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How to be A Hack


Breaking! Obama’s support among African-Americans cratering in North Carolina! It will be a Mittens landslide!

Jim Williams, a polling analyst at PPP, said it could be “statistical noise” that comes with a small sample (only about 200 African-Americans were surveyed).

It matters not, mon frere! Glenn Reynolds, Neo-neo Con (whose detailed explanations for why Romney’s nonexistent surge among African-Americans is happening are particularly priceless), and countless other hacks want to tell you what it means. I think this is the intellectual elite David Brooks believes we owe deference to. I look forward next to the series of posts explaining how the Minnesota Twins — 7-3 in their last 10 games! — became the best team in baseball.

To anybody who thinks that Obama will get less than 90% of the black vote in North Carolina, all I can say is: care to make it interesting?

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  • mark f

    Scott Rasmussen comments at Neo-Neocon!

    We returned Saturday from 8-days in the Great Smoky Mtns. of western N.C. Few of those down-to-earth country folk buy any of Obama’s grift. Despite the large number of ‘slicks’ in the eastern part of the state, I came away with quiet assurance that NC will be Mitt by a comfy margin.

    • joe from Lowell

      …because there’s no way Obama could win North Carolina if he does poorly in the western part of the state.

    • mds

      Few of those down-to-earth country folk buy any of Obama’s grift.

      Fox News’ or Franklin Graham’s horseshit, however, is gobbled down by the fistful.

      Scott Rasmussen comments at Neo-Neocon!

      You know, I’ve always considered Nate Silver as someone with progressive sympathies, but who tries to evaluate the data as dispassionately as possible. Meanwhile, Scott Rasmussen makes no bones about being a blatantly dishonest, proudly partisan shitstain. Are we really supposed to think that he’s firewalling such rancid cobaggery off from his polling work? (Yes, I’m aware that Rasmussen exists primarily to help catapault GOP propaganda, but can’t he at least pretend a little better?)

      Also also, “down-to-earth country folk”? Seriously? What, was the fatuous cornball stand all out of “doughty tillers of the soil”?

      • mark f

        To be clear, I was joking about that having been posted by Rasmussen. Although I suppose it’s possible he posts there under the handle “Neoconscum.”

        • mds

          Oh, great. Another poe in my face. Well, just block out that whole section of my comment. In my defense, I don’t think it’s completely incredible that Scott Rasmussen would come out with something like that in the right venue.

    • Anonymous

      The Rasmussen’s lived here in NC for a few years after they were first married and I worked some for them during that time.
      Scott impressed me then as maybe the dumbest motherfucker I ever met. He still does.

  • calling all toasters

    Never bet Republicans– they simply don’t pay up. “But ACORN stole the election, so he didn’t really get 90%!!” “You can’t believe exit polls!” and so on. And, no, it doesn’t matter if stipulate that those excuses cannot be used.

    • DrDick

      How do you know if a Republican is lying? Are they breathing?

      • They don’t have to be breathing.

        • Warren Terra

          If anything, Reagan’s lies have become more powerful (and indeed been added to) since his demise.

          • “If you strike my lies down, they shall become more powerful than you can imagine.”
            -Ronald Wilson Kenobi

  • Joshua

    These idiots really are running with that “doing fine” thing, huh?

    You know what really could have helped the private sector the past few years? If the hundreds of thousands of public sector employees who had been laid off were instead buying stuff with the salaries they were earning from their jobs. WHICH IS THE POINT!

  • Neo-neocon uses up most of her mental energy holding the apple in front of her face.

    • DrDick

      I think grossly exaggerates the amount of mental energy available there.

  • Oh, and Abraham Lincoln, so the blacks should vote Republican.

  • Epicurus

    Please remember, Scott, it’s not fair to engaqe in a battle of wits with a man who is only half-armed…

  • Malaclypse

    Note that I wrote that Obama is losing support. But I suppose it’s at least theoretically possible that Romney is gaining support.

    It is also at least theoretically possible to win at Powerball for every single consecutive drawing between now and the heat death of the universe. Also, Lincoln!

  • c u n d gulag

    To be fair, maybe the pollster only got a calling list from one anti-gay black Mega-Church…

  • Holden Pattern

    I used to be a loyal black Democrat until Obamacare passed. Now I’m outraged by Robert Byrd!

  • David M. Nieporent

    I agree with your prediction that Obama will continue to do as well among NC as ever, and that this is just wishful thinking on the part of certain bloggers. Then again, I also remember the last sneering “Care to make it interesting?” from you. Care to remind us how that one worked out?

    • Malaclypse

      I’m pretty sure Scott won the last bet anybody actually took him up on.

      • joe from Lowell

        It’s only the ones people don’t take that he loses.

    • Scott Lemieux

      You’re right — I was wrong about that off-year election in unusual circumstances. As to whether Romney will get 25% of the African-American vote in a presidential election, I reiterate my sneering, and also note that the bloggers in question have no real evidence at all that this is happening.

      • DrDick

        I would be surprised if he gets 5%.

        • seven

          7% would be my guess.
          No Republican candidate has received over 15% of the AA vote since Ford. Mitts out performing Ronaldus Maximus and C+ August is not going to happen.

  • joe from Lowell

    The poll finds that Mitt Romney would get 20 percent of the African-American vote if the election were held today, compared with 76 percent for Obama. Overall, Romney has a 48 percent to 46 percent lead on Obama in the crucial swing state.

    That’s actually good news for Obama. This poll shows him down by 2 points, with a little over 4% of the sample consisting of African-Americans who are voting for Romney. In reality, African-Americans voting for Romney will probably represent 1% or just over 1% of the electorate. Assuming the actual African-American vote is 90+% Obama, Obama wins.

    • mds

      Oh, come on, jfL. Same-sex marriage. You’ve read The Bell Curve, so you know what African-Americans are like. They’re going to abandon the first African-American president in droves over a largely irrelevant social issue, so they can get it in the neck from the policies of someone whose religious sect didn’t count them as equal humans until 1978. I’ll be surprised if Obama even gets half of the African-American vote, given their devout Christian beliefs about homos and, er, giving poor people the boot good and hard. (Heck, in Florida, Obama won’t get any African-American votes … if Rick Scott gets his way.)

      • joe from Lowell

        You’ve read The Bell Curve, so you know what African-Americans are like.

        Whoa. MDS, YOU GET OUT OF MY HEAD!

        If anyone’s coming to Lowell, my house will the one with the aluminum foil on the windows.

        • Warren Terra

          No, no, if you out the aluminum foil on the windows they can spot it. This is why you must use it to line a hat, or to line an internal room with no windows.

      • Malaclypse

        From Chloroform in Print:

        And he had caused the cursing to come upon them, yea, even a sore cursing, because of their iniquity. For behold, they had hardened their hearts against him, that they had become like unto a flint; wherefore, as they were white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them.

        And it came to pass that those Lamanites who had united with the Nephites were numbered among the Nephites; And their curse was taken from them, and their skin became white like unto the Nephites; And their young men and their daughters became exceedingly fair, and they were numbered among the Nephites, and were called Nephites. And thus ended the thirteenth year

    • jefft452

      also too

      “…in the crucial swing state…”

      North Carolina, which sent Jesse Helms to the Senate by large margins for 30 or so years, is now a swing state

      yeah right, Obama is doomed

      • Anonymous

        Wrong. Helms won NC by relatively small margins every time.

        72: 54 – 46
        78: 54.5 – 45.5
        84: 51.7 – 47.8
        90: 52.5 – 47.4
        96: 52.6 – 45.9

        • Pith Helmet

          six points is not a small margin. bush/gore is a small margin. Bush claimed a mandate with a 51-48 victory over Kerry in ’04.

    • snarkout

      I dunno, often you see weirdness like that when you look at subsamples (regardless of the pollster), but PPP’s top-lines are generally pretty solid despite the small sample size oddities when you look further down.

      • Craigo

        You can weight each individual sub-sample (if, say, you believe your sample as a whole has too few Republicans or women or Hispanics or whatever), but you can’t weight how they answer. That’s cooking the books. Dodgy crosstabs affect the topline no matter what you (ethically) do, it’s why God invented the margin of error.

  • Pastafarian

    “…care to make it interesting?”

    Are you saying that Obama will receive the votes of 90% of all black registered voters? Because I might have to take you up on that bet. I don’t think black turnout will be 95% this time around.

    Not that it matters much — Obama has 0.00% chance of winning NC in 2012.

    • joe from Lowell

      To anybody who thinks that Obama will get less than 90% of the black vote in North Carolina

      Of the vote, he said.

      Nate Silver puts Obama’s chances at about 27%.

      • Malaclypse

        Are you implying Nate Silver understands probability better than one of Winebox Annie’s regulars?

        • Pastafarian

          Nate Silver is a brilliant young man, but he assigns a 90% probability to Obama winning Michigan, and I do believe I’d take that bet if he’s laying 9:1 odds.

          If Lemieux was predicting merely that 90% of all blacks exiting the polls would claim to have voted for Obama…well, no shit, Sherlock. Most of the black voters motivated enough to vote in 2012 will be die-hard leftists, or will be motivated solely by race. (Wait, what? You mean brown people can be racists? The deuce you say, sir. Saved you the trouble.)

          Many of those who vote against him will be unwilling to admit it and risk having their car keyed by petulant foot-stomping nincompoops.

          The more important measure will be how many people (regardless of color) who voted for Obama in 2008, will be so demotivated by his feckless incompetence that they stay at home.

          Obama received votes from 90% of all black registered voters in NC last time. I’d be surprised if it’s 70% this time.

          • Malaclypse

            die-hard leftists

            Now that is how you harness the power of complete historical and etymological ignorance. Don’t ever change.

            • Hogan

              I’m sure he’s just reporting what he heard at the barber shop.

          • Scott Lemieux

            well, no shit, Sherlock.

            Look, don’t tell me, tell the many prominent conservative bloggers who think that it’s perfectly plausible to think that Matt Romney will get 20% of the black vote.

            but he assigns a 90% probability to Obama winning Michigan, and I do believe I’d take that bet if he’s laying 9:1 odds.

            You think Romney has a better than 10% chance of winning Michigan? You are in for a lot of disappointments on election night.

            • Holden Pattern

              Not that it won’t be nice for Obama to crush Romney in Michigan, but Michigan is currently run almost entirely by wingtards in the executive and legislative branches, with significant wingtard majorities in both state legislative houses and the US House delegation. Clearly Michiganders like them some wingtards.

              Why is it a walk for Obama?

              • Scott Lemieux

                Because Obama won the state by 16 points before the auto bailout, which Romney opposed? Electorates in state elections are not the same.

        • Pastafarian

          And Malaclypse: I’m not sure whether you’re a tea-totaling Puritan, or an elitist who sneers at anyone drinking wine from (egad) a box and not a crystal decanter…but the winebox thing mostly just makes you look like a dick.

          But that’s cool. Because that’s one more 2008 Obama voter you’ve managed to alienate.

          • Anonymous Guy’s Poll Numbers Down In Sample Of One Other Anonymous Guy

          • mds

            I’m not sure whether you’re a tea-totaling Puritan

            That’s “teetotaling.” Though numerous Puritans probably did total up tea purchases, especially in Boston. So your point, such as it is, still stands.

            However, ironic +harumph for defending a law professor at UW-Madison and, indirectly, someone who used the phrase “down-to-earth country folk” against the rootless cosmopolitans crystal decanter elitists.

            Because that’s one more 2008 Obama voter you’ve managed to alienate.

            Really? Who? Let us know who would actually change their vote for president based on some random person’s blog comments, so we can shower them with laughter. Elitist laughter.

          • Warren Terra

            Well, I for one am convinced you were all set to vote for Obama in November until you read Mal’s comment.

            • Malaclypse

              Pastahead used to be a liberal, but then I was a dick, so now he believes Mittens will restore honesty and integritude to the White House.

              Truly, should Obama come to lose, we will have nobody but me to blame.

              • Pastafarian

                I’m not sure how so many of you could have misunderstood my point: Althouse voted for Obama, and I’m pretty sure she would have again, had she not been shat upon as an apostate by this pack of ninnies, who have driven her to the right.

                But it’s only one person, so no real harm. One person with ten times the readership and influence of this pack of ninnies, combined.

                • Malaclypse

                  and I’m pretty sure she would have again,

                  Well, maybe you are pretty sure, but then again, I’m confident that you are pretty sure of many things that are not so.

                • Warren Terra

                  Oh, sure. Althouse is a Democrat, she loses no chance to tell everyone so. She adored George Dubya and is besotted with Scottie Walker, but she’s a Democrat, just ask her.

                • Warren Terra

                  It occurs to me: maybe she just has a huge blind spot for all people named “Walker”?

                • Warren Terra

                  How does she feel about Chuck Norris?

                • Althouse voted for Obama

                  You saw her do this?

            • joe from Lowell

              Dear Editor,

              As a lifelong member of the Democrat Party, I am terribly concerned that Barack HUSSEIN Obama’s performance as President has driven down his support among my little black brothers. And also, he’s a racist.


              I. M. Librul

        • DrDick

          My cat understands probability better than any of Winebox Annie’s regulars.

    • Scott Lemieux

      Are you saying that Obama will receive the votes of 90% of all black registered voters?

      No. This has been simple replies to Althouse lickspittles…

      Also, as Joe says above, to the extent that the poll means anything it’s actually good news for Obama, since Romney is barely winning despite a sample that massively overstates his “appeal” among African-American voters. Which isn’t to say that Obama will win NC — he probably won’t. But NC is just gravy for Obama, while Romney can’t win without it — and Obama has a 1 in 4 chance of winning as of now.

      • Pastafarian

        Lickspittle? You know, I see quite a bit of disagreement between Althouse and her commenters.

        Here, not so much. This echo chamber was the place where the comment:


        …was invented.

        Project we much, here at the LG&M circle-jerk.

        Do you ever wonder what it would be like to have an actual debate in your comments section? Not just a pissing contest, where regulars drive away “trolls” with insults, and moderators ban them for making too cogent a point. There are no liberals here, only leftists.

        Let me know if you actually want to “make this interesting.” I have some ideas for a wager. But I’m pretty sure you were just blowing smoke, if you’re now stating that you were merely predicting the obvious, that 90% of black voters, those who show up at the polls, in NC would claim to have voted for Obama.

        Again, what will matter is how many don’t show up at all.

        • commie atheist

          Actual debates require actual arguments, not the monty-python-esque statements which you are so good at making.

      • Rob_Buffalo

        Romney at ZERO PERCENT among African American voters.

        I wonder if Prof. Reynolds will mention this?

  • jesus h. tapdancing christ

    Question for the Day: Are Jennifer Rubin and Neo Neo Con the same person?

    • Walt

      We are all the same person, my friend. All of the world’s great religions and progressive rock songs teach us this.

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