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I just read a few diaries here and here about Obama's dip in Nate Silver's new forecast. The alarmism from both Nate and the Kossacks that follow him is surprising, as the dip can be easily explained, at least in part. Unfortunately, the explanation indicates an even more suspicious and alarming tactic coming from the Right. A few quick thoughts below the fold.

First, Nate's numbers. One of the things Nate's model takes into account is polls. I am not sure what Nate's methodology is for screen models, but I would be surprised if he didn't use the typical indiscriminate approach of just dumping the entire polling universe into his database. He has other data points that makes his model more accurate than simple poll aggregation, but on poll inclusion, I doubt he takes the time to verify the validity and integrity of ever poll, instead just dumping them all into the mix.

Like many of you, I read Steve Singiser's wonderful polling wrap everyday just to get monitor the race and get a sense of what numbers will be driving the media for the day. I have noticed a trend in the polling since the debate besides the usual narrative of just the numbers: the sources of the polls have taken a large Right turn.


Using Steve Singiser's polling wrap, I compiled a count of the pollsters from conservative firms pre- and post- debate, as shown in the table above. Any firms I did not know well enough to judge, I added them to the "Rest of Pollsters" column. As you can see by the counts, the overwhelming majority of pre-debate polls were conducted by either reputable firms (PPP, various universities, NBC/Marist, Selzer, etc.) or smaller firms on occasion that I was not familiar with (these were much less frequent). However, after the debate, there has been a notable and undeniable shift in the sources of the polls. Openly and undeniably conservative hack firms, such as Gravis, WAA, and ARG, have conducted the vast majority of post-debate state polling. In addition to simply providing the majority of the data post-debate, these firms have increased their output significantly even compared to their own pre-debate output.

As an example of how this can effect the data Nate (and other aggregators and forecasters) use in their models, let's look at the polling from October 11th (it was a particularly heavy polling day). In Ohio, NBC/Marist had Obama up 6 among both likely and registered voters and at or above 50% among both, numbers consistent with his pre-debate numbers. Against that one poll, conservative outfits put out three. Those three had Obama +1, Obama +1 and Romney +1. In Virginia, CBS/Quinnipiac had Obama +4 and NBC/Marist had Romney +1 LV and even among RV. Against those, conservative outfits had Romney even and +7. Pennsylvania was even more egregious. Philadelphia Inquirer had Obama +8 and at 50%, while a conservative firm had Romney within 2 (a huge, unreasonable shift). Same thing in Michigan (large Obama from a news outfit poll, +2 Obama from a conservative outfit). In Florida, we see Obama +1 for NBC/Marist and Romney +7 with Mason Dixon (conservative outfit).

From this we can see a few things. First, judging from the numbers from non-conservative outfits, Romney's debate bump was ephemeral in the states, and is receding in the national polls. The electoral college has remained essentially unchanged and Romney has very few paths to victory. Second, we see that the Republican polling outfits appear to have used the debate as a cover for a sustained effort at artificially changing the narrative (more on this in a moment). Finally, we also see how these polls, when dumped into an aggregator or forecasting model indiscriminately, serve to narrow the race in ways that simply don't gel with reality.

Now, it seems evident to me that the conservative strategy has been to piggy-back the media narrative that Romney won the debate (a narrative I have repeatedly pointed out is bull, and have looked upon Kossack repetition of it with sorrow) with a wave of misleading (to put it politely) polls to keep the narrative alive and provide the media with a perception that the debate actually changed the trajectory of the race. Beyond simply raising (admittedly mild) self-fulfilling prophecy concerns, this should raise alarms for anyone who remembers the 2000 election or has been paying attention to open attempts to steal the election through manipulation of the electoral system (hello voter ID laws and voter purges). Why? Well, should the conservative pollsters provide enough crap data for the race to appear close not only nationally, but in states like Michigan (R governor), Ohio (R governor), Florida (R governor), Pennsylvania (R governor) and Virginia (R governor), all states that have had voter purge attempts and/or voter ID laws, then the voter suppression, voter fraud, and vote manipulation (all things Republicans are not above doing, as Nathan Sproul unintentionally informed the nation) will be more difficult to detect. Against cries of foul play, Republicans can point to an overwhelming number of Republican polls from conservative hack firms that show a "close race" for plausible deniability. In addition, if the public has been getting stories from news outlets and forecaster predicting a tight race, there may be less public outcry and more public indifference towards charges of vote manipulation and electoral malfeasance. Now I don't tend to get into conspiracy theory crap at all, but there is a tipping point where all things begin to point to the same conclusion. As a great adventurer once said,



Should we be worried about the forecasters or election stealing?

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| 231 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  I just think (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    that the model has 'momentum' or 'inertia', which makes sense so that trends don't radically swing with the introduction of outliers.

    •  Yes...that could be true. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DemInSeattle, bluedust, wishingwell

      I haven't looked closely enough at Nate's methodology to see how he handles state-level polls. But Nate says his model shows a narrowing in his forecast of the electoral college, which has to be based on state level polls (among maybe some other things). Now given that little beyond polling has changed (and even the polls haven't changed significantly in the reputable, non-ideological firms), I can't think of anything else that would create a substantial effect on the electoral college vote. Based on the above, it's clear what would drive such a narrowing. I don't think it reflects an actual narrowing of the race, but a shift in the data sources.

      Blogs: Twitter: realsteveholt

      by steveholt on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 07:22:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  My point is that we shouldn't be worried... (8+ / 0-)

      about our state of affairs. We are still winning and pretty significantly outside of the Republican bubble. The difference now is the conservative bubble is conducting a substantial number of polls that seem to be in left field compared to non-ideological firm polls, and those numbers are affecting the general narrative of the race. If we have anything to be worried about, it's not the reality of the race, but the potential for illegal shenanigans.

      Blogs: Twitter: realsteveholt

      by steveholt on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 07:26:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  We're winning. We're winning. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LordMike, live1, wishingwell

        Just keep repeating that and eventually it will become real. I'm with you, reality is not someplace I can handle being right now. So we're winning. We're winning.

        •  By any standard, Obama is still winning. n/t (4+ / 0-)

          "Southern nights have you ever felt a southern night?" Allen Toussaint ~~Remember the Gulf of Mexico~~

          by rubyr on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 08:23:42 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Not really... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            PPP had a very ominous tweet about Ohio right now...


            by LordMike on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 08:28:11 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  OH NO!!! NOT AN OMINOUS TWEET!!! (6+ / 0-)

              Stop this defeatist bullshit. It is counter productive and ruins other people's enthusiasm. Unless that is your intention.
              I don't care how ominous the tweet was, he is still winning.
              Grow a pair.  

              "Southern nights have you ever felt a southern night?" Allen Toussaint ~~Remember the Gulf of Mexico~~

              by rubyr on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 08:43:00 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Thanks rubyr as this weekend is a big weekend for (0+ / 0-)

                GOTV activities all over this country and in every OFA office. There is a big push for phone banking and canvassing, entering data, volunteer.

                I cannot emphasize how important the ground game is to winning and also we are trying to keep up our energy and morale.

                We are busy calling people and we need to be postiive and optimistic if we are going to be phone banking and knocking on doors.  

                No is not the time to worry and be nervous, now is the time to work our butts off. Whomever gets their voters out to vote wins.  

                We may even have voters who are soft supporters coming here and all this fear and worry could cause them to fear defeat.

                But more importantly, most of the people are very involved in GOTV activities and we cannot be Defeatist.

                Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

                by wishingwell on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 09:41:34 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  PPP foreshadowing Ohio dip? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    oxon, bluedust

    Latest tweet from them:

    Ohio looks pretty darn close on the first night of our poll there. We'll do more calls tomorrow and have results in the evening
    •  They were close (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      v2aggie2, live1, LaurenMonica

      Before too. O plus 4. Wouldn't be surprised if its O plus 1 now.

    •  Hmm... (3+ / 0-)

      Interesting. Thanks for the info...maybe the Ohio gap is closing and we should be a little worries about the actual state of the race...

      Blogs: Twitter: realsteveholt

      by steveholt on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 07:28:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  worried* (0+ / 0-)

        Blogs: Twitter: realsteveholt

        by steveholt on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 07:29:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Obama can lose Ohio and still win (3+ / 0-)

        BUT, I believe he will win Ohio, regardless of how close the polling may now be.

        "When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained." - Mark Twain

        by Moon Mop on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 07:31:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Definitely... (6+ / 0-)

          Actually, Obama can lose the trifecta (OH, FL, VA) and win out the rest and still win. I don't think he'll lose Ohio either (particularly after saving GM and Chrysler), especially with two strong final debates.

          I just find the post-debate polls from the conservative outfits not only inherently suspect and suspect against non-conservative polls, but I find it hard to believe that the debate really changed the race that much given the relatively low number of undecideds this election and how little debates alter presidential elections throughout history.

          Blogs: Twitter: realsteveholt

          by steveholt on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 07:37:57 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Picking and choosing polls? (0+ / 0-)

            That's a tricky game...probably best to use Nate, RCP, TPM and see what they say.

            •  That's not what I'm suggesting... (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              rubyr, yella dawg, wishingwell

              but you don't find the flood of conservative group polls suspect? I mean, the volume is just ridiculous. Obviously it's best to keep our ears to the ground and keep as realistic a view as possible on the state of things so we aren't surprised, but it's also important to note the sources of the data. I think that's something that often goes unnoticed (or at least under-noticed), and after looking at it, something just seems a little suspicious.

              Blogs: Twitter: realsteveholt

              by steveholt on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 08:07:13 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Something isn't right with all of this. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            steveholt, wishingwell, CocoaLove

            I don't believe it either.  Something else is going on.

          •  Have you considered (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            that obama will lose Ohio, WI, and Iowa? Because that's what i'm thinking is gonna happen. you are underestimating white rage. there's a diary up on this. go read it.

            •  What? Where is the link to the diary and (4+ / 0-)

              why are you so invested in him losing? WTF?

              "Southern nights have you ever felt a southern night?" Allen Toussaint ~~Remember the Gulf of Mexico~~

              by rubyr on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 08:27:53 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I'm not (0+ / 0-)

                I'm sick over it. Because the problem is white resentment, and that is not something we will be able to overcome. It is the only explanation for this amount of tanking. The only sensible one.

                •  I looked up "white rage" and the people (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  yella dawg, wishingwell, CocoaLove

                  who are worried about the diminishment of the WHITE RACE were never, ever going to vote for Obama. You should be worried about voter suppression and theft.  

                  "Southern nights have you ever felt a southern night?" Allen Toussaint ~~Remember the Gulf of Mexico~~

                  by rubyr on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 08:32:44 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I am worried about that too. (0+ / 0-)

                    look, i don't wanna fight with you. your on the right side. so am i. i just realized that the inconvenient race thingy is rearing its head. What do you think Rand Paul and his ilk meant when they said they are taking their country back? Back from whom? from the Black man in the white house, that's who. i thought we had evolved from this; you and i have, but a lot of people have not.

                    •  The people who feel white rage did NOT just (4+ / 0-)

                      start feeling it a week ago. Get a grip. I don't want to fight either but I have had it up to the sky with this defeatist crap based on unbelievable suppositions.

                      There is a race thing. There has been since January 2009. It did not just pop up. The Repugs want you to think that it did. No. They are skewing the polls and people like you are eating their crap up and making things negative for everyone.

                      Get to work, I say, fight back. Fight for the rights of POC, fight for yourself and this country. Don't let the Right Wing manipulate you.

                      There aren't enough white men who were FOR Obama to have shifted and made any difference in this race. They weren't there to begin with.

                      "Southern nights have you ever felt a southern night?" Allen Toussaint ~~Remember the Gulf of Mexico~~

                      by rubyr on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 08:54:52 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Amen Rubyr, well stated !!! If someone (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:

                        has white rage, they surely would not have voted for him 4 years ago or now.

                        He was black 4 years ago and still won convincingly and without doubt.

                        Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

                        by wishingwell on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 10:11:44 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Thanks, wishingwell! I feel like we are down the (0+ / 0-)

                          rabbit hole lately. Just crazy making.

                          Hope all is well with you and yours.

                          "Southern nights have you ever felt a southern night?" Allen Toussaint ~~Remember the Gulf of Mexico~~

                          by rubyr on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 07:19:32 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                •  First--we are not "tanking" that is horseshit (4+ / 0-)

                  --the polls are tightening as they always do closer to an election.

                  Second -- Do you think the debate inflamed white rage across the country? That is was dormant and has just now reared its ugly head.

                  Third -- The sensible explanation is the one postulated in this diary but you don't want to look at it.

                  You are not making sense.

                  "Southern nights have you ever felt a southern night?" Allen Toussaint ~~Remember the Gulf of Mexico~~

                  by rubyr on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 08:50:47 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  But those who voted for him last time, I doubt (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  they have all this white rage.  That would make no sense. Obama was black 4 years ago.   And he was more unknown than he is now. Those feeling some white rage would surely never vote for him.

                  Remember this man, our President received nearly  69 million votes.

                  Is racism a factor? Of course, but that would not be Democrats or those who once supported Obama. He will never get their votes.

                  And if there is such White Rage when the President was clearly very calm, cool,  and not angry or aggressive at all during the First Debate, why would White Rage cause these poll numbers?  Most people said Obama was not energetic or passionate enough ?  White Rage happens when people see the Angry Black Man persona.

                  No way did Our President act like an angry black man who could chase away those considering voting for him or those who voted for him before when he clearly was so calm, too quiet, too laid back...he was not angry at all.

                  I think there are other factors including the fact Mitt lied and lied and presented himself as almost a liberal who would do what Obama would do but better.  And Mitt was all aggressive.

                  I guess I have to face it  that a lot of voters prefer fast talking, high energy,  bullying over someone being laid back and calm.

                  Plus polls always tighten close to the Presidential election we get unless a major event occurs like when the economy crashed 4 years ago.

                  Hell Kerry and Bush race tightened to a near tie Election Day with some saying Kerry was ahead and was going to win.

                  I remember Tucker Carlson Election Day saying he was sure Kerry would win and had momentum.

                  Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

                  by wishingwell on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 10:09:12 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  White rage tends to have stronger... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              effects in people that wouldn't vote for a Democrat anyway. It my shave some of his margins due to losing a few swing voters (hence we are closer than in 2008), but overall, I think any worry about white rage as a factor this cycle is probably overstated. It's an explanation of the Tea Party, 2010 low turn-out mid-terms, congressional obstructionism, and Glenn Beck's fortune, but not necessarily of 2012 presidential elections. I don't think he'll lose any because at the end of the day, Obama will be better for the wallets of those states (auto and wind).

              Blogs: Twitter: realsteveholt

              by steveholt on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 08:34:19 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Steve, i wanna believe you (0+ / 0-)

                but how else do we account for this precipitous drop in the polls just because Obama screwed the pooch in one debate? W blew all three and still won. Reagan blew the first one and went on to win 49 states. Obama seems knocked out and he is not really getting back up. Not yet.

            •  Virginia, Nevada, & Colorado (0+ / 0-)

              would still win it... even in that situation. I believe he could even lose New Hampshire too int hat scenario, this is the one I just drew up... 271 EVs.

              from looking back at 2008 and 2010 I'm convinced that the polling is underestimating Obama's strength in Colorado & Nevada... Obama also outperformed Virginia... I'm pretty confident he will hold on there.

          •  I agree with you about everything. It (0+ / 0-)

            doesn't make sense for the very reasons that you state.

            "Southern nights have you ever felt a southern night?" Allen Toussaint ~~Remember the Gulf of Mexico~~

            by rubyr on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 08:26:43 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Yes we kept hearing before Debate how few (0+ / 0-)

            undecideds this time around than in elections before.
            Pundits and pollsters kept saying that most people had decided...very very few undecided.

            So something strange is going on as this is not all about undecideds.  As that goes against all we have heard for 6 months now about how few undecideds there are this election.

            Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

            by wishingwell on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 09:49:16 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Ohio is a gauge of where he stands elsewhere IMO. (4+ / 0-)

          I see it as more like he can afford to lose FL.

          If he's losing Ohio, the argument is that he'd lose somewhat similar demographic states like Wisconsin and Iowa.

          In VA, and OH, I hope the AA and youth turnout is huge. Nobody in media expects 2008 but hopefully the Obama ground came can come through.

          •  Good points. Something to keep in mind. (0+ / 0-)

            Blogs: Twitter: realsteveholt

            by steveholt on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 07:44:01 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  exactly, and I think this is what will happen (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            because it has become clear to me now that this election is not about the economy or Libya or Romney. It is about white rage. And nothing Obama can do at this point is gonna stip that tide from rolling in.

            •  You are all over this diary talking about (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              yella dawg, wishingwell

              "white rage." I have never heard this term and I am on this site and many others often, read many newspapers and magazine articles. What are you talking about? What white rage?

              "Southern nights have you ever felt a southern night?" Allen Toussaint ~~Remember the Gulf of Mexico~~

              by rubyr on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 08:29:45 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  In other words there is an underlying resentment (0+ / 0-)

                that many whites have against Obama.

                Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservatives. John Stuart Mill

                by Micheline on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 08:37:04 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  thank you (0+ / 0-)

                  can you post a link to that excellent diary? I'm too computer challenged to bother.

                •  But those people did not vote for him last time (0+ / 0-)

                  and he still got 69 million votes~ It is the right wingers and the Republicans with all the white Lindsay Graham said...we do not have enough angry white man to sustain the party long term.

                  I doubt those who voted for Obama before or were polled after the convention and gave him a bounce...had issues with white rage.

                  The sudden drop in the polls could be partly the debate and how MItt got away with lie after lie but they saw him as a fighter and passionate and add to that the media hysteria for a week about how masterful Mitt was and how poorly Obama did..blah blah ...

                  Meida narrative plus debate could cause a great deal of this plus perhaps some of these people were soft Obama supporters ..that is what Nate was saying this week..maybe people who were polled who said they were voting for Obama and changed their mind.

                  People who were going to vote for Obama but changed their minds are often swing voters..different from undecided voters...soft supporters who may not be happy with Obamacare, Afghanistan , or some other issue and may want  a change.

                  It could be something about seeing Mitt on stage with the President and buying his lies. There are a ton of low information voters. I am amazed as over the nearly 4o years I have bee doing GOTV, more and more low information voters we keep encountering. I think that is because so many have to work 2 jobs and raise kids and kids are involved in more sports and clubs than ever before. People have less time to learn the issues and figure out Mit is lying.

                  I doubt soft supporters of Obama who have flipped have White Rage. Those White Rage types were not the voters he lost who were soft supporters who changed their minds.

                  Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

                  by wishingwell on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 10:24:01 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  yes (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    I think what you are describing is about right... and this is very difficult to deal with, because how do you sway someone who is ignorant of the facts and who is so easily swayed by lies...?

                    Unfortunately that explains why so much of the debate focus is on style... people like this are mostly swayed by style since they don't really have any context for the arguments being made.

                    •  Yes and why I think Presidential Debates ending up (0+ / 0-)

                      being scored only on style and not substance and a candidate can get away with completing his entire campaign ..up to that point...or should I say with Mitt..he has been campaigning since 2007/

                      Debates used to be more serious and a chance for the candidates to talk about their policies and positions. And voters could compare and contrast based on policies and what they said. There were voter guides of each platform sent to voters for the longest time. some areas still get them but mostly there are all propaganda fliers by a campaign and not the non partisan League of Women Voters Voter Guides of old.

                      Plus we did not have 24 hr cable when debates were scored more on substane or maybe I am kidding myself and it was always scored on style?

                      I am one who thinks we could do without Presidential debates in this day of so much information and the internet.  But I do think debates for House and Senate are needed as many times, voters do not know anything about who is running for these seats and those debates tend to inform. more than be about style.

                      Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

                      by wishingwell on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 01:38:28 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  sorry meant to say Mitt got away with completing (0+ / 0-)

                        changing his campaign ..the same one he had for all 18 months, erased it, started over again on Debate night.

                        Has a campaign switched overnight anytime like that in history?  Where everything they said for months during the General Election is wiped out instantly overnight?  

                        I have been following and volunteering for campaigns for decades and never, ever saw a candidate so close to election flip flop every day, not get called on it by the media, and in one day..first time ever..completely start a new campaign during the Debate.


                        And here I thought I saw it all over these decades, not even close.

                        Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

                        by wishingwell on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 01:41:32 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                •  this is certainly true (0+ / 0-)

                  but the vast majority of those people didn't vote for him in the first place... I just don't think there are many Obama '08 voters who have "white rage" against the man they elected President.

              •  There is a picture of a man at a Romney rally (0+ / 0-)

                Wearing a shirt saying "put the white back in the White House".

                •  Kind of like the Tea Party posters... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  of "Witch Doctor Obama?" These people, while tragic examples of a legacy that is dying too slowly, will not give Romney the race. They were going to vote and going to vote Republican regardless of Obama's ethnicity.

                  Blogs: Twitter: realsteveholt

                  by steveholt on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 08:50:50 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  He won Wisconsin & Iowa by far more (0+ / 0-)

            Obama won big in Wisconsin (14%) and Iowa (9.5%) ... he won Ohio by 4.6%  ... he seems likely there'd be a bit of cushion between losing Ohio and those two states ... although perhaps the auto bailout (good in Ohio not as much of a factor in the other two) and Paul Ryan (Wisconsin...) factor in there to make the math a bit more complicated.

        •  if he loses those states (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          then he's not winning the others

        •  yup (0+ / 0-)

          there are two other paths that seem very possible to me in the event that Ohio does slip away:

          1. Nevada & Colorado (this is often overlooked... but Gore/Kerry states plus Nevada & Colorado get Obama over 270.)

          2. Virginia (if you take Ohio away from the current map Virginia still gets Obama to 276.)

          .... there's also this 3rd way that seems a bit more of a long shot but could come into play ... this almost definitely a situation where Obama loses the popular vote. But after what happened in 2000, it's our turn - right?

          3. Nevada, Colorado, & Virginia would win it even if a lot of other things went wrong (like losses in Iowa, Wisconsin, & NH along with losing Ohio / Florida.) ... this equals 271 EVs I believe.

  •  Sudden avalanche of Romney attack-ads working? (8+ / 0-)

    Their side might have had the opposite idea.  Wait to the end....whereas the Obama camp was going strong in the beginning.  From Washington Post:

    Ad purchases in the presidential race doubled or in some cases tripled last week in swing states such as Colorado, Florida, Iowa and Virginia, tracking data show. The surge is being driven by Romney and well-funded allies, who decided against running more ads earlier in the campaign in favor of a big bang at the end.
  •  Nate Silver does weight polls (5+ / 0-)

    Based on past performance.  It's built into his model.

    Economic Left/Right: -7.38
    Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -8.00
    Two steps to the right of Trotsky.

    by jvance on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 07:36:19 PM PDT

    •  I see...thanks for the info. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Still, given the volume, that may still through off his model marginally at the state-level in his electoral college forecasting. I mean, the state level N's of polls are relatively low, so when you have 3 to 1 conservative pollsters (like in Ohio on the 11th), it can still shift the model in unnatural or unexpected ways. Of course, maybe not... Just kind of thinking aloud (or into my keyboard as the case may be).

      Blogs: Twitter: realsteveholt

      by steveholt on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 07:42:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  yes I think that is their strategy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    make it look close and steal it

    An idea is not responsible for who happens to be carrying it at the moment. It stands or falls on its own merits.

    by don mikulecky on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 07:42:22 PM PDT

  •  That Sam Wang dude at Princeton (0+ / 0-)

    has a way better site than Silver.

    Keep Calm and Carry On. But kick some unholy ass if the situation warrants.

    by GOPGO2H3LL on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 07:43:12 PM PDT

    •  Problem w/ Nate & Sam Wang... (0+ / 0-) that they fail to quantify immediate changes in sentiment.

      Intrade does this effectively.

      During the debate, the President's Intrade contract went from 71 to 66.  Went down to 64 two days later.  

      Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project.

      by PatriciaVa on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 07:59:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Agreed. It is easier to steal a close race (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    than one with a wider margin.

    However, as the Biden debate, and later (one hopes) successful Obama debates (call the liar a liar, Mr. President), the numbers will shift, again.

    With the current fundamentals, I don't see how Romney/Ryan can sustain momentum, even with bogus polls to drive the narrative. Outliars (sic - unintended typo) will show up as such.

    By fundamentals I mean Obama's intrinsic likeability and Romney's lack thereof; falling unemployment; rising consumer confidence; the continuing GOP alienation of women, latinos, and African Americans; and the reticence of the country to head off to war at Bibi's behest.

    With gravity working against him on an icy, uphill slope, it won't take much of a push to send the GOP pretender back to the bottom, again.

    •  Very true. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      oxon, wishingwell

      The fundamentals definitely support the president. I will say a new Pew poll has Romney even among women, which is disconcerting. I'm not going to lose sleep over one poll, of course, but it's not good. The Ryan debate abortion statements will likely right that ship.

      I will admit, I do get nervous that so much seems to be riding on the last two debates for correcting the trajectory. I think lying is much easier than making a factual case, and being a rambunctious jerk comes more naturally to Romney than Obama. If the first debate and the media narrative following it was any indication, winning on facts and substance is no longer an option. I am still shocked that the media turned that into more of a landslide than the debate itself seemed to me. I do expect Obama to do better, but given that the media seems okay with declaring a winner the candidate that lies incessantly and talks over the moderator like a spoiled brat, I don't know what's for certain anymore. McCain at least debated Obama in a mostly calm manner that allowed a comparison of substance. Such debates play to Obama's strengths. Not sure if that opportunity will come this time around...

      Blogs: Twitter: realsteveholt

      by steveholt on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 07:55:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You can always try the Nerdwallet forecast (0+ / 0-)

    Romney went from a 7% probability pre-debate, to a 27% probability today.

  •  Nate corrects for bias if he can. (0+ / 0-)

    He calls it "house effects."  If a pollster is consistently right or left of the consensus of other polls, his model adjusts their results to compensate.

    Numbers are like people . . . Torture them enough and they'll tell you anything.

    by Actuary4Change on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 07:54:40 PM PDT

    •  True. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I just wonder if his model corrects for volume on this scale. I don't have the time to go back to previous years to see if there's ever been a comparable shift in poll sources, but post-Citizens United effects leads me to believe that this may be unique. Many of the new post debate polls are attributable to or financed by conservative Super Pacs. While conservatives have always had deep pockets, I don't know if they've had the kind of bottomless, unregulated resources to fund a flood of polling data in previous cycles.

      Blogs: Twitter: realsteveholt

      by steveholt on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 08:00:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Excellent Diary... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    steveholt, wishingwell

    ...thanks. Ironically, one byproduct of what they are doing, if what you theorize is true, is that it is driving democrats to work harder. Suppose the reality hasn't changed--but now our side is far better motivated than before, thinking it has.

    Please visit The Daily Music Break for some good music.

    by cweinsch on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 07:58:24 PM PDT

    •  Thank you. (0+ / 0-)

      Although I will say, most studies show that voter depression has larger effects when a candidate is down than any "extra effort motivation." If this remains short run, we will definitely see motivation boosts, but not if a Romney lead becomes the new long-run story. Of course, the margins matter too, so you're absolutely right if what I am theorizing is true, since they will not be able to push this enough out of "margin of error" territory for the story to become "Romney's winning."

      The debates should serve us well, and the fundamentals favor us, so I'm not particularly worried. I just smell something odd afoot...

      Blogs: Twitter: realsteveholt

      by steveholt on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 08:16:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Absolutely on the money about everything, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    IMHO. Excellent --

    "Southern nights have you ever felt a southern night?" Allen Toussaint ~~Remember the Gulf of Mexico~~

    by rubyr on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 08:05:45 PM PDT

  •  Nate this..Nate that (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    steveholt, JackND

    Reading all the alarmists going ape shit over Nate Silver's take on a few days of the election campaign is about all I can take.

    This guy used to do baseball numbers and now he talks political numbers.

    In 2010 Nate had a 30% chance of the Republican winning 60 seats in the House. They won 64 and now because of some bullshit reason, that only he knows, so many are looking for a bridge to leap from?

    This is the same guy who cast doubt on climate change models. He is sometimes right and sometimes wrong.

    I refuse to let his dogma dictate whether I am having a good day or not.

    •  the only thing he is wrong about (0+ / 0-)

      is that he isn't discussing the biggest issue; Obama has dark skin. Whatever whites voted for him 2008 are not showing up for him this time, and all the ones who sat it out are fired up. How does Nate factor that in?

      •  If what you say is true.. (0+ / 0-)

        Then all is lost. I so hope you are wrong.

      •  But Obama was black 4 years ago and how about (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        the fact his poll numbers were quite good before the debate.  If someone who was going to vote for Obama changed their mind because they got caught up in Mitt having energy at the debate...that could account for some of it.

        Swing states are getting carpet bombed since the debae with negative ads about Obama and all those 3rd party groups..remember this is our first post Citizens United election. There are bottomless pits of money right wingers are spending to defeat him.   Mitt and Rove groups are carpet bombing swing states with ads since the Debate.

        Carpet bombing with ads,  all the MSM gushing over MItt since the debate, bashing Obama and nearly calling him a loser for a solid week,  add all of this together...that could account for a drop in the polls.

        The challenger gets on the stage with the President and suddenly low information voters who were not paying attention, pay attention and buy all Mitts lies. Remember the media all liked MItts lies and did nothing much to fact check.  

        Media across the entire country gushed over Mitt in that debate and how presidential he looked.

        I think it is all the Republicans who told pollsters they were staying home are going to vote now...and Paulites who were going to stay home are going to vote now and Obama lost some former supporters who may not like Obamacare or thought Mitt had more energy and passion.

        All my husband heard from swing voters at work and around town was how the President lacked passion, seemed tired, disinterested and how Mitt was such a fighter and so energetic.

        Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

        by wishingwell on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 10:40:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Well said. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I suppose my broader point was in line with that...

      My point was Nate Silver's models include polling data, and the recent inputs that appear to be driving the shift are suspect. The alarmism from Silver should be tempered (if not ended). Additionally, my point was that if there was alarmism to be had, it should be about elections stealing...

      Blogs: Twitter: realsteveholt

      by steveholt on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 08:29:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It doesn't matter. (6+ / 0-)

    I can't believe I just duped myself into reading yet another polling diary.

    What matters is what we're doing on the ground and in this community to re-elect the President and elect more and better Democrats to support him in 2013.

    Stop clapping. Stop screaming. Open your mind. Listen. (Oh, and I support President Obama in 2012.)

    by Benintn on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 08:26:20 PM PDT

    •  Part of doing that in this community... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      and even on the ground is knowing what we're up against. Hence, polls. And beyond that, keeping an eye on polls and trends is as good a check against elections stealing and Republican voter suppression and voter fraud as we are likely to get. My point was that we shouldn't worry about the polls and the models for as long as hack conservative pollsters are flooding the numbers.

      Blogs: Twitter: realsteveholt

      by steveholt on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 08:36:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Silver weights the polls or he did. (0+ / 0-)

    In 08, before he sold out for big bucks and still had is own site, Silver spent a lot of time discussing how he evaluates and weights the various polls.  He has over time touched on all the variables he uses but of course he never explains in detail how his analysis works.  

    A bad idea isn't responsible for those who believe it. ---Stephen Cannell

    by YellerDog on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 08:28:14 PM PDT

    •  Yeah... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      But I pointed out in some of the comments above, I wonder if the post-CU nature of this race has created an out-of-the-ordinary flood of conservative group polling that his model can't account for (since forecasting models are inherently built to draw on history, aberrations can break the models).

      Blogs: Twitter: realsteveholt

      by steveholt on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 08:39:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Well, a wonderful diary with a sensible (5+ / 0-)

    explanation of poll weirdness and a good warning about voter suppression and theft and then a shitload of negative commenters who are convinced that the President will lose, there is nothing for it and who are ignoring every positive thing and harping on suppositions that make no freaking sense at all.

    This reeks of people who are miserable and will not stop until they make everyone else miserable. Sorry this happened in your diary.

    Not one person is discussing what you actually wrote about.
    A waste of a very good diary and very good possibility for an enlightened discussion.

    "Southern nights have you ever felt a southern night?" Allen Toussaint ~~Remember the Gulf of Mexico~~

    by rubyr on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 08:36:36 PM PDT

    •  Thank you for the sentiments and compliments... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rubyr, wishingwell

      I too am surprised at the direction the conversation went...much more discussion about model weights and concern for Obama actually losing than I really expected, particularly given the points I was trying to make...

      Blogs: Twitter: realsteveholt

      by steveholt on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 08:46:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It is very hard to deter people who are on (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        steveholt, live1, wishingwell

        a mission-even if that mission is maintaining their own misery.

        I admire your patience and level responses. I am beyond that. i am sick to death of Dems eating their own, splashing their angst all over the place with no rational basis for it and generally bringing people down and acting in a cowardly manner.

        Sorry to be so unkind in your diary.

        I hope that some people come into this diary who can discuss your excellent points in a rational manner.  

        "Southern nights have you ever felt a southern night?" Allen Toussaint ~~Remember the Gulf of Mexico~~

        by rubyr on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 08:59:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I fucking hate polls (0+ / 0-)

    and polls of polls
    and reading the entrails of goats.
    Which is the same thing.

  •  Polling conflict aside... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    steveholt, smokey545

    This does bring up a point I'm concerned about.  And after 2000, I don't put this in the CT category anymore.

    One piece of news that wasn't included in this diary, but should have been (IMO) was this on Oct 4 from the Washington Post:

    Breaking from two decades of tradition, this year’s election exit poll is set to include surveys of voters in 31 states, not all 50 as it has for the past five presidential elections, according to multiple people involved in the planning.
    While I've never completely trusted exit polls, they do provide a bit of "check and balance" against election fraud.

    The states that aren't going to be exit polled are supposedly "solidly Obama" or "solidly Romney" with one or two tossups, included.

    When you add the issues the diarist outlined here, as well as one-off stuff that comes in off the front page like the cut in exit polling, I find it hard not to be concerned about the Repubs trying to pull some kind of dirty trick on election day.

    And yes, I readily admit I'm a natural born worrywart.  However, if there's a foul smell beginning to permeate the air, I tend to look around for the skunk.

    Repub = skunk sounds like a truism to me.

    •  Very well said. Excellent point! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I actually remember reading that story the other day and having the same reaction. It was probably still in my sub-conscience as I began thinking through the issues in this diary (particularly as I try my hardest to avoid CT posts, it took a pretty strong trend to prompt this), but I unfortunately forgot about it while writing this. Excellent point though!

      Blogs: Twitter: realsteveholt

      by steveholt on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 08:55:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Like exit polling in '04 that showed Kerry winning (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      "We must be the change we wish to see in the world" - Gandhi
      "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" – FDR

      by smokey545 on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 09:11:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I've been thinking about this all day. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    steveholt, smokey545, wishingwell

    Whether the "hack" pollsters are coordinating the effort or not, any model that uses their data for prediction is going to be inluenced by them.  I was thinking about this a lot earlier in the week as the data was coming in and the prediction didn't change that much.  That data eventually had to start driving the model.  And now it is.  I don't like it, but only time will tell.  Gotta wait until late next week to really see the state of the race post debate bounce.  Pretty sure some here will have no skin left on their knuckles by then.  Too bad more folks can't put that energy into canvassing and phone banking.

  •  Kerosene (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Probably shouldn't toss this on the woodpile but...a little fuel for the "stealing the vote" fire.

  •  Oh... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Hamlet we go.

    Nate Silver hasn't altered his model since two weeks ago, when Obama was flying high and everyone here was loving it. This place is really starting to sound like the unskew brigade lately.

    People are so desperate to blame anyone but Barack Obama for the slide in the polls. It's really quite unnerving. He screwed's not treasonous to point it out.

    "It's almost as if we're watching Mitt Romney on Safari in his own country." -- Jonathan Capeheart

    by JackND on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 09:07:17 PM PDT

    •  A few things: (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      live1, wishingwell

      Nothing in my diary even comes close to suggesting anything like the "unskew" brigade. First, not to reveal too much about myself, but I have a background in survey research and statistical methodology, so I am not one to promote such non-sense. There's a difference, however, between accusing pollsters with time tested, scientific methodologies and a long history of reliable polling (e.g. Gallup, Marist, Selzer, Quinnipiac, PPP) of skewing and questioning the validity of robo-calling pollsters with completely unscientific methods (Ras, WAA) and even worse pollsters that are funded by SuperPacs, as in some of the 10.11.12 polls, or blatant hacks (Gravis, ARG).

      In addition, my point was the input data (polls from hack pollsters) is, by nature of modeling methodology, in all likelihood, skewing aggregate models, such as Nate's. Very much unlike the "unskew brigade," I do not believe Nate or the poll aggregators are intentionally introducing skew, but that the source data is of a dubious nature (hence why I looked at the pre-debate/post-debate poll distribution between research outfits and conservative outfits). As I point out, the significant uptick in polls from conservative hack firms may be driving the shift in the forecasting models (I would expect this influences electoral college forecasts more than anything else) more than an actual change in voter preferences.

      Finally, I completely disagree with your assertion that Obama screwed the pooch (particularly badly enough to change the race trajectory for more than a news cycle or two). I think most of the post-debate samples and post-debate reactions were driven by the incessant and completely uncontested claims in the media that Romney won handily (the most reliable and scientific polls to measure debate response came Friday and Saturday, after the pundits had been screaming that Romney had won at the top of their lungs and before Romney's litany of lies had received much coverage). I definitely don't think the pundit reaction matched the debate performances of either men (unless you are mindless enough to believe that blustering senselessly [but energetically], rudely talking down the moderator, childishly arguing about who gets the last word, and, again, lying your ass off, even after being rebutted, while offering no detailed proposals or visions counts as an undeniable debate win). I thought Romney may have done enough to draw even, but certainly not commensurate with the pundit reactions immediately following the debate.

      Blogs: Twitter: realsteveholt

      by steveholt on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 09:23:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  the media... (0+ / 0-)

        can only get away with the narrative that Romney won handily if there is a morsel of truth to it to build on...and boy is there.

        Fortunately, Democrats are still strong in the Senate races, so Obama's calamity has no coattail effects.

        "It's almost as if we're watching Mitt Romney on Safari in his own country." -- Jonathan Capeheart

        by JackND on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 09:33:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Actually, Biden/Ryan provides some... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wishingwell, CocoaLove

      insight on my point about Obama's debate performance. While we can't really go back and re-frame the media analysis immediately following the debate, we can you the similar demeanor both Biden and Ryan had as a contrast. Biden postured himself as more aggressive, interrupted multiple times, and just generally tried to dominate Ryan, similar to Romney's demeanor. In contrast, Ryan's demeanor was calm and on message. Of course, Biden, like Obama, had the additional advantage of having facts on his side and providing a more detailed vision and more positive message. After the Obama debate, however, even Democratic analysts, Democratic bloggers, and most pundits said Romney won, without immediately defending Obama or pointing out Romney's abrasiveness, rudeness, interrupting, talking out of turn, etc. (let alone his lack of substance and lying). Add that to the conservative and general pundit declarations, and you have the landslide in public perception. In contrast, conservatives and other pundits immediately highlighted the Biden's combativeness and interruptions in a negative light. Lo and behold, most of the polls showed that, although Biden won, it was hardly a game changing landslide. If Democratic analysts and pundits had treated the Obama debate with the same standard, instead of running around with their hair on fire like a bunch of morons, the public perception of the debate would have been different. When even Democrats are not pointing out Romney's rudeness and weak performance, hard to expect the polls to say otherwise...

      Blogs: Twitter: realsteveholt

      by steveholt on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 09:38:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  How do we know that Karl Rove is not seeding the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    bad GOP polling on purpose like you propose in your diary to change the momentum of the race. Or we we just being paranoid?

    "We must be the change we wish to see in the world" - Gandhi
    "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" – FDR

    by smokey545 on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 09:08:58 PM PDT

  •  After a bout of handwringing of my own (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Today, I've realized the polls are a distraction to me. I just need to keep my head down and keep making calls. There is not one damn thing else I can do - so I'm tuning out the polls for now.

  •  So... (0+ / 0-)

    ...the easy answer to this criticism is that it's pretty likely that Nate took takes into account the bias and quality of each pollster when adding that poll to the tally. A (lower quality and lean R) Rasmussen poll that has Obama down one nationwide isn't anywhere near as bad news for Obama as a (higher quality and lean D) PPP poll that has Obama down one.

    I think the real explanation for Obama's drop in the polls is that his first debate performance was really that bad. I would go so far as to say that the race is tied or worse right now, and the polls, which are intended as measurements of the state of the race, are still catching up to the new reality. If I'm right, expect Obama's odds of winning Nov 6th to drop below 50% in Nate Silver's model by Tuesday. Our response needs to be to GOTV in close states ... and Obama's response has to be to kick Romney's ass convincingly.

    ‎"Masculinity is not something given to you, but something you gain. And you gain it by winning small battles with honor." - Norman Mailer
    My Blog
    My wife's woodblock prints

    by maxomai on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 10:43:09 PM PDT

    •  I've adressed similar points in other comments... (0+ / 0-)

      but a quick response:

      This analysis was about electoral college forecasting (which is more important and has a greater weight on win probability in Nate's model). The national polls are actually trending back to Obama, albeit slowly. The state polls are where my analysis applies, and as I said in another comment, the post-CU nature of this election may cause things that render Nate's weights out of date or off enough to not handle a huge jump in hack Republican polls. I could be wrong, but I don't think there has ever been a cycle with the kind of open money necessary to pump out hack polls with the kind of frequency we've seen from conservative pollsters post debate. I can't imagine weights that would offset bias created by 3 conservative polls to 1 reputable poll in Ohio (as an example from my post) while not distorting data during normal polling distributions (such as the pre debate period above). And that's not me making uneducated speculation, as I have a background in this field.

      Blogs: Twitter: realsteveholt

      by steveholt on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 12:15:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I have noticed the swamping (0+ / 0-)

    of the polls by right wing pollsters ... I guess I just assume Nate Silver is weighting these appropriately and not allowing the 538 model to be thrown off by this BS... but perhaps it's something he didn't consider.

  •  All those RW pollsters suddenly popping out post (0+ / 0-)

    debate look suspicious to me.

    They are clearly aimed at helping Romney. Thats why I now taking everything with a grain of salt.

    "Rick Perry talks a lot and he's not very bright. And that's a combination I like in Republicans." --- James Carville

    by LaurenMonica on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 04:09:11 AM PDT

  •  even Obama disagrees with you (0+ / 0-)

    I trust my political instincts honed over decades more than I do yours.  Obama lost that debate.  Before anyone here even heard the first word of post-debate analysis, that's what we concluded and noted in the tv den. Even Obama has conceded that he should and could have done better.  For you to be claiming that Romney did not really win it, in the face of so much evidence to the contrary, tends to detract from your other opinions / judgements.  We lost that one, let's move on.  It was a battle, not the war.

    Having said that, I tend to agree with your other points.  I think the GOP has found a way to game Silver.  It's fairly obvious.  If Gravis polls are to be given ANY weight in Silver's analysis (as Silver does), then some of us should similarly form our own polling companies, run them out of our garages or basements and come up with similar bulls**t polling results and email them to Silver and news outlets every few days.

    •  Woah. Simmer down... (0+ / 0-)

      There is a way to disagree with me on one point, respectfully, and not insinuate that our disagreement calls into question my general credibility. I agree we should forget about the debate, but it's important to learn from our mistakes. To do that, I think it's important to recognize our mistakes.

      On Obama admitting he could have done better: what else was he going to do? As a candidate for president, he can't point out the things I (and others) do. Immediately following the debate, the campaign sent donation emails saying, "I hope I did you proud." I don't think they expected the kind of reaction they received. Listen, anyone who's been a progressive/Democrat for a long time knows that we have a tendency to panic too quickly and concede too much to conservative framing too quickly. We have done it for a long time, been suckered by it for a long time, and it seems to be continuing. My entire household (two political junkies that have followed Kos for a long time, one person who casually follows politics, and one who does not at all) ALL felt that the debate was a wash. Prior to watching any pundits, even during the debate itself, we were discussing how desperate Romney seemed, constantly flailing and interrupting the moderator. It made him seem like a childish asshole, certainly not a presidential contender. We thought Romney had done well enough to eek out a minor win, but we saw nothing game changing about either performance. We were all taken aback by the universal media reaction.

      If you read my above comment about the similarities between the Biden/Ryan "demeanor" dynamics and the differences in the spin from the analysts on both sides after the debates, you can get a sense of my point. Conservative pundits were quick to say it was a tie, that Ryan looked "calm, collected, knowledgeable, and presidential," and that Biden was rude for interrupting all the time. The same narrative could have been given by Liberal pundits after the first Obama/Romney debate, replacing "Ryan" with "Obama" and "Biden" with "Romney." In the public's eyes, the more aggressive, natural style of Biden still won, but it was not the landslide defeat that it seemed to be during the debate. Further, in the Obama debate, Obama had substance and facts on his side in a way that Ryan or Romney didn't. That we lowered ourselves to the standard of "omg, he said bullshit with more energy than Obama's presentation of his detailed plan for the next four years" should be seen as a moment of weakness that we can learn from.

      Look, Republicans are still relevant politically despite selling the worst, most asinine policies to the public, policies that go against the vast majorities own personal interests. Why? Because they know how to play the media spin and always stay unified. This is one example of an area we would be well advised to learn from.

      But we can agree to disagree on that (and both still be credible). We've always been a wide tent party, and I'm sure you and I agree on far more than we disagree on. Disagreeing on political tactics is minor in my mind.

      Blogs: Twitter: realsteveholt

      by steveholt on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 07:53:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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