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Hullabaloo


Sunday, October 28, 2012

 
It's not the polls that are skewed, it the right wing psyche

by digby

The formerly obscure analyst who became famous recently for making the spurious case that the polls were all skewed in favor of Obama has decided to go mano a mano with Nate Silver and challenge his methodology. Well, not really. He's decided to be an asshole:

Nate Silver is a man of very small stature, a thin and effeminate man with a soft-sounding voice that sounds almost exactly like the “Mr. New Castrati” voice used by Rush Limbaugh on his program. In fact, Silver could easily be the poster child for the New Castrati in both image and sound. Nate Silver, like most liberal and leftist celebrities and favorites, might be of average intelligence but is surely not the genius he's made out to be. His political analyses are average at best and his projections, at least this year, are extremely biased in favor of the Democrats.

Apparently, Nate Silver has his own way of “skewing” the polls. He appears to look at the polls available and decide which ones to put more “weighting” on in compiling his own average, as opposed to the Real Clear Politics average, and then uses the average he calculates to determine that percentages a candidate has of winning that state. He labels some polling firms as favoring Republicans, even if they over sample Democrats in their surveys, apparently because he doesn't agree with their results. In the end the polls are gerrymandering into averages that seem to suit his agenda to make the liberal Democrats candidates apparently strong than they are.

He claims to have been highly accurate in predicting the 2008 election results, and perhaps he was. But it's highly unlikely his current methods and projections will have the level of accuracy unless he changes then quite a lot between now and election day. The race has shifted profoundly in favor of Mitt Romney while Nate Sillver is still projecting an Obama win. Unless he changes that, the credibility he earned in 2008 will be greatly diminished after this years election.

You'll notice that this fine fellow got so caught up in his little fantasy about Silver's alleged effeminacy that he forgot to put together anything resembling a serious critique of his methods.

Judging by the similarity in tone, I'm going to guess that this guy's "credibility" after this race is going to look a lot like this* looks now:

November 6, 2000
RCP Electoral College Analysis: Bush 446 Gore 92
Bush 51.2 Gore 41.8 Nader 5.7

CNN/USA Today/Gallup, MSNBC/Zogby and Newsweek have done a nice job closing the polls for Vice President Gore. All three polls now have Gore within two points and supposedly gaining. We'll see Tuesday whether the propaganda campaign to keep Democrats from becoming disillusioned and voting for Nader was successful in diluting the size of the Bush victory.

As we have said all along, Gore needed to close to within 2% in our RCP Composites to have a realistic chance to win. He has not done so. (RCP Tracking Composite Bush 47.3 Gore 41.2, RCP National Poll Composite Bush 47.0 Gore 42.8) George W. Bush will be elected President of the United States tomorrow by the American people. But the last minute Gore push in some polls has perhaps given enough liberal Democrats hope to not waste their vote on Nader.

The real debate is not who is going to win the election, but whether Bush will win 308 electoral votes or 474 electoral votes. The media's fantasy of Bush winning the popular vote and losing the electoral college is not going happen. The worst case scenario for a Bush victory will be a 2-3 point win in the popular vote and 10-20% more than the necessary 270 EC votes.

For those who still maintain Mr. Gore has a chance of winning, consider the scenarios under which this is possible. If Gore does not win Florida (the evidence indicates he will not), he must run the table, taking IL, CA, PA, MI, MN, WI, WA, OR, TN, AR, WV and DE along with his base 92 votes for a 273-265 EC win. It won't happen. Even with a victory in Florida, Gore must win at least 70% of the remaining battleground states to eke out a victory. The truth is that George W. Bush has a better chance of carrying New Jersey and Vermont than Al Gore does of becoming the next President of the United States.

When you sift through the haze of polls and media disinformation, the anecdotal facts are clear. Bush and Gore are fighting it out in Democratic Iowa, West Virginia, Minnesota and even Gore's home state of Tennessee. Bush is reaching out to moderate Democrats and independents while Gore is frantically trying to energize his base. The media openly acknowledges Bush's base is more energized and that Gore faces a significant threat from Nader on his left. Yet the pundits still talk as if the election is too close to call and could go either way.

On Tuesday night the talking heads will all be abuzz with their exit poll analyses showing how Bush destroyed Gore in the male vote, broke even with women, carried over 40% of the Hispanic vote, and the surprising strength of Ralph Nader. All of this is clear today, but it will take the network exit polls to make it clear to the national press.

We continue to see a landslide of over 400 electoral votes and a Bush win by 7-10 points. We will have to wait until tomorrow to see whether the "tightening polls" may have worked to save Illinois, California, Minnesota and a few others for the Vice President.

An explanation of each critical battleground state can be found on the Critical Battleground State page.

Now that was skewed.

It's part of the right's "bandwagon" strategy -- they always hope they can get people to switch to their guy if they perceive he's a winner. And probably some simply delusion as well --- they have a very hard time believing that America (which they rightfully own) could ever legitimately elect someone other than a Republican. This time I'm guessing they are also hoping it's close enough that they can challenge the legitimacy of the vote in several states. Setting up a situation where some polling "showed" Romney ahead only to lose at the polls will help that cause.


*Dave Weigel dug that Real Clear Politics "analysis" from 2000 up on the Wayback Machine

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