Nate Silver on Politico: they try to cover politics “like it’s sports, but not in an intelligent way”

“Politico is … it’s like ‘Who won the day?’ kind of thing, right? They’re trying to cover it like it’s sports, but not in an intelligent way at all, right? And they want to create noise, basically, right? Their whole thing is, you have to have a lead story about some gaffe that some candidate made on the campaign trail.”

— Nate SilverTaking down Politico, which attempted a takedown of Silver just before the election, during an interview with ESPN’s Bill Simmons. Silver, who suffered a pretty solid rip at the hand of Dylan Byers just before the election, now won’t give Byers, who wants an interview with the FiveThirtyEight founder, the time of day. Silver, by the way, knows a thing or two about sports — he spent years devising a baseball-statistics system before moving into politics. (via shortformblog)

Exhibit A — posted on 11/27/2012: 

The Emerging Democratic Majority has arrived: women, minorities, and professionals

Benjy Sarlin at TPM interviewed the guy who called 2012 in 2002:

Calling all 50 states the day before the election as Nate Silver did is one thing — predicting President Obama’s winning majority 10 years in advance is hard to top.

But that’s what Ruy Teixeira did. Since 2002, when Democrats were at a low point and sinking lower, Teixeira has consistently argued that long-term demographic trends pointed to brighter days ahead for the party. He and John Judis published a book that year, “The Emerging Democratic Majority,” that envisioned a governing majority in the next decade consisting of three rapidly growing voting blocs — women, minorities, and professionals.

Along with young voters, these three groups are credited with powering Obama’s 2008 and 2012 victories. Latinos were critical in contests across the country on Tuesday, especially in Western states like New Mexico (no longer even a swing state), Nevada, and Colorado. African American turnout helped put Obama over the top in states like Ohio. Huge advantages with women helped secure states like Iowa (28% gender gap). And a growing professional class in Virginia and North Carolina — solid red states when Teixeira published his book — put the former in Obama’s camp for a second straight election and kept the latter competitive until the end.

It’s easy to forget now, but after President Bush won re-election in 2004, there was a popular school of thought that America was entering an extended period in which Republicans would hold an unshakable majority. Karl Rove claimed the results as a “realignment” in which evangelical and suburban turnout would destroy the Democrats’ viability as a national party. Other observers like  Michael Barone backed him up. Perhaps not coincidentally, both of them predicted a Romney landslide last week.

Teixeira stuck by his theory, however, and now one of the big post-election questions is whether Obama’s majority is the new political reality in America or a passing phase. TPM talked to Teixeira, now a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, a liberal DC think tank, on Thursday about what his research tells him about the future of the party…

Nate Silver is not having any of the news orgs’ infotainment, reality-show, photo-finish bullshit

“If the state polls are right, then Mr. Obama will win the Electoral College. If you can’t acknowledge that after a day when Mr. Obama leads 19 out of 20 swing-state polls, then you should abandon the pretense that your goal is to inform rather than entertain the public.”

— Nov. 2: For Romney to Win, State Polls Must Be Statistically Biased – NYTimes.com

“What I find confounding about [those who believe the race is a tossup] is that the argument we’re making is exceedingly simple. Here it is: “Obama’s ahead in Ohio.”

— Nate Silver, fivethirtyeight.com

via: silas216politicalprof

Make it so: VOTE!!

Voter ID laws: reduce Democratic turnout, swing the election

“Nate Silver has found that voter ID laws can reduce turnout by two to three percent among registered voters, which is certainly more than enough to swing a close election. He projects that Pennsylvania’s voter ID law, for example, will reduce voter turnout by 2.4 percent and provide a net 1.2 swing to a Republican candidate. That may not be enough to shift the presidential election, given Obama’s 8-point lead in the state, but it could influence the outcome in other races, particularly down-ballot. The scary thing is that we won’t know the impact of these laws until after the election — at which point it will be too late to do anything about it. At the very least, we’re looking at a lot of confusion and possible chaos on Election Day in important battleground states.”

— Ari Berman Exposes The GOP War On Voting (via truth-has-a-liberal-bias)

Don’t wait until the last minute:

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Understanding and Misunderstanding the ‘Enthusiasm Gap’

2008 Dem voters — you’re needed this midterm election too! Vote!

“When you hear the phrase “enthusiasm gap,” what you should really be thinking of is the turnout gap.

[...] The enthusiasm gap could mean one of two things:

  • It could mean that Democrats were particularly unenthusiastic, relative to a typical midterm election year — whereas Republican enthusiasm was about average. That would produce an enthusiasm gap, and would tell us a story about a depressed (or dissatisfied, or complacent) Democratic base.
  • Or, it could mean that Republicans were unusually excited about the elections, while Democratic enthusiasm was just at par. That would also produce an enthusiasm gap. But it would be much more a story about Republican excitement than one about disarray in the Democratic base.

In fact, it’s the latter explanation that seems to hold this year. The enthusiasm gap has more to do with abnormally high levels of Republican interest in the election than with despondent Democrats.”

Nate Silver | Understanding and Misunderstanding the ‘Enthusiasm Gap’

Fraud 2000

Salon War Room:


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DailyKos’ Markos Moulitsas ended his site’s relationship with the polling outfit Research 2000 after Nate Silver’s most recent pollster ratings listed them as wholly unreliable. Then a group of “statistics wizards” approached Kos with evidence suggesting that Research 2000 had manipulated — or maybe just made up — some or all of their poll data.

You can examine the report here. As a non-statistician, I can only say that it all looks convincing. And as Moulitsas writes, Research 2000 has refused to respond to the report or provide Kos with their raw data.

Kos writes:

While the investigation didn’t look at all of Research 2000 polling conducted for us, fact is I no longer have any confidence in any of it, and neither should anyone else. I ask that all poll tracking sites remove any Research 2000 polls commissioned by us from their databases. I hereby renounce any post we’ve written based exclusively on Research 2000 polling.

Kos also plans on suing them. While this is undoubtedly embarrassing, it’s admirable that Kos isn’t defending the shoddy work his site published.

UPDATE: Research 2000 Issues Cease & Desist Letter to FiveThirtyEight

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