Skip to main content

View Diary: Nate Silver: Obama has a 71.6% Chance of Winning the Election (162 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  I'm pretty sure Obama will win, and I appreciate (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Creosote

    Nate Silver's analysis, despite the false precision in this case.

    Proud to be a Truth Vigilante

    by Calvino Partigiani on Thu Aug 30, 2012 at 10:45:49 PM PDT

    •  False precision? (5+ / 0-)

      "Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves." - Abraham Lincoln

      by leftreborn on Thu Aug 30, 2012 at 10:53:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm simply saying that he object he is measuring (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Garrett, Bronx59

        - the relative chances of presidential contenders - cannot in a meaningful sense be rendered in terms of 1/10ths of a percent.  By stating it that way, he makes his prediction seem more scientific than it actually is.  

        We wouldn't take it literally if he said Obama's chance of winning is 71.635%.  

        He's basically indicating that Obama has a better than 2-in-3 chance of winning.

        Proud to be a Truth Vigilante

        by Calvino Partigiani on Thu Aug 30, 2012 at 11:05:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Better than 7 in 10! (8+ / 0-)

          "We the People of the United States...." -U.S. Constitution

          by elwior on Thu Aug 30, 2012 at 11:15:01 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Nate even uses decimals for the electoral vote (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Calvino Partigiani, elwior

          projection.  He doesn't add them up the simple way that I did.  I just filtered the states with a better than 51% chance for Obama and the sum of electoral votes was 332.  Whole numbers only.  Somehow, Nate projects 302.4 electoral votes for Obama in November.  I can see how it would get to 303 if Florida went to Romney.  But 302.4 is impossible.  So I see what you mean.  

          The probability calculation includes numerous factors and the number isn't very volatile.  Days on end would go by when it remained unchanged without the decimal.  It adds excitement.  

          "Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves." - Abraham Lincoln

          by leftreborn on Thu Aug 30, 2012 at 11:29:12 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's an algorithm, fer cryin' out loud! (7+ / 0-)

            They generate numbers that include fractions! That's not "false precision", it's just reporting what the model spat out.

            Please understand something about statistics before trashing someone who actually does. Thanks.

            Have a flagon and discuss the news of the day at the sign of the Green Dragon, or hear me roar on Twitter @MarkGreenFuture

            by Dracowyrm on Fri Aug 31, 2012 at 01:32:47 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Are you talking to me? (0+ / 0-)

              "Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves." - Abraham Lincoln

              by leftreborn on Fri Aug 31, 2012 at 02:14:10 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  maybe reacting to the part about whole numbers (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                ChurchofBruce, MRA NY

                You weren't the one who complained about "false precision," but you seemed perplexed about the decimals.

                Basically, Nate runs a bunch of simulated elections and then takes the averages. Sometimes Obama wins Florida, sometimes Romney does. That's where the decimals come from.

                I think Nate would say that reporting the win probability to the nearest tenth provides information about the impact of events. If everything is rounded to the nearest percentage point, then a move from "45%" to "46%" could be from 45.4 to 45.6, or from 44.6 to 46.4. Even though the tenths are notional, reporting them helps people understand the model behavior. (And, yes, it's more interesting than if the model mostly seemed not to "behave" at all.)

                I think "win probabilities" in August entail false precision by definition. We can only infer so much from past election cycles.

                Election protection: there's an app for that!
                Better Know Your Voting System with the Verifier!

                by HudsonValleyMark on Fri Aug 31, 2012 at 04:47:45 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I understand all that. But thanks. (0+ / 0-)

                  There are nesting Russian dolls of imprecision inherent in any such model: you have MoE in the individual polls themselves, estimates of house effects which are always educated guesses, and then the content and structure of the model itself.

                  We certainly can't be sanguine going into Labor Day. But any reasonable way of parsing the current electoral landscape looks pretty good.

                  Have a flagon and discuss the news of the day at the sign of the Green Dragon, or hear me roar on Twitter @MarkGreenFuture

                  by Dracowyrm on Sat Sep 01, 2012 at 01:55:02 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Why doesn't that particular algorithm produce (0+ / 0-)

              results that are accurate to the 1/100th percent?

              Proud to be a Truth Vigilante

              by Calvino Partigiani on Sat Sep 01, 2012 at 05:47:22 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  He uses a sophisticated algorithm (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MRA NY, the dogs sockpuppet

          of his own design, and it is scarily accurate. When he was still an anonymous Kossack, he was calling tight Congressional races accurately to less than 300 votes.

          That's real precision.

          "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

          by sidnora on Fri Aug 31, 2012 at 05:48:58 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, his precision appears to be (4+ / 0-)

          much greater than his model's accuracy. But he has said in the past that the reason he uses the number of significant figures he does is simply so that people can see it when small changes are generated by the model. Anyone who actually thinks that Obama has a 71.4% (or whatever it is) chance of winning is probably not a very statistics-oriented person.

      •  Yep, it ain't over till it's over, and we need to (7+ / 0-)

        make every effort to win, including GOTV.  I'm not celebrating, just saying that, in my opinion, Obama is going to win.

        Proud to be a Truth Vigilante

        by Calvino Partigiani on Thu Aug 30, 2012 at 11:25:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Last year, at exactly this time, the Boston Red (16+ / 0-)

        Sox had a 99% chance of making the MLB playoffs by the folks at Baseball Prospectus; the biggest baseball stats guys on the planet. They didn't.

        Nate used to be a baseball stats guy - at Baseball Prospectus. Nate developed PECOTA, an amazing analysis system.

        I'm very happy to read the news; there is no political statistician I trust more than Nate. However, all that Republican Citizen United money will hit after Labor Day, it looks like it will all be lies, and its going to blanket the swing states.

        "Yes, reason has been a part of organized religion, ever since two nudists took dietary advice from a talking snake." - Jon Stewart; The Daily Show

        by Uwaine on Thu Aug 30, 2012 at 11:30:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That may well be the most disjointed, poorly (9+ / 0-)

          written comment I've ever made here at dKos. Please excuse the poor grammer, the ugly sentences and the brownian motion thought process.

          Short version in simple phrases and/or sentences.

          Very happy about the present analysis from Nate.

          I hope it stays the same or gets better.

          Let's not celebrate too soon though, there's a long way to go.

          Lots of racism coming, the convention highlighted that.

          Romney/Ryan & the GOP have lots of dark money supporting them.

          "Yes, reason has been a part of organized religion, ever since two nudists took dietary advice from a talking snake." - Jon Stewart; The Daily Show

          by Uwaine on Thu Aug 30, 2012 at 11:53:34 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Even though it was clear enough at least to me, it (10+ / 0-)

            needs to be said again and again.  It can't be repeated enough.  The Republicans are using professionally produced propaganda.  It's effect is corrosive.  In the short-term it doesn't look like much is happening, but over time it has an effect.  The Republicans aren't going to shrink the federal government till it's small enough to drown in a bathtub.  They're going to dissolve it and let it run down the drain, if they get their way.  We need majorities in Congress.  The time is over to dick around with liars and con men who crashed the car, gave it to Obama and the Democrats to fix, and did all they could to prevent repairs from being done properly. Now they don't like the result, refuse to acknowledge how they hindered a better outcome, and claim they weren't responsible for the damage in the first place.

            "Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves." - Abraham Lincoln

            by leftreborn on Fri Aug 31, 2012 at 12:12:38 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Even though I'm not (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              leftreborn, janmtairy

              complacent, I swear I'm not, at this point I have to question the "professionally produced" part. Were you watching last night?

              "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

              by sidnora on Fri Aug 31, 2012 at 05:52:54 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Oh Ha! I wasn't thinking of this convention. It (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Uwaine

                was a mess.  I don't mean to imply a high standard was used to fabricate and distribute propaganda.  I'm talkiing about a concerted effort that delivers a barrage of lies, conjecture, rumor, conspiracy theory, biased opinion, disinformation, all presented as fact to a receptive audience.  If you aren't exposed to it, and many people aren't, you have no idea what I'm talking about.

                "Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves." - Abraham Lincoln

                by leftreborn on Fri Aug 31, 2012 at 07:02:18 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Romney & his staff are obviously minor league (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                sidnora

                but I doubt that Rove and/or the Koch brothers will be hiring amateurs. That's where the onslaught will come from. It will be racist & it will be ugly.

                "Yes, reason has been a part of organized religion, ever since two nudists took dietary advice from a talking snake." - Jon Stewart; The Daily Show

                by Uwaine on Fri Aug 31, 2012 at 11:09:13 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  I hope the racism backfires on them. It's hard (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            gustynpip, Calvino Partigiani

            to believe that there are a slew of undecided or independent voters out there who will be swayed by blatant appeals to racism. I'm hoping many more will be offended enough to either sit it out or vote for Obama as a reaction to the offensiveness of the Repub campaign. Maybe I'm too naive, but I'd like to think that the level of all-out hate in this country has declined somewhat over the last couple of decades.

            •  From what I see, for the religious folks, the (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              GRLionsFan, Woody, Calvino Partigiani

              anti abortion stance is more important than the racism.  One of my sister's has 3 AA granddaughters and 2 Mexican American grandsons, yet is an avid rethug.  In fact, had my niece not adopted the two boys, they'd probably have been deported to Mexico by now, unless they'd managed to hang on until Obama got the Dream established.  I suspect the mother of them probably is also.  Neither one of them would be able to survive without the government assistance they're getting through various programs.  Voting republican is definitely against their own best interests.  Yet because their religious "leaders" tell them Dems are evil, they'll vote for the party that will destroy their fragile hold on financial viability and lead to even more discrimination and racism against the young people they dearly love.  How do you deal with a mindset like that???

              "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

              by gustynpip on Fri Aug 31, 2012 at 06:23:18 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Not sure how many people these days watch (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Calvino Partigiani

          television with commercials. I tend to DVR everything and then fast forward through the commercials. I'll wait half an hour before I begin watching just to avoid the interminable ads. I live in PA and apparently there have been a ton of ads already, but I've seen very few of them.

        •  Dude comparing Obama to the Sox? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Woody, Calvino Partigiani

          The Sox crash and burn last year was historic, in that it could never have been predicted.  In 100+ years baseball has never witnessed the level of choking achieved by the Sox last year.   It takes a special group of incompetent and craptacular guys to achieve what the Sox did last fall.  

          Obama is not the Red Sox and Mitt is not the Yankees (well not always).  All the money in the world didn't win the Yankees as many rings as a good solid team and solid play has.  Mike Mussina, Jason Giambi, Randy Johnson to name a few of the high priced busts in NY prove that.   A good core of fundamentally sound players has elevated them instead.  Mitt Rmoney has Steinbrenners money but he's relying on aging veterans like Randy Johnson/Clint Eastwood to elevate his team.  The Yankees learned the hard way that doesn't work.  Rmoney isn't disciplined and as skilled as Derek Jeter and he can't close the game like Mariano Rivera does.

          If anything Rmoney is the Red Sox.  A ton of money, a core group of hard core rabid and radical fans.  The best and highest paid team around and yet as soon as the air starts getting a bit chilly and leaves start to turn color they choke.  Rmoney like the Sox should have been ahead.  Obama/Yankees are battered and bruised and getting old.  But instead Rmoney went for the hail Mary brought in a player who is lacking in certain skills, shed people who have not performed and  much like the Sox is crashing and burning once again.  The curse of Bambino/Bush lives.    

          This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

          by DisNoir36 on Fri Aug 31, 2012 at 04:38:19 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  My point was the 99% statistical probability (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Calvino Partigiani

            and the need to stay focused. I was not comparing Obama to the Red Sox.

            It was a light statistics comment with the Red Sox recent failure/woes providing a useful example.

            I would never compare any decent human being to the Yankees.

            "Yes, reason has been a part of organized religion, ever since two nudists took dietary advice from a talking snake." - Jon Stewart; The Daily Show

            by Uwaine on Fri Aug 31, 2012 at 11:06:52 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, but the lazy-assed unlikeable buffoons (2+ / 0-)

          that killed the Sox, like John Lackey and Josh Beckett, are mirrored on the R side, not the D side. Obama ain't getting fat on chicken and beer  :)

          CoB, lifelong Sox fan, who named his fantasy team this year "Fried Chicken and Beer"

          "Maybe: it's a vicious little word that could slay me"--Sara Bareilles

          by ChurchofBruce on Fri Aug 31, 2012 at 05:13:57 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Also, last year at exactly this time, (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Uwaine, Calvino Partigiani

          the St. Louis Cardinals had a 99% change of missing the playoffs.  We know how that worked out.

          There are always anomalies (good thing for my Redbirds), but I wouldn't use that as my betting index.

          A petty criminal is someone with predatory instincts but insufficient capital to form a corporation. --Clarence Darrow

          by stlsophos on Fri Aug 31, 2012 at 06:25:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

  • Recommended (169)
  • Community (68)
  • Civil Rights (44)
  • Baltimore (42)
  • Elections (35)
  • Culture (35)
  • Bernie Sanders (34)
  • Economy (31)
  • Texas (29)
  • Law (27)
  • Environment (26)
  • Labor (25)
  • 2016 (24)
  • Hillary Clinton (21)
  • Education (21)
  • Rescued (21)
  • Freddie Gray (20)
  • Health Care (20)
  • Barack Obama (19)
  • Racism (19)
  • Click here for the mobile view of the site