I wish this was mine

Byline: | Category: 2012 | Posted at: Thursday, 1 November 2012

If my writing and statistical abilities were better, this is the post that I wish I would write. 

An excerpt (emphasiss in original):

My thesis, and that of a good many conservative skeptics of the 538 model, is that these internals are telling an entirely different story than some of the toplines: that Obama is getting clobbered with independent voters, traditionally the largest variable in any election and especially in a presidential election, where both sides will usually have sophisticated, well-funded turnout operations in the field. He’s on track to lose independents by double digits nationally, and the last three candidates to do that were Dukakis, Mondale and Carter in 1980. And he’s not balancing that with any particular crossover advantage (i.e., drawing more crossover Republican voters than Romney is drawing crossover Democratic voters). Similar trends are apparent throughout the state-by-state polls, not in every single poll but in enough of them to show a clear trend all over the battleground states.

If you averaged Obama’s standing in all the internals, you’d capture a profile of a candidate that looks an awful lot like a whole lot of people who have gone down to defeat in the past, and nearly nobody who has won. Under such circumstances, Obama can only win if the electorate features a historically decisive turnout advantage for Democrats – an advantage that none of the historically predictive turnout metrics are seeing, with the sole exception of the poll samples used by some (but not all) pollsters. Thus, Obama’s position in the toplines depends entirely on whether those pollsters are correctly sampling the partisan turnout.

I commend this entire piece by Don McLoughlin to you.

Share this post:

One Response to “I wish this was mine”

  1. Lorenz Gude Says:

    Yes, that is an excellent article by Dan McLoughlin. It leaves me slightly less bemused by the situation, but not entirely because I suspect that another critical underlying assumption may be that that polls are working pretty much the same as they always have in the modern period. Specifically, I think we may be seeing a shift in the relationship between the public and the polls. The reported under 10% participation rate brings into question the reliability of the sample being representative. Can any populations be gauged when 90% refuse to participate? Be that as it may, I think it is just a symptom of a much larger change being driven by the Internet and related technology disrupting the mass audience created by TV and connected by land lines that pollsters built their businesses on. The Internet is not the Red Pill that Blogosphere triumphalists thought it was, but it makes the MSM Matrix leaky. It erodes it. For example, we don’t know how many people are looking at Benghazi and getting it that the incident raises serious questions about Obama’s policies – just as Abu Ghraib raised serious question’s about Bush’s. The MSM is trying to spike it, but it is leaking to some unknown effect on the election. In addition this election has a large number of issues that dare not speak their name roiling under the surface. Racisms and anti Mormonism are the biggies. But there are evangelical Blacks who wont support abortion and gay marriage and wont support a Mormon. And there are Black folks who admire the likes of Alan West FL18 who’s lives would be made miserable by their friends and relatives if they openly supported Romney. And there are plenty of women who’s lives would be made miserable if they said they couldn’t support either Romney or Ryan because of their stand on abortion. Then there are those coal miners who never considered voting Republican until they found themselves voting for a jailbird in Texas to stick it to Obama in the Democratic primaries. Are they going to vote Republican for the first time in their lives? Point is, I believe that all kinds of groups and constituencies are shifting and the mass audience Matrix of the MSM is dissolving slowly into something new. Perhaps we will have Mr. Silver’s version of a squeaker with the swing states going to the president by small margins. Perhaps the undersampling of Republicans and Romney’s strong lead with independents will prove more predictive of the final results. I favor that view as real because McLoughlin has convinced me that the assumption that the electorate looks anything like it looked in 2008 is dead wrong. While there are obvious differences with 2000 the resemblance is that neither candidate can convince a clear majority of the voters. I think what we are seeing after the debates is the final distribution of the undecided voters between the two candidates. Mitt broke his mid 40s glass ceiling in the first debate and now Obama seems to be getting a late distribution of votes – presumably from the pool of undecideds. That distribution may swing back to Romney or not. I sent my absentee ballot back to Florida with a vote for Romney a couple of weeks ago and if you haven’t voted yet, make sure you do. ;-)