Showing posts with label Sam Wang. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sam Wang. Show all posts

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Buzz In The Tiny World Of Poll Nerds

I've been pretty amused by the Twitter war that has blown up between forecasters Sam Wang and Nate Silver. It shouldn't surprise anyone that the blogsphere (especially the right wing blogsphere) and social media need guys like Silver and Wang to thump their digital chests and pwn someone in comments (hmm...Silver and Wang...sounds like a gay porn title:))

In my view, Wang has been too optimistic about the Democrats' chances in taking over the Senate, although his latest model is line with my current prediction as well (51 R, 49 D). Yet, it's important to remember that Silver's model shows the Republicans with a 59.3 percent chance of winning the Senate and the Democrats with a 40.7 of holding on to the Senate. People look at this and say, "Oh, well the GOP are ahead so they will win." That's not how it works in statistics. Wang should know this when he admonishes Silver for being "wrong" about Montana and North Dakota. Silver wasn't wrong. Even though the odds favored the GOP in those races, they still lost. That's what happens sometimes.

The Republicans have been pretty smart this election cycle and kept the real nutters off the ballot. Their candidates have just enough Tea Party in them to pass muster and nowhere near the level of sheer moonbattery to drive midterm voters away. But they have to be careful.

Once the 2014 election is over, the 2016 election officially begins. The tables are going to be turned 180 degrees and the GOP is going to have to defend 24 seats to the Dems 10. If they spend two years acting like children and stonewalling the president, they'll lose the Senate, several seats in the House, and any chance of winning the White House. At half of the approval rating of the president, they will have zero wiggle room to have tantrums. Their future as a party depends on their willingness to compromise because their base is very old and the Democrats' base is young.

That's why I chuckle when I hear this year's GOP candidates say they are going to take it to the president and force their agenda down his throat. Yeah, like that's going to play well in 2016. No, sorry, I predict that if they do win back the Senate, they are going to cave on some issues...just like they always have before...and piss off their "no compromise" base.