I got very busy after the election and I haven’t had time to mock all the idiot pundits’ predictions yet. William Galston is, mercifully, mostly absent from the Sunday shows, but he’s some kind of a big wig at Brookings and writes all kinds of stupid “centrist” concern troller at TNR. Jon Chait does a good job of dissecting many of his incorrect predictions here, but I haven’t seen him touch this one yet (from November 1):
In all probability, Obama’s winning margin would be the lowest for the incumbent since 1916—maybe ever.
Bush won by 2.3 points in 2004, Obama by 3.7 in 2012, so Obama’s margin was not the lowest for incumbent since 1916. Anyone can be wrong, but in fact Nate Silver had Obama winning by 2.5 (i.e. more than 2.3), Sam Wang by 2.1 (only slightly less than 2.3). Polling averages like TPM and RCP, which included Rasmussen and Gallup, only had Obama by 0.7 but there was plenty of reason to question the Rasmussen and Gallup methodologies.
So the caveman polling averages (ones that did nothing but add stuff together) had Obama by 0.7, the sophisticated ones had Obama by 2.1 to 2.5?
On what planet did it make sense to say that Obama would win by less than 2.3 “in all probability”? Why does TNR continue to employ Galston?