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Old 08-07-2012, 08:21 PM  
whoman69 whoman69 is offline
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538

The latest 538 simulations have Obama winning 90.9% of the time with an average of 313.0 EC. The popular vote is seen as 50.8-48.3 or a 2.5 point lead for Obama.

The closest state contests are:
Florida 50.3% Obama
North Carolina 74.4% Romney
Virginia 79.4% Obama
Colorado 79.7% Obama
Iowa 84.3% Obama
New Hampshire 84.6% Obama

The following battleground states are now considered safe Obama meaning more than a 90% probability:
Michigan
Pennsylvania
Wisconsin
Nevada
Ohio

Obama has 303 EC at least 79%
Obama has 332 EC at least 50%

Last edited by whoman69; 11-06-2012 at 10:58 AM.. Reason: latest update
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Old 11-04-2012, 02:22 PM   #1021
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Yep, this will be where Obama will go first but the Bush tax cuts > than $250 will be gone. Republicans will have to vote to raise taxes.

I don't see a scenario that the adults in the Republican party allow the tea party to dictate that they just say no on everything for another 4 years.

Taxes will go up regardless of what GOP does -- they expire. There's no need for a vote.

But if Obama wins you'll see very little change. The GOP may try to hide behind the "we can't let the sequester happen," but I doubt much happens in the next four years. Which is unfortunate because the abomination that is Obamacare will start to metastasize and the novice in the White House will continue to make the same mistakes.
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Old 11-04-2012, 02:23 PM   #1022
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Interesting article about Nate and his modeling. Go to the link for links to numerous secondary articles:
Tarnished Silver: assessing the new king of stats
by Colby Cosh on Sunday, November 4, 2012

The whole world is suddenly talking about election pundit Nate Silver, and as a longtime heckler of Silver I find myself at a bit of a loss. These days, Silver is saying all the right things about statistical methodology and epistemological humility; he has written what looks like a very solid popular book about statistical forecasting; he has copped to being somewhat uncomfortable with his status as an all-seeing political guru, which tends to defuse efforts to make a nickname like “Mr. Overrated” stick; and he has, by challenging a blowhard to a cash bet, also damaged one of my major criticisms of his probabilistic presidential-election forecasts. That last move even earned Silver some prissy, ill-founded criticism from the public editor of the New York Times, which could hardly be better calculated to make me appreciate the man more.

The situation is that many of Nate Silver’s attackers don’t really know what the hell they are talking about. Unfortunately, this gives them something in common with many of Nate Silver’s defenders, who greet any objection to his standing or methods with cries of “Are you against SCIENCE? Are you against MAAATH?” If science and math are things you do appreciate and favour, I would ask you to resist the temptation to embody them in some particular person. Silver has had more than enough embarrassing faceplants in his life as an analyst that this should be obvious.

But, then, the defence proffered by the Silverbacks is generally a bit circular: if you challenge Silver’s method they shout about his record, and if you challenge his record they fall back on “Science is always provisional! It proceeds by guesswork and trial-and-error!” The result is that it doesn’t matter how far or how often wrong Silver has actually been—or whether he adds any meaningful information to the public stockpile when he does get things right. He can’t possibly lose any argument, because his heart appears to be in the right place and he talks a good game.

Both those things count. Silver is a terrific advocate for statistical literacy. But it is curious how often he seems to have failed upward almost inadvertently. Even this magazine’s coverage of Silver mentions the means by which he first gained public notice: his ostensibly successful background as a forecaster for the Baseball Prospectus website and publishing house.

Silver built a system for projecting future player performance called PECOTA—a glutinous mass of Excel formulas that claimed to offer the best possible guess as to how, say, Adam Dunn will hit next year. PECOTA, whose contents were proprietary and secret and which was a major selling point for BPro, quickly became an industry standard for bettors and fantasy-baseball players because of its claimed empirical basis. Unlike other projection systems, it would specifically compare Adam Dunn (and every other player) to similar players in the past who had been at the same age and had roughly the same statistical profile.

For most players in most years, Silver’s PECOTA worked pretty well. But the world of baseball research, like the world of political psephology, does have its cranky internet termites. They pointed out that PECOTA seemed to blunder when presented with unique players who lack historical comparators, particularly singles-hitting Japanese weirdo Ichiro Suzuki. More importantly, PECOTA produced reasonable predictions, but they were only marginally better than those generated by extremely simple models anyone could build. The baseball analyst known as “Tom Tango” (a mystery man I once profiled for Maclean’s, if you can call it a profile) created a baseline for projection systems that he named the “Marcels” after the monkey on the TV show Friends—the idea being that you must beat the Marcels, year-in and year-out, to prove you actually know more than a monkey. PECOTA didn’t offer much of an upgrade on the Marcels—sometimes none at all.

PECOTA came under added scrutiny in 2009, when it offered an outrageously high forecast—one that was derided immediately, even as people waited in fear and curiosity to see if it would pan out—for Baltimore Orioles rookie catcher Matt Wieters. Wieters did have a decent first year, but he has not, as PECOTA implied he would, rolled over the American League like the Kwantung Army sweeping Manchuria. By the time of the Wieters Affair, Silver had departed Baseball Prospectus for psephological godhood, ultimately leaving his proprietary model behind in the hands of a friendly skeptic, Colin Wyers, who was hired by BPro. In a series of 2010 posts by Wyers and others called “Reintroducing PECOTA”—though it could reasonably have been entitled “Why We Have To Bulldoze This Pigsty And Rebuild It From Scratch”—one can read between the lines. Or, hell, just read the lines.

Behind the scenes, the PECOTA process has always been like Von Hayes: large, complex, and full of creaky interactions and pinch points… The numbers crunching for PECOTA ended up taking weeks upon weeks every year, making for a frustrating delay for both authors of the Baseball Prospectus annual and fantasy baseball players nationwide. Bottlenecks where an individual was working furiously on one part of the process while everyone else was stuck waiting for them were not uncommon. To make matters worse, we were dealing with multiple sets of numbers.

…Like a Bizarro-world subway system where texting while drunk is mandatory for on-duty drivers, there were many possible points of derailment, and diagnosing problems across a set of busy people in different time zones often took longer than it should have. But we plowed along with the system with few changes despite its obvious drawbacks; Nate knew the ins and outs of it, in the end it produced results, and rebuilding the thing sensibly would be a huge undertaking. We knew that we weren’t adequately prepared in the event that Nate got hit by a bus, but such is the plight of the small partnership.

…As the season progressed, we had some of our top men—not in the Raiders of the Lost Ark meaning of the term—look at the spreadsheet to see how we could wring the intellectual property out of it and chuck what was left. But in addition to the copious lack of documentation, the measurables from the latest version of the spreadsheet I’ve got include nice round numbers like 26 worksheets, 532 variables, and a 103 MB file size. The file takes two and a half minutes to open on this computer, a fairly modern laptop. The file takes 30 seconds to close on this computer. …We’ve continued to push out PECOTA updates throughout the 2010 season, but we haven’t been happy with their presentation or documentation, and it’s become clear to everyone that it’s time to fix the problem once and for all.

For the record, the Wieters Bug turned out to be a problem highly specific to Wieters; in Silver’s “copiously undocumented” rat’s nest of a model, there was a blip in the coefficients for the two different minor leagues in which Wieters had played in 2008, and BPro did not have time to ransack the spreadsheets looking for the possible error. The Ichiro Problem, by contrast, is intractable by ordinary statistical means; there are just a few players who are so unusual that a forecaster is as well off, or better off, falling back on intuition and first-principles reasoning. (Unless, that is, he has better data. Today’s PECOTA is able to break batting average into finer-grained statistical components in the hope of detecting Ichiros more perceptively.)

If the history of Silver’s PECOTA is new to you, and you’re shocked by brutal phrases like “wring the intellectual property out of it and chuck what was left”, you should now have the sense to look slightly askance at the New PECOTA, i.e., Silver’s presidential-election model. When it comes to prestige, it stands about where PECOTA was in 2006. Like PECOTA, it has a plethora of vulnerable moving parts. Like PECOTA, it is proprietary and irreproducible. That last feature makes it unwise to use Silver’s model as a straw stand-in for “science”, as if the model had been fully specified in a peer-reviewed journal.

Silver has said a lot about the model’s theoretical underpinnings, and what he has said is all ostensibly convincing. The polling numbers he uses as inputs are available for scrutiny, if (but only if) you’re on his list of pollsters. The weights he assigns to various polling firms, and the generating model for those weights, are public. But that still leaves most of the model somewhat obscure, and without a long series of tests—i.e., U.S. elections—we don’t really know that Nate is not pulling the numbers out of the mathematical equivalent of a goat’s bum.

Unfortunately, the most useful practical tests must necessarily come by means of structurally unusual presidential elections. The one scheduled for Tuesday won’t tell us much, since Silver gives both major-party candidates a reasonable chance of victory and there is no Ross Perot-type third-party gunslinger or other foreseeable anomaly to put desirable stress on his model. Silver defended his probabilistic estimate of the horserace this week by pointing out that other estimates, some based on simpler models and some based on betting markets, largely agree with his.

This is true, and it leaves us with only the question of what information Silver’s model may actually be adding to the field of alternatives. The answer could conceivably be “Less than none”, if his model (or his style of model-building) is inherently prone to getting the easy calls right and blowing up completely in the face of more difficult ones. (Taraji P. Henson Alert!) It is worth pointing out that a couple of statisticians have given us a potential presidential equivalent of the Marcels—a super-simple model that nailed the electoral vote the last two times (and that actually is fully specified).

It is also worth pointing out that Silver built a forecasting model for the 2010 UK election, which did turn out to be structurally unusual because of the strong Lib Dem/Nick Clegg performance. Silver got into squabbles with British analysts whose models were too simple for his liking, and the whole affair was an exemplar of what Silver’s biggest fans imagine his role to be: the empiricist hard man, crashing in on the pseophological old boys’ club and delivering two-fisted blasts of rugged science. It did not go well in the end, as his site’s liveblog of the returns records:
10:00 PM (BST). BBC exit poll predicts Conservatives 307, Labour 255, LibDems 59.

10:01 PM (BST). That would actually be a DROP for Lib Dems from the last election.

10:02 PM (BST). BBC nerd says: “The exit polls are based on uniform behavior”, a.k.a. uniform swing. So we haven’t really learned anything about whether uniform swing is the right approach; it’s baked into the projection.

10:07 PM (BST). We would obviously project a more favorable result than just 307 seats for Conservatives on those numbers. Calculating now.

10:11 PM (BST). If the exit polls are right but the seat projections are based on uniform swing, we would show a Conservative majority on those numbers.

10:13 PM (BST). Here is what our model would project… [Cons 341, Lab 219, Lib Dem 62]
The final result? Conservatives 306, Labour 258, Liberal Democrats 57. The BBC’s projection from exit polls, using simple uniform-swing assumptions to forecast the outcome of a very wrinkly three-sided race, was so accurate as to be almost suspicious. And how was Silver’s performance after being basically given the national vote shares for the parties? Perhaps it’s best to draw the veil of charity over that.

Which, in fact, seems to be what has happened. Lucky thing for Silver’s reputation!—but then, he has always been lucky.
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Old 11-04-2012, 02:34 PM   #1023
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Does the weather forecaster have egg on his face on a day when there is a 20% chance of rain and it rains the next day?
Did he challenge people who doubted his forecast to a $2000 bet? If so, yes, IMO he would.

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If a weather forecaster was forecasting a 20% chance of rain and someone without training in the field was insisting that the odds were 50%, would the weather forecaster be foolish for making an even money bet?
If his profession was gambling, it would be a good bet if he believed his 20% chance was right. (Remember that I'm not even conceding that his probabilities are correct). As a person who works for an organization that would like to maintain at least a semblance of objectivity, not so much. And unlike weather forecasting, bets like the one Nate Silver tried to make might actually influence the results. As the NYTimes' Public Editor pointed out, it calls into question the impartiality of Silver's analysis.

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The stakes of evaluating the model are heightened because this is a high visibility one-off event. I contend that the heightening of stakes comes from a media and general public that is numerically illiterate. There is a significant chance Romeny will win which Silver acknowledges and highlights in virtually every article he writes. If Romeny wins, those crowing about Silver being "wrong" will only be demonstrating their own illiteracy, both in the conventional sense (because his writing certainly declares the possibility that Romney could win) and numerically.
Yes, of course. Anyone who is numerically literate will recognize that Nate Silver can't be wrong.
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Old 11-04-2012, 02:41 PM   #1024
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So, because this event has happened hundreds of time in your life, you consider that the weather forecaster has been discredited, and you no longer ever listen to anything they say?
Nate Silver, when he's not puffing out his chest, challenging people to bets, probably understands that his model indicates a substantial chance that Romney will win. He probably even understands that the polls on which his model is based might be flawed. But the people who have decided that Obama is a shoe-in now, largely on the basis of Silver's projections and the polls Silver uses, aren't reflecting the same understanding.
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Old 11-04-2012, 02:49 PM   #1025
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Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
Nate Silver, when he's not puffing out his chest, challenging people to bets, probably understands that his model indicates a substantial chance that Romney will win. He probably even understands that the polls on which his model is based might be flawed. But the people who have decided that Obama is a shoe-in now, largely on the basis of Silver's projections and the polls Silver uses, aren't reflecting the same understanding.
Yeah, that's another example of numerical illiteracy. It's rampant. Nate Silver should not be blamed for that.
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Old 11-04-2012, 02:50 PM   #1026
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It seems to me you are the one that doesn't understand.

NS model is probably the most conservative one out there, along with state polling he considers economic indicators, poll bias, and shitty polls into his model. That is why Romney still has a 20% chance.

Take a look at the Princeton election consortium, they nailed both the 2004 and 2008 elections and they just do poll aggregation.

Probability of Obama re-election: Random Drift 98.2%, Bayesian Prediction 99.9%



In the end all the models are heavily influenced by national and state polling so if they are all wrong of course the models will be wrong.
So I don't understand, but in the end, you agree with me. Gotcha.
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Old 11-04-2012, 02:50 PM   #1027
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As I said in the other thread - and it is just as relevant here - all the polls are right and all the polls are wrong. Just as a new PEW poll shows Obama +3 in the national polls it also shows Romney with leads among INDs. And we all know that no matter what statistical model you use, if you're winning the IND vote and you win the partisan vote, then you win the election.

Even Obama's campaign acknowledge they're going to lose a lot of votes compared to last year. They're also conceding that they're going to have to make up perhaps as much as 10 points worth of INDs which could equal 2%-3% of the overall vote.

So this sets up the challenge for Obama. If he has to make up 2%-3% from the last election and Dems aren't as enthusiastic (as evidenced by early voting totals) and the GOP is more enthusiastic (according to early voting and polling) you get a scenario where something is gotta give.

And give it will in two days...
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Old 11-04-2012, 02:57 PM   #1028
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Yes, of course. Anyone who is numerically literate will recognize that Nate Silver can't be wrong.
That is not what I said. Are you illiterate? I said that one could not conclude he was wrong on the basis of one election. I elaborated on that in post 984. As did the article that you posted maybe you didn't read or fully comprehend:

Quote:
Unfortunately, the most useful practical tests must necessarily come by means of structurally unusual presidential elections. The one scheduled for Tuesday won’t tell us much, since Silver gives both major-party candidates a reasonable chance of victory and there is no Ross Perot-type third-party gunslinger or other foreseeable anomaly to put desirable stress on his model.
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Old 11-04-2012, 03:05 PM   #1029
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In other news, Yougov released their final national poll, and they went out with a bang. They polled a whopping 36,472 likely voters! Obama leads 48.5%-46.5%.

That enormous sample size gets you a margin of error of 0.26%. (but of course that is just sample error, and doesn't include any possible statistical bias)
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Old 11-04-2012, 03:05 PM   #1030
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Taxes will go up regardless of what GOP does -- they expire. There's no need for a vote.

But if Obama wins you'll see very little change. The GOP may try to hide behind the "we can't let the sequester happen,"
I disagree. Not because all of sudden the house republicans and Obama get all cumbaya but the self interests and selfish motives of both sides will motivate them to get a "grand bargain" done. Maybe allow all the outgoing Republicans to vote for it etc.
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Old 11-04-2012, 03:10 PM   #1031
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That is not what I said. Are you illiterate? I said that one could not conclude he was wrong on the basis of one election. I elaborated on that in post 984. As did the article that you posted maybe you didn't read or fully comprehend:
Why do you leave out half of the story when you make this technical argument in defense of Silver? I agree that a Romney win won't prove Nate's model wrong (and I don't think I've ever said it does), but it's also true that neither result will prove Nate's model right. If Romney wins, the likelihood that Nate's model is, in fact, fundamentally wrong will be greater than if Obama wins.
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Old 11-04-2012, 03:11 PM   #1032
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Old 11-04-2012, 03:11 PM   #1033
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Originally Posted by alnorth View Post
In other news, Yougov released their final national poll, and they went out with a bang. They polled a whopping 36,472 likely voters! Obama leads 48.5%-46.5%.

That enormous sample size gets you a margin of error of 0.26%. (but of course that is just sample error, and doesn't include any possible statistical bias)
Well...that's interesting. Seems a bit silly, though.
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Old 11-04-2012, 03:13 PM   #1034
alnorth alnorth is offline
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Location: Iowania
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Yougov poll demographics:

47.9% Male, 52.1% Female

Age

18-29 17.2%
30-44 26.1%
45-64 38.3%
65+ 18.4%

Race

77.8% White
13.7% Black
8.5% Hispanic

Party

37.2% Dem
31.4% Ind
31.2% GOP

Region

18.0% Northeast (Obama +16)
24.9% Midwest (Obama +3)
35.8% South (Romney +9)
21.3% West (Obama +7)
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alnorth has an IQ even higher than Frankie's.alnorth has an IQ even higher than Frankie's.alnorth has an IQ even higher than Frankie's.alnorth has an IQ even higher than Frankie's.alnorth has an IQ even higher than Frankie's.alnorth has an IQ even higher than Frankie's.alnorth has an IQ even higher than Frankie's.alnorth has an IQ even higher than Frankie's.alnorth has an IQ even higher than Frankie's.alnorth has an IQ even higher than Frankie's.alnorth has an IQ even higher than Frankie's.
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Old 11-04-2012, 03:14 PM   #1035
WoodDraw WoodDraw is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alnorth View Post
In other news, Yougov released their final national poll, and they went out with a bang. They polled a whopping 36,472 likely voters! Obama leads 48.5%-46.5%.

That enormous sample size gets you a margin of error of 0.26%. (but of course that is just sample error, and doesn't include any possible statistical bias)
HTF did they get a sample size that large. Definitely would be interested in more info there. Who did they poll, and how?
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