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Old Nov 6, 2012, 04:39 PM   #26
Mac'nCheese
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Originally Posted by Thomas Veil View Post
I had the same thought reading your earlier posts. Couldn't respected, usually accurate predictors like Silver actually begin to affect the race itself, discouraging voters on the "losing" side from showing up? Causing them to think, "Why bother? My guy's only got a 3% chance of winning."

That is a really good question, and if something like this ever comes to pass, well...I don't know what the solution would be. Pass a law banning polls a week or so prior to the actual election? That's kind of a sledge-hammer approach.
Absolutely correct. That's why any newscaster that is biased, will say up to the last minute, its still too close to call or our guy will win when every other person is saying that they have no chance. They can't risk having their voters give up.

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Originally Posted by kavika411 View Post
Very good point. I see exactly what you are saying and the distinction you are drawing. But hypothetically what "chances of winning" - by any margin - would Silver have given the victor in 1984? Again, how much higher north can you go than 90%. And I realize my question is rhetorical as you aren't Silver, but there's something that tickles my brain unpleasantly about the idea of a spread as small as 90 electoral points equalling a "chance of winning" - again, by any margin - of north-of-90%. I think I'm simply having one of those moments where I'm glancing into the future, the data available, etc., and I'm uncomfortable with it.

Put another way, I'm becoming a lifeless old man. Need bourbon.
I'm with you, I just can't answer that. If someone has a 90% chance of winning and they barely win....it doesn't really make sense. So little room left at the top....
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Old Nov 6, 2012, 06:04 PM   #27
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Well its over

With 3% of the vote in, Indiana goes to Romney. And as Indiana goes so goes the nation. See you in four years.
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Old Nov 6, 2012, 06:32 PM   #28
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With 3% of the vote in, Indiana goes to Romney. And as Indiana goes so goes the nation. See you in four years.
How do you figure since Obama was the first democrat to win Indiana in nearly 50 years?
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Old Nov 7, 2012, 01:09 AM   #29
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50 out of 50.

So much for the people who claimed Nate Silver was wrong or biased.
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Old Nov 7, 2012, 01:12 AM   #30
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50 out of 50.

So much for the people who claimed Nate Silver was wrong or biased.
Assuming Florida goes to Obama, Princeton got every single state as well. I'll be paying 100% attention to both sites in the future elections.
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Old Nov 7, 2012, 01:12 AM   #31
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50 out of 50.

So much for the people who claimed Nate Silver was wrong or biased.
I am impressed with his predictions.

Almost spot on.
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Old Nov 7, 2012, 08:12 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Mac'nCheese View Post
Absolutely correct. That's why any newscaster that is biased, will say up to the last minute, its still too close to call or our guy will win when every other person is saying that they have no chance. They can't risk having their voters give up.



I'm with you, I just can't answer that. If someone has a 90% chance of winning and they barely win....it doesn't really make sense. So little room left at the top....
think of it this way:
Imagine you are doing a poll in your school/workplace about an upcoming vote on a local issue. you poll everyone of the 1000 people there on their vote intention, three times. Everyone answers, and you come back with 510, 515, 505 votes for option A and 490, 485, 495 for option B.
you can reasonably conclude that option A will almost certainly win, even if the margin is very tiny.
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Old Nov 7, 2012, 08:31 AM   #33
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I am impressed with his predictions.

Almost spot on.
It wasn't a prediction, it was a projection. The biggest winner last night was math.
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Old Nov 7, 2012, 08:45 AM   #34
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For the first time, the Redskins last home game was a loss, but the incumbent president still won! Whew...

Alabama beat LSU, so that one was spot on.

There are others, but those are the two I know off the top of my head.
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Old Nov 7, 2012, 08:56 AM   #35
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I am impressed with his predictions.

Almost spot on.
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Old Nov 7, 2012, 11:16 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by Mac'nCheese View Post
...I'm with you, I just can't answer that. If someone has a 90% chance of winning and they barely win....it doesn't really make sense. So little room left at the top....
on the other hand, when you get 270 electoral votes, you've won.....and that's the ONLY thing that the "chance of winning" is about.
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Old Nov 8, 2012, 12:26 AM   #37
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What I want to know is what effect Nate Silver's numbers actually have on the election. It is kind of like Heisenberg, you cannot observe a thing without affecting it. Does a favorable projection lead to enthusiasm ("Yeah! I want to get out there and jump on the train!") or complacency ("Cool, I don't have to do anything and it'll be fine."), and as the analysis becomes more consistent and reliable, will it have a greater effect on the vote? Most importantly, how can I use this to nefarious ends?
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Old Nov 8, 2012, 04:18 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by kavika411 View Post
Very good point. I see exactly what you are saying and the distinction you are drawing. But hypothetically what "chances of winning" - by any margin - would Silver have given the victor in 1984? Again, how much higher north can you go than 90%. And I realize my question is rhetorical as you aren't Silver, but there's something that tickles my brain unpleasantly about the idea of a spread as small as 90 electoral points equalling a "chance of winning" - again, by any margin - of north-of-90%. I think I'm simply having one of those moments where I'm glancing into the future, the data available, etc., and I'm uncomfortable with it.

Put another way, I'm becoming a lifeless old man. Need bourbon.
In 1984, his model would have probably set the chance of winning at 99.99%.

All Silver's model predicted was that Obama would most likely win, but there's still was a chance for Romney to win. For that to be the case, the margin almost has to be fairly narrow.

In 1984 the model would probably have placed the 99% CI for Reagan at being something between 400 and 538. So it'd basically be a 99.9999% chance of Reagan winning.
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