And another. . .

November 5, 2012 • 6:02 am

Today’s xkcd.  Some of my friends share this obsessiveness. But compulsively reading the news is useless. I have decided that Obama is going to win, so I am not letting anything, including the latest poll results showing a neck-and-neck race, throw me.

Ceiling Cat help us—especially the poor—if Mittens wins:

h/t: Grania

36 thoughts on “And another. . .

  1. I share that view. There’s no point in being obsessed. I control only one vote (my own), and since Illinois is solidly in support of Obama, my one vote has little impact.

    Yes, I think Obama will win. But, either way, life will go on.

  2. latest poll results showing a neck-and-neck race, throw me.

    The state polls show Obama the clear favorite to win the electoral college. 86.3 probability, according to Nate Silver.

  3. What you said.

    I voted early.

    Because I’m being punished for some misdeed in an earlier life, my close friends and dearest family members are . . . Republicans. I’ve preemptively canceled one of their votes. This makes me happy.

  4. Since Mittens has changed his position numerous times on much of what he proclaims is important to him, and possibly devastated his chances in the process. I wonder if he is contemplating changing his undies?

  5. Gosh I don’t share the optimism of all of you. The Republicans are more motivated than the Democrats to go out and vote. Don’t forget, their f_ing GOD is going to send them to hell if they don’t go out and vote for Mittens. And then there is the blatant or subtle racism telling Republicans that this guy is destroying the country for them. In contrast, Democrats (at least male Democrats) can only point to more mundane reasons to go out and vote (Republicans have given women strong motivation to vote Democrat). I worry about this difference in motivation between Republican and Democrat males.

    1. The polls generally do a good job of sussing out likely (as opposed to registered) voters.

      A sports analogy here is apt. It’s late in the game and Obama has a significant but not insurmountable lead. Say, American football; Obama has an eight-point lead; the two-minute warning has just sounded; and Obama is about to punt. Romney can send it into overtime with a touchdown and a two-point conversion, or he can win outright with a touchdown, an onside kick, and another score.

      And exactly that scenario has played out many times in the past.

      Just not very often. The very significant majority of the time that the stars are aligned at this point in the game, somebody in Obama’s position wins.



            1. Very well, in fact! Reminds me of the criticism by Richard Dawkins of Stephen J. Gould’s overuse (to Prof. Dawkins, at least) of baseball lingo, and his impenetrable (to me at least, an American and a lifelong baseball fan) counter in “cricketese” found in his (Dawkins’) review of Gould’s “Full House,” reprinted in “A Devil’s Chaplain”.

      1. Ben, I do not think the polls can accurately determine the likelihood that a respondent will vote. People know they should go out and vote, and so they will say they will vote. They may even self-report that they feel very strongly about voting. But at the moment of truth tomorrow, the factors that determine whether that person really goes out and votes are subtle and partly subconscious. Thus there will be an uncertainty of several percentage points in the poll’s weighting of a respondent’s likely vote, and that is enough to turn the election.

        1. Good pollsters are well aware of those potential pitfalls, and they have ways of dealing with them.

          For example, they won’t come out and ask, “Do you plan on voting on November 6th?”

          Instead, they’ll ask questions such as, “Did you vote in the last election?” or, “How do you plan on getting to your polling location,” or, “How long can you afford to stand in line on election day?” or that sort of thing.

          Further, voting records are public information, and the pollsters can cross-correlate with responses. If a voter says he’s voted in every election for the past twenty years he’s lived at that residence and he’s not going to let the streak end…but the voting records show the last election he showed up to was the ’02 congressional election, and the last before that was the ’96 general election, they can weight his responses accordingly.

          And all that gets fed into their published uncertainties…which are nowhere near “several percentage points.” A quality meta-analysis of all public polling such as what Nate Silver does reasonably has a margin of error of just a couple percentage points. Indeed, the only real questions will be how fraud and disenfranchisement plays out…if we have Ohio precincts electronically reporting 130% of votes going to Romney and white-sheeted “True The Vote” gangs keeping them uppity niggers at bay in Virginia, that could skew the results far more than any fuzziness in likely voter calculations.


              1. Might want to take a moment to reflect that the same statistical methods are used in lots of other areas of science, such as climate modeling.

                I’m glad Romney lost as forecasted, but I’m not at all glad that Obama’s victory was as predicted (even though I’m not at all surprised).


          1. What I worry about is the (hopefully) small group that will not vote for Obama because he’s black, but will lie to the pollster about, because they know that is not a good thing to say in public. Then they go and vote straight ticket for the white supremacist party.

  6. This is the type of person voting for Mittens:

    She is voting for Mittens because her cat is called Mittens:

    www. youtube. com/watch?v=Bzvm7zd4Z-s

    These good folks are voting for Mittens because a) Obama is an atheist AND a Muslim b) Umm, because he has some plans (whatever they are) c) Mittens is for all classes d) Umm, not sure, normally I know this stuff d) I’m totally misinformed.

    www. youtube. com/watch?v=nY0M7IdNl7U

    If I thought there was a god, I’d be praying for America, but there isn’t, so I can’t. Sorry.

    1. Obama is an atheist AND a Muslim

      That’s actually not a contradiction for the common Christian definition of an atheist. For many, an atheist is either somebody who hates Jesus or somebody who doesn’t think Jesus was all he was cracked up to be.

      It’s not a new or strange definition, either. The Roman Pagans called early Christians “atheists” as well.


    2. Thought Obama was an atheist, a Muslim, and a devoted follower of the Christian Liberation theology of Reverand Wright?

      This is hard. No hobgoblin of the little minds plaguing those R-money supporters.

      1. “Thought Obama was an atheist, a Muslim, and a devoted follower of the Christian Liberation theology of Reverand Wright?”

        That’s not a contradiction. Obama is just really crafty at being everything the voter dislikes (including that thing that they won’t admit publicly. Well, you know how *they* are like, don’t you? Uppity…Muslims)

        1. By “that thing,” people don’t like, but won’t admit publicly, I’m guessing you’re saying Obama must be Episcopalian, too? (Who knew?)

          I mean, I don’t have anything against Epicopalians personally, but soon as they start moving into your neighborhood — boom! — there go the property values, know what I’m saying?

  7. I place my faith in the bookies…..and they say Obama is the odds on favourite. Bookies seem to have an advantage in that they have a major financial incentive to predict outcomes correctly…. unlike pollsters, this imperative leads them to become dedicated scientific rationalists

    1. It’s not the bookies who set the odds, it’s the punters. And in case you haven’t noticed, the bookies always win, no matter who wins the race.

      Note that some punters who believe Romney will make them better off (you know who you are), may be hedging by putting money on Obama, just in case.

      1. The ability of the ruling classes to convince the regular folks that their enormous wealth is good for everyone never ceases to astonish me. How “tax cuts for the rich” can be an election winner I will never know.

        1. It’s what Jebus wants. Along with a larger American military budget, no regulations on business or the environment, and creationism in the schools. Oh yes, and second class status for blacks, women and gays. And Jews. And Hispanics. Drill, baby, drill.

      2. The real puzzle is how much “elites” are constantly vilified by tea party types when the most insular and exclusive elite class of Americans are the super-wealthy…. and yet such criticism of Republican elite is non-existent. How a candidate for president is mega-wealthy himself and pays just 14% tax is acceptable to Republican voters who themselves pay in excess of 30% on a hundredth the income just beggars belief

    2. As Haggis alludes, the bookies only want to split the money evenly and collect their vigorish.

      The odds do give you a clue, nonetheless, about where the smart money is moving — especially the smart money that tends to get bet late (at least up until the very last minute when some of the big players may unwind their positions a bit by hedging their bets).

  8. “the only real questions will be how fraud and disenfranchisement”

    This is not a problem in Australia where we have:
    – Automatic enrolment.
    – Compulsory voting.
    – Ballot paper.
    – Numerous booths
    Get with it America!

    1. We have compulsory voting here in Ecuador, and I do not think it helps at all. Uninformed people with no information-based opinions (a very large segment of the population) vote for whoever comes to mind, maybe people with familiar-sounding names, like TV actors. At best, this adds noise to the results, and at worst, it gives us a legislature thick with TV personalities and sports stars, who are puppets for savvy political operatives. No good comes from forcing people to vote. If people don’t feel like having a voice, they should have the right to remain silent.

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