality of no consequence to people who "create their own reality" whether the real world plays along or not.

The way I see the conservatives are the ones sitting disenfranchised right now. They are being told that they will take it up the ass from government and enjoy it. Or better not, don't enjoy it we hope to see you scream.

K in Colorado said...

Mandate? Mandate? Hmm, lets see, Bush got 62 million votes for his second term 2004 election (+12 million from first election), while Obama is getting 60 million for his second term (-6 million from first). Dubya got 2 million more votes for his second term than Obama got for his. Yep, I see a mandate there.

Freeman Hunt said...

Ha. I made someone angry last night by saying, "Nate Silver was vindicated, wasn't he?"

Pragmatist said...

I bow! His book is fantastic! I worship all rational animals and it is great to see brains triumph over loud mouthed wishful thinking. It feels reallllll good. The looks on Fox News and Daffy Donald was priceless....oh the joy

Alex said...

Are liberals fact-based when they deny the workforce participation rate or the exploding debt? Rationality is strictly confined to horseraces?

EMD said...

Machine should find a blog that has big fans of Dick Morris and show 'em what's what!

Matthew Sablan said...

The odd thing is most people were right: Obama's share of votes plummeted. Something like 10 million fewer over all votes.

Just no one thought that the enthusiasm that we were seeing everywhere for Romney wouldn't deliver in the swing states. C'est la vie.

Marshal said...

LoafingOaf said...

Obama turned out more centrist than people thought 4 years ago.


Now that the election is over and we can dispense with the grandstanding, I'd like someone to explain this. What non-leftist positions does Obama hold?

Matthew Sablan said...

Marshal: You have to remember that when people say Obama turned out more centrist, they are using such a far left measuring point (something leftish of Sanders the Independent) as their starting point, as opposed to the Clintonian center-left model most people think of.

Grung_e_Gene said...

332 Electoral Votes, 3 Million more popular votes and increasing and the Right is seeking to invalidate it.

The politics of hate and the pro-rape agenda conservatives ran upon lost them the Presidency your top two bomb throwing reactionaries in the House and 5 seats in the Senate.

This is a Center-Left Nation.

Marshal said...

Matthew

Maybe. It seems like the appropriate term would be something more akin to mainstream left if that were the case. This wasn't a Cook comment.

But now that Obama's given up opposition to gay marriage I can't think of a single non-left position. Sure he had to compromise with the insurance industry on Obamacare, but that isn't a position, nor does it have any particular ideological position.

He has allowed the WOT to continue, but it's always seemed to me his only real concern is domestic policy. He's doing whatever is easiest in FP so as not to waste political capital on it. This is not a leftist position but being a realist in FP doesn't make one a centrist, especially since it seems an afterthought.

I think a far more accurate description is conventional leftist.

Kchiker said...

I've been anxious to see reaction on here because the human response to cognitive dissonance is so interesting. I want republicans to offer candidates and positions that appeal to me. National elections are going to be outside of republican reach without some major adjustments. If nothing else, I hope Nate has made it obvious that this election was not a freak event. You are losing. Find the way to win.

K in Colorado said...

I always have to chuckle when I hear someone from the left talking about "hate". Sorry to repeat from another thread, but Obama's campaign was a masterful use of fear and hate to get his base out:

Single women: "war on women" Mitt will ban contraception, ban abortion, keep women barefoot and pregnant, left wing blogs in a tizzy over a satire news page about how House Repubs were planning on banning tampons (they just knew it had to be true).

African-Americans: Biden's put y'all back in chains, a 9 year old at a Michelle Obama event was heard to say he was afraid that if Romney won, we would have to go back to the crop fields. Every word in the English language used by Repubs suddenly was a dog whistle for those racist Repubs.

Working People: Romney's a vampire that will suck your plant dry, he let a poor women die of cancer, he'll send all of your jobs to China. He's going to raise your taxes and give the money to the evil rich.

All of them: Repubs want to stop you from voting.

Being in Colorado, all we had were political ads from the left and right for months. The only time I started to see any sort of positive, hopeful message from Obama was in the last 2 weeks before the election. Before that, it was mostly hate and fear, very little about here's what I did, here's what I'm going to do.

This makes me very sad about what the election in 2016 may look like: negative ads, hate, fear, demonize your opponent early and often. Both sides will "go nuclear" on each other early. Hey, Obama proved it works.


HT said...

There are joys to not following much of the election (turning off the candidates whenever I heard them start talking) until election day. I have no idea who Nate Silver is. I am going to hold off on googling him until I absolutely positively have to.

csimmons said...

Surprisingly, the right wing electionprojecton.com had nearly the same prediction as Nate Silver. Apparently, at least one Republican can do math.

csimmons said...

@K in Colorado: Here in California, we didn't get any ads, negative or otherwise. The Republicans managed to scare the crap out of us anyway, without any help from Obama.

Bachman: "Vaccines cause mental retardation".

And then Romney really did send a bunch of our jobs to China. He really did say he was going to continue the failed trickle down policies of Reagan and Bush that have effectively transferred wealth to the upper-class, decimating productivity of the middle-class, and encouraging business to move off-shore.

Romney really did sound confused about how he was going to cut taxes, balance the budget, and not transfer wealth to the rich, while massively increasing defense spending.

All of the Republicans consistently stated that all regulations are bad, even those that ensure clean air and water.

Romney consistently stated that he wants to increase consumption of fossil fuels which are not only bad for our health (coal particulates cause 13,000 deaths per year in the U.S.) but are economically costly in terms of storms like Katrina and Sandy. And he wants to avoid investments in new technologies that can lower costs and increase productivity.

We don't need Obama to tell us the Republicans are scary. You do a good job of that all by yourself.

Marshal said...

Kchiker said...
I've been anxious to see reaction on here because the human response to cognitive dissonance is so interesting. I want republicans to offer candidates and positions that appeal to me. National elections are going to be outside of republican reach without some major adjustments.


Romney lost by a couple of points in a handful of states against an incumbent, and the lyou conclude Reps aren't competetive. You don't need to go anywhere for your cognitive dissonance.

leslyn said...

Bachmann is an interesting case. Incumbent in a redrawn Republican-friendly district, who outspent her opponent 8 to 1. It was supposed to be easy for her. But the Dem challenger, who had not held office before, lost after a very long vote count (had to wait until early morning for the result)-- by less than 1%. No distinct problems in the race, like Akin or Mourdoch, to hang your hat on for such a close result.

Gives me hope that people are beginning to identify the looney tune when they hear it. The observers are right: R's need to recognize where they are out of step. Calls by TP'ers to go even further right are deluded.

shiloh said...

Just some presidential housekeeping:

Nate predicted Obama would win in 2008 by 6.1. He actually beat McCain by 7.2 (52.9 to 45.7) so he was conservative. :-P

2012 Nate predicted Obama 50.8/48.3 and as they are still counting the votes it is currently 50.4/48 so Nate Silver could eventually be spot on.

Also 2008 Obama got 69.5 million votes and McCain got 60 million. Currently Obama has 60.6 million and Willard has 57.7 million. So although Obama has a much lower total count than 2008, Romney also currently has (2.3 million) less votes than McCain in 2008. So much for 2012 Rep enthusiasm re: Willard ie it was never about Romney who inspired no one. Rather it was always about Rep/con hatred of Obama.

Again, 2004/2008 presidential exit polls showed cons = 34% of the electorate. 2012 it was 35% as older white Reps continue to dwindle. Such is the Rep party current reality er dilemma.

As Bubba said quite eloquently, it comes down to basic arithmetic.

blessings

Kchiker said...

"Romney lost by a couple of points in a handful of states against an incumbent, and the lyou conclude Reps aren't competetive. You don't need to go anywhere for your cognitive dissonance."

Demographics are changing. It's going to get harder and harder for Republicans to win elections. Republicans can choose to ignore this. I hope they don't.

stan said...

Nate Silver offers odds to the tenth of a point. That's the point where hubris bleeds into outright stupidity.

Bob Ellison said...

I'd like to see a discussion among the smart commenters here on all sides on this point:

Conservatives in America have long believed that ever since Reagan, and possibly Nixon, the electorate held generally center-right political opinions. Do Obama's two electoral victories show that that is no longer a valid assumption?

I'm generally conservative, and I think my country has moved left. I don't see it coming back soon. Mitt Romney was right about the 47%, and it may be more than that. Are we sliding toward permanent leftism?

shiloh said...

"Nate Silver offers odds to the tenth of a point. That's the point where hubris bleeds into outright stupidity."

Nate has an unbiased, mathematical scientific political formula.

Unlike Rasmussen and Gallup!

Mark Tenenbaum said...

Larry K - Obama probably will have a lead between 2.3 and 2.5% when all of the (heavily democratic) provisional ballots are counted. To predict 2.7% and miss by less than 1/2% is pretty remarkable, considering the margin of error that exists in all polling. Oh yeah, one more thing: The ONLY pollsters who argued that Romney had the momentum until Sandy struck were Rasmussen and Gallup, both of whom were demonstrably inaccurate -- both are among the wrost predictors of this election among all pollsters. Every other pollster showed Romney's momentum completely gone within 1-2 days after the second debate. Those pollsters nailed the outcome of the election. Which is why I get annoyed when Republicans say that sandy cost romney the election. That type of cognitive dissonance is a large part of the reasno why the GOP lost this year as decisively as it did.