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Monday, October 08, 2012

Nate Silver starts the spin

For someone whose vaunted statistical model was forecasting an 85 percent chance of an Obama victory next month, Nate Silver is really beginning to sound as if he's attempting to retreat from his current predictions:
I feel as though it’s my duty to tell you when my subjective estimate of the odds differs by a material amount from the ones that our model produces. On Friday and Saturday, I wrote that I thought the model was underestimating Mr. Romney’s chances.

The model is designed to distinguish essentially random changes in the polls from more permanent reversals in the state of play. But it takes a one-size-fits-all approach to do this. Had there been no major developments in the news cycle over the past several days, there would be reason to be skeptical that the shift toward Mr. Romney had been quite as clear as the polls had seemed to imply. There have been other points in the election cycle when the polls appeared to show a shift in the race but without much news to drive it; the model has been fairly “smart” about avoiding being taken by these false alarms.

The trade-off, however, is that the model may be too conservative about accounting for a shift when there is real news behind it. The model is able to account for changes caused by some types of economic reports, since those are incorporated directly into the forecast; we also have special procedures to handle polling around the party conventions. Other types of news events, however — like the debates, major foreign-policy developments, or the vice presidential selections — may not be handled very adroitly by the model.
Those who like to get on my case about Obama defeating Hillary for the Democratic nomination tend to forget that I make a single prediction about the election long before the nominees are even known.  In 2008, I predicted that the Republicans would serve up a sacrificial lamb and the Democrats would win nearly 18 months before the election.  I was wrong about the specific individuals, but the general theme was correct.  In 2010, I predicted that the Republicans would win in a landslide.  In 2012, I predicted that the Republican candidate would win easily unless it was Mitt Romney, in which case I still expected him to win.

Meanwhile, the "professionals" like Silver are not only making new model-based predictions on a weekly or even daily basis, but are attempting to separate themselves from their predictions.  I leave it to you to determine which process is more useful, even if the success rate of those predictions made months in advance is lower than those "predictions" made in real time.

Yes, I was wrong about Clinton winning the nomination, about Pataki being the sacrificial lamb, and about Obama actually dropping out, but based on all the articles that have suddenly begun appearing about whether he is even interested in seriously contesting the election - and articles written by some of his most fervent supporters - it is clear that in the case of the latter, I was on the right track even though events did not turn out exactly as I thought they would.

It may be worth noting that despite what Silver and the mainstream polls say, I'm not the only one anticipating a Romney victory in November:
An update to an election forecasting model announced by two University of Colorado professors in August continues to project that Mitt Romney will win the 2012 presidential election.  According to their updated analysis, Romney is projected to receive 330 of the total 538 Electoral College votes. President Barack Obama is expected to receive 208 votes -- down five votes from their initial prediction -- and short of the 270 needed to win.

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47 Comments:

Anonymous Porky? October 08, 2012 9:37 AM  

Wrong.

Anonymous dh October 08, 2012 9:38 AM  

All of the pollsters (Nate Silver) et all try to forecast the odds of a win *if the election was held today*. They are not attempting to make a forward projection, or a true prediction, like yourself and others.

Finally, I would urge you to read the Colorado modeling details. It's complete garbage. I suspect folks who love the temperature models used by global warming promoters would love their model. There is poor methodology between what factors are put into the model and which factors effect the modeling outcome - namely, which factors are noise and which are correlated. They've actually got about eight models, and their "headline" model is the one they like best.

Anonymous dh October 08, 2012 9:39 AM  

Sorry, I would also like to add, that Nate Silver *is* a complete hack.

Anonymous Cryan Ryan October 08, 2012 9:45 AM  

As much as I'm not by any means confident that Romney will prevent an economic collapse, I must state the following.

I have felt positively giddy since the debate took place. Watching that buffoon obummer take it in the shorts was as enjoyable as watching the most vicious beatdown in mma history.

As he stuttered and stammered, blushed and looked down at his podium, Romney was chomping at the bit to come back with 4, 5, or 6 well spoken, well thought out observations.

Nothing left to do but pick up the pieces and try to appeal to ...

) single mothers
) communists
) teachers and public employees
) old SS recipients
) abortion fanatics
) queers
) lesbians
) hollywood leftists
) idealistic white college kids

ummm...oh oh...

Anonymous JartStar October 08, 2012 9:51 AM  

If you think that the banksters pick the PoTUS and people vote with their pocket books then Romney should win. If Obama does win it will call these two predictors into question.

If I recall correctly the polls that count are the ones taken about 3 days before the election as the undecideds finally make up their minds.

Anonymous Sexual Chocolate Imperion October 08, 2012 10:04 AM  

A Conversation Between Charles Goyette and John Zogby

Goyette: Please start at the top of ticket — with the presidential race.


Zogby: In the Weiss/Zogby poll of investors, Romney leads by 8 points, 48% to 40%.

In contrast, in the Zogby poll of all voters, it's Obama who leads by eight points, or 49% to 41%.

Goyette: This is critical. It's telling me that if Obama wins, a lot of investors are likely to be very unhappy with the results of the presidential election.

How about the Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson, former governor of New Mexico?

Zogby: Among both groups — investors or not — Gary Johnson takes three votes from Romney for every vote he takes away from Obama. So Romney's numbers actually go down in a three-way race with Johnson included.

Goyette: What about the congressional races?


Zogby: In the House of Representatives, Democrats lead by 4 or 5 points. That's a barometric reading that suggests the Democrats could pick up 12 to 15 seats in the house.

But among self-identified investors, the Weiss/Zogby poll shows that in congressional races, Republicans lead by 4 percentage points over the Democrats, but that's not enough. The GOP message is not yet connecting with investors.

In the Senate, what looked to be a slam dunk six months ago is now dicey. It looks like Democrats are actually leading in some key states that they need to hold and may even be picking up a few seats.

Goyette: This is critical. So what does the government look like after the elections?

Zogby: Here's the likely scenario:

• The president wins re-election.

• Democrats hold on to the Senate. And

• Republicans hold on to the majority in the House, although weakened a tad.

Goyette: So bottom line, this poll is telling us that in the next few weeks, we could see three things:

1. An explosion in gold prices. This has already begun, thanks to the Fed's recent "QE-Infinity" announcement.

2. A decline — perhaps a sharp decline — in the stock market. So investments that soar when stocks sink should generate substantial profits.

3. Governmental gridlock as far as the eye can see — and our leaders' pathetic inability to deal with one of the greatest fiscal crises of all time: the great Fiscal Cliff of 2012-2013!

---------------------------------------------

Charles Goyette is one of the nation's most knowledgeable analysts of how Washington can impact your investments, earning raving praise from Congressman Ron Paul, the Ludwig von Mises Institute, Judge Napolitano and many others.

John Zogby is the man USA Today calls the "Most Accurate Pollster" and The Washington Post proclaimed "the maverick predictor who beat us all."

*source: Weiss Research, Inc.

=============================================

Mittens looses in a 3 way race. Prepare yourself for more of the same, of the past four years. Barky will preside over the death of America as we know it. What will come post Barky? Who knows...

Anonymous Daniel October 08, 2012 10:07 AM  

They also tend to forget that you predicted an Al Franken senatorship years before he ran, when, quite literally, everyone else was laughing at the possibility that he would ever give anything but punchlines about tossing his comedienne's hat into the ring.

The Hillary pick was a sound one, even in retrospect: even the Clintonian savvy for managing the politics on the ground was caught flat-footed by Chicago's machine and a media-generated pop hero that would fall apart by Inauguration Day, but no sooner.

After all, there's good losses and bad ones. The Hil pick was a good one.

Anonymous AXCrom October 08, 2012 10:09 AM  

"Watching that buffoon obummer take it in the shorts was as enjoyable as watching the most vicious beatdown in mma history.

That's about the only thing I can say positive about a Romney win, will be to hear the lamentations of the women (and male bitches) in the media. Aside from that, Romney will be as big a disaster as Obama. The primary difference is that if Romney wins the disaster will be televised, if Obama wins it will be swept under the rug.

Blogger Markku October 08, 2012 10:13 AM  

The primary difference is that if Romney wins the disaster will be televised, if Obama wins it will be swept under the rug.

And more people will buy the line that "capitalism" is to blame. Obama just didn't have enough time...

Anonymous Anonymous October 08, 2012 10:14 AM  

Wrong as usual!

Anonymous Mr Green Man October 08, 2012 10:18 AM  

You weren't sufficiently jaded to realize the number of "conservative, pro-life" women who would pull the lever for Barrack (I always prefer the Vint Cerf pronunciation "Bear-Rick", or perhaps the more comical "B-Rock") because it sent their heart all aflutter to vote for a black guy, a black guy with such a compelling autobiography, a black guy they could project into their sexual fantasies in a non-threatening kind of way. That election did one thing for me -- I realized that Catholics in general, and Catholic women in particular, are incapable of voting their supposed beliefs.

It will be interesting what the Wilder Effect is in this election. Since Barrack Obama has been more of a racial polarizer than anybody would have guessed -- everything's raciss if it's not Plouff-approved -- it's hard to guess if people have finally gotten to the point where they can honestly say, in the great middle of the American consciousness, that "racist" is the cry of someone who has lost the debate and wants to use threats and intimidation because he has nothing else.

Anonymous jack October 08, 2012 10:24 AM  

Maybe we should start a campaign to write in Theodore Beale....

At least he, as President, would spend his spare time playing video games in the oval office, not on some golf course.

And, the Fed would be abolished by executive order. The MSM would have their broadcast licenses reviewed, with prejudice, by the FCC, the democrat party would be abolished for un-American activities,
Oh, goodness, what else?

Ah yes, all law abiding citizens good get a federal firearms permit good anywhere the stars and stripes flies.

Anonymous Praetorian October 08, 2012 10:28 AM  

I use a pretty simple model to predict who will win the election: who has Goldman Sachs given the most money to?

Figure they've got the best of the best vacant-eyed election analyst savants on the job, and only care who wins, with no idiological biases.

They say mitt.

Anonymous Daniel October 08, 2012 10:42 AM  

Heh. President Vox would be a terrible idea. He'd put the media through simulated rape exercises and cripple wall street via an executive ban on 401(k)s. He'd implement a "Rule 303" immigration policy, and authorize the transformation of Medicare into a series of optional, life-affirming, baby boomer death camps. He'd implement an advisory policy supporting a minimum child count (one for mom, one for dad, and one for the states of America!) He'd ally with the FBI (for leverage) to end the drug war and simultaneously turn their weapons on the ATF, the CIA, the Dept. of Ed, the Fed, and all other major departments and shadow organizations, at which point, he'd hamstring the FBI with a recalled-to-home military.

And then everyone left would be happy.

And that just wouldn't be right.

So someone would decide to assassinate him with a drone, and miss, at which point he'd have to show the assassin how it ought to be done, thereby detonating himself and most of the East Coast in a customized thermonuclear explosion that is engineered using an AI principle that he developed while bench-pressing Al Gore.

It's basically like giving a mouse a cookie. If you give a Vox a Presidency...

Anonymous Josh October 08, 2012 10:52 AM  

"when I am dictator, all vegetarians will be fed to the pigs." ~ Vox Day

Anonymous E. PERLINE October 08, 2012 11:02 AM  

I'm not a prognosticator but an idea has presented itself to me, and it may have some merit in it. I suppose it can be called the law of automatic correction, or the tendency of systems to correct themselves.

The law is when an established system is about to be destroyed, it tends, at the last minute, to right itself.

For instance, the gold bugs say the dollar will become worthless. But they want to sell you their gold for-of all things- worthless dollars.

The upheaval in real estate may only be an opportunity for new entrepeneurs to come in where few opportunities existed before.


I thought it would take at least two disastrous elections for our economy to be destroyed. But after one such election it is beginning to right itself already. Would you say the doomsayers are a bit strident and premature?

Blogger RobertT October 08, 2012 11:07 AM  

This gives me a little bit more confidence that some people out there are paying some attention. But somewhere deep in my soul is the lingering belief that most people are as stupid as the idiot who answered Los Angelos when asked for the name of a state neighboring Florida.

Anonymous Hoots October 08, 2012 11:13 AM  

Isn't it possible that "Romney gaining" is (as least partially) a tactic by democrats to rally their notoriously lazy base?

Anonymous VryeDenker October 08, 2012 11:13 AM  

After having finally watched said debate, I must admit that Mitt Romney is damned persuasive. Not as much as Saruman, but still.

Blogger Markku October 08, 2012 11:54 AM  

But they want to sell you their gold for-of all things- worthless dollars.

Because they profit from the ability to invest those dollars faster than they lose value. The profit that they make from the transaction offsets the trouble of having to do that. Otherwise they would simply not sell the gold.

Anonymous Stilicho October 08, 2012 11:55 AM  

After having finally watched said debate, I must admit that Mitt Romney is damned persuasive. Not as much as Saruman, but still.

But he does have Grima Wormtongue, er, I mean Paul Ryan.

Anonymous Salt October 08, 2012 11:56 AM  

For instance, the gold bugs say the dollar will become worthless. But they want to sell you their gold for-of all things- worthless dollars.

There is a difference between an accumulator and one in the gold business. Most in the business have their own stash, using dollar business profits to add to it.

Anonymous Stilicho October 08, 2012 12:01 PM  

I thought it would take at least two disastrous elections for our economy to be destroyed. But after one such election it is beginning to right itself already. Would you say the doomsayers are a bit strident and premature?

What part of 47 million on foodstamps, more Americans than ever not working, and ever more debt, (and all three categories increasing) do you think constitutes an economy "beginning to right itself"?

Anonymous Cobre October 08, 2012 12:03 PM  

VD, while I find myself disagreeing with you more and more lately, have to come to your defense on the Hillary Cherry Blossom call.

People quickly forgot -- if they ever knew at all -- that Obamski basically stole the primary via manipulated caucuses. Or better, it was handed to him by the same folks who said, "if Hillary doesn't win the primary votes, but takes delegates by caucus there will be rioting in the streets." It's kind of funny that the same folks who move heaven and earth so they can avoid Voter ID or voter intimidation are the same DNC operatives which committed voter fraud and intimidation rampantly during the 2008 primaries.

Anonymous Josh October 08, 2012 12:20 PM  

Obama won because his team understood the primary and caucus rules and team Clinton didn't.

Very similar to the Ron Paul campaign this year.

Anonymous Cheddarman October 08, 2012 12:38 PM  

I wonder how the remaining debates will help or hurt Romney.

If he holds to conventional neconservative republican postions, he will sound like a war monger and alienate undecided voters.

On the other hand, if he has a repeat performance of the first debate, he will look more "presidential" than Obama, and his style may very well trump his substance.

Since most Americans are idiots, i will have to go with the assumption that a "more presidential looking and sounding" Romney could easily win on style points, while promoting a disastrous foreign policy.

sincerely

Cheddarman

Blogger JD Curtis October 08, 2012 12:45 PM  

I don't at all doubt the model used in that that based on economic factors, Pennsylvania would genuinely vote for Romney.


However, I doubrt that the model takes into account the exceptional level of voter fraud in the Keystone State (especially in the Philadelphia area).

Anonymous Gen. Kong October 08, 2012 12:52 PM  

Cryin Ryan:
As much as I'm not by any means confident that Romney will prevent an economic collapse, I must state the following.

I have felt positively giddy since the debate took place. Watching that buffoon obummer take it in the shorts was as enjoyable as watching the most vicious beatdown in mma history.

As he stuttered and stammered, blushed and looked down at his podium, Romney was chomping at the bit to come back with 4, 5, or 6 well spoken, well thought out observations.

Nothing left to do but pick up the pieces and try to appeal to ...

) single mothers
) communists
) teachers and public employees
) old SS recipients
) abortion fanatics
) queers
) lesbians
) hollywood leftists
) idealistic white college kids

ummm...oh oh...


Bet your little list adds up to more than 47%. Mittens appears to be making the classic strategic error of misunderestimating the opposition. There is a reason the Gay Old Pedophiles are known as "the stupid party" after all.

Anonymous Gen. Kong October 08, 2012 1:01 PM  

Speaking of predictions, it looks like 'Crazy Eyes' Ann Barnhardt nailed the latest economic figures from the regime months ago (from a post she did on May 4th):

3. Once again, just making sure everyone understands the sickening farce that is the "unemployment figure." I said last year (on the radio) that the reported "unemployment number" would be UNDER EIGHT PERCENT no matter what in Q4 2012. Sure enough, it appears that I will be proven exactly right. Is this because unemployment is going down? HELLZ NO! Real unemployment is climbing consistently, and is probably north of 20%.

Ilana Mercer's longstanding estimation of the Amurikan public is pretty much spot on: 1) The movie Idiocracy wasn't about the future; 2) It really is a dumbass dystopia filled with total morons and idiots who'll believe whatever lies are told to them by the Ministry of Truth - a gang whose lies have become so blatant that they should have been ridiculed out of existence decades ago.

Anonymous Josh October 08, 2012 1:14 PM  

I think Ann Barnhardt needs to get laid.

Anonymous Daniel October 08, 2012 1:41 PM  

Not having watched the debates, I'll just have to rely on the past model:

1) Democrat stunningly "loses" 1st debate, giving media something to talk about.
2) Democrat stages "dramatic comeback" in 2nd debate, causing Republican to stumble.
3) Democrat tramps "victoriously in statesmanlike fashion" over the corpse of a lifeless Republican whose couldn't even get his cosmetics to work right on t.v.

I still don't understand why I'm supposed to believe these talking-point exchange sessions are anything akin to a debate.

Of course, Romney wins in November, despite having simultaneously "stumbled" and "been crushed by the superior orator" during the debates. So stupid to watch a rigged game show trotted out as an intellectual contest of ideas.

Blogger Lovekraft October 08, 2012 1:44 PM  

The 'Sources of Information' are in serious trouble. Academia is overwhelmingly liberal, mainstream media is blatantly biased, and the internet's dissenting voices are constantly discredited (with open censorship imminent).

So, what is the point of trying to project a conservative strategy in light of these realities? Should the Right work within the system, which to me means offering a candidate acceptable to the Left? Oxymoronic and dead from the get-go.

What needs to emerge is a unified front that can provide the public with an ideology free from the above-noted quandary.

Anonymous Josh October 08, 2012 2:17 PM  

A comment from the American conservative website on how Willard won the debate:

" How do you debate someone whose positions are completely and utterly unknown and unknowable?

You can’t debate someone who responds to every “your position is” with “wrong! I never said that!”

You can’t debate someone who is a fluent liar."

Blogger JD Curtis October 08, 2012 2:43 PM  

Jack Welch: Jobs Numbers Are Too Good to Be True, Imply 5% GDP Growth

Blogger James Dixon October 08, 2012 2:55 PM  

> Should the Right work within the system, which to me means offering a candidate acceptable to the Left?

Isn't that what the republicans have done the last two elections cycles. You can't get any farther to the left than Romney and McCain and still call yourself a republican.

Anonymous Josh October 08, 2012 2:56 PM  

Romney foreign policy speech at vmi

Romney confirms that he is as aggressive a neoconservative as Bush was.

Anonymous Idle Spectator October 08, 2012 4:21 PM  

I don't get what is so hard with saying "I was wrong."

Except for me.

I never make predictions.
Therefore, I am never wrong.

Anonymous CaptDMO October 08, 2012 5:00 PM  

I got yer "model" right here.....
"100 random monkeys" in a room grab their "animal spirits" with their "magic hands".
Ensuing defenistration to alleviate the chaos results in broken windows.

As always, rent payers are tasked to clean up the mess. It's in the contract.

Anonymous CaptDMO October 08, 2012 5:07 PM  

Minutia of the "08" elections can be ignored. Who could have forseen Hillory taking one for the team in the eleventh hour, by "crying" in NH, in exchange for "Powerful Respected Woman in charge..." of serious negotiation/representation with ...Muslim nations.

Anonymous JartStar October 08, 2012 5:19 PM  

To compare success rates of predictions you'd really have to categorize them in a meaningful way as financial predictions are so very different from political predictions though one can influence the other.

Anonymous The OASF October 08, 2012 11:49 PM  

I don't know where this prediction of Romney winning is coming from. After that horrific debate performance by Obama, he still leads Romney, on average, in the general election polls, but only now is within the margin of error... which could just as easily widen the margin for Obama than close it for Romney. Obama won't do as bad in the next debate, and even if he does by some chance, then it will just make Romney look like a child abuser at that point.

Translate the votes to the Electoral Map and Romney stands no chance whatsoever.

Texas is now a swing State, heavily trending Dem. Once it goes the way of Mexifornia, the GOP will official be DOA and forever, mathematically, locked out of Presidential politics. If there is election rigging it will be to try and keep it close for the benefit of the GOP's image in an attempt to prop up the false GOP/DEM dichotomy and mask the GOP's decimation for a few more election cycles.

Anonymous Grinder October 09, 2012 2:38 AM  

I think Obama will win. Things will not improve no matter who wins. If Romney wins I think it will show that more Americans are willing to settle for a lesser evil and it will ensure that GOP will never bother to try to field a candidate who gives a damn for ordinary white workers. Denying repukes votes will give the election to Obama but at least the GOP will try to appeal to a broader base in future, with any luck.

Anonymous Stilicho October 09, 2012 6:11 AM  

I think Ann Barnhardt needs to get laid.

Cats. She needs cats. Suitable for throwing.

Blogger James Dixon October 09, 2012 9:03 AM  

> Denying repukes votes will give the election to Obama but at least the GOP will try to appeal to a broader base in future, with any luck.

Their idea of appealing to a broader base is to become even more like the democrats. :(

I would love to be proven wrong, but I honestly believe there is no fixing the republican party. The only solution is to move on and pick a third party to support. Once enough people do that, the republicans will fade into the obscurity they so rightly deserve.

Anonymous Greatheart October 10, 2012 3:46 AM  

James Dixon October 09, 2012 9:03 AM: "...The only solution is to move on and pick a third party to support. Once enough people do that, the republicans will fade into the obscurity they so rightly deserve."

I believe if a third party became successful, the GOP would be reabsorbed into the Demon Party, reestablishing the old Democratic/Republican Party.

Blogger James Dixon October 10, 2012 8:35 AM  

> I believe if a third party became successful, the GOP would be reabsorbed into the Demon Party, reestablishing the old Democratic/Republican Party.

If you mean that the third party thus established would become corrupted by the monied interests, then yes. People are what they are. But that takes time. You'd have a least a few election cycles before the process was completed.

Anonymous Anonymous October 15, 2012 8:59 PM  

Ann Barnhardt needs a "jackrabbit."

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