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Monday, November 5, 2012

Nate Silver: "Did Hurricane Sandy Blow Romney Off Course?"

Posted by on Mon, Nov 5, 2012 at 8:11 AM

...Or did Sandy fill Obama's sails. Silver thinks it has more to do with the economy than the storm. But even I can't help wondering if this natural disaster has had a hard and almost immediate impact on American politics. The polls this weekend, unlike those last weekend, were clearly dominated by Obama. And, according to 538's math, Obama's chance of winning is back to where it was before Denver. What might voters have seen in Sandy that made such a strong impression? I think it was Bush. The storm returned Bush to the center of the race. Best of all, that famous horse judge could not resist opening his mouth and drawing the media's attention...

"Brown, you may recall, had a lot of experience as a horse judge and no experience managing emergencies...

Sadly, you would know nothing about Obama's current domination of the polls if you visit CNN or Politico. They are still calling it a tie, very close, a tossup.


Margin of error: Why neither candidate has broken through

This, of course, is not information; this is entertainment.
Nevertheless, these arguments are potentially more intellectually coherent than the ones that propose that the leader in the race is “too close to call.” It isn’t. 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.


Comments (11) RSS

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originalcinner 1
I stopped watching CNN about six months ago. I find them almost as right leaning as Faux.
Posted by originalcinner on November 5, 2012 at 8:54 AM · Report this
Cato the Younger Younger 2
The election is going to be called by the media late but those with common brain power will know Obama gets the second term around 5 pm PDT. Doubt it will be prior to that.

GREAT idea for a poll though. At what time is it obvious that Obama has won?
Posted by Cato the Younger Younger on November 5, 2012 at 8:58 AM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 3
They all said it was neck and neck in 2008 as well, and we got what was essentially a landslide regarding today's electoral realities.

It is only close if you look at the popular vote, which is always going to be about 50-50, and means nothing.

Posted by Theodore Gorath on November 5, 2012 at 9:00 AM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 4
I don't think it's to Obama's advantage to have anyone think he has it wrapped up. It allows those on the left who don't see the crucial importance of every vote to stay home. So, criticize CNN but they might just be doing Dems a favor.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on November 5, 2012 at 9:03 AM · Report this
auntie jim 5
I call it the Conservative Nut Network.
Posted by auntie jim on November 5, 2012 at 9:13 AM · Report this
Looking For a Better Read 6
I've been wondering why the GOP machine has been so blustery about Nate Silver's projections; I think it could be in part as you suggest, Charles - that it's all tied to keeping ratings up, to keeping Turdblossom looking competent, to keeping their base from being demoralized, or any number of other reasons.

But the dark cynic in me can't help but think that they're trying to preemptively punch holes and create doubt in the poll analysis of Silver, et. al. so that, when their vote suppression and outright fraud efforts come to fruition, they can attempt to deflect skepticism and protest from the left by saying, "see, we told you he was wrong all along!"
Posted by Looking For a Better Read on November 5, 2012 at 9:25 AM · Report this

Just as much, I think it's an attempt to create a narrative that this election was stolen by the "Chicago machine" for the purpose of de-legitimizing Obama's second term.

It's setting the stage for election birtherism. And it's going to be supported by numerous citations to the real, un-skewed polling, and the electoral map that Glenn Beck trumpeted. And they'll say that 538 and all the other polls are biased and were in on the conspiracy to cover up Obama's shenanigans.

They will never stop trying to create the narrative that Obama is illegitimate, which will justify the lack of compromise from Republicans for the next four years.
Posted by An indelicate gesture on November 5, 2012 at 9:38 AM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 8
@7 Many will be up for re-election in two years themselves. They may get slapped down and give Obama a better second term.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on November 5, 2012 at 10:17 AM · Report this
Simone 9
I've started to mute the BBC America news and CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corp.) when they start mentioning how close this race is.
Posted by Simone on November 5, 2012 at 12:33 PM · Report this
Sandy absolutely will have an impact (positive) on Obama's chances, though I think he was/is going to win regardless.

The Republican playbook for killing government (drowning it in the bathtub) is as follows:
1. Cut funding for a given department, put morons in charge (hi, Brownie!) and render it completely ineffectual/incompetent.
2. When something bad happens as a result of the incompetence, point to it as an example of how government can't be relied upon because it is ineffectual/incompetent.

Most people probably don't consciously realize that this is what Republicans do, but they definitely have seen it in action. Katrina being the most obvious example.

Having it spelled out in real life, right before the election, that institutional competence in government saves lives and measurably helps citizens is about as obvious a refutation of Republican small-government principles as I can think of.
Posted by JenV on November 5, 2012 at 12:43 PM · Report this
It's not a tie, it's not a tossup, but it IS VERY CLOSE, too close to call, per Nate Silver's latest and greatest (among others). It's close enough that given the uncertainties of polling and turnout, you could wake up to President-Elect Romney's smirking face on CNN Wednesday morning.

@3 - A 50-50 popular vote means nothing??? It means the body politic has once again failed to process and reject the looney-tunes ideology of post-Reagan Republicans. It's still out there, it could have won this time, it can easily win next time, and even in defeat it has enough traction to hold America back in a world that's rapidly moving forward.
Posted by RonK, Seattle on November 5, 2012 at 2:03 PM · Report this

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