But what’s the use of looking if you don’t know what they mean?

I’m not normally a fan of any kind of “nerd humor”, but xkcd nailed the election.

This twitter exchange sums a lot up too.

The thing is this: conservative establishment pundits don’t reject numbers per se, they quote them and try to use them to prove their moderate Burkean points, but they don’t know how to interpet them. It’s either Republicans dominating in early Colorado voting (Sam Wang debunks that here) or POLLS ARE SKEWED or all I can tell is the election will be close and anyone who says otherwise lacks Hayekian modesty.

These innumerate assholes got the election completely fucking wrong. Why should anyone believe them about anything else ever? Why should anyone believe these clowns understand unemployment rates or multipliers or interest rates when they don’t even understand standard deviations or how to take an average of a list of numbers?

Update. Simply amazingly idiotic, doesn’t even require understanding how to average numbers.


In 2008, exit polls showed a Dem +8 party id advantage in Ohio. In 2012, it was Dem +7. Screaming about a poll that predicted +9 is beyond idiotic.

219 replies
  1. 1
    comrade scott's agenda of rage says:

    Why should anyone believe them about anything else ever?

    Because SHUT UP!, that’s why.

    They’re our betters and don’t you forget it.

    And print outlets like the Kaplan Test Prep Daily wonder why they’re dieing and nobody would ever pay for their online content.

    Oh, and I love the fact that one of the worst pollsters this time around was NPR.

  2. 2
    RaflW says:

    A number of us made a related argument in Minnesota. The state GOP here was $2,000,000 in the hole earlier this year, and had been sued for non-payment on their office lease.

    And yet. They wanted to be trusted with the next biennial state budget? Are you freakin kidding me?

    ETA: In case you missed it, they lost big here. And they don’t know why!

  3. 3
    Mark S. says:

    I don’t think Nate Silver would hire someone as stupid as Charles Lane.

  4. 4
    dr. bloor says:

    Access, baby, they gots access.

    BTW, why the hell does Chuck Lane think Nate would have any interest in hiring him? Is he good at making coffee?

  5. 5
    jl says:

    Serious questions on serious issues, DougJ.

    Conpeople need to understand numbers. They need to calculate their overall margin on transactions. The need to calculate probability the con will work.

    One could begin suspect that the current crop of conpeople have lost the grasp of numbers necessary to ply their trade.

    Or, that they are one trick ponies who learned one very powerful con with a very successful history from a few old dear departed masters, but they do not understand how it works. How to change it with changing times.

    I wonder whether Rove has any story at all cooked up for how Obama stole the election by ‘suppressing the vote’? He might need to be able to work a few numbers in public, as opposed to his own math the exists only inside his head, to do that.

  6. 6
    General Stuck says:

    These innumerate assholes got the election completely fucking wrong.

    Maybe that in itself is a big reason we won.

  7. 7
    Ben Grimm says:

    Remember, according to Rove, they use the math, not regular, liberal math. It works completely differently, depending on how hard you believe in it.

  8. 8
    dr. bloor says:

    @comrade scott’s agenda of rage:

    Oh, and I love the fact that one of the worst pollsters this time around was NPR.

    Why spend money on getting good polling when you have a commentariat like theirs interpreting the numbers?

  9. 9
    markus o'farkus says:

    Whew. Wouldn’t want anyone to get the idea you like nerd humor.

  10. 10
    Beth says:

    Or climate change.

    There’s a world of ignorance packed into that particular wingnut ‘understanding’ of science and statistics.

  11. 11
    Calouste says:

    The GOS reports that Romney has conceded Florida.

  12. 12
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    @jl: One could begin suspect that the current crop of conpeople have lost the grasp of numbers necessary to ply their trade.

    I suspect this is so, and they lost it by borrowing the clap-louder blind faith of the religious nut wing of the Party.

  13. 13
    Mark S. says:

    The media also thought the Ryan budget was a serious proposal. That’s how fucking stupid they are.

  14. 14
    aimai says:

    Its hard to get a man…when his salary depends on it…etc..etc…etc…

    Your error is in assuming that they are interested in the facts. Basically, the facts of the election were a meteor aimed at their farm and their main object was to SELL THE FUCKING FARM before the plot of land became worthless. In other words: the entire of the forecasting and polling business is not to inform and discern, but to bewilder and confuse. Its run on the same principles as stock buying and selling–the “next fool” principle. They were trying to unload their stock in Romney to the next fool who would buy it.

    What the Romney people’s excuse was is slightly different. Perhaps there were some competent people in that organization who, for the sake of argument, may also have wanted Romney to win. But truthtelling is not recommneded in hierarchical and authoritarian organizations because it may make the person directly above you look bad. You aren’t engaged in an all consuming project so much as you are balkanized into little fiefdoms each with their main object to look good. End result: even if you knew that things were going badly because of faulty interpretations of polling, or bad polling itself, you have either no voice or no incentive to push for a better deployment of forces.

    aimai

  15. 15
    Jay in Oregon says:

    @Ben Grimm:
    The way the math works, apparently, is:

    $398 million + Crossroads GPS = 0 electoral victories

    Can someone double-check that for me?

  16. 16
    some other guy says:

    These innumerate assholes got the election completely fucking wrong. Why should anyone believe them about anything else ever?

    I dunno. It still amazes me that most of these pundits are employed after they got Iraq so disastrously wrong.

    Remember Iraq? That war that was sold on false pretenses which killed or crippled tens of thousands of American service men and women and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis? That war we spent around $1 trillion on so that a democratic Iraq could vote into office a pro-Iranian government?

    Well, apparently the American people don’t remember it. They’re still tuning in to hear the sage wisdom of the village elders by the tens of millions. Something tells me that being completely wrong about the election won’t make a difference.

    Thank God the people knew enough to reject the Rape-ublican Party this week, but hoping for a day of reckoning in the media is a bridge to far for this cynic.

  17. 17
    dmsilev says:

    @Jay in Oregon: You forgot to carry the three. The net result is actually ‘a shit-ton of schadenfreude’.

  18. 18
    thatguy says:

    Has Drunk Nate Silver been mentioned yet here? Incredible.

    Drunk Nate Silver stumbles through traffic on the Jersey Turnpike, screaming out what time each driver will get home.

    Drunk Nate Silver texts you at 200am that says “Its 932am.” And thats when you read it

  19. 19
    MikeJ says:

    Why should anyone believe them about anything else ever?

    Because they’ll complain that things are biased if you refuse to listen to incompetent people.

  20. 20
    jl says:

    @Xecky Gilchrist:

    Ever since the Nixon years, some liberals and progressives fall prey to complete panic that everything anything that happens, or could conceivably happen, would be the result of a dire plot. Anything one could do, or conceivably do, carries too much risk of falling into a fatal trap, which will destroy anything good, and all progress, forever. So best thing to do is curl up into a ball and lie in a corner twitching in panic and dread.

    Was too young to follow machinations of Nixon Atwater and company in real time, but probably they understood numbers and ‘thinking’ in general to effectively plot and set traps.

    But recently, seems to me a lot of predictions about what fell devices are being set out by reactionaries have not panned out. And all the liberal galloping fantods end up being just wasted energy.

    So no evidence of plot by GOP governors to steal election in states with sketchy electronic voting (hello, Cole, the inciter and victim of unreasoning fear as soon as the clock strikes twelve). And no evidence that an effective organized plan by the GOP to discredit the election is all prepared, warmed up, and ready to dish out. Just Rove, who has already melted down on national Fox News TV sayin’ stuff.

    Note: edited in attempt to achieve coherent syntax.

  21. 21
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    @dr. bloor:

    Mara Liasson cannot fail, she can only be failed.

  22. 22
    Violet says:

    Time for a pundit tax. Bet on your prediction or STFU.

  23. 23
    rlrr says:

    @Calouste:

    “Just like Al Gore should have, because the two situations are identical.”
    — wingnut talking point

  24. 24
    butler says:

    Why should anyone believe them about anything else ever?

    When did we ever believe them?

    Sadly, I don’t think any of them will be missing any paychecks soon. They’ve been wrong so many times and yet there’s never been any professional consequences.

  25. 25
    Turgidson says:

    Why should anyone believe them about anything else ever?

    We shouldn’t. But that doesn’t mean they’re going away. If being so unbelievably, frighteningly wrong about Iraq didn’t teach them anything or cost any of them their jobs, nothing will.

  26. 26
    RP says:

    The thing is this: conservative establishment pundits don’t reject numbers per se, they quote them and try to use them to prove their moderate Burkean points, but they don’t know how to interpet them.

    Silver and other stat guys have encountered the same issue in baseball circles. Older sportswriters will often complain about the nerds ruining the game with their fancy stats, but they’re happy to point to more established stats when it suits their purposes. And of course they often don’t know how to interpret those stats.

    The AL MVP race is a perfect example: Stat people argue that Mike Trout should be MVP for various reasons. Sportswriters say, “You can’t reduce everything to stats! THey don’t tell the whole story. Cabrera should be MVP because he won the triple crown and led the league in BA, RBIs, and HR!” The stats they like trump the stats they don’t like and don’t understand.

  27. 27
    Jay in Oregon says:

    Deep thought:

    If Charles Lane, Krauthammer, Scarborough, and their kind were Wall Street traders and they blew a call that badly, their desks would have been empty and their stuff would be in boxes when they came into work Wednesday morning.

  28. 28
    DPS says:

    There is an obvious explanation for all of this. Pollsters and Nate Silver skewed the polls in order to demoralize Republicans and suppress their turnout, and it worked. WIthout Nate Silver, Republicans would have won.

  29. 29
    Hill Dweller says:

    @Calouste:

    The GOS reports that Romney has conceded Florida.

    If true, it’s the most hollow concession ever. They knew the votes weren’t there Tuesday night, but had to be dicks about it.

  30. 30
    trollhattan says:

    @Shawn in ShowMe:
    On ATC yesterday they interviewed a Gallup guy who was in a snit that “all Silver does is aggregate others’ poll results” and, ya know, wasn’t doing the hard work. He went on to speculate that maybe THEY would just stop doing polls and aggregate, and after that maybe one by one, EVERYBODY would stop doing polls.

    Basically, “Nice little racket you got there, Silver, be a shame if something happened to it.”

    I was a little…surprised at the tone.

  31. 31
    rlrr says:

    @Hill Dweller:

    Especially considering FL was irrelevant….

  32. 32
    Anya says:

    Charles Lane is a major tool. I bet if Peter Sarsgaard had to play that role, he wouldn’t be such a sympathetic character.

  33. 33
    Felonius Monk says:

    @dmsilev:

    The net result is actually ‘a shit-ton of schadenfreude’.

    Is that a metric shit-ton or short shit-ton or a long shit-tonne? Please be specific — it’s a nerd thing.

  34. 34
    rlrr says:

    @trollhattan:

    But Silver figured out the correct way to weight the different polls, he also factors in other data.

  35. 35
    Suffern ACE says:

    @some other guy: well I could give them a pass on that. Iraq was foreign policy, and foreign analysis was not their specialty. Turns out that domestic analysis isn’t their cup of tea either. What they’re around for is to clarify those issues that are neither foreign, nor domestic.

  36. 36
    Roger Moore says:

    The thing is this: conservative establishment pundits don’t reject numbers per se, they quote them and try to use them to prove their moderate Burkean points, but they don’t know how to interpet them.

    The standard line is that they use numbers like a drunk uses a lamppost: for support, not illumination. They look for numbers that say what they want and ignore numbers that disagree with what they want to believe. They certainly won’t change their opinion because of numbers that give them a message they don’t want to hear.

  37. 37
    Mark S. says:

    @DPS:

    That actually is as plausible as Chris Christie costing Mitt the election.

  38. 38
    The Moar You Know says:

    Illiteracy is rare. Innumeracy is the rule.

  39. 39
    shep says:

    …they quote them and try to use them to prove their moderate Burkean points…

    The old adage goes something like: they use numbers the way a drunk uses a lamp post; to support rather than to illuminate.

  40. 40
    huckster says:

    Because admitting the obvious would have depressed their turnout. same thing happened in 2006. The whole game, it seems to me was riding on the hope that the President would win a much narrower electoral college margin, and also lose the popular vote. the con still works then because you can simply delegitimize the victory. I guess it just never occurred to FOX viewers that if you try to dis-enfranchise voters, it might make them more determined to vote, or you might have a serious gender gap if you have guys like Akin and Mourdock popping off about rape, or you might make Latinos more apt to turn out if you spent 22 debates demonizing them. For FOX, Rove etc it’s all about massaging the con, for the viewers that lap that stuff up its about denial.

  41. 41
    tulip says:

    @Calouste:

    So 332 Obama, 206 Romney

    So Dick Morris was correct.

    LANDSLIDE!

  42. 42
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    @Hill Dweller:

    Florida election officials said they will have the final ballot results on Friday. They finished counting Miami-Dade earlier today and are in the process of reviewing provisional ballots. There usually are only a few hundred of those so it’s just a formality.

  43. 43

    @Ben Grimm:

    Someone on MJ said this morning (I think it was Heilman) the Obama team said to him “we’ve got math, they’ve got myth”.

    In other news guess who got the most ROI out of their campaign spending? Planned Parenthood baby!

    Sunlight Foundation says Planned Parenthood got best ROI in election: 97% of spending went to their desired outcome. http://bit.ly/Uc0WLi

  44. 44
    Comrade Jake says:

    Speaking of conservative pundits, take a look at Coulter’s “analysis”. The comment section is like a trip to an alternate universe.

  45. 45
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    @trollhattan:

    So now the pollsters are going Galt? They’re going to need a bigger mountain.

  46. 46
    El Cid says:

    They don’t need your “statistical analysis” — they got a system, and they know which horses to bet on if you’ll just front ’em a bit so they can place these bets, ’cause, winning is a sure thing.

  47. 47
    The Moar You Know says:

    The GOS reports that Romney has conceded Florida.

    @Calouste: Good but “overcome by events”, as they say. When’s that fucker Allen West going to get hauled out of his office by the marshals so the new guy can move in?

  48. 48

    @tulip: He took the math and took it down.
    He built a mountain of crap and then turned around
    And he saw his reflection in his gold plated HumVee
    Until the landslide brought him down.

  49. 49
    trollhattan says:

    @rlrr:
    Admittedly I was multitasking and not listening closely, but this guy was NOT pleased by the comparison nor having to defend their wobbly numbers.

    Bills to pay, and all, I suppose.

    The Onion piece on Silver being harrassed by the NY Times bully may be closer to reality than we think before this election’s dust settles. The louder they shout, the better you know you’re doing it right.

  50. 50
    Mark S. says:

    @Comrade Jake:

    Woah, I’m not getting out of the boat.

  51. 51

    But the msm is almost as epistemically closed as the GOP. “The truth is in the middle… the problem is the extremists on both sides… Austerity is the wisdom of centrism,” etc.

    So, alas, you can’t see those pictures in any magazine.

  52. 52
    trollhattan says:

    @Mark S.:
    Methinks Taco’s working a couple nyms at present.

    However, “All must kneel before Zilver.”

  53. 53
    Violet says:

    @Turgidson: Disagree about Iraq. What makes this different is nate silver was proving them wrong in real time and he finished with a big fat fuck you. Everyone could see he was right and pundits were wrong. With Iraq it was more speculation and told you so’s later.

  54. 54
    Face says:

    DKos is reporting that Romney just conceded FL. Here’s my question: Does FL have to continue to count them now, and if they end less than 0.5% diff, must Florida do a recount (as per state law), if one candidate has conceded?

    Edit: Looks like I”m way behind on this

  55. 55
    rlrr says:

    @trollhattan:

    Also, Silver isn’t simply using aggregating polls. The polls provide input data for his computer model(s). When he wrote Obama had a 90% chance of winning, it meant Obama won 90% of Silver’s simulated elections.

  56. 56
    John says:

    I love Lane acting as though it was just self-evident that a D+9 in Ohio was totally implausible. Actual Party ID in Ohio, according to exit poll: D+7.

  57. 57
    Chyron HR says:

    @Jay in Oregon:

    That’s unfair. Those millions in UNLIMITED CORPORATE CASH are what let Romney flip Indiana and North Carolina.

  58. 58
    Soylent Green is FReepers says:

    @Jay in Oregon: possibly, or possibly the taxpayers would cut their companies some big checks and then Lane, Krauthammer and Scarborough would get six figure bonuses because, you know, too pigheaded to fail.

  59. 59
    Trakker says:

    This is from Conservapedia’s home page:

    “Experienced GOP consultants are baffled by Mitt Romney’s loss,[5] but Conservapedia explained the problem weeks before Election Day: massive early voting, which Dems exploit to an outrageous extreme.”

    We beat Romney because we cast our ballots earlier than Republicans! Really?

  60. 60
    FormerSwingVoter says:

    #natesilverfacts is a thing on twitter, along with the previously mentioned #drunknatesilver

    Nate Silver wasn’t born, the probability of his existence just increased #natesilverfacts

  61. 61
    trollhattan says:

    Drezner, via Benen: Obama had the foreign policy advantage. Which, while a “no duh” conclusion from the thinking set, is a turnabout for how the parties are generally perceived.

    Only five percent of respondents thought that foreign policy was the most critical issue in this campaign — but of those five percent, voters went for Obama over Romney by 56% to 33%. Voters were also more likely to trust Barack Obama in an international crisis (57%-42%) than Mitt Romney (50%-46%).
    __
    This is the first exit poll in at least three decades where the Democrat has outperformed the Republican on foreign policy and national security. And I guarantee that whoever runs from the GOP side in 2016 will not have a ton of foreign policy experience. The GOP has managed to squander an advantage in perceived foreign policy competency that it had owned for decades.

  62. 62
    John says:

    @rlrr:

    I don’t think it’s at all obvious that Silver’s model added any value over a much simpler average of all the polls. Blumenthal at Huffington Post, so far as I can tell, just does a very simple average of all the available public polls, not only got all 51 states right (just like Silver), he also got all the Senate races correct, unlike Silver, who missed North Dakota and Montana.

    To be fair, North Dakota was very close in the polls, and depending on how you did your average, either one could have been ahead. But in Montana the polling averages clearly showed Tester ahead, which Silver’s model ignored because its assessment of “state fundamentals” showed that Rehberg should win.

    So, basically, we may be better off just using polling averages rather than Silver’s more complicated model.

  63. 63
    blingee says:

    Math makes their brain hurt. The bible has all the answers they need.

    In ancient times that would have worked for them…in modern times it makes them all sociopaths.

  64. 64
    Anoniminous says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    Illiteracy is rare.

    You obviously don’t read Red State.

  65. 65
    Felonius Monk says:

    @trollhattan: Not too surprising. Kos does an interesting analysis of the polling today and gives Gallup a little heat, although they are not the worst by far. But he kind of hints that they are resting on their reputation from the past and kind of phoned it in this time.

  66. 66
    Carla H. says:

    To paraphrase a quote I saw today:
    The pundits wouldn’t know a standard deviation from a standard poodle.

  67. 67
    Anya says:

    It’s been more than 24hrs since Obama’s re-election. How would I know when America will be destroyed? What are the signs? I am yet to see FEMA camps in my neighborhood?

  68. 68
    DPS says:

    via GOS, this is the kind of thing I’ve been looking for.

  69. 69
    srv says:

    Romney “shellshocked” by loss:

    After Ohio went for Mr. Obama, it was over, but senior advisers say no one could process it.
    __
    “We went into the evening confident we had a good path to victory,” said one senior adviser. “I don’t think there was one person who saw this coming.”

    NO ONE COULD HAVE FORESEEN

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-25.....d-by-loss/

    If Nate is right, then Nate must be a DFH. Why are you not punching him?

  70. 70
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    @Face:

    DKos is reporting that Romney just conceded FL. Here’s my question: Does FL have to continue to count them now

    Yes. All votes need to be counted in any election.

    they end less than 0.5% diff, must Florida do a recount (as per state law), if one candidate has conceded

    The recount of paper ballots is automatic once you’re within the 0.5% threshold. If he’s conceding, it’s because the final margin isn’t that close.

  71. 71
    Craigo says:

    Contrarianism alert!

    Nate made two mistakes, which he will fix, I have no doubt.

    1. He weighted according to sample size. Now all other things being equal, that’s a good idea. But not all other things are equal. The worst pollster, Gallup, also consistently had the largest sample sizes. It’s the accuracy versus precision problem: It does you absolutely no good to have perfect aim and hit the same spot repeatedly if that spot is twelve inches to the right of the bullseye.

    2. He used econometric variables and, in some cases, allowed them to trump actual public opinion data. Besides overfitting, which is a technical problem I won’t get into, econometric data is basically useless late in the game because public opinion data has already priced it in. People already know what they think of the economy, you don’t need to double-count it. But Nate did, and ended up whiffing on North Dakota and Montana when the polls had it right.

    All in all, minor issues that he will fix.

  72. 72
    Enhanced Mooching Techniques says:

    @dr. bloor:

    Oh, and I love the fact that one of the worst pollsters this time around was NPR.

    Those rat bastards had my girlfriend utterly terrified of a Romney win. Took me a week of links to Silvermen and Wang to calm her down from that Toot Bagger “all sides are right” bullshit.

    So open minded they’ve turned into tools for the other side.

  73. 73
    NotMax says:

    How’d that work out for ya, Karl? From the land of “permanent republican majority:”

    In late April, Rove’s electoral map had forecast an Obama victory, but in his May 24 Wall Street Journal column, “Romney’s Roads to the White House,” Rove took another look at what might happen on the first Tuesday in November.
    ___
    Mapping out a “3-2-1” strategy for Romney, Rove itemized what was necessary for Romney to win. All he had to do was take three states—Indiana, North Carolina, and Virginia—that John McCain had narrowly lost in 2008; recapture two big battleground states that Bush had won in 2004, Florida and Ohio; and, finally, win one, just one, additional state in the union, anywhere. It was more than just possible, Rove concluded. Now it was probable.… Source

    The Sun is sunnier, the sky bluer, the birds chirpier again today.

    Because ‘an empty vessel makes the most noise’ is still a truism.

    Because the Power Point Presidency has left the building.

    Because the attempted hostile takeover of the United States of America has been thwarted.

  74. 74
    rlrr says:

    @Enhanced Mooching Techniques:

    My wife and kids were freaking out because Romney was leading in the EC early in the evening, I had to keep reminding them the same was true in 2008.

  75. 75
    Chris says:

    Why should anyone believe them about anything else ever?

    Because they want to.

  76. 76
    Brachiator says:

    These innumerate assholes got the election completely fucking wrong. Why should anyone believe them about anything else ever?

    Here’s a better question. Conservatives who are convinced that Fox News delivers the unvarnished truth got to watch Karl Rove’s hissyfit Wizard of Oz moment. The curtain was pulled back, and Fox’s own number crunchers exploded the myth that Nate Silver was at the head of the Liberal Numerical Conspiracy in which overcooked numbers were lying about Obama.

    So now, wingnuts are confronted with the ugly truth that Fox holds them in as much contempt as does Mitt Romney himself. Fox Pundits, experts, analysts and anchors are little more than hired Murdoch lackeys, there to push bullshit like any cheap carnival barker.

    This has got to induce a come to Jebus, John Cole-like, crisis of faith in a least a few wingnuts. Will the 27% be whittled down to 26%?

    And what lame excuse will Fox offer to their loyal viewers as their version of “who ya gonna believe, me or your lying eyes?” Maybe something like Keith and the Xpensive Winos

    Take It So Hard

    People so pitiful,
    They never come through,
    Honey, honey, honey, I ain’t that way…
    You shouldn’t take it so hard,
    You shouldn’t take it so hard.

  77. 77
    trollhattan says:

    @Anya:
    More to the point: how are ammo sales?

  78. 78
    Raven says:

    @trollhattan: They are in full throated panic about UN Gun Control

  79. 79
    kay says:

    @Trakker:

    It’s hysterical. Republicans don’t “exploit” early voting. It’s not that organizing around early voting is hard, grinding unglamorous work, mind you. They COULD do it, but for the exploitation. They CHOOSE not to do all that work.

  80. 80
    trollhattan says:

    @Raven:
    I lurves me some Wayne LaPierre. He’s been on about the president holding off his frealz agenda until Reich #II, and now here ’tis in all its ACORN-swathed glory.

  81. 81
    DPS says:

    @srv:

    That is an amazing link. Here’s the most shocking part, to me:

    [the Romney campaign] believed the public/media polls were skewed – they thought those polls oversampled Democrats and didn’t reflect Republican enthusiasm. They based their own internal polls on turnout levels more favorable to Romney. That was a grave miscalculation, as they would see on election night.

    So, basically, the Romney campaign was thinking exactly what the unskewedpolls.com guy was. A presidential campaign was “unskewing” the polls and actually believing what they came up with.

  82. 82
    NotMax says:

    Horsey hits a homer.

    …Republican candidates, campaign gurus and the conservative pundits who tout their causes have developed a habit of making up comforting memes disconnected with facts. They may see this as a way to shift reality – if you say something often enough, some people will, indeed, come to believe it – but, ultimately, if you play make-believe too much, sooner or later it catches up with you.
    __
    It caught up with the GOP on election night. As the first Republican president, Abraham Lincoln, said: “You can fool some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.”
    [snip]
    Democrats do not have the only good ideas or all the brains in American politics, but in 2012, they had a far better grasp of reality.  Source

  83. 83
    jwb says:

    @Shawn in ShowMe: I’ve failed to give NPR a donation ever since Liasson became prominent in their political reporting.

  84. 84
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    The bottom line is that these clowns are ideologues first, PR agents second, shills third, hacks fourth, and journalists dead last.

  85. 85
    Chris says:

    @srv:

    I’m still shell-shocked by the fact that they simply chose to blind themselves to the problem by sheer faith. I still can’t understand what it is that makes people end up that deluded/fucked in the head.

  86. 86
    Felonius Monk says:

    @trollhattan: Sorry I omitted the link: The 2012 polling hall of shame

  87. 87
    rlrr says:

    @DPS:

    Resulting in poor allocation of resources. Some businessman, that Romney…

  88. 88
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    This election cycle demonstrates the folly of the operational paradigm of the GOP: if the theory cannot be supported by the facts, the facts must be disposed of.

  89. 89
    Tony J says:

    @Mark S.:

    You should, it’s very, very funny. I particularly liked the lone Liberal who pops up to congratulate Coulter’s feuding commentators on the taste of their copious tears.

  90. 90
    japa21 says:

    @rlrr: My wife was the same way and leading up to the election she stopped watching the news because they kept talking about how the polls showed a tie or Romney lead. She kept asking me if we were going to have to move. Even several trips to Silver and Wang did not dissipate her anxiety. She finally stopped watching the returns until I came in and said they had called Ohio for Obama and it was basically over.

  91. 91
    burnspbesq says:

    Here’s the thing, though.

    We consistently piss and moan about the media focusing on the “horse-race” aspects of the campaign to the exclusion of substantive discussion of issues.

    But what is Silver Wang doing, other than applying more rigorous empirical tools to the horse-race?

  92. 92
    japa21 says:

    @burnspbesq: Except if you read Wang and Silver, it was never really a horse race.

  93. 93
    Mandalay says:

    @trollhattan:

    On ATC yesterday they interviewed a Gallup guy who was in a snit that “all Silver does is aggregate others’ poll results” and, ya know, wasn’t doing the hard work.

    He was probably in a snit because Gallup had the worst predictions of all the polling organizations, and Silver pointed that out.

    There is nice dissection on why Gallup screwed up so badly here

    http://themonkeycage.org/blog/.....-the-herd/

  94. 94

    This piece is pretty damning, the Romney was “shellshocked” when he realized he had lost, because they believed their own bullshit.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-25.....8;tag=page

    Apparently Anne cried, bless her heart, how could they lose, after all it was their turn. My heart pumps purple piss for her.

  95. 95
    Enhanced Mooching Techniques says:

    @trollhattan: If Gallop of the worse than Rassum stopped polling that would be no great loss.

  96. 96
    Metrosexual Manichean Monster DougJ says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Elections are horse races. But the media shouldn’t lie about how close the are.

  97. 97
    Craigo says:

    @burnspbesq: If media coverage of horse race had resembled that of Silver, Wang, Linzer, et al, it would have gone something like this.

    Obama is winning.

    Obama is winning.

    Obama is winning.

    Obama is winning.

    Obama has won.

    The media wasted a lt of time and energy pretending that the horse race was closer than it was, reporting every single poll. And that’s because they’re deathly afraid of talking about issues – they don’t know anything about them, and they (probably correctly) think that they would lead to lower ratings.

  98. 98
    the Conster says:

    @thatguy:

    Drunk Nate Silver has successfully explained the plot of Lost to a group of Alzheimer’s patients.

    As the survivor of a parent who recently died of Alzheimer’s, that’s ridiculously hilarious.

  99. 99
    Craigo says:

    I also resent the idea that more rigorous empiricism is somehow a bad thing.

  100. 100
    Brachiator says:

    @DPS:

    [the Romney campaign] believed the public/media polls were skewed – they thought those polls oversampled Democrats and didn’t reflect Republican enthusiasm.

    If you ain’t Steve Jobs, best not to be fucking with a reality distortion field.

    @burnspbesq:

    But what is Silver Wang doing, other than applying more rigorous empirical tools to the horse-race?

    Nope. I have noted Balloon Juicers and others trying to turn Nate Silver and others into an oracle, as in the nerdy jibe here:

    “In the future we won’t elect presidents. We’ll have a primary, then Nate Silver will go into a spice trance and pick the winner.”

    However (and it’s a big however), quoting Silver only served as an additional spur to many people, to donate, to get out into the field, to help get the vote out.

  101. 101
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    In a just universe, West would be frogged marched out of his office into a cell to await execution as a war criminal.

  102. 102
    Enhanced Mooching Techniques says:

    @Comrade Jake: from you linkl

    Ann the man

    And yet in 2004, President George W. Bush beat John Kerry more handily than Obama edged past Romney this week.

    Are these idiots even capable of basic math?

    284 < 323

  103. 103
    Enhanced Mooching Techniques says:

    @Comrade Jake: from you linkl

    Ann the man

    And yet in 2004, President George W. Bush beat John Kerry more handily than Obama edged past Romney this week.

    Are these idiots even capable of basic math?

    284 < 323

  104. 104
    Calouste says:

    @Hill Dweller: Well, candidates don’t really concede individual states, they concede the election based on results called by the networks.

  105. 105
    Suffern ACE says:

    I do wonder how quickly we will knock silver down when the polls aren’t favorable for a cycle.

  106. 106
    Soylent Green is FReepers says:

    @NotMax: If these people can be caught by surprise by an event that was forecast to be 90% probable, then thank you baby jeebus they won’t be allowed anywhere near our foreign policy.

  107. 107

    Apparently the Romney camp really thought they had this in the bag:

    But it wasn’t until the polls closed that concern turned into alarm. They expected North Carolina to be called early. It wasn’t. They expected Pennsylvania to be up in the air all night; it went early for the President.
    __
    After Ohio went for Mr. Obama, it was over, but senior advisers say no one could process it.
    __
    “We went into the evening confident we had a good path to victory,” said one senior adviser. “I don’t think there was one person who saw this coming.”
    __
    They just couldn’t believe they had been so wrong. And maybe they weren’t: There was Karl Rove on Fox saying Ohio wasn’t settled, so campaign aides decided to wait. They didn’t want to have to withdraw their concession, like Al Gore did in 2000, and they thought maybe the suburbs of Columbus and Cincinnati, which hadn’t been reported, could make a difference.
    __
    But then came Colorado for the president and Florida also was looking tougher than anyone had imagined.
    __
    […]
    __
    Romney was stoic as he talked the president, an aide said, but his wife Ann cried. Running mate Paul Ryan seemed genuinely shocked, the adviser said. Ryan’s wife Janna also was shaken and cried softly.

  108. 108
    Linnaeus says:

    Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think that a concept like standard deviation is actually that simple. Which is not an excuse for people who deal in reporting about polling data not understanding it.

  109. 109
    Surreal American says:

    Mittens can find some cold comfort in the fact that he was the first losing GOP presidential candidate in 20 years to go over 200 electoral votes. Apart from that, in the past 20 years:

    No Republican presidential candidate (winning or losing) has gone over 300 EVs.

    No winning Democratic presidential candidate has received less than 300 EVs.

  110. 110
    gogol's wife says:

    @DPS:

    I LOVE IT! I want to channel that character that Molly Shannon used to do on SNL, where she kicked her leg up in the air and screamed, “I LOVE IT!”

  111. 111
    burnspbesq says:

    @japa21:

    it was never really a horse race.

    A race between two unevenly matched horses is still a horse race.

  112. 112
    Surreal American says:

    Mittens can find some cold comfort in the fact that he was the first losing GOP presidential candidate in 20 years to go over 200 electoral votes. Apart from that, in the past 20 years:

    No Republican presidential candidate (winning or losing) has gone over 300 EVs.

    No winning Democratic presidential candidate has received less than 300 EVs.

  113. 113
    danimal says:

    @Jay in Oregon: You missed a critical part of the equation:

    $398 million-(commission %) + Crossroads GPS = 0 electoral victories

    Watching the GOP and their stunned leadership, I’ve realized that I have been wrong. They are more stupid than evil (though, of course, the two are NOT mutuaully exclusive). I thought they have been cynical and manipulative when arguing economics, but apparently they don’t go any deeper than gut feelings and folk wisdom. Marginal tax rates, Laffer curve, stimulative multipliers…they are all filtered through their gut, not their head.

    It’s like half our national leadership is working hard to pass 10th grade economics so they can stay on the football team. They don’t really care to learn the details, they just want to learn enough terminology to pass the test.

  114. 114
    Linnaeus says:

    Comment got lost, so I’ll try again:

    Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think a concept like standard deviation is really that simple. Which doesn’t excuse people who report on polling data not understanding it.

  115. 115
    jimmiraybob says:

    A lot of people are focusing on the “wildly wrong models” used by the Romney campaign and how so many had somehow come to believe in an odd and alternate reality.

    I’m guessing that the mysterious “somehow” was the Enron Model Gambit. Romney and the boys just ran the Enron Gambit on the country. It may not have “worked” as we are thinking that it should have worked but a lot of people made an awful lot of money that’s probably parked in some interesting undisclosed havens. When the movie’s made about the Romney campaign I’m voting on “Sting III; The Enron Gambit” as a title.

    But then maybe they really were that willfully dumb and things were just an unmitigated cluster frucken and not a brilliant scam.

    [cue suspenseful music]

  116. 116
    rlrr says:

    @Southern Beale:

    [Nelson Muntz]
    HA-HA!
    [/Nelson Muntz]

  117. 117
    burnspbesq says:

    @japa21:

    it was never really a horse race.

    A race between two unevenly matched horses is still a horse race.

  118. 118
    Legalize says:

    Why should anyone believe them about anything else ever?

    Because they’re on television, dummy.

  119. 119
    danimal says:

    @Jay in Oregon: You missed a critical part of the equation:

    $398 million-(commission %) + Crossroads GPS = 0 electoral victories

    Watching the GOP and their stunned leadership, I’ve realized that I have been wrong. They are more stupid than evil (though, of course, the two are NOT mutuaully exclusive). I thought they have been cynical and manipulative when arguing economics, but apparently they don’t go any deeper than gut feelings and folk wisdom. Marginal tax rates, Laffer curve, stimulative multipliers…they are all filtered through their gut, not their head.

    It’s like half our national leadership is working hard to pass 10th grade economics so they can stay on the football team. They don’t really care to learn the details, they just want to learn enough terminology to pass the test.

  120. 120
    jimmiraybob says:

    A lot of people are focusing on the “wildly wrong models” used by the Romney campaign and how so many had somehow come to believe in an odd and alternate reality.

    I’m guessing that the mysterious “somehow” was the Enron Model Gambit. Romney and the boys just ran the Enron Gambit on the country. It may not have “worked” as we are thinking that it should have worked but a lot of people made an awful lot of money that’s probably parked in some interesting undisclosed havens. When the movie’s made about the Romney campaign I’m voting on “Sting III; The Enron Gambit” as a title.

    But then maybe they really were that willfully dumb and things were just an unmitigated cluster frucken and not a brilliant scam.

    [cue suspenseful music]

  121. 121
    Legalize says:

    Why should anyone believe them about anything else ever?

    Because they’re on television, dummy.

  122. 122
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    @Southern Beale: Apparently the Romney camp really thought they had this in the bag:

    Yup, pure corporate-style groupthink.

  123. 123
    redshirt says:

    I’m excited to see how the Repukes spin their way out of this one. So far I’ve only seen Roves “It’s the Dems that suppressed the vote!”

    Any other early talking points being thrown against the wall yet? Fugazi still on Fox news?

  124. 124
    Surreal American says:

    My apologies for the double post

  125. 125
    randiego says:

    @Suffern ACE: Nate replied to a conservative tweet “we need a conservative Nate Silver” that if the polls showed differently he would be the conservative Nate Silver. The numbers were the numbers.

  126. 126
    Dork says:

    Great comment in that CBS story…is Ted Nugent dead or in jail yet?

    WHARZ MAH THEODORE NEWJINT?

  127. 127
    Legalize says:

    Why should anyone believe them about anything else ever?

    Because they’re on television, dummy.

  128. 128
    redshirt says:

    I’m excited to see how the Repukes spin their way out of this one. So far I’ve only seen Roves “It’s the Dems that suppressed the vote!”

    Any other early talking points being thrown against the wall yet? Fugazi still on Fox news?

  129. 129
    👽 Martin says:

    @John: Silver does two other things:

    1. It adds in the economic correlation model based on unemployment, etc.
    2. It factors in the amount of time remaining to allow for changes in the electorate.

    The now cast leaves those two out and are just a poll average.

  130. 130
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    @Southern Beale: Apparently the Romney camp really thought they had this in the bag:

    Yup, pure corporate-style groupthink.

  131. 131
    randiego says:

    @Suffern ACE: Nate replied to a conservative tweet “we need a conservative Nate Silver” that if the polls showed differently he would be the conservative Nate Silver. The numbers were the numbers.

  132. 132
    LanceThruster says:

    These innumerate assholes got the election completely fucking wrong.

    Well, it’s not like they predicted the new Romeny administration would be greeted with sweets and flowers and that the tax cuts would pay for themselves.

    That’s how you get real job security.

  133. 133
    randiego says:

    @Suffern ACE: Nate replied to a conservative tweet “we need a conservative Nate Silver” that if the polls showed differently he would be the conservative Nate Silver. The numbers were the numbers.

  134. 134
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Comrade Jake: I didn’t even need to read as far as the comments to get this gem-
    Romney was the perfect candidate

  135. 135
    redshirt says:

    FYWP. I posted once and did nothing else.

  136. 136
    Soylent Green is FReepers says:

    @Surreal American: I’m pretty sure Reagan got more than 300 EV

  137. 137
  138. 138
    Elie says:

    @aimai:

    You make a great argument — as usual..

    That said, what kind of group think prevents you from seeing human consequences? I know, for example, if I want someone to do something for me, I can’t insult or piss them off. How on earth did they think that they would win with just the narrow white male vote — that they could affort to antagonize not just blacks and Latinos, but women, gays and anyone else not in their core white people group? Using just basic arithmetic, this wouldnt add up! And how could these so called “smart” business types not know in their gut that the message coming out of these folks was not going to be successful!? That they were pushing away the groups that at least to some extent they were going to need to just come up with the bottom line? They did not have enough white folks in this country to make up for all those folks including the evolved whites who were also not going to vote for them.

  139. 139
    LanceThruster says:

    @Xecky Gilchrist:

    Nobody could have predicted that Rethuglican shenanigans could have been failed so completely by the nation.

    If the war is lost, the nation will also perish. This fate is inevitable. There is no necessity to take into consideration the basis which the people will need to continue a most primitive existence. On the contrary, it will be better to destroy things ourselves because this nation will have proved to be the weaker one and the future will belong solely to the stronger eastern nation . Besides, those who remain after the battle are only the inferior ones, for the good ones have been killed. ~ Willard Mitler – “The Rise and Fall of the Thousand Day Reich”

  140. 140
    danimal says:

    FYWP.

    That is all.

  141. 141
    japa21 says:

    @burnspbesq: And a football game between Alabama and my local grade school touch team is still a football game. But the media doesn’t have to report it as an anybody can win event.

  142. 142
    rlrr says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    Romney was the perfect candidate

    I dunno, one would think the perfect candidate would, you know, actually win.

  143. 143
    Surreal American says:

    @Soylent Green is FReepers:

    So did GHWB in 1988. My list was only for the past 20 years.

  144. 144
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @burnspbesq:

    The most exciting horse race I’ve ever seen was the 1973 Belmont Stakes, which was a blowout.

    Best horse race, ever. Secretariat…athlete of the year.

  145. 145
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Southern Beale: it’s bizarre. Although human. Probably the most human thing about that campaign.

    For awhile I thought that in that last few weeks that they were behaving like I was in 2004. There were polls to give them hope. Ignoring the others. There actually was some reason to be optimistic in 2004 and Kerry almost won the electoral college.

    However, reading about Romneys team leads me to believe that they created this “romentum” meme and released it hoping to create romentum, and the started to believe it themselves. It’s like a golden calf.

  146. 146
    Snarki, child of Loki says:

    @Ben Grimm: “Remember, according to Rove, they use the math, not regular, liberal math. It works completely differently, depending on how hard you believe in it.”

    Why *does* the GOP seem to use “Calvin and Hobbes” as a game plan? Calvinball,
    Hobbesian Math , etc.

    Okay, okay, 8 years of Dubya *was* rather like a ride down Suicide Hill on Calvins sled…

  147. 147
    Donut says:

    @John:

    Agree with this. Sam Wang basically looks at averages, too, and he was right on the money, too. I understand all the love liberals are giving Silver, but I found his approach this year kinda over done. He loaded up the model with a bunch of other data, and in the end Wang’s polls-only work was just as good, maybe even fair to say better, as Wang had Heitkamp winning the ND-Sen.

    @Mark S.:

    Exactly!

    I understand and support the urge to mock, but why people in this day and age expect the media to do anything except try to sell advertising is beyond me. They are making themselves more and more irrelevant every election cycle.

  148. 148
    Punchy says:

    “we need a conservative Nate Silver”

    I’m beginning to see the problem. They dont want the truth….they want someone to tell them they’re winning, no matter the facts. I’m pretty sure they already have those in spades.

  149. 149
    Grumpy Code Monkey says:

    @Chris: It’s one thing to say you create your own reality; it’s another thing to actually believe it.

    More from the CBS article:

    1. They misread turnout. They expected it to be between 2004 and 2008 levels, with a plus-2 or plus-3 Democratic electorate, instead of plus-7 as it was in 2008. Their assumptions were wrong on both sides: The president’s base turned out and Romney’s did not. More African-Americans voted in Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina and Florida than in 2008. And fewer Republicans did: Romney got just over 2 million fewer votes than John McCain.

    My question is, why did they expect turnout to be lower than it was? What caused them to think that? Was it more wishful thinking? Their generally low opinion of the intellectual capacities of minorities? Were they expecting voter intimidation/suppression efforts to be more successful?

  150. 150
    Chris says:

    @Surreal American:

    Here’s a question about the popular vote –

    The last time anyone won the popular vote in the 60/40 range (that used to be fairly common) was Reagan. What happened between then and now to cause the gridlock of the last twenty years? I know it’s an open-ended question, but I’m sure someone’s read studies that summarize it…

  151. 151
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    I do wonder how quickly we will knock silver down when the polls aren’t favorable for a cycle.

    We’ll find out when Marco Rubio defeats Cory Booker in the 2020 election. By then the GOP will touting Chinese space exploration as a threat to national security, Rubio will be the biggest supporter of the DREAM Act and his support for Romney will be down the memory hole.

  152. 152
    Mandalay says:

    @burnspbesq:

    A race between two unevenly matched horses is still a horse race.

    You are picking a lawyerly definition to suit your argument.

    Just stop.

  153. 153
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Ah, FYWP. Behaving badly, as usual.

  154. 154
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    @Elie: How on earth did they think that they would win with just the narrow white male vote—that they could affort to antagonize not just blacks and Latinos, but women, gays and anyone else not in their core white people group? Using just basic arithmetic, this wouldnt add up!

    I think I see the problem.

    Remember also this is a team whose standard bearer said Russia was the biggest threat to global security. They may not have been on really firm ground knowing what century they’re in, and when Russia was the big action the white male vote *was* decisive.

  155. 155
    Chris says:

    @randiego:

    Nate replied to a conservative tweet “we need a conservative Nate Silver” that if the polls showed differently he would be the conservative Nate Silver. The numbers were the numbers.

    “The conservative Nate Silver” was Nate Silver in 2010, numb nuts. That’s what happens when you’re an honest professional who does his job regardless of what it means for your political preferences.

  156. 156
    freelancer says:

    HOLY SHIT. This is hilarious.

    A journalist got ahold of Eric Dondero and interviewed him about his GBCW post. The interview questions read like a Voight-Kampff test.

    Dondero fails. How could it not know what it is?!

  157. 157
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Punchy:

    They have them…the problem is, objective reality refuses to go along with their fantasies.

  158. 158
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    @Grumpy Code Monkey: My question is, why did they expect turnout to be lower than it was?

    They came over here and saw all the emo-progs whining about how they were going to stay home on account of DR0NZ.

  159. 159
    MikeJ says:

    @Donut:

    understand and support the urge to mock, but why people in this day and age expect the media to do anything except try to sell advertising is beyond me. They are making themselves more and more irrelevant every election cycle.

    One of the reasons the media is so deferential to republicans is that they’ve spent fifty years working the refs, crying “media bias!” any time reality is discussed.

    Liberals have got to get over the idea that they’re above such things and that they shouldn’t engage in that manner.

  160. 160

    @Litlebritdifrnt: My heart pumps purple piss for her.

    I am totally stealing this.

  161. 161
    Surreal American says:

    @Chris:

    I would love to know as well.

  162. 162
    jwb says:

    @Suffern ACE: From their perspective that even sort of makes sense: they released the meme believing it would affect public opinion and then looked and saw that public opinion had changed. What they neglected was that the evidence that public opinion had changed was coming straight from the meme they unleashed rather than from the real world.

  163. 163
    Grumpy Code Monkey says:

    @Xecky Gilchrist:

    Okay, that was funny.

  164. 164
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    @freelancer: holy crap, that really does read like Voight-Kampff.

  165. 165
    Chris says:

    @LanceThruster:

    Re that quote –

    I always wondered if part of the reason Japan and Germany didn’t spawn a jihadi-style resistance to American occupation was that by the Way Of The Warrior ideology the previous regimes embraced, regime loyalists figured America winning = America superior to us, so we rally to them and do what they tell us.

  166. 166
    Anoniminous says:

    @Enhanced Mooching Techniques:

    Are these idiots even capable of basic math?
    284 < 323

    2 + 8 + 4 = 14

    3 + 2 + 3 = 8

    14 > 8

    Therefore, WIN!

  167. 167
    FormerSwingVoter says:

    @Stooleo:

    Romney’s accidentally published victory web site.

    The absolute best part of that? If you want to join their transition team, you need to supply them with your tax paperwork.

  168. 168
    jwb says:

    @Donut: Also, don’t forget that Silver threw a complete shitter on the British election (one reason, I think, he decided not to take a serious stab at the House).

  169. 169
    NonyNony says:

    @burnspbesq:

    We consistently piss and moan about the media focusing on the “horse-race” aspects of the campaign to the exclusion of substantive discussion of issues. But what is Silver Wang doing, other than applying more rigorous empirical tools to the horse-race?

    Except that the work that Silver, Wang and others did this year was to explicitly point out that focusing on the horse race was a stupid nothingburger story. And so should have been a spur to reporters/pundits to find a more interesting angle to talk about.

    That’s actually why Silver, Wang and other good analyst’s work is important – because it shows that the horse race that the press focuses on every year was, at least this year, a giant lie. An illusion. A way to sell ad clicks and generate traffic around fake drama. A way to write up stories by reaching into the archive, dusting off Campaign Narrative Mad-Libs #32, and filling in the names with this year’s candidates.

  170. 170
    Brachiator says:

    @Elie:

    They did not have enough white folks in this country to make up for all those folks including the evolved whites who were also not going to vote for them.

    They thought the 3/5 rule was still in effect.

  171. 171
    SensesFail says:

    @Comrade Jake:

    From that Coulter piece:

    And yet in 2004, President George W. Bush beat John Kerry more handily than Obama edged past Romney this week.

    So winning by 100+ EVs is ‘edging past.’

  172. 172
    Chris says:

    It’s one thing to say you create your own reality; it’s another thing to actually believe it.

    Yeah, definitely.

    I remember someone on Facebook arguing that if he wasn’t allowed to use the Bible to defend the Bible, then librul/secularist/soshulist faggy types shouldn’t be allowed to use reason and rationality to defend the value of reason and rationality. Reality doesn’t even exist for people like that. It’s O’Brien’s doublethink made real.

    This confirms that their elites are just that dumb too.

  173. 173

    @Metrosexual Manichean Monster DougJ: The media should not “do” narratives. Full stop. We became narrative junkies starting with Ronaldus Magnus’ welfare queens. We can’t quit when our dealers keep giving us narratives for (almost) free.

  174. 174
    jwb says:

    @Grumpy Code Monkey: They actually weren’t completely wrong about turnout—it was down. It was just down for both GOP and Dems, but several of the Dems’ key demographic groups did in fact maintain their numbers from last time. That’s where the Romney camp badly miscalculated.

  175. 175
    MikeJ says:

    @jwb:

    Also, don’t forget that Silver threw a complete shitter on the British election

    There just isn’t enough constituency level polling to make any sort of average based model work.

  176. 176
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Grumpy Code Monkey: well it’s kind of like investing in mortgage securities under the assumption that Americans always pay their mortgages first, then creating a rusk model that weights that assumption too heavily, such that no matter what happens, the investment appears sound.

    They gave they developed their models based on the anecdotes of pundits and the idea that they had created black jimmy carter and therefore they had intangible advantages in Mormon Ronald Reagan. They then read all their polls as if they were Mormon Ronald Reagan.

  177. 177
    jwb says:

    @MikeJ: Of course not. The point is that modeling only gets you so far as you have numbers, and you have to have good numbers feeding the model. It’s also why Nate didn’t really make an attempt to model the House.

  178. 178
    FormerSwingVoter says:

    @Grumpy Code Monkey:

    My question is, why did they expect turnout to be lower than it was? What caused them to think that? Was it more wishful thinking? Their generally low opinion of the intellectual capacities of minorities? Were they expecting voter intimidation/suppression efforts to be more successful?

    They honestly and truly believe that no one could possibly like Obama and his policies, and that all the turnout was because people love giving stuff to black people to make them feel better about themselves.

    No. Really. This is a thing they actually believe.

  179. 179
    NonyNony says:

    @kay:

    It’s hysterical. Republicans don’t “exploit” early voting. It’s not that organizing around early voting is hard, grinding unglamorous work, mind you. They COULD do it, but for the exploitation. They CHOOSE not to do all that work.

    No, I don’t think that they could. Why does early voting work for Democrats? It works because, historically, the more people who vote in an election the better the Democrats do. Because the Democratic voting base is “large and inconsistent” – there are a lot of people in it, but historically most of them have been infrequent voters who show up for Presidential elections but don’t turn out for off year elections. Early voting gives you time to work on those voters – people who can’t make it to the polls on election day due to work or family constraints, who never remember to apply for an absentee ballot, but who can be prodded to go down and “do their civic duty” on their day off and go to the early voting polls.

    Republicans have a “small but consistent” voting base. They have fewer voters overall, but they vote every election. That has long been the Republican advantage. That’s why absentee voting has long been a Republican advantage and why early voting has done nothing for them.

    If the Democrats could just work that GOTV machine for a generation to turn their voting base into one that was “large and consistent” the Republicans would be forced to start moving left to expand the size of the pie or die off and allow a new party to rise out of the rubble. I’m okay with either outcome, but that’s the only way I see our country’s politics creeping towards “healthy” again.

  180. 180
    ericblair says:

    @SensesFail:

    So winning by 100+ EVs is ‘edging past.’

    Yeah, but Romney’s EVs were nice white EVs, and Obama’s weren’t.

    Any organization based on bullshit seems to end up believing their own bullshit and by their own petards become hoisted. I thought that Romney’s team were just bullshitting externally, but it does now look like these guys really did eat their own dogfood. Unfortunately, Reality is the stuff that doesn’t care whether you believe in it or not.

  181. 181
    SatanicPanic says:

    @freelancer: Oh that was awesome. Note to self- if drowning and I see someone on the shore, yell Obama sucks! if it looks like they’re not helping.

  182. 182
    John says:

    @Craigo:

    Indeed. The Montana thing seems particularly bad (the North Dakota polls were so close I can forgive the error), given that Tester had a narrow but consistent advantage in all the polling.

    I’ll just point out again that the simple polling average done by Huffington Post Pollster (formerly Pollster.com) actually did a better job than Silver.

    The lesson of this election is not that Nate Silver is a god. It’s that averaging the polls does a very good job of telling you who will win.

  183. 183
    rikyrah says:

    Jim Williams: When you piss away a half billion of rich guys’ money and produce no results, you might want to join the witness protection program.

  184. 184
    rikyrah says:

    FOR KARL ROVE:

    Jim Williams: When you piss away a half billion of rich guys’ money and produce no results, you might want to join the witness protection program.

  185. 185
    rikyrah says:

    FOR KARL ROVE:

    Jim Williams: When you piss away a half billion of rich guys’ money and produce no results, you might want to join the witness protection program.

  186. 186
    J.D. Rhoades says:

    @Calouste:
    The GOS reports that Romney has conceded Florida.

    So THAT’s why I felt a great disturbance in the Force. As if millions of voices cried out and were suddenly silenced, followed by a crescendo of whining.

  187. 187
    elmo says:

    @Grumpy Code Monkey:

    My question is, why did they expect turnout to be lower than it was?

    Google Pauline Kael Syndrome. They really, genuinely, sincerely believed that even President Obama’s staunchest supporters must be disgusted and disappointed with him because he was such a self-evident failure.

  188. 188
    Chris says:

    @ericblair:

    Any organization based on bullshit seems to end up believing their own bullshit and by their own petards become hoisted.

    You’d think some of them would’ve remembered that drug dealers aren’t supposed to sniff their own product and con men aren’t supposed to fall for their own cons.

  189. 189
    LanceThruster says:

    The system is definitely broken because if the model of the founders was scrupulously followed, the white male landowners would have voted in Herr Mittenstein in a landslide.

    Revolution bitchez!

  190. 190
    Thlayli says:

    @Grumpy Code Monkey:

    My question is, why did they expect turnout to be lower than it was? What caused them to think that?

    2010.

    They thought 2008 was a fluke and 2010 was the real level. What they missed was the difference between 2008 and 2010 was OfA’s turnout machine, which would be back on in 2012.

  191. 191
    J.D. Rhoades says:

    @Grumpy Code Monkey:

    My question is, why did they expect turnout to be lower than it was?

    They watch Fox News.

    Seriously. All of the people I knew personally who have been spinning that “voter turnout, the lines are trending our way,” etc bullshit in the days before the election told me they don’t watch any news but Fox. As we say ’round heah: “well there’s your trouble, right there.”

  192. 192
    NotMax says:

    @Grumpy Code Monkey

    Were they expecting voter intimidation/suppression efforts to be more successful?

    BINGO.

  193. 193
    Felonius Monk says:

    @freelancer: Best line coming out of the comments there is “A fool and his romney are soon parted.”

  194. 194
    RareSanity says:

    There are some really funny people on Twitter. Some of these #DrunkNateSilver posts are cracking me up.

    #DrunkNateSilver says Jay-Z doesn’t have 99 problems. He has 99.158479428 problems and has asked Hova to stop rounding down.

    #DrunkNateSilver knows what you did next summer.

    “Take a card, any card. Now place it back in the deck. ” – You will die Dec 19th at 6:14PM” #DrunkNateSilver’s Favorite Card Trick.

    After long nights of drinking, Nate Silver drunk texts his future exes, who have never met him before. #drunknatesilver

    That is some good stuff…

  195. 195
    ericblair says:

    @Chris:

    You’d think some of them would’ve remembered that drug dealers aren’t supposed to sniff their own product and con men aren’t supposed to fall for their own cons.

    Yeah, guess there’s a reason they have to be reminded of that. There must be actual decent academic research into this, and it might be fun to read. Or not. Obviously, the organization that would most benefit from this research would be the last to listen to it.

  196. 196
    Grumpy Code Monkey says:

    @elmo:

    They really, genuinely, sincerely believed that even President Obama’s staunchest supporters must be disgusted and disappointed with him because he was such a self-evident failure.

    \

    Well, yeah, but I was looking for an empirical basis for them to base that belief…

    wait a minute…

    never mind.

  197. 197
    NonyNony says:

    @NotMax:

    BINGO.

    I’m not buying it – if that were the case Karl Rove would not have been nearly as surprised on election day. He had to know by the time the polls closed in Ohio that basically every maneuver that Husted had tried to suppress early voting had failed. The truth is that they bought their own bullshit. They were all so certain that Obama was the Black Jimmy Carter because all of their friends agreed with them that they forgot that they stopped talking to all of their friends and family who disagreed with them two years ago.

    When you live in a bubble, and the only people you talk to are other wingnuts, it becomes self-reinforcing. There’s a reason they call it the “echo chamber”.

  198. 198
    LanceThruster says:

    @Felonius Monk: I might actually remember that if it weren’t for my Romnesia.

  199. 199
    👽 Martin says:

    @Thlayli: This. And this is why the GOP won’t change. They figure 2014 will look just like 2010.

  200. 200
    grandpa john says:

    @Trakker:
    they are baffled about why he didn’t win even though he was never in the lead?
    Sound like they need morebetter consultants.

  201. 201
    LanceThruster says:

    @👽 Martin:

    That’s their approach to Climate Change “fearmongering.”

  202. 202
    J.D. Rhoades says:

    @elmo:

    They really, genuinely, sincerely believed that even President Obama’s staunchest supporters must be disgusted and disappointed with him because he was such a self-evident failure.

    To be fair, if you’ve been reading certain liberal blogs over the past few years, you might have felt that there was more than a little justification for this theory.

  203. 203
    John says:

    @Enhanced Mooching Techniques:

    Bush did have a very slightly larger margin in the popular vote in 2004 than Obama had this year (although Obama’s popular margin may yet improve so that even this isn’t true.).

  204. 204
    JPL says:

    @rikyrah: Rove is anti-government said he’d have hire private security and just pray.

  205. 205
    LanceThruster says:

    @Chris:

    Interesting supposition. I’d also add that there were Japanese soldiers deep in the jungle that didn’t get the memo and came out many years laters.

    Additionally, I remember someone observing that the code of Bushido had the Japanese waging the battle by other means afterwards (economically).

  206. 206
    John says:

    @👽 Martin:

    By election day, the Nowcast and Forecast are identical, so that doesn’t explain why he had Tester losing.

  207. 207
    NotMax says:

    @NonyNony

    My take:

    Rove’s ranting was pure hucksterism.

    He knew damn well what was happening in real time and decided he needed a blatant, vehement CYA gambit to show the fatcats how hard he was working for them.

    That it was all too likely improv, it erupted as polyphloisboian*.

    *one of my fave words, which get to use all too infrequently

  208. 208
    kuvasz says:

    This is what a faith-based campaign looks like. I am surprized only that their campaign motto was not: “God Wills It!”

    If this is how these Romeny jag offs operate the entire world dodged a bullet in not letting them run America.

  209. 209
    John says:

    @randiego:

    Sure, but Silver certainly isn’t some non-partisan, unbiased expert. Yesterday I was looking at his early posts as “Poblano” over at Kos from late 2007, and it’s full of pretty hackish attacks on Hillary Clinton.

    It’s only after he became well known (justifiably, for his excellent projections of the Democratic primaries in 2008, which I still think were his best work) that he put on this dispassionate persona.

    But obviously Republican leaning numbers guys need to step up their game and try to do a better job fighting against motivated reasoning, if they want to do a better job predicting what will actually happen (I’m not convinced that they do, though).

  210. 210
    zoot says:

    there is not a lot to analyze here:

    republican/conservatives are generally garbage as human beings. They are hugely insecure which makes them hugely paranoid and unable to deal with realty when it doesn’t align with their view of realty, which they create to make themselves feel better about the fact that they’re generally garbage as human beings.

    And note they are not garbage because they are republican/conservatives, they are republican/conservatives because they are garbage (misery loves company).

  211. 211
    Full Metal Wingnut says:

    Even though the margins are much narrower, the only electoral changes are threefold: Nebraska is no longer a split EV state, and Obama lost Indiana and North Carolina. Not too shabby.

  212. 212
    cckids says:

    @Shawn in ShowMe:

    Yes. All votes need to be counted in any election

    Only if there is “time to count them”.

    See: Bush v Gore

  213. 213
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    @Comrade Jake:

    One commenter referred to Obama as both a “Chicago gangsta” and “Axelrod’s preppie protege.” Beware the gangsta preppies!

  214. 214
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Grumpy Code Monkey:

    Their generally low opinion of the intellectual capacities of minorities?

    John Sununu called BObama lazy and not smart. That and lots of other dog whistle stuff really boosted turnout. Similar story for lots of other unforced Republican errors boosting Democratic turnout.

    (Unrelated, I admit that the Chris Christie/HSandy/BObama threesome crossed my mind for a few minutes, since it was the last big news cycle prior to the election. Expecting various conspiracy theories about how Sandy was … arranged. The storm prediction track was so amazingly accurate, etc. Have heard the HARP one so far, but have thought of a few other really out there theories.)

  215. 215
    johnny aquitard says:

    @randiego:

    “we need a conservative Nate Silver”

    My god, they truly have no fucking clue how science, facts, and numbers work. None. They’re beginning to scare me now.

    It’s as if all information that exists incl facts and numbers must be passed through their weird political transmogrifier before they can grok it. Nothing seems to be able to exist for them outside of that. And they seem to take it as self-evident and not absurd that there’s always an equally true and valid ‘conservative’ doppleganger of everything out there somewhere, either waiting to be found or that can be created to fit, if necessary. And because it is the conservative version, it will therefore the more valider than valid and more real-er than real, and the ersatz is actually the genuine article.

    Jesus. I always thought the elaborate misinformation of the right, the fake science, bullshit think tank papers, rigged ‘studies’, revisionist books, shills in the media — all of that was a cynical strategy to delay, obfuscate, refute and confuse others on the scientific findings of tobacco, global warming, supply side economics, prenatal, preventative and universal healthcare, lunch programs for poor children, clean air, water and food, and on and on.

    No. These fuckers actually believe their made-up shit. They cannot discern between ‘fact’ and ‘fiction’. It’s as if they are totally lacking in whatever mental development it takes to make that leap, to ‘get’ those concepts about the physical world that most other humans began to discover they could do some 500 years ago.

  216. 216
    johnny aquitard says:

    @randiego:

    “we need a conservative Nate Silver”

    My god, they truly have no fucking clue how science, facts, and numbers work. None. They’re beginning to scare me now.

    It’s as if all information that exists incl facts and numbers must be passed through their weird political transmogrifier before they can grok it. Nothing seems to be able to exist for them outside of that. And they seem to take it as self-evident and not absurd that there’s always an equally true and valid ‘conservative’ doppleganger of everything out there somewhere, either waiting to be found or that can be created to fit, if necessary. And because it is the conservative version, it will therefore the more valider than valid and more real-er than real, and the ersatz is actually the genuine article.

    Jesus. I always thought the elaborate misinformation of the right, the fake science, bullshit think tank papers, rigged ‘studies’, revisionist books, shills in the media — all of that was a cynical strategy to delay, obfuscate, refute and confuse others on the scientific findings of tobacco, global warming, supply side economics, prenatal, preventative and universal healthcare, lunch programs for poor children, clean air, water and food, and on and on.

    No. These fuckers actually believe their made-up shit. They cannot discern between ‘fact’ and ‘fiction’. It’s as if they are totally lacking in whatever mental development it takes to make that leap, to ‘get’ those concepts about the physical world that most other humans began to discover they could do some 500 years ago.

  217. 217
    Wag says:

    @Comrade Jake:

    That may be the most cogent arguement Coulter has ever made. The fun is in seeing her readers ver so far off topic and refuse to accept any of her modest criticism of the Almighty GOP

  218. 218
    cantrip says:

    @John: You are so wrong. 2014 and 2016 are going to be flooded with AstroTurf polls that boost repubs, after all, the billionairescouldnt even spend all the money they’d pledged. So a simple average is very vulnerable to poll flooding.

  219. 219
    shano says:

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=4419138669951&set=a.4419138029935.172647.1033415151&type=1

    I got this on fb today. it is a color map representing percentage of the vote:


    I made this because 1) I wanted to see what it looked like and 2) I think it’s kinda important. Talking about red states versus blue states in a monolithic way is reductive and annoying.

    Several people have asked how this was done. The numbers were taken from MSNBC. I matched the percentage of blue in an RGB color picker to the percentage of the vote Barack Obama got and did the same for Romney and red. Green stayed at zero.

    So if a state had voted 100% for one or the other, you would see the bluest blue or reddest red your computer screen can produce. The reason all the colors are more or less in the middle is because no state went more than ~70% for one side or the other. Although if you zoom in you can see that DC is very bright with 91% for Obama.”

    Cousin Cole

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