November 6, 2012

Tuesday Morning Line

Sam Smith - The polls have tightened slightly but, assuming a 4% margin of error, Obama leads in the electoral college 229-180 with 41 more votes needed. Assuming a 3% margin of error he picks up Pennsylvania 20 electoral votes which still leaves him just 21 votes short. But he leads in four of the remaining states while Romney leads in only 2. If he wins these four states  he would end up with 286 electoral votes.

Obama is currently one percentage point ahead in the polls. 

If you compare your editor's projections with those of the much vaunted Nate Silver of the NY Times you will find, if I may borrow his literary genre, that they vary by by 0.06% in the electoral college projection and 1.43% in the popular vote. Even if Silver proves more correct, think of how much time you saved not having to read his explanations.

Besides, as my high school math teacher, the sainted Alice Darnell, noted: a statistic can be no more accurate than the least accurate numbers used to compile it. That's why when you read in the mainstream press that something will happen in the economy or in an election worth 2.34% you know it's wrong. Life rarely has multiple decimal places.

Which brings me to a final act of CYA: These projections are based in no small part on people behaving the way they have in the past. If people always did that, we wouldn't have any history.  In fact, people do change their ways and they don't necessarily announce it first. In this case, my hunch is that potential sleepers include the size of the latino vote and the probably inaccuracy of polls because under-counting cellphone users, a younger crowd.

While Obama only leads by one point in the popular vote, he continues to lead in electoral count by a score of 229 to 180, 41 less than he needs to win.

Obama blue, GOP red
Note: We have added SC to the GOP column based on 2008. There have been no polls for a long time.

Governors: Democrats stand to win one state with 3 possible gains. GOP stands to pick up one with 3 other possible gains.

Senate: Only four seats need change for GOP to win Senate.



Anonymous said...

Iowa voter here. On my way out the door to vote FOR Jill Stein.

Anonymous said...

I'm in Mass and was late off the mark, getting to the polling place at 7.15 instead of 7.

There were quite a few people there already, but small lines had only begun forming as I was leaving after voting for Jill, who seemingly didn't get a measurable number of votes ...or at least not enough for the local media to report. Gosh, why would that be?