Monday, November 5, 2012

Elsewhere: Polling, Losing

I've been meaning to write a long post about why the people comparing Nate Silver and other poll-based predictors to sabermetrics are all wrong...just haven't had time to do it. Maybe tomorrow. Meanwhile, I wrote up all you need to know (other than that, I suppose) about the polling wars at Plum Line.

And at PP, I did a short version of my post-election pep talk to the losing side. I gave a longer version to some extremely depressed College Democrats in 2004, and a short version to a group of Republican students at an Election Night party in 2008. Basic point: it's either still a 50/50 nation, or at least close enough that both sides can easily win. Seems obvious now, but might not seem obvious to the losers tomorrow night.


  1. Could you please write that column? Because I'm a damn mathematician and even I'm sick of reading about how everything is like that thing in "Moneyball" with the guys around the table who supposedly got out-smarted by equations. (Actually, that's not really an "even", since hopefully mathematicians are the ones least susceptible to "equations = magic".)

  2. Apropos of nothing, I thought last night's MNF interviews was one last hurrah for how poorly the Romney campaign is run. As he did to McCain in 2008, ESPN's Chris Berman asked Romney the biggest problem in sports, and as McCain did, Romney went for the PED answer, which a later ESPN poll showed was a perfectly acceptable answer, but sounded for Romney, as it did for McCain, peevish and old man-like.

    Bigger picture, if you're Romney you're facing a daunting map where you probably need to pry away 2 out of the following three states: Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Ohio. Hey, is there a famous football hero with strong ties to Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, who tragically fell on hard times in his post-football career because of the difficulties of the sport? Could you segue from sympathy for Webster's fate to the generally scandalous post-professional career of athletes, as a perfect entree into compassionate conservatism?

    In theory, I suppose. But PEDs. That's a winning closing argument. PEDs.


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