THROUGH ALL THE flip-flops, there has been one consistency in the campaign of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney: a contempt for the electorate.Charles M Blow:
How else to explain his refusal to disclose essential information? Defying recent bipartisan tradition, he failed to release the names of his bundlers — the high rollers who collected hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations. He never provided sufficient tax returns to show voters how he became rich...
Within limits, all candidates say and do what they have to say and do to win. Mr. Obama also has dodged serious interviews and news conferences. He has offered few specifics for a second-term agenda. He, too, aired commercials that distorted his opponent’s statements.
But Mr. Obama has a record; voters know his priorities. His budget plan is inadequate, but it wouldn’t make things worse.
Mr. Romney, by contrast, seems to be betting that voters have no memories, poor arithmetic skills and a general inability to look behind the curtain. We hope the results Tuesday prove him wrong.
Truth and lies. Evidence continues to emerge that Romney is one of the most dishonest, duplicitous candidates to ever seek the presidency.Roger Simon:
Obama should have been destroyed by now. That was the plan.
He was going to be “Swift Boated” in this election, just like John Kerry was in 2004...
But Benghazi has proven to be not dynamite, but a firecracker. The October surprise has not turned into a bombshell. Instead, it has bombed.
Why political journalists can’t stand Nate Silver: The limits of journalistic knowledge
The other objection political journalists/pundits have to Silver’s process is evident here, too. They don’t just have a problem with how he knows what he knows, but with how he states it, too. Essentially, they are mistaking specificity for certainty. To them, the specificity of Silver’s projections smack of arrogance because, again, their ways of knowing are incapable of producing that kind of specificity. It has to be an overstatement.
In actuality, of course, Silver’s specificity isn’t arrogance at all — it’s the natural product of a scientific, statistical way of producing knowledge. Statistical analyses produce specific numbers by their very nature. That doesn’t mean they’re certain: In fact, the epistemology has long been far more tentative in reaching conclusions than the epistemology of journalism. As many people have noted over the past few days, a probability is not a prediction. Silver himself has repeatedly called for less certainty in political analysis, not more. But that split between specificity and certainty is a foreign concept to the journalistic epistemology.
Nate Silver, author of the FiveThirtyEight blog on NYTimes.com, may be under attack from some people, as I noted in a post on Thursday, but he also has many defenders.Nate Silver:
Hundreds of them wrote to me in e-mails, in Twitter messages and in comments on the blog to say that they vehemently disagreed with my criticism of Mr. Silver’s offer of a wager to a talk show host on the outcome of the presidential election.
Some questioned my intelligence, sanity or sense of fun. Some said that by criticizing the wager offer, I encouraged the unfair critics of his overall methods.
Others questioned the logic of my specific complaint. I’ll address the latter here, then turn over the floor to David Leonhardt, The Times’s Washington bureau chief.
What I find confounding about this is that the argument we’re making is exceedingly simple. Here it is:Reuters:Obama’s ahead in Ohio.A somewhat-more-complicated version:Mr. Obama is leading in the polls of Ohio and other states that would suffice for him to win 270 electoral votes, and by a margin that has historically translated into victory a fairly high percentage of the time.The argument that Mr. Obama isn’t the favorite is the one that requires more finesse. If you take the polls at face value, then the popular vote might be a tossup, but the Electoral College favors Mr. Obama.
U.S. Representative Michele Bachmann, known for controversial comments during her Republican presidential nomination bid, faces a tough congressional election challenge on Tuesday in a Minnesota district that should be friendly to conservatives.
The race in the sprawling Minnesota 6th Congressional District has been the nation's most expensive in both money raised and spent by Bachmann and Democratic challenger Jim Graves, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
The two candidates have raised a total of $22.7 million and spent $20.8, the center reported.
In the latest YouGov/Xbox poll, the pivotal state of Ohio showed slightly more Romney supporters than Obama supporters. But, when asked who they expect to win Ohio, the same respondents predicted Obama would win their state. Justin Wolfers and I have conducted an exhaustive research project on the power of expectation polling, and the evidence is overwhelming: when the intention (i.e., support) and expectation of respondents in a poll point in opposite directions, the expectation is correct over 75 percent of the time.Lynn Vavrek:
Looked at in this light, the undecided actually exemplify a type of political flexibility we often claim to admire, but often denigrate in practice. A healthy portion of undecided voters seem to understand when they are out of step with their party and this sometimes drives them to the opposing candidate. They may not be as interested in news or politics as you are, but they consider their preferences relative to party positions when making up their minds. Adjust those caricatures.