Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Let me tell you about this little election we had yesterday; Nate Silver declared the winner in a landslide

I understand there was an election yesterday. There certainly seemed to be, which may explain why the folks over at Fox News were in full panic mode. Things didn't go quite the way they had wanted, or expected. But it will all turn out alright for Roger Ailes, Rupert Murdoch and crew – after all, there is more money to be made being in the opposition than being in power.

In the years prior to the election of Barack Obama, the circulation of The Nation, the oldest weekly magazine in the U.S., and the "flagship of the left" gained circulation thanks to George Bush being president. So, too, will Fox News thrive as the voice of the increasingly old, and most definitely white, portion of America that simply can't get their heads around the fact that the nation would reelect someone with the middle name of Hussein.

But while Fox News will soon be OK with the election results, Karl Rove, the GOP political consultant, may need some time to recover. As the networks began to call the race of the President, Fox News had to decide when to bow to the inevitable and call it themselves. When they did Rove lost it. He lost it big time. He lost it in so public a manner that it brought tears of joy to many a more liberal member of the human race.

Rove had good reason to be upset. No it wasn't that the numbers could change, anyone looking at where the outstanding votes would be coming from could see that there was little chance of Mitt Romney catching the President in Ohio.

No, the problem was the fact that now it would look like Nate Silver, the 538 blogger turned NYT analyst, would be proved right. In the past few days a huge out cry had occurred as Silver, using polling information, mathematically and logically laid out the likely scenarios: the odds were in favor of the President being reelected.
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Boy, did the right wing get upset about Mr. Silver. The National Review attacked Silver's methods, Fox News simply pointed to the NYT and cried bias.

There even arose a website called UnSkewedPolls.com that took the same polling numbers used by Silver and "rebalanced" them to achieve different results. Their final projections said Romney would get 275 electoral votes and become the next President of the United States.

James Pethokoukis of the American Enterprise Institute wrote of his own predictions. Pethokoukis said Romney would net 301 electoral votes when the night was done.

Well, as it turns out, assuming the Florida results stand, the President will have beeb won reelection last night with 332 electoral college votes (the NYT currently shows the President with 303, you then add in the 29 from Florida to get to the final tally.

As you can see at top-left, Mr. Silver's final projections gave the President 303. Fire the guy, right?

I don't believe Silver gave a victory speech last night, he doesn't seem like that kind of guy. But he should have, it would have been inspirational. It would included words about just doing your job, sticking to your guns, letting the chips fall where they may. It would have been about facts versus feelings, about how dangerous it is when science is dismissed so easily. I would have like to heard that speech. Obama's will have to do, he did OK with his.

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