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October 09, 2012

NYT's Super-Amazing Poll Analyst Nate Silver: After Several Days Of Polling Which Put Romney Either At A Tie Or Ahead, "The Model" Now Says Romney Has Improved His Chances of Winning... All the Way Up to 25%


I thought you said that in a race in which polls show Romney tied or ahead, he still only had a 25% to win -- Obama still at 75% -- based on your Secret Forecasting Model, but you couldn't have said that. You could not have possibly said the last three days of polling had moved Romney up from 21.6% to 25.2%.

Because that would be insane.

But it sure looks like that's what you said.

Mitt Romney gained further ground in the FiveThirtyEight forecast on Monday, with his chances of winning the Electoral College increasing to 25.2 percent from 21.6 percent on Sunday.

The change represents a continuation of the recent trend: Mr. Romney’s chances were down to just 13.9 percent immediately in advance of last week’s debate in Denver. He has nearly doubled his chances since then.

But the gains that he made on Monday in particular were all because of a single poll.


Incidentally, he discounted Romney's two point lead in the Gallup poll, stating he didn't find it "newsy."

Then he's got some problems with this so-called Pew poll:

There are two smarter questions to ask about the Pew poll. First, is it really likely that Mr. Romney leads the race by 4 points right now? The consensus of the evidence, particularly the national tracking polls, would suggest otherwise. Instead, the forecast model’s conclusion is that the whole of the data is still consistent with a very narrow lead for Mr. Obama, albeit one that is considerably diminished since Denver.

It might be granted that the situation is more ambiguous than usual right now. But our forecast model looks at literally all of the polls; it estimates Mr. Romney’s post-debate bounce as being 2.5 percentage points, not quite enough to erase Mr. Obama’s pre-debate advantage.

He's now upped that to a 3.7% bounce, I think.

Anyway, John Nolte read this piece and also thought it was ever-so-slightly lunatic.

And it doesn’t matter that today Nate Silver jumped the shark with his ridiculous 25.2% prediction of a Romney victory. Because Silver doesn’t exist in order to give anyone intelligent analysis. He's there to make Obama boosterism look intelligent and thoughtful and fact-based, no matter how ridiculous and counter-intuitive and fantastic the end result.

And yet, people take Nate Silver seriously and still will even after today. Part of it is willful ignorance; part of it is out of necessity to boost Obama; and part of it are those dumb enough to still be impressed by the mantle of the New York Times.

It's like the Global Warming "models" -- they discount actual data which does not agree with their model. The Pew poll didn't fit the model, so it's plainly incorrect.

After I saw this lunacy from Silver on Twitter last night, I began parodying him as 5ive3irty8ight, and Twitchy was kind enough to compile my jokes into a readable article. Here are a few of them:

Discounting certain polls as incompatible with my model, and adding in the Finnageler's Constant, I have Obama with 143% chance to win Ohio.

A 143% chance of winning Ohio means that there will be a "spillover" effect into neighboring states like Michigan and Iowa.

Adding this "spillover" effect into the mix, Obama leads comfortably in Michigan, 165% to Romney's -65%. Similar trends appear in IA.

According to my forecasting model, there is a 92.33% chance that Ann Romney will make a pass at Barack Obama at some point.

My model suggests that not only will Ann Romney throw herself at President Obama, but there is a 74.44% chance Paul Ryan will do likewise.

My model suggests an 86.14% chance that Obama will "break" Mitt Romney in mind, body, and spirit, leaving him a gibbering lunatic

My model foresees an 81.89% chance that Mitt Romney will be a homeless bum by October 20th, wearing nothing but scraps and dog urine

There is still a 42.93% chance that Barack Obama will reveal that he is, in fact, The Batman. It is unclear how this may affect the race.

Gaming out various Obama-Is-The-Batman scenarios, I see this playing especially strong in post-industrial states, like Michigan.

Incidentally, the Real Clear Politics Poll of Polls finally puts Romney barely ahead. There's still an ancient CNN poll, pre-debate, pulling Obama up a bit.

digg this
posted by Ace at 03:17 PM

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