Tag Archives: Nate Silver@Fivethirtyeight

Nate Silver takes the media to task on the 2016 Presidential Election…

……from Nate Silver @ FiveThirtyEight….

The media keeps misinterpreting data — and then blaming the data

You won’t be surprised to learn that I see a lot of similarities between hurricane forecasting and election forecasting — and between the media’s coverage of Irma and its coverage of the 2016 campaign. In recent elections, the media has often overestimated the precision of polling, cherry-picked data and portrayed elections as sure things when that conclusion very much wasn’t supported by polls or other empirical evidence.

As I’ve documented throughout this series, polls and other data did not support the exceptionally high degree of confidence that news organizations such as The New York Times regularly expressed about Hillary Clinton’s chances. (We’ve been using the Times as our case study throughout this series, both because they’re such an important journalistic institution and because their 2016 coverage had so many problems.) On the contrary, the more carefully one looked at the polling, the more reason there was to think that Clinton might not close the deal. In contrast to President Obama, who overperformed in the Electoral College relative to the popular vote in 2012, Clinton’s coalition (which relied heavily on urban, college-educated voters) was poorly configured for the Electoral College. In contrast to 2012, when hardly any voters were undecided between Obama and Mitt Romney, about 14 percent of voters went into the final week of the 2016 campaignundecided about their vote or saying they planned to vote for a third-party candidate. And in contrast to 2012, when polls were exceptionally stable, they were fairly volatile in 2016, with several swings back and forth between Clinton and Trump — including the final major swing of the campaign(after former FBI Director James Comey’s letter to Congress), which favored Trump.

By Election Day, Clinton simply wasn’t all that much of a favorite; she had about a 70 percent chance of winning according to FiveThirtyEight’s forecast, as compared to 30 percent for Trump. Even a 2- or 3-point polling error in Trump’s favor — about as much as polls had missed on average, historically — would likely be enough to tip the Electoral College to him. While many things about the 2016 election were surprising, the fact that Trump narrowly won1 when polls had him narrowly trailing was an utterly routine and unremarkable occurrence. The outcome was well within the “cone of uncertainty,” so to speak.

So if the polls called for caution rather than confidence, why was the media so sure that Clinton would win? I’ve tried to address that question throughout this series of essays — which we’re finally concluding, much to my editor’s delight.2

Probably the most important problem with 2016 coverage was confirmation bias — coupled with what you might call good old-fashioned liberal media bias. Journalists just didn’t believe that someone like Trump could become president, running a populist and at times also nationalist, racist and misogynistic campaign in a country that had twice elected Obama and whose demographics supposedly favored Democrats. So they cherry-picked their way through the data to support their belief, ignoring evidence — such as Clinton’s poor standing in the Midwest — that didn’t fit the narrative.

But the media’s relatively poor grasp of probability and statistics also played a part: It led them to misinterpret polls and polling-based forecasts that could have served as a reality check against their overconfidence in Clinton…..

More and link to the 10 other parts of this Nate Silver look at the 2016 election, media and polling….Here….

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Is Nate Silver’s reign over?

Sam Wang over at the Princeton Election Consortium , whose projections we feature daily here,  is being pushed as the new King of the  political polling forecasters….

Image result for sam wang princeton

Nate Silver is the household word in for us political junkies, but some of us feel that Silver has been trying have things both way over the last week by hedging his bets in his forecasting model which has more subjective filtering than other model’s…

Silver HAS come back in line with others a day before the votes get counted…

But some in group of us are still gonna NOT be happy with his action’s that assurely got him more exposure …..

Forget Nate Silver. There’s a new king of the presidential election data mountain. His name is Sam Wang, Ph.D.

Haven’t heard of him just yet? Don’t worry. You will. Because Wang has sailed True North all along, while Silver has been cautiously trying to tack his FiveThirtyEight data sailboat (weighted down with ESPN gold bars) through treacherous, Category-Five-level-hurricane headwinds in what has easily been the craziest presidential campaign in the modern political era.

When the smoke clears on Tuesday—and it will clear—what will emerge is Wang and his Princeton Election Consortium website and calculations (which have been used, in part, to drive some of the election poll conclusions at The New York Times’ Upshot blog and The Huffington Post’election site). What will be vindicated is precisely the sort of math approach that Silver once rode to fame and fortune.

Wang says his method differs from Silver’s in its approach to uncertainty. “They score individual pollsters, and they want to predict things like individual-state vote shares,” he wrote in his blog on Sunday. “Achieving these goals requires building a model with lots of parameters, and running regressions and other statistical procedures to estimate those parameters. However, every parameter has an uncertainty attached to it. When all those parameters get put together to estimate the overall outcome, the resulting total is highly uncertain.” By contrast, he says, PEC’s model relies on a snapshot of all state polls every day, and then makes sure unrelated fluctuations are averaged out…

The Huffington Post Washington bureau chief Ryan Grim has been in a very public feud with Silver in recent days over precisely this question of “noisy data.” Grim accused Silver of deliberately skewing his own data at FiveThirtyEight with what amounts to political punditry. Silver fired back on social media with some ugly language. Grim stands by the HuffPost election model. “There’s room to debate where and whether forecasting belongs in our politics and our campaigns,” Grim told me. “But if you’re gonna do it, then you shouldn’t shrink from what the numbers tell you. I’m glad that our team didn’t, even if it scared me along the way.”

So when the smoke clears on Tuesday; when enough non-white and female voters haven’t been harassed or intimidated enough to stay home; when Clinton crosses the finish line with something close to 300 Electoral College votes and a popular vote victory somewhere between two and five percentage points; and Nate Silver is telling his 1.7 million Twitter followers that he’d been right all along this election, Sam Wang will be standing tall above the fray, draped in his “median-based probability election” cloak.

Long live the new election data king….

More ….

image ….MSNBC

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Voter enthusiasm for Trump is down….

While there has been stories and polling that shows down ballot Republicans COULD be holding their own?

Image result for trump vs Clinton

If Republican voters aren’t excited about Donald Trump, or if they start to get turned off by reports that Trump is gonna lose anyways?

They may not urn out to vote….

If they do NOT vote in increasing numbers guess what?

Down ballot Republicans don’t get the votes either….

The Clinton campaign and Democrats have a YUGE gound game flushing out the vote and numbers around the country in early voting states seem to confirm INCREASED early Democratic  ballots coming and LESS Republican ones….

The problem for Trump is that taken as a whole, his polls aren’t very good — and, in fact, they may still be getting worse. An ABC News national poll released on Sunday morning — the first live-caller poll conducted fully after the final presidential debate — showed Clinton leading Trump 50 percent to 38 percent. Clinton’s 12-point lead in that poll is toward the high end of a broad range of results from recent national polls, with surveys showing everything from a 15-point Clinton lead to a 2-point Trump edge. But the ABC News poll is interesting given its recency and given why Clinton has pulled so far ahead in it — Republicans aren’t very happy with their candidate and may not turn out to vote:

The previous ABC/Post poll found a sharp 12-point decline in enthusiasm for Trump among his supporters, almost exclusively among those who’d preferred a different GOP nominee. Intended participation now has followed: The share of registered Republicans who are likely to vote is down 7 points since mid-October.

I’d urge a little bit of caution here, given that swings in enthusiasm can be transient and can sometimes exaggerate the underlying change in voter sentiment. Our polls-only forecast has Clinton up by about 7 percentage points instead of by double digits — and our polls-plus forecast would still bet on the race tightening slightly.

But you can easily see how the worst-case scenario is firmly on the table for Trump and Republican down-ballot candidates, where the bottom falls out from GOP turnout….

More….

Note …

ABC is out with a poll showing a 12 POINT lead for Hillary Clinton something that would rightly be a ‘Blow OUT’  vote and victory for Clinton…..

But we’re STILL 18 days from the vote count….

image…NY Times

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Clinton probaly locked it in last night….

So says Nate Silver @ Five Thirty Eight…

Actually…… I think she had this  from 10 minutes after the Democratic Convention closing….

Steady as a Rock as President Obama and even Donald Trump has pointed out….

Image result for hillary clinton 2016

I’m not sure I need to tell you this, but Hillary Clinton is probably going to be the next president. It’s just a question of what “probably” means.

Clinton went into the final presidential debate on Wednesday with a lead of about 7 percentage points over Donald Trump. And according to the only two scientific polls we’ve seen, voters thought that Clinton won the debate. Occasionally, the initial reaction to a debate can differ from the way it’s perceived days later. But in this case, the morning headlines, which focused overwhelmingly on Trump’s refusal to say whether he’ll accept the election results, are potentially worse for Trump than the debate itself. In YouGov’s poll of debate watchers, 68 percent of voters said they think the candidates should pledge to accept the results of the election.

There are less than three weeks left in the campaign, and there are no more guaranteed opportunities for Trump or Clinton to command a huge public audience, as they do at the conventions and the debates (although, they’ll get plenty of attention, of course). Millions of people have already voted. Trump has had a significant advertising deficit, and an even more significant deficit in terms of his turnout operation. He’ll probably spend a significant chunk of the remaining news cycles quarreling over his contention that the election is rigged, and with the numerous women who have accused him of sexual assault. He doesn’t have an obvious — or even a not-so-obvious — path to the presidency….

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image…The New York Times

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Polling Update for Sept. 30, 2016….Battle States Continue moving towards Clinton…

National polls conducted since Monday’s presidential debate have shown Hillary Clinton ahead of Donald Trump by an average of about 4 percentage points — a meaningful improvement from her position before the debate, when she led by just 1 or 2 points. Now, it’s becoming clearer that battleground state polls are moving toward Clinton as well. These include the first results since the debate from high-quality, live-caller telephone polls; the numbers we’d been getting earlier this week were all from online or automated polls…..

More from Nate Silver @ Five Thirty Eight….

Only Ohio of the battleground state’s has Clinton trailing….

Friday, September 30

General Election: Trump vs. Clinton vs. Johnson vs. Stein

FOX News

Clinton 43, Trump 40, Johnson 8, Stein 4     Clinton +3

General Election: Trump vs. Clinton

FOX News

Clinton 49, Trump 44      Clinton +5

General Election: Trump vs. Clinton

LA Times/USC Tracking

Clinton 42, Trump 47       Trump +5

Florida: Trump vs. Clinton vs. Johnson vs. Stein

Mason-Dixon

Clinton 46, Trump 42, Johnson 7, Stein 1     Clinton +4

Florida: Trump vs. Clinton vs. Johnson vs. Stein

FOX 13/Opinion Savvy

Clinton 47, Trump 46, Johnson 4, Stein 2      Clinton +1

Nevada: Trump vs. Clinton vs. Johnson

Suffolk

Trump 38, Clinton 44, Johnson 7      Clinton +6

Michigan: Trump vs. Clinton vs. Johnson vs. Stein

Detroit News

Clinton 42, Trump 35, Johnson 9, Stein 3     Clinton +7

New Hampshire: Trump vs. Clinton vs. Johnson vs. Stein

WBUR/MassINC

Clinton 42, Trump 35, Johnson 13, Stein 4      Clinton +7

Florida Senate – Rubio vs. Murphy

FOX 13/Opinion Savvy

Rubio 47, Murphy 43     Rubio +4

President Obama Job Approval

FOX News

Approve 52, Disapprove 46     Approve +6

President Obama Job Approval

Gallup

Approve 52, Disapprove 44    Approve +8

President Obama Job Approval

Rasmussen Reports

Approve 50, Disapprove 49    Approve +1

…for more info on the above polls….Real Clear Politics...

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Polling Update for September 9, 2016…

…..natesilver: I do think there’s something to the notion that — at least in terms of the media coverage — it’s maybe not the worst thing for the media to have “gotten this out of their system” on Clinton, so they might be ready for a Clinton comeback story by the time of the debate….

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Real Clear Politics Presidential margin…+2.7 Clinton

Sam Wang Election Consortium Presidential margin….+3.8 Clinton

Election Projection President margin….+3.6 Clinton

Five Thirty Eight

Clinton…71%

Trump…29%

The Upshot

Clinton….81%

Trump….19%
Friday, September 9

General Election: Trump vs. Clinton

LA Times/USC Tracking

Clinton 45, Trump 44…. Clinton +1

Indiana: Trump vs. Clinton vs. Johnson

WTHR/Howey Politics

Trump 43, Clinton 36, Johnson 11    Trump +7

Florida Senate – Rubio vs. Murphy

Quinnipiac

Rubio 50, Murphy 43        Rubio +7

Pennsylvania Senate – Toomey vs. McGinty

Quinnipiac

McGinty 45, Toomey 46     Toomey +1

Ohio Senate – Portman vs. Strickland

Quinnipiac

Portman 51, Strickland 40      Portman +11

North Carolina Senate – Burr vs. Ross

Quinnipiac

Burr 49, Ross 43    Burr +6

North Carolina Governor – McCrory vs. Cooper

Quinnipiac

Cooper 51, McCrory 44     Cooper +7

President Obama Job Approval

Gallup

Approve 50, Disapprove 46     Approve +4

President Obama Job Approval

Rasmussen Reports

Approve 51, Disapprove 48     Approve +3

…for more info on the above polls…Real Clear Politics….

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Can Donald Trump actually win?

Nate Silver over at FiveThirtyEight has numbers that cast a doubt on   that…..

Now I KNOW there are people shaking their heads and saying Nate Silver doesn’t LIKE Donald Trump….

But Silver knows that….

But Silver points to something that is evident in almost all of the National GOP polling for the nomination….

Donald Trump for all his ranting, crowds,  attention and poll numbers?

Has the HIGHEST DISAPPROVAL numbers. of ALLthe people in the race for President…ALL…Democratic or Republican…

Most Americans really don’t like the guy….

We’ve got an unpopular set of presidential candidates this year– Bernie Sanders is the only candidate in either party with a net-positive favorability rating — but Trump is the most unpopular of all. His favorability rating is 33 percent, as compared with an unfavorable rating of 58 percent, for a net rating of -25 percentage points. By comparison Hillary Clinton, whose favorability ratings are notoriously poor, has a 42 percent favorable rating against a 50 percent unfavorable rating, for a net of -8 points. Those are bad numbers, but nowhere near as bad as Trump’s.

This is not just a recent phenomenon; Trump’s favorability ratings have been consistently poor. It’s true that his favorability numbers improved quite a bit among Republicans once he began running for president. But those gains were almost exactly offset by declines among independents and Democrats. In fact, his overall favorability ratings have been just about unchanged since he began running for president in June…..

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Note….

Silver ask’s…..How Come some Republican elites seem to be stuck on    Trump or Cruz, when they are locking themselves is such extreeme rightwingnut postions (far from the middle they need to at least seem to be aiming at) that the party elders KNOW will NOT work for them come November?

image…. politico.com

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Hillary Clinton is fighting a Media negativity loop…after a NY Times email piece…

That’s what Nate Silver points out in piece at his FiveThirtyEight Blog…

He points to the fact that since the NY Times dropped a negative email piece back on July 24?

Hillary has gotten little or NO positive major media coverage….

Led by the Times….ALL of the nation’s media editors have ONLY played negative stories about the current Democratic nomination leader….

In addition  they have portrayed Senator efforts as even with Clintons even though as leads Clinton in New Hampshire polling but is up and down in Iowa polling and FAR behind her in the rest….

But Silver points out …Hillary Clinton IS in a negative loop….Her stubbornness in addressing the email issue has also NOT helped her…

It remains to be seen if the NY Times and other media after reading Silvers comments try to balance their stories a bit…But Silver, and this Dog point to the fact that Democratic leaders, who decide things , along with the primary votes ARE behind the Clinton effort so far….The media seems to be trying hard to change that…Or at least NOT report ANYTHING good for Hillary Clinton…

Candidates can just as easily get caught — or entrap themselves — in self-reinforcing cycles of negative media attention and declining poll numbers. Hillary Clinton looks like she’s stuck in one of these ruts right now.

The Washington Post’s David Weigel recently observed that voters were hearing about only three types of Clinton stories, all of which have negative implications for her. First are stories about the scandal surrounding the private email server she used as secretary of state. Next are stories about her declining poll numbers. And third are stories about how Vice President Joe Biden might enter the Democratic presidential race.1

Weigel isn’t exaggerating: For roughly the past two months, voters have heard almost nothing about Clinton apart from these three types of stories. I went through the archives of the news aggregation website Memorandum, which uses an algorithm to identify the top U.S. news stories of the day. I tracked whether there was a Clinton-related headline in one of the top three positions at 11 a.m. each morning and, if so, what the subject was.

Since Friday, July 24 — I’ll talk about the significance of that date in a moment — there have been 13 mornings when Clinton’s email server was a major story, seven mornings when her bad polling numbers were a major story,3 and seven mornings when speculation about Biden running was a major story.

There have also been two other mornings when there were some miscellaneous negative headlines for Clinton, like this one about Bill Clinton’s paid speeches. That’s a total of 29 days of negative coverage in just over seven weeks. Clinton’s campaign has had a lot of bad mornings.

By contrast, I identified just one morning since July 24 when a favorable headline for Clinton gained traction on Memeorandum (the endorsement of Clinton by former Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin), along with four other mornings when there was an ambiguous Clinton-related story making news, like this one about her comments on Jeb Bush….

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Note….

Nate Silver is NOT the only person on the NY Times case about slanted coverage of Hillary Clinton…

Media Matters’ Brock calls upon New York Times to investigate itself over Hillary Clinton coverage

Media Matters for America Chairman David Brock is calling on New York Times to investigate itself. In a letter published on the Media Matters site, Brock rips the newspaper for four stories that, in his view, have thrust an inaccurately negative portrayal of presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, with the most recent example being last night’s Times exclusive alleging a criminal probe relating to the candidate’s private e-mail during her tenure as secretary of state.

Brock, a Clinton ally who has founded other groups backing her run, petitions Chairman & Publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. to commission “a review that will explore the process of reporting and editing at The New York Times that has allowed flawed, fact-free reporting on so-called scandals involving Hillary Clinton and report back to readers.”

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Nate Silver knocks Chris Christie chances for the 2016 GOP Nomination…

Although the Jersey Governor was a heavy contender for the 2016 GOP Presidential Sweepstakes price….

Most observers would agree with the FiveThirtyEight editor Nate Silver that Christie IS perceived as too moderate, doesn’t have the discipline and his popularity is declining due to the Bridgeate scandal and his mannerisms…

Silver points to the TOTALITY of the issue as wall the Governor probabaly will NOT be able to get over….

The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza has New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie as the second most likely Republican presidential nominee after Rand Paul. University of Virginia political scientist Larry Sabato lists Christie as one of the top four candidates, along with Paul, Jeb Bush and Scott Walker. And the betting market BetFair had Christie as the fourth most likely as of midmorning Tuesday.

These assessments seem much too bullish; Christie has three fundamental problems that are likely to prevent him from becoming the GOP’s candidate. It might be possible to overcome any one of these, but two is very difficult and three is almost impossible….

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Note….

I’m waiting for the Cliizza comeback….

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FiveThirtyEight..Recountland coming to you on November 4…..

Nate Silver is probably right on that….

And things will almost usually being up in the air until December…..

Oh, the odds still favor the Republicans…..

Republicans got favorable news in Georgia on Tuesday, where a Monmouth University poll put their candidate, David Perdue, eight points ahead of the Democrat Michelle Nunn. The poll is something of an outlier relative to the consensus — nonetheless, the last seven surveys we’ve added to our database show a tie or a Perdue lead, reversing a string of polls that put Nunn ahead.

Perdue now leads Nunn 49 percent to 48 percent in the FiveThirtyEight forecast — with the Libertarian Amanda Swafford, whose vote share has declined slightly in the most recent surveys, projected to get 3 percent of the vote. Perdue’s chances have improved of getting to 50 percent of the vote on Nov. 4, which would allow him to avoid a runoff.

Still, a runoff in Georgia remains more likely than not. Our model gives Perdue about a 30 percent chance of winning outright on Nov. 4, while Nunn is down to only about a 10 percent chance of doing so. The rest of the time, the race will be runoff-bound.

As we’ve written before, Georgia is not the only race that might require “overtime.” Our model estimates that while Republicans have a 64 percent chance of winning the Senate eventually, there’s only a 27 percent chance they’ll be able to claim their victory within the first 24 hours or so after polls close on Nov 4. Democrats are even less likely to win a quick victory — they have just a 12 percent chance…..

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Nate Silver’s ratings on polling outfits….

SurveyUSA tops the list…..

TCJ Research…bottoms out the list…..

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FiveThirtyEight has the Republicans Slightly favored for the Senate come November…

Nate Silvers’ over at FiveThirtyEight is going with the Republicans getting up to six seats come November, but as always leaves wiggle room….They feel that the GOP should win most , if not all of the Southern contests, but say they could be wrong on one of two of them….

The problem for Democrats is that this year’s Senate races aren’t being fought in neutral territory. Instead, the Class II senators on the ballot this year come from states that gave Obama an average of just 46 percent of the vote in 2012.1

Democrats hold the majority of Class II seats now, but that’s because they were last contested in 2008, one of the best Democratic years of the past half-century. That year, Democrats won the popular vote for the U.S. House by almost 11 percentage points. Imagine if 2008 had been a neutral partisan environment instead. We can approximate this by applying a uniform swing of 11 percentage points toward Republicans in each Senate race. In that case, Democrats would have lost the races in Alaska, Colorado, Louisiana, Minnesota, New Hampshire, North Carolina and Oregon — and Republicans would already hold a 52-48 majority in the Senate.

It therefore shouldn’t be surprising that we continue to see Republicans as slightly more likely than not to win a net of six seats this November and control of the Senate. A lot of it is simply reversion to the mean.2 This may not be a “wave” election as 2010 was, but Republicans don’t need a wave to take over the Senate.

However, I also want to advance a cautionary note. It’s still early, and we should not rule out the possibility that one party could win most or all of the competitive races.

It can be tempting, if you cover politics for a living, to check your calendar, see that it’s already August, and conclude that if there were a wave election coming we would have seen more signs of it by now. But political time is nonlinear and a lot of waves are late-breaking, especially in midterm years. Most forecasts issued at this point in the cycle would have considerably underestimated Republican gains in the House in 1994 or 2010, for instance, or Democratic gains in the Senate in 2006. (These late shifts don’t always work to the benefit of the minority party; in 2012, the Democrats’ standing in Senate races improved considerably after Labor Day.) A late swing toward Republicans this year could result in their winning as many as 10 or 11 Senate seats. Democrats, alternatively, could limit the damage to as few as one or two races. These remain plausible scenarios — not “Black Swan” cases.

Still, the most likely outcome involves the Republicans winning about the six seats they need to take over the Senate, give or take a couple…

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Nate Silver on flipping the Southern State’s Blue…..

Ah, Here thinks it’s gonna take a while , eh?

Can Democrats Flip Texas, Arizona and Georgia?

Sean Trende uses Nate Silver’s demographic calculator to estimate how long it will take for Texas, Arizona and Georgia to become blue states given current population trends.

“I waited a long time. Arizona finally flips in 2036, and Georgia flips in 2048. Texas never does. Even if we double the rate of Hispanic and African-American population growth, Arizona doesn’t flip until 2024, Georgia until 2028, and Texas until 2032. On the other hand, if we assume a marginal reversion to mean for Republicans among minorities — 11 percent of the African-American vote and 32 percent of the Hispanic vote — only Arizona flips, and then only in 2044.”

Politicalwire….

Note…

Arizona is in the SouthWest I know….

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A knock against Nate Silver’s way …

Someone else throwing against Nate Silver’s way of looking at 2014 Senate Midterm elections….

He is now competing with the folks he recently left at the New York Times….

They’ve now called their political operation the ‘Upshot’…

Josh Krausher over @ National Journal likes Silver’s Presidential stuff but doubts his Senate stuff right now….

I’m a numbers guy. As a baseball fan, I pore over box scores, regularly second-guess managers who use old-school tactics, and was probably one of Nate Silver’s first readers and an early subscriber to the sabermetric reference book Baseball Prospectus, where he made a name for himself projecting player outcomes. In reporting on and analyzing politics, I rely greatly on fundraising reports and polling data to inform the trajectory of key races.

But count me underwhelmed by the new wave of Senate prediction models assessing the probability of Republicans winning the upper chamber by one-tenth of a percentage point. It’s not that the models aren’t effective at what they’re designed to do. It’s that the methodology behind them is flawed. Unlike baseball, where the sample size runs in the thousands of at-bats or innings pitched, these models overemphasize a handful of early polls at the expense of on-the-ground intelligence on candidate quality. As Silver might put it, there’s a lot of noise to the signal.

The models also undervalue the big-picture indicators suggesting that 2014 is shaping up to be a wave election for Republicans, the type of environment where even seemingly safe incumbents can become endangered. Nearly every national poll, including Tuesday’s ABC News/Washington Post survey, contains ominous news for Senate Democrats. President Obama’s job approval is at an all-time low of 41 percent, and public opinion on his health care law hasn’t budged and remains a driving force in turning out disaffected voters to the polls to register their anger. Public opinion on the economy isn’t any better than it was before the 2010 midterms when the unemployment rate hit double-digits. Democrats hold only a 1-point lead on the generic ballot in the ABC/WaPo survey—worse positioning than before the GOP’s 2010 landslide.

These macro-indicators don’t square with targeted Democratic senators—such as Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, Al Franken of Minnesota, Mark Warner of Virginia, and Jeff Merkley of Oregon—being rated heavy favorites to near locks for reelection, as the Silver and Upshot models show. The models are great at concluding the obvious—red-state Democrats are in trouble!—but blind to anticipating future outcomes, given their dependence on limited public polling and quarterly fundraising figures, and other lagging indicators. This far out from an election, their predictive value is limited.

Instead of trash talking—I’m a big fan of the data-centric sites….

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Note….

Is this guy wearing a GOP baseball hat?

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Senate Democrats push back on Nate Silver pro GOP view on fall elections…

The Polling Jedi, Nate Silver , who analysis’s polling data for his forecasts , last week came out with a light call that RIGHT NOW it looks like the GOP COULD find themselves the majority people in the 2015 Senate….

Back in the day?

People would just take the hit….

But the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has already responded to the Silver announcement…( Has Silver got juice, eh?)

In a memo released Monday morning, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee executive director Guy Cecil pointed to red states where Democrats surpassed expectations in 2012 in a rebuttal to Silver.

“Nate Silver and the staff at FiveThirtyEight are doing groundbreaking work, but, as they have noted, they have to base their forecasts on a scarce supply of public polls.  In some cases more than half of these polls come from GOP polling outfits,” writes Cecil. “This was one reason why FiveThirtyEight forecasts in North Dakota and Montana were so far off in 2012. In fact, in August of 2012 Silver forecasted a 61% likelihood that Republicans would pick up enough seats to claim the majority. Three months later Democrats went on to win 55 seats.”

In his latest Senate forecast, Silver writes that Republicans have seized the upper hand in the battle for the Senate, which last summer looked like a tossup.

“We think the Republicans are now slight favorites to win at least six seats and capture the chamber,” Silver writes on fivethirtyeight.com. “The Democrats’ position has deteriorated somewhat since last summer, with President Obama’s approval ratings down to 42 or 43 percent from an average of about 45 percent before. Furthermore, as compared with 2010 or 2012, the GOP has done a better job of recruiting credible candidates, with some exceptions.”

Appearing Sunday on ABC News’s “This Week With George Stephanopoulos,” Silver said the GOP has about a 60 percent chance of picking up the six seats it needs to win the majority……

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Note….

Silver hedged his bets in original piece ….

Here’s our post on Silvers forecast….

He clearly gave himself wiggle room in saying that the Democrats COULD keep their majority if things go wrong for the Republicans…..

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Five Thirty Eight does Oscar ‘Best Picture Math’……

Nate Silver gets a chance to spread his math crunching numbers thing with a look at the ‘Best Movies’…..

The Internet Movie Database (IMDB) publishes a list of more than four million descriptive keywords, or tags (from “abusive boyfriend” to “Ziegfeld Follies”), associated with its index of films. We analyzed the data for the 503 films that have been nominated for best picture since the beginning of the Academy Awards, in 1928 (we included the 1929 finalists in our tally, though no official nominations were announced that year). Our goal was to identify those themes, motifs, and plots that have been most durable over the years—and those that have cycled into and out of fashion. The numbers tell the tale of the changing whims of the Academy, and the sort of society that it hoped to reflect. Oscar-nominated films involving marriage proposals peaked in the 1950s—and those involving nudity, in the 1970s. Other themes have endured—drunkenness, adultery, and murder have never been out of style at the Oscars. And Hollywood has long had a love-hate relationship with Los Angeles: New York, London, and Paris have been much more common settings for Oscar-nominated movies. Our data is not meant to imply that there is a magic formula for winning an Oscar, but most of the movies nominated in recent years have been neither independent films nor blockbusters. Instead, as Hollywood has sought to re-assert the viability of the movies as both a commercial and an artistic medium, it has tended to honor those films that struck a balance between edginess and accessibility…..

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