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# Nate Silver Is the Lovechild of Harry Potter & Hari Seldon

Internet Magic-Math Wizard Nate Silver currently blesses President Obama with a 83.7 % chance of winning on Tuesday and this distresses Mike Flynn (who writes for Breitbart these days because he was too stupid and sociopathic to continue on at Reason — if that is possible) who thinks that Silver has been intentionally making shit up this election season in an effort to influence the future and keep “leftists” fat, sassy, and to Flynn’s point of view, overconfident:

There is still a necessary discussion of how meaningful even an objective polling model would be in estimating American elections. But, that will have to be another day. It was a great disservice to our understanding of elections when someone decided that politics was a “science.” There is a certain hubris inherent in leftists like Silver, believing with determinist fervor that if we simply can get the right mathematical equation and perhaps calculate out another few decimal points, we can predict with 100% accuracy the outcome of an election.

When the history of the 2012 election is written, Silver deserves prominent attention. In the aftermath of Obama’s debate debacle, Silver has been the left’s oracle, reassuring them that everything is fine. His influence has been such that the Obama campaign didn’t make any real course corrections in response to Romney’s momentum. When the left wakes up on Wednesday, surveying the electoral wreckage around them, they may regret allowing themselves to be lulled into such a false sense of security.

Silver ‘splains stuff that Flynn will likely dismiss as mathematical hoo-hah, bushwa, folderol, and mumbledygooky:

Although the fact that Mr. Obama held the lead in so many polls is partly coincidental — there weren’t any polls of North Carolina on Friday, for instance, which is Mr. Romney’s strongest battleground state — they nevertheless represent powerful evidence against the idea that the race is a “tossup.” A tossup race isn’t likely to produce 19 leads for one candidate and one for the other — any more than a fair coin is likely to come up heads 19 times and tails just once in 20 tosses. (The probability of a fair coin doing so is about 1 chance in 50,000.)

Instead, Mr. Romney will have to hope that the coin isn’t fair, and instead has been weighted to Mr. Obama’s advantage. In other words, he’ll have to hope that the polls have been biased in Mr. Obama’s favor.

[…]

To be exceptionally clear: I do not mean to imply that the polls are biased in Mr. Obama’s favor. But there is the chance that they could be biased in either direction. If they are biased in Mr. Obama’s favor, then Mr. Romney could still win; the race is close enough. If they are biased in Mr. Romney’s favor, then Mr. Obama will win by a wider-than-expected margin, but since Mr. Obama is the favorite anyway, this will not change who sleeps in the White House on Jan. 20.

My argument, rather, is this: we’ve about reached the point where if Mr. Romney wins, it can only be because the polls have been biased against him. Almost all of the chance that Mr. Romney has in the FiveThirtyEight forecast, about 16 percent to win the Electoral College, reflects this possibility.

Yes, of course: most of the arguments that the polls are necessarily biased against Mr. Romney reflect little more than wishful thinking.

Nevertheless, these arguments are potentially more intellectually coherent than the ones that propose that the race is “too close to call.” It isn’t. If the state polls are right, then Mr. Obama will win the Electoral College. If you can’t acknowledge that after a day when Mr. Obama leads 19 out of 20 swing-state polls, then you should abandon the pretense that your goal is to inform rather than entertain the public.

But the state polls may not be right. They could be biased. Based on the historical reliability of polls, we put the chance that they will be biased enough to elect Mr. Romney at 16 percent.

I predict that should Nate Silver be anything less than 95% correct about this race, there is a 100% chance that conservatives will declare him to a big fat failure, albeit a thin one of small stature, but a failure nonetheless.

TBogg

# Nate Silver Is The Lovechild of Harry Potter & Hari Seldon

Internet Magic-Math Wizard Nate Silver currently blesses President Obama with a 83.7 % chance of winning on Tuesday and this distresses Mike Flynn (who writes for  Breitbart these days because he was too stupid and sociopathic to continue on at Reason  — if that is possible) who thinks that Silver has been intentionally making shit up this election season in an effort to influence the future and  keep “leftists” fat, sassy, and to Flynn’s point of view, overconfident:

There is still a necessary discussion of how meaningful even an objective polling model would be in estimating American elections. But, that will have to be another day. It was a great disservice to our understanding of elections when someone decided that politics was a “science.” There is a certain hubris inherent in leftists like Silver, believing with determinist fervor that if we simply can get the right mathematical equation and perhaps calculate out another few decimal points, we can predict with 100% accuracy the outcome of an election.

When the history of the 2012 election is written, Silver deserves prominent attention. In the aftermath of Obama’s debate debacle, Silver has been the left’s oracle, reassuring them that everything is fine. His influence has been such that the Obama campaign didn’t make any real course corrections in response to Romney’s momentum. When the left wakes up on Wednesday, surveying the electoral wreckage around them, they may regret allowing themselves to be lulled into such a false sense of security.

Silver ‘splains stuff that Flynn will likely dismiss as mathematical hoo-hah, bushwa, folderol, and mumbledygooky:

Although the fact that Mr. Obama held the lead in so many polls is partly coincidental — there weren’t any polls of North Carolina on Friday, for instance, which is Mr. Romney’s strongest battleground state — they nevertheless represent powerful evidence against the idea that the race is a “tossup.” A tossup race isn’t likely to produce 19 leads for one candidate and one for the other — any more than a fair coin is likely to come up heads 19 times and tails just once in 20 tosses. (The probability of a fair coin doing so is about 1 chance in 50,000.)

Instead, Mr. Romney will have to hope that the coin isn’t fair, and instead has been weighted to Mr. Obama’s advantage. In other words, he’ll have to hope that the polls have been biased in Mr. Obama’s favor.

[…]

To be exceptionally clear: I do not mean to imply that the polls are biased in Mr. Obama’s favor. But there is the chance that they could be biased in either direction. If they are biased in Mr. Obama’s favor, then Mr. Romney could still win; the race is close enough. If they are biased in Mr. Romney’s favor, then Mr. Obama will win by a wider-than-expected margin, but since Mr. Obama is the favorite anyway, this will not change who sleeps in the White House on Jan. 20.

My argument, rather, is this: we’ve about reached the point where if Mr. Romney wins, it can only be because the polls have been biased against him. Almost all of the chance that Mr. Romney has in the FiveThirtyEight forecast, about 16 percent to win the Electoral College, reflects this possibility.

Yes, of course: most of the arguments that the polls are necessarily biased against Mr. Romney reflect little more than wishful thinking.

Nevertheless, these arguments are potentially more intellectually coherent than the ones that propose that the race is “too close to call.” It isn’t. If the state polls are right, then Mr. Obama will win the Electoral College. If you can’t acknowledge that after a day when Mr. Obama leads 19 out of 20 swing-state polls, then you should abandon the pretense that your goal is to inform rather than entertain the public.

But the state polls may not be right. They could be biased. Based on the historical reliability of polls, we put the chance that they will be biased enough to elect Mr. Romney at 16 percent.

I  predict that should Nate Silver be anything less than 95% correct about this race, there is a 100% chance that conservatives will declare him to a big fat failure, albeit a thin one of small stature, but a failure nonetheless.