After Tuesday Who Walks The Plank, Nate or Dick?

Usually when meteorologists get it wrong, we all get it wrong together. Not so for political pollsters and analysts. There are wildly varying opinions available.

Nate Silver, ‘star’ of the Five Thirty Eight, Nate Silver’s Political Calculus blog at the NY Times shows President Obama as the prohibitive favorite.

As of Friday afternoon Silver’s number crunching says the president has an 80.9 chance of winning Tuesday with 303.4 electoral votes. 270 electoral votes are needed to win the election.

I know, you can’t get partial electoral votes, so I’m assuming this is the median of his projections.

Silver says President Obama does this will only 50.5% of the popular vote. When you figure Governor Romney might win Utah by a 3:1 margin and roll strong among other very red states you understand how it’s all possible.

On the other side are analysts like Dick Morris. A few days ago he wrote a piece for The Hill titled, “Opinion: Here comes the landslide.” He’s talking about a Romney landslide and the Republican’s retaking the Senate.

The most likely outcome? Eight GOP takeaways and two giveaways for a net gain of six. A 53-47 Senate, just like we have now, only opposite.

Along with Frank Luntz, Morris appears on Fox News Channel. People on the left accuse them of letting partisanship affect their research. Of course folks on the right say the same thing about Nate Silver who has admitted he supports President Obama.

Here’s the deal. Wednesday morning Morris or Silver will be shown to be very wrong. Whomever that is should crawl into the fetal position and disappear.

I’m a math guy specifically because it’s so trustworthy. I hate it when people screw around with it for political purposes.

8 thoughts on “After Tuesday Who Walks The Plank, Nate or Dick?”

  1. Actually, it could be that neither of them will be wrong on Wednesday morning. It’s possible it could come down to counting the hanging chads again. (Dear God, I hope not!)

  2. Have you read Nate Silver’s blog? He really avoids the politics – he is a math guy. The twisting for political purposes happens when other, partisan types use it.

  3. I think you misunderstand his point, then, Geoff; Nate does indeed give a probabilistic forecast that there is an 80% chance of Obama winning. There is also a 20% chance that he doesn’t. Think of his model like the weather models; they’re often right, but sometimes they’re wrong. That’s not necessarily a flaw with the model so much as it is trying to mathematically quantify something as chaotic and fickle as human nature. It is NOT a deterministic forecast, so even if Silver is wrong, he should not crawl into the fetal position.

    Morris, on the other hand, DID make a deterministic prediction. So if he’s wrong, he should indeed scurry into a corner. But he’s almost made a career of being always wrong. He does worse than random chance.

  4. I often wonder if poll takers are getting the truth from the public. I never answer the MANY calls we are getting and a few do leave messages..some taking a poll. I feel that who I vote for is my business and not some poll takers. I don’t think any poll is reliable. We all should vote and we are entitled to our own opinions. Thank God for America!!

  5. C’mon, Geoff. Why would anyone give credence to “Dick” Morris? Has he ever been right on anything? Comparing Nate Silver to Morris is like comparing a Mensa member to a rock.

    And this from the Record-Journal:
    “Fox questions those who attribute storms to global warming, saying there’s evidence on both sides of the debate.”

    Fox going all Fox on Fox?
    There is credible consistent overwhelming scientific agreement on global climate change, in spite of what the Fox Noisers like “Dick” Morris spout.

    With your science background, I am surprised at the quote. I can only hope the RJ misunderstood you.

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