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A Rambling Prediction of Sorts

[ 12 ] November 6, 2012 |

303-235.  Figure Obama’s PV around 50.5%.  I expect him to have slightly over a 2% win in the PV.  No clue nor care about his margin in MA.  Obama loses IN, NE-2, NC, and possibly / probably FL from 2008.

Democrats keep the Senate with 53 or 54.  We all know the House is out of the question, but I’d anticipate a fuzzily modest Democrat pick up, 5-10 seats.

I woke here to excellent numbers nationally, and specifically, movement towards Obama in FL (and a PPP poll showing a tie in NC).  However, yesterday’s (5 November in the US) FL numbers were from PPP, which has had a slight D lean all cycle.  The over night numbers in FL are from Gravis, Angus Reid, and IPSOS, the latter two having strong R leans.  Notable, those two suggest a swing towards Obama from +3% to +5% based on their own previous releases.  I know Silver models trend into his model, which is why he’s showing Obama as a very, very slight favorite in FL.  I’m going to discount that a bit, especially in light of the vote suppression efforts we’ve been hearing out of FL the past couple of days.

FL won’t be called for a while.  If it is called early in either direction, that’s a clear signal.  Plus, the recount procedure in OH is arduous.  If OH is within the “margin of litigation”, it could be a nightmare.  I loved reading that line in the linked NYT article while seated in the BBC Radio Devon studio this morning waiting to go on, and was able to use it.  Excellent line.

What if this is all wrong?  As most here read Wang and  Silver, we know that the polling, specifically the state level polling but latterly the national polling as well, has to be systematically and comprehensively biased in Obama’s favor.  There are reasons why this could be the case.  From the right, Ted Frank has a comprehensive, wishful thinking list of all the reasons the current polling data might be biased, and systematically so in one of the two possible directions, but to Frank’s credit, he’s looking at evidence, not relying on Morris-esque faith.

Regardless, something other than an Obama victory in this election would require a systematic polling error of significant magnitude.  Electoral Vote has around 900 state level polls in its database from this cycle last I checked a few days ago.  It would represent a large pile of error in one direction for this election to be incorrectly called at this point.

But it has happened before, UK 1992, when the polls underestimated the Conservative vote by a not middling 9%.

I catch the midnight (GMT) train to London tonight, as I’m flying to the west coast tomorrow to present a paper this weekend.  I’ll be looking at NH first — it’s a small state that will compile its numbers quickly.  That should be a strong signal as to how valid the overall polling numbers have been this year.

UPDATE: as I was writing this, Wang at Princeton reports that his modal estimation has Obama with 332.

Comments (12)

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  1. Incontinentia Buttocks says:

    “a fuzzily modest Democrat Democratic pick up”

    ftfy

  2. ploeg says:

    We all know the House is out of the question

    We don’t know that (polling for House seats is never as thick as for the top of the ticket, and late strength at the top of the ticket could make for some pleasant surprises), but it’s not very likely. Wang puts the takeover probability at 13-23%.

    • John says:

      It seems to me that the House has gotten less attention this year than in any cycle I remember. I’m not convinced that anybody has much of an idea what’s going to happen.

      • actor212 says:

        I think it’s been quiet precisely because people have a clear idea there won’t be any significant change.

        Except for the removal of any number of Teabaggers. That’s the story in the House. We might actually get shit done in an Obama second term

  3. spencer says:

    But it has happened before, UK 1992, when the polls underestimated the Conservative vote by a not middling 9%.

    Does it strike anyone else as relevant that this example is now 20 years old? I say that because I would have expected polling techniques to have advanced significantly in that time.

    Ah well, off to Teh Google to see if I can figure it out …

  4. actor212 says:

    We’re close: I pick Obama 305, +3% in PV

    But I have the game over before 10 EST, or basically as soon as Ohio is called. It’s just a formality after that.

  5. Joe says:

    My concern basically is the senate race in MA, maybe a couple other states and the same sex marriage measures. A few other measures, like pot, also can go either way, but not sure how important they really are. I fear some disappointment here. The Obama predictions look good though I’m still depressed the popular vote is so close.

  6. Jay C says:

    we know that the polling, specifically the state level polling but latterly the national polling as well, has to be systematically and comprehensively biased in Obama’s favor. There are reasons why this could be the case.

    Actually, to whip out the old strop, and hone Occam’s razor to a fine edge, there might be just ONE simple reason: more people want to vote for Obama than for his opponent!

    Radical, I know…..

  7. scott says:

    I have a football question for Dave – does Theo Walcott have delusions of grandeur, thinking he can be a central striker?

    • dick gregory says:

      No. Though his crosses at times have been so poor whether he would ever make it as a winger might be asked.
      The delusion is more that any other club would play him as a central striker. Thierry Henry didn’t when he moved to Barcelona. If Liverpool or Milan have said he would they don’t mean it.

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