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  1. 05 Nov '12 15:24
    From Business Insider:

    Unlike almost everyone else who prognosticates about the election, Silver has a highly detailed data-based methodology that averages hundreds of state polls and takes into account factors like economic data.

    But we're in "silly season" now, so every time Silver opens his mouth, the ~45% of the country that is rooting for Romney accuses him of being an idiot, being "in the tank" for Obama, or both.

    This criticism is asinine. Silver is transparent about the way his model works. The model could be wrong, but Silver has always been clear about the way it works. Those who slam Silver clearly just don't like what his data is showing--that Romney is very likely to lose.

    The Silver critics are right about one thing, though:

    If Romney does win, Silver's reputation will take a severe hit.

    Unlike the vast majority of prognosticators and pundits, Silver has the balls to back up his model with his wallet and mouth. For the past couple of weeks, Silver has been extremely outspoken in defending himself, even going so far as to challenge pundit Joe Scarborough to a bet. This vocal defense has garnered huge publicity: Searches for Silver's name on Google have soared.

    What that means is that Silver has, effectively, bet the farm.

    If Obama wins relatively easily, as Silver's model is now predicting, Silver's reputation will become gold-plated, and the traditional pundits who are calling the election a "toss-up" will look like clueless mealy-mouthed wimps.

    If Romney wins, however, Silver's reputation will go "poof."


    And that's the way it should be.

    > > > http://www.businessinsider.com/yes-nate-silver-is-betting-the-farm-2012-11 [My bolds.]

    And: http://www.businessinsider.com/nate-silver-on-who-political-pundits-who-are-mostly-entertainers-2012-11:

    “My argument, rather, is this: we’ve about reached the point where if Mr. Romney wins, it can only be because the polls have been biased against him. Almost all of the chance that Mr. Romney has in the FiveThirtyEight forecast, about 16 percent to win the Electoral College, reflects this possibility.

    Yes, of course: most of the arguments that the polls are necessarily biased against Mr. Romney reflect little more than wishful thinking.

    Nevertheless, these arguments are potentially more intellectually coherent than the ones that propose that the race is “too close to call.” It isn’t. If the state polls are right, then Mr. Obama will win the Electoral College. If you can’t acknowledge that after a day when Mr. Obama leads 19 out of 20 swing-state polls, then you should abandon the pretense that your goal is to inform rather than entertain the public.”

    Update: Silver now has Obama odds at 86%. http://www.businessinsider.com/whos-winning-the-presidential-race-2012-11

    __________________________________________________

    For those who actually follow Cramer: http://www.businessinsider.com/jim-cramer-explains-why-hes-calling-a-blowout-for-obama-2012-11
  2. 05 Nov '12 15:44
    Originally posted by vistesd
    From Business Insider:

    Unlike almost everyone else who prognosticates about the election, Silver has a highly detailed data-based methodology that averages hundreds of state polls and takes into account factors like economic data.

    But we're in "silly season" now, so every time Silver opens his mouth, the ~45% of the country that is rooting for R ...[text shortened]... inessinsider.com/jim-cramer-explains-why-hes-calling-a-blowout-for-obama-2012-11
    I don't really agree with this article, in particular the following lines.

    "If Obama wins relatively easily, as Silver's model is now predicting, Silver's reputation will become gold-plated, and the traditional pundits who are calling the election a "toss-up" will look like clueless mealy-mouthed wimps.

    If Romney wins, however, Silver's reputation will go "poof."

    And that's the way it should be. "

    I don't think there is any election result that would justify either of those two results. If Romney wins, does that automatically mean that Silver's model is bunk ? No, because that model still says that there is a non-negligible chance Romney will win. If Obama wins, does that mean that Silver's model should be seen as holy writ ? No, because maybe it really is a toss-up election and Obama winning would be pure chance, or maybe Obama actually has 99% chance at the moment and Silver is underestimating that. This is about statistics, and it is nearly impossible to tell if a statistical model if any good just by looking at the a handful of predictions it makes.

    (Arguments can be made that Silver's model is validated by the state predictions last time round, which were (significantly (?), too lazy to actually test that) better than random guesses, even if only looking at the battleground states.)
  3. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    05 Nov '12 15:46 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by vistesd
    From Business Insider:

    Unlike almost everyone else who prognosticates about the election, Silver has a highly detailed data-based methodology that averages hundreds of state polls and takes into account factors like economic data.

    But we're in "silly season" now, so every time Silver opens his mouth, the ~45% of the country that is rooting for R inessinsider.com/jim-cramer-explains-why-hes-calling-a-blowout-for-obama-2012-11
    I have little doubt that Silver is sincere and I tend to agree with his model, though I think 86% is a little high since election predicting is such an inexact science and there's so small a sample size of past events. There are many factors in his model, such as economic indicators, that are extremely difficult to link causally with election results.

    Still, while Silver is personally a liberal, I have no illusion whatsoever that any liberal bias is built into his model
  4. 05 Nov '12 17:12
    Polls can be reasonably accurate provided the methodology is sound and the sample size large enough, but there are always factors that cannot be measured accurately in a poll. For one, people might change their mind from the day of the opinion poll to election day, even when the two are very close. There are always some people who decide in the voting booth, and there are plenty of factors that might end up affecting the election result, from mundane things such as weather events and untimely gaffes from presidential hopefuls to stock market crashes and terrorist attacks. Saying Obama has an "86% chance" of winning reminds me of predictions of economic growth 2 years from now that are usually precise to 0.1% but often tend to be off by more than 1 percentpoint. The best an opinion poll could do is say Obama has a small edge and that Texas is probably going to go to the GOP.
  5. 05 Nov '12 17:26
    Originally posted by Barts
    I don't really agree with this article, in particular the following lines.

    "If Obama wins relatively easily, as Silver's model is now predicting, Silver's reputation will become gold-plated, and the traditional pundits who are calling the election a "toss-up" will look like clueless mealy-mouthed wimps.

    If Romney wins, however, Silver's reputation will g ...[text shortened]... at) better than random guesses, even if only looking at the battleground states.)
    I agree with you on the “that’s the way it should be” part; but I suspect that they have it right in terms of the impact on Silver’s “luster”—perceptions matter.
  6. 05 Nov '12 18:22 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by vistesd
    From Business Insider:

    Unlike almost everyone else who prognosticates about the election, Silver has a highly detailed data-based methodology that averages hundreds of state polls and takes into account factors like economic data.

    But we're in "silly season" now, so every time Silver opens his mouth, the ~45% of the country that is rooting for R inessinsider.com/jim-cramer-explains-why-hes-calling-a-blowout-for-obama-2012-11
    I agree. He's staking a lot of his reputation on this - because if he's right, a slew of talking heads are going to look like idiots, especially with quotes like this:

    "If you can't acknowledge that the President is winning the race when Mr. Obama leads 19 out of 20 swingstate polls, then you should abandon the pretense that your goal is to inform rather than entertain the public."

    Give him credit for guts to be strutting before the eggs are counted!
  7. 06 Nov '12 03:50
    Silver has doubled down and upped his percentage for an Obama win to 92.2 - flipping Florida into "leans Obama" for the first time in weeks, maybe months.

    There are so many pundits pissed off at him. Not because they support Romney necessarily, but because they don't want to be swept aside by regression analysis.

    This Onion piece might have more relevance after tomorrow!

    http://www.theonion.com/articles/new-york-times-bully-knocks-stack-of-polls-from-na,30218/?utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=SocialMarketing&utm_campaign=standard-post:headline:default
  8. 07 Nov '12 07:53 / 1 edit
    Looks like Nate Silver won in this election. By the way, I am shocked that Fox News pundits including Dick Morris were so wrong.
  9. Subscriber kmax87
    You've got Kevin
    07 Nov '12 08:07 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    Polls can be reasonably accurate provided the methodology is sound....
    Having called the last few elections pretty accurately, would'nt you say that Silver has a pretty good handle on what to include in his model?

    For everyargument that says "people make their minds up in the booth....yadda yadda' surely that works both ways to become statistically insignifiact over all the people who are sampled in these polls?
  10. 07 Nov '12 09:45
    Nate Silver is walking on water right now. And the pundits hate his guts.
  11. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    07 Nov '12 12:56 / 1 edit
    Silver essentially hit the entire election nail on the head.

    The one small miss he made was that his model gave Ohio an almost 50% chance to be the tipping point (a pretty big favorite against any other individual state). It turns our that either VA or CO will be the tipping point state, depending on the final ballot counts in those state (whichever one is closer will be the tipping point); though those were the 2nd and 3rd most likely tipping point states in Silver's model. As is happens, Obama could have lost FL and OH and still won the election.
  12. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    07 Nov '12 12:58 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by kmax87
    Having called the last few elections pretty accurately, would'nt you say that Silver has a pretty good handle on what to include in his model?

    For everyargument that says "people make their minds up in the booth....yadda yadda' surely that works both ways to become statistically insignifiact over all the people who are sampled in these polls?
    Once again, the pre-election polls turn out to be deadly accurate is all key races.

    The idea that polls are skewed or unreliable takes another brutal beating.

    The accuracy of polls does take a little out of the excitement though. It's as though you could poll the results of a big football game before kickoff.
  13. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    07 Nov '12 13:02
    Originally posted by Kunsoo
    Silver has doubled down and upped his percentage for an Obama win to 92.2 - flipping Florida into "leans Obama" for the first time in weeks, maybe months.

    There are so many pundits pissed off at him. Not because they support Romney necessarily, but because they don't want to be swept aside by regression analysis.

    This Onion piece might have more releva ...[text shortened]... 18/?utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=SocialMarketing&utm_campaign=standard-post:headline:default
    LOL!

    Gotta love Nate.

    A true nerd's nerd.
  14. 07 Nov '12 19:40
    This is funny!

    http://www.facebook.com/eric.v.kirk/posts/364089000352795?ref=notif&notif_t=like#!/photo.php?fbid=485326411501300&set=a.264248670275743.69392.259536274080316&type=1&theater
  15. 07 Nov '12 20:35
    Originally posted by Kunsoo to vistesd about Nate Silver
    I agree. He's staking a lot of his reputation on this - because if he's right, a slew of talking heads are going to look like idiots, especially with quotes like this:

    "If you can't acknowledge that the President is winning the race when Mr. Obama leads 19 out of 20 swingstate polls, then you should abandon the pretense tha ...[text shortened]... n the public."

    Give him credit for guts to be strutting before the eggs are counted!
    I expect those right-wing American 'talking heads' to do what they usually have
    done after they have been exposed as completely wrong--evade, deny, and lie.
    They should be 'successful' at doing that because they have so much experience.