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Romney–No, Obama–Will Win

I’ve been keeping an eye on our own Ben Domenech and on the New York Times’s Nate Silver.

As we got closer to Election Day, I’ve been figuring, the polls would more or less have to begin to converge–which in turn would mean that the people who read them for a living, including Ben and Mr. Silver, would have to start agreeing in their predictions.

I’m still waiting.

From today’s “Transom,” Ben Domenech’s prediction that Romney will win:

I see the bottom slipping out from under Obama’s feet, and a campaign hoping to hold on just long enough to salvage a slim victory, one where he is almost certain to lose the popular vote. He is underperforming among whites and independents, and particularly among those likeliest to vote. I have never believed in running the prevent defense, and Obama has been running it for months. Running out the clock is rarely a winning strategy in sports or politics, and it is one I expect to fail this year. Thus, my prediction for Tuesday is this: Obama 260, Romney 278.

images-2.jpgFrom the New York Times this very day, Nate Silver on the reasons Obama is still almost four times–yes, four times–more likely to win than is Romney:

Mr. Obama is not a sure thing, by any means. It is a close race. His chances of holding onto his Electoral College lead and converting it into another term are equivalent to the chances of an N.F.L. team winning when it leads by a field goal with three minutes left to play in the fourth quarter. There are plenty of things that could go wrong, and sometimes they will.

But it turns out that an N.F.L. team that leads by a field goal with three minutes left to go winds up winning the game 79 percent of the time. Those were Mr. Obama’s chances in the FiveThirtyEight forecast as of Wednesday: 79 percent.

Not coincidentally, these are also about Mr. Obama’s chances of winning Ohio….

In my heart, I’m with Ben.  In my head–aw, heck.  What did my head ever do for me, anyway?

  1. Schrodinger

    Polls are based on the assumptions of the pollster.

    And as we all know.

    ASSUME makes an ASS out of U and ME.

    In this case, Silver’s assumptions might make him look like an ass (or at least a donkey).

  2. Nick Stuart

    This is the Super Bowl.

    In the Super Bowl the team that’s down by three plays to win until the final second.

  3. Lavaux

    I trust the expert I pay. I haven’t paid Domenic or Silver, so I suppose I’ll have to trust my own lying eyes, which tell me that Romney’s surging to a 52-48 victory with over 300 EC votes. But don’t take my word for it unless you’re willing to send me a check…

  4. Idiophone

    Your first paragraph says it all: RICOCHET’S OWN Ben Domenech vs. [Some Dude] from Pravda-on-the-Hudson. 

    Mr. Robinson, you know where your loyalties lie. Trust your heart.

  5. Mitch Noyes

    Peter, all the polls show Romney with a strong lead among independents. The only way Obama wins is if he has a significant lead in party turnout. He won’t. The polls that show this close or giving Obama a lead have ridiclulous turnout models. They claim that democrats are both coming out at more than a 5% higher rate than republicans, as well as showing democrats making up more than the 39% of the electorate that they made up in 2008. What’s more, the “likely voter” screens in these polls are a joke. Many of them are essentially registered voter screens, predicting that close to 90% of registered voters will turn out. The internals of these polls that Silver relies upon and that have you worried are completely unsupportable. Don’t worry, your heart and your head can rest easy.

  6. ConservativeWanderer

    Nate Silver was a member of Journolist.

    Even if his predictions showed a 99.999% chance of a Romney win, he could never say so. He’d lose all future beltway cocktail party invitations, and then how would his neighbors know how incredibly intelligent he is?

  7. The King Prawn

    Obama has a record. If he wins by even the slimmest margin Ben Franklin’s prophecy will have been fulfilled:

    I think a general Government necessary for us, and there is no form of Government but what may be a blessing to the people if well administered, and believe farther that this is likely to be well administered for a course of years, and can only end in Despotism, as other forms have done before it, when the people shall become so corrupted as to need despotic Government, being incapable of any other.

  8. Peter Robinson
    C
    Andy Freeman: Your first paragraph says it all: RICOCHET’S OWN Ben Domenech vs. [Some Dude] from Pravda-on-the-Hudson. 

    Mr. Robinson, you know where your loyalties lie. Trust your heart. · 3 minutes ago

    Hadn’t thought of it that way, Andy, but you’re right.  Ben, I’m with you, baby.  It’ll be Romney with 278!

  9. SpinozaCarWash

    With five minutes left in a football game, the observer knows the score.  Not so with election polls, which are imprecise due to factors both within and without the pollster’s control.  That’s why we speak of “projections” until the night of the election when the actual returns come in.  So Mr. Silver’s analogy between the football score and the electoral college score strikes me as quite facile. 

  10. Troy Senik, Ed.

    Peter, rule of thumb: never trust someone who spells NFL with periods in it.

    Romney 295, Obama 243 (I said over 300 for Romney on the podcast yesterday, but actually ran the simulation and came up with this. If that’s the point we’re debating after Election Day, I’ll be happy to concede imprecision).

  11. Dave

    Is it winning by exactly three points or by AT LEAST three? The link isn’t coming up.

    Of course it also depends who’s playing and how they got to the point. Momentum matters a lot in sports.

    Overall, a weak analogy.

  12. iWc

    Should we have a member contest?  291 to 241 is my bet – Romney on top.

  13. Butters

    Ben is brilliant, but he took the field over Romney to get the nomination and predicted an Obama victory once Romney was the presumptive nominee.

    That being said, I agree with Ben, although I think Romney will get 300+ electoral votes.

  14. ChrisC
    Troy Senik, Ed.: Peter, rule of thumb: never trust someone who spells NFL with periods in it.

    Seriously – N.F.L.?  Enough said.

  15. ConservativeWanderer
    Troy Senik, Ed.: Peter, rule of thumb: never trust someone who spells NFL with periods in it.· 19 minutes ago

    I’m sure Nate Silver is also excited to see his first N.A.S.C.A.R. race too.

    Talk about labeling yourself as unfamiliar with “flyover country.”

  16. KC Mulville

    I can’t speak for the American people. I can only speak for me. And I know that I desperately want Obama out of there.

  17. Peter Robinson
    C
    Troy Senik, Ed.: Peter, rule of thumb: never trust someone who spells NFL with periods in it.

    Romney 295, Obama 243 (I said over 300 for Romney on the podcast yesterday, but actually ran the simulation and came up with this. If that’s the point we’re debating after Election Day, I’ll be happy to concede imprecision). · 20 minutes ago

    Dude, you’re already climbing back in from that branch onto which you so merrily pranced.  I knew you would!

  18. SpinozaCarWash

    That’s why Troy is a young gun and I’m a dead, white guy.

    Troy Senik, Ed.: Peter, rule of thumb: never trust someone who spells NFL with periods in it.

  19. Richard Stewart

    I’m with Mr. Domenech, of course.I’m always interested to hear the contrarian, too. Who takes Mr. Silver’s reasoning seriously? (Hint-hint to Pig Man, aka “the loyal opposition…”)

  20. Troy Senik, Ed.
    Peter Robinson

    Troy Senik, Ed.: Peter, rule of thumb: never trust someone who spells NFL with periods in it.

    Romney 295, Obama 243 (I said over 300 for Romney on the podcast yesterday, but actually ran the simulation and came up with this. If that’s the point we’re debating after Election Day, I’ll be happy to concede imprecision). · 20 minutes ago

    Dude, you’re already climbing back in from that branch onto which you so merrily pranced.  I knew you would! · 6 minutes ago

    Just for that, I hope that Romney does take Nevada (which I have for Obama) and pushes it to 301. I have chosen to die upon this hill, sir!

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