Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Read Stuff, You Should

Happy Birthday to Emma Stone, 24.

But getting right to the good stuff:

1. John Sides talks about predictions, and makes his. It's an excellent post up to the prediction part of it. I don't see the point. John basically says what I would say, and what I have been saying: use the HuffPollster averages. From that, there's no special skill involved in my telling you that I expect the averages to hold up. Do that, and you get to 303 and then you don't know what to do with Florida, which they have as basically a tie, but with a tiny Obama lead. So you can flip a coin in predicting that one, and there's your prediction. I mean, you can also make some guesses about possible ways the polls will be wrong, I suppose, but mostly even if you know a whole lot about a state you're not really going to be able to do value added over the polling averages. With all that in mind, no additional predictions from me. But if that's what you want, I'll point out that I had two more or less flat-out predictions during the general election season. I said that Tommy Thompson would lose his primary. And, during the days that the wiseguy pundits were explaining why Republicans would eventually give up and support Todd Akin in Missouri, I pronounced him finished. So if Akin wins, I'm 0 for 2. If Akin loses, and Thompson loses to a very beatable candidate in Wisconsin, I'll call it 1 for 2 plus -- he was a terrible candidate, but for some reason Wisconsin primary voters didn't realize it. Ach; I did better in the primaries.

2. Greg Weeks responds to Michael Gerson's silly attack on political science. Useful if you want to know what political scientists are up to.

3. As usual, I think that Andrew Sprung listens to the president better than anyone else. He's hearing something a bit monarchist recently. I wonder if it's more Wilsonian? Or maybe that's the same thing.

4. Highly informed Republicans were more likely to believe loony conspiracy theories about unemployment figures than Republicans who had much less political knowledge. Brendan Nyhan has the data.

5. Next after the election will be the fiscal cliff. Suzy Khimm reports on some ways the administration could -- maybe -- delay the effects of the sequester. Get ready for more of this.

6. And Samuel Best and David Fan on the effect of the campaigns.


  1. Good call on the birthday! Emma Stone is great.

  2. By the standards of republican thought up to that time, wasn't the Constitution 'a bit monarchist?' The president was closer to a stadtholder than a consul, and far less constrained than the Doge of Venice. The office was not term limited (until more than 150 years later).

    And not part of the Constitution but contemporary with it was the decision to build a presidential palace ...


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