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

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  •  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

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    •  maybe reacting to the part about whole numbers (2+ / 0-)
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      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

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      •  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

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