Indecision 2012

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spikegirl7
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Re: Indecision 2012

Post by spikegirl7 » Thu Nov 08, 2012 6:19 am

It would be nice if the republican party woke up and realized the religious fundamentalist slant is not the one to take, wouldn't it? It would be nice to see them stop obsessing over gay marriage, and intelligent design, and putting big displays of the ten commandments on public land. It would also be nice if every Thursday was free donut day. Not gonna happen.

They're gonna keep going that slant though, because those people give them a lot of money and votes. They're gonna keep giving favors to certain businesses, and over-regulating others. They get a lot of money from all over to keep those regulations going.
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Re: Indecision 2012

Post by collegestudent22 » Thu Nov 08, 2012 7:52 am

ampersand wrote:Well, take an election divide by fifty, then divide it again by the number of counties or parishes, and I'd say that's a very repeatable event.
Only if the states, counties, and parishes are all equivalent cases. This is obviously not so. The election in Texas and the one in California do not have equal likelihood of going to each candidate. They are themselves unique events.
Deacon wrote:I just spotted on Facebook the first time people were called selfish for voting their conscience for a 3rd party, as Ohio went to Obama for less than the 3rd party vote. Stupid selfish Libertarians.
I know, right? How dare they express discontent with the fact that both candidates were for more war, more spending, more inflation, and more government interference "in the bedroom and boardroom".
spikegirl7 wrote:It would be nice if the republican party woke up and realized the religious fundamentalist slant is not the one to take, wouldn't it?
I think part of the reasoning is that successive losses would force them to become more libertarian, or be replaced by the Libertarian party. Of course, this requires people to stop supporting them on the ground that they will lose anyway. And it certainly requires people to stop buying into the dual propaganda of "voting as civic duty" and "voting your conscience is a waste".

Also, Romney didn't really take the fundamentalist slant, either. He took, basically, the Democratic stance, claimed to hate business less and like the military more, and assumed he would win because Obama was just so bad. The problem is that the options the GOP advances are either a "moderate Big Tent" Democrat-lite or "crazy fundamentalist".
Last time I looked, curing the sick and feeding the poor was in the bible, which is what the GOP is totally against.
Is this nonsense still believed? Really?
Bastiat wrote:We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain.
Very, very few people are against "curing the sick" or "feeding the poor". They are against the use of compulsion to force people to do this in amounts that others deem acceptable. They are further against having government do it because it just isn't economically sound.
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Re: Indecision 2012

Post by The Cid » Thu Nov 08, 2012 1:45 pm

Deacon wrote:I just spotted on Facebook the first time people were called selfish for voting their conscience for a 3rd party, as Ohio went to Obama for less than the 3rd party vote.
Considering how Libertarians were treated during the Republican primaries, I find this kind of funny. That's what you get for calling us crazy, GOP. Oh, and if you're going to keep calling us crazy, Republican Party, stop hiding behind Libertarianism whenever it becomes inconvenient to align yourselves with the monsters you've let into your own hideous party.
spikegirl7 wrote:It would be nice if the republican party woke up and realized the religious fundamentalist slant is not the one to take, wouldn't it?
I really just wish people wouldn't try to mold their beliefs into a given party platform and we could just come to the proverbial table as open-minded thinkers willing to discuss serious issues without turning opposing viewpoints into something to be hated. None of us are experts in everything, so there's a good chance that on some issue somewhere, you (and I, and everyone else we've ever met) are missing vital information. There's an equally good chance that we're wrong about something. Oh, we're probably right about plenty from person to person, but we've only had so many life experiences and that will never qualify anyone to have the right answer for every major issue.

I believe the right word for the Republican party is the one the late Hunter S. Thompson liked to use: swine. People who consider themselves conservative but dislike the religious right should get the Hell away from those swine. If not, nobody gets to complain when they nominate a stereotype from a world that only ever existed on black and white television. Guys like Romney are what you get with these swine. You want to find something new? Avoid the party that has to, for purposes of its continued survival, kowtow to literal rednecks who believe intelligence is by nature a bad thing. Avoid the party that has to kiss the ass of guys like Dr. James Dobson to pull in fundraising dollars. Can the Republican party really be redeemed?

Ronald Reagan was the exception, not the norm. People like to point to President Reagan as a symbol of what the GOP can be, but they were never that. There are far more Richard Nixons and Dick Cheneys in there than Reagans.
collegestudent22 wrote:The "chance of winning" being 85% or whatever is precisely equivalent to saying that 85 out of 100 times, this person would win. Sabermetrics analyzes repeatable phenomenon of a certain class. How many at-bats of Ken Griffey Jr. will be home runs is a class of events - the particulars of each at-bat are unknown. An election is not such a class of events - each one is unique, involving different individuals, different factors, and so on.
Did you ever click on any of the stuff on that site that explains how they calculate their forecast? (Also, they had projections up that were not very far off at all, both for the popular vote and for the electoral college. I look at the percentages as more of a Vegas odds type of thing--an NFL team that people would pick to win with 85% certainty is likely to be a 3-1 favorite if you just bet the money line.) It's all handicapping and using a larger number of polls to tell a more complete picture than one poll ever could. Using this information, they are able to give a very accurate forecast of how they feel the election is going to go. As Silver said in his blog last week, the polls in every state would have had to be systematically biased against Romney for the former governor to carry enough states to win the election. So the prediction was that President Obama would win over 300 electoral votes. He did that. Being that this is the same model that predicted then-Senator Obama would win the Democratic nomination in 2008 and go on to win the general election, I think the numbers are proving very useful.
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Re: Indecision 2012

Post by bagheadinc » Thu Nov 08, 2012 2:33 pm

collegestudent22 wrote:Like I said, if it is, then it is nonsense.
Just because you don't understand how it's calculated doesn't make it nonsense. And for a bunch of nonsense, his numbers have proven to be pretty accurate. A lot better than predictions from some of the pundits...
collegestudent22 wrote:The "chance of winning" being 85% or whatever is precisely equivalent to saying that 85 out of 100 times, this person would win. [...] It is nonsense to speak of a presidential candidate having a 80% chance of winning - there is no objective measure of such probability. Numerical probability means, by definition, the number of cases that are expected to result in a given outcome out of the total number of given cases.
They're not measuring the candidates past performance, they're measuring the voters. It's not how many times Obama or Romney have won, it's how many times Joe Schmo has voted one way or the other (and quite a few other data points).
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Re: Indecision 2012

Post by Deacon » Thu Nov 08, 2012 2:48 pm

Lucksi wrote:You wrote about all that you thought is wrong with them and yet you still voted for them? Mindboggling.
You assumed I voted Republican? Why? I didn't, since you seem interested.
And have your guns been taken away in the last 4 years?
No, thankfully they haven't been as successful as they hoped, there. I am also thankful that over the last few years the court system has largely been able to remind people that the Bill of Rights is not just a Bill of Suggestions, no matter how hard they fight to nullify them.
And it's amazing that the gay and women haters hide behind the bible. Last time I looked, curing the sick and feeding the poor was in the bible, which is what the GOP is totally against.
I'm not sure what the second sentence has to do with the first, but I wouldn't say they hide behind the Bible; they put it out front-and-center. As to the second sentence, the idea of performing miracles isn't really the same thing as living off your neighbor's tax dollars, nor was feeding the poor championed as a function of the State, rather an individual mandate. Sure, the culture and system of government was wildly different, but there are stronger arguments for socialism than the Bible.
The follies which a man regrets the most in his life are those which he didn't commit when he had the opportunity. - Helen Rowland, A Guide to Men, 1922

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Re: Indecision 2012

Post by ampersand » Thu Nov 08, 2012 6:44 pm

CS22, unique events does not mean they are not repeatable events. Every weather event from a clear sunny day to Hurricane Sandy and everything in between is a unique event, and yet it's repeatable in the sense that we can compare it to similar events and build up enough events to provide statistical data such as variance, RMS. Same in baseball where stats can be kept even though every pitch is unique in ballparks which have different dimension and weather variables per pitch, per game, per season.

It's the same with tabulating votes. Sure, every polling place have unique circumstances and data, but those alone doesn't mean they can't be tabulated to provide similar data to the point where one could start to make comparisons between this year and the years past. And since each vote is a repeatable event, I can build up a whole array of statistics to the point where I could make some forecasts about future elections based off of the last several elections.

We're to the point now where we could, as Eric Burns-White has suggested on twitter, tabulate the Electoral College votes by congressional district instead of having a winner take all per state fight as we have now (Maine and Nebraska, while they split their EC numbers doesn't break it down by congressional district). Our data are already sophisticated enough to show a break down of Red and Blue counties, not just states. Rural areas are going to be more conservative and urban areas are going to be more liberal, and it has been this way for many years. I could practically mark out where Redneck Nation is with this data now, as well as mark off the counties with a heavy Latino influence.

This election was the first that I could recall people talking about swing counties within swing states and really concentrating the money on those areas of the state, and essentially ignoring the rest of the state. For example, in Ohio, it was the Toledo area. Virgina, it was the area just south of Washington D.C. Both parties ignored other areas in the state.

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Re: Indecision 2012

Post by The Cid » Thu Nov 08, 2012 7:04 pm

ampersand wrote:This election was the first that I could recall people talking about swing counties within swing states and really concentrating the money on those areas of the state, and essentially ignoring the rest of the state.
See, this is the kind of thing that makes me think we need to go to the popular vote, impractical though that may be. We just had a presidential election where about a dozen states were considered important and the rest were ignored because they were "solid" red or blue states. Even within those states, a few select areas were the focus of the entire campaign, either because they were undecided or, more likely, because they are where the majority of the state's population lives.

In Florida, if you win in the counties around Miami and Tampa, the other candidate is going to have to dominate in the rest of the state to even come close to winning the electoral votes. In Pennsylvania, win Philly, Pittsburgh, and Allentown and the state is essentially yours unless cows are allowed to vote and they overwhelmingly prefer the other guy. In Ohio, Cleveland tends to stay very blue, so the focus is on Toledo, Columbus, and Cincinnati. So everywhere else is unimportant in an election year, because it's sparsely populated and/or has a reputation for voting in one direction every cycle.
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Re: Indecision 2012

Post by ampersand » Thu Nov 08, 2012 8:33 pm

The problem with the popular vote is that you then shift from swing states to large population centers that might swing the election, like Kansas City, St. Louis while ignoring LA and NYC purely because the Democrats would have them and most of the rural areas because the Republicans would have them. I don't like either idea, which is why the idea of splitting up the Electoral college by individual congressional districts is better.

Of course doing it that way would be one step closer to a parliamentary system where people vote the representatives, and then the representatives would vote in a Prime Minister, er President. And then maybe a Libertarian candidate might become relevant. Might.

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Re: Indecision 2012

Post by Deacon » Mon Nov 12, 2012 3:24 pm

I voted for the Libertarian presidential ticket.

It's true that the Tea Party movement was very quickly swarmed by spotlight seekers who had some area of venn overlap somewhere, but it's also true that it's been serially miscast and misrepresented by most of the media in order to marginalize it, starting from a position of sneering and then looking for something to justify it. People called it racist, for example, even though it absolutely wasn't. There may not have been a lot of black people at many of the rallies, but would anyone really expect there to be, considering the politics of the overwhelming majority of them as a group? I know in San Antonio there were lots of Hispanic people in the crowd, but that was ignored for some reason, and the black population is a distant third to whites, which are the largest minority here. People called it Christian, even though it absolutely wasn't. It may well be true that much of the crowd may have considered themselves Christians of some flavor or another, but it was absolutely not a Christian or any other kind of religious movement. And so forth. And you repeatedly waded in with searing condescension about what you thought of what people told you they thought the Tea Party movement was. Bear in mind, btw, that it's still not a political party along the lines of Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Green, etc.

Yes, I complain about Democrats. Their idea of how the world should be and whether they should force it to be thus is very often not only skewed and philosophically shallow but in many cases untenable and disastrous. But unless you haven't been paying attention, you will see me coming down on Republicans as well. Maybe not as much or as often, but certainly not insubstantially. It's difficult to be in favor of personal freedom, marriage equality, and so forth without being irked by the Republicans--especially during election season when it seems they begin to rely very heavily on the support of the fundamentalist Christian bloc out there.
No taxes for rich people, heck no taxes for everyone? Lift the ban on full auto assault rifles and personal tanks? Harvest the organs of poor people who can't afford health care? Illegal immigrants hunting season? Seceding from the US? Declaring Christianity the one true religion and outlawing the rest? Mandatory prayer sessions?
Yes, I strongly support each of those positions, as I'm sure you know.

I will note, by the way, that the problem of illegal immigration is one rarely appreciated by anyone who does not have to deal with it often in a direct manner, not just its ongoing existence but the attitude with which it is carried out. It's not a coincidence that it becomes more and more prevalent an issue the closer you get to the border, even within Texas itself. And those of you who insist in-person voter fraud is nearly nonexistent are really saying that it's nearly nonexistent in your cozy little world. It's very common in this part of the country for non-citizens to vote, whether they're here legally or not, as all you have to do is take your driver's license down to the polling place, hand them your driver's license, and say you were born in the US. Vote early, vote often, and make sure to keep up the long legacy of "free" healthcare along the border.
The follies which a man regrets the most in his life are those which he didn't commit when he had the opportunity. - Helen Rowland, A Guide to Men, 1922

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Re: Indecision 2012

Post by The Cid » Mon Nov 12, 2012 4:16 pm

Lucksi wrote:you got all offended when I called the Teahadists Teabaggers.
Lucksi wrote:So, was there a write in candidate from the Tea Party
...You don't have a clue what the "Tea Party" movement actually is, do you?
Lucksi wrote:No taxes for rich people, heck no taxes for everyone? Lift the ban on full auto assault rifles and personal tanks? Harvest the organs of poor people who can't afford health care? Illegal immigrants hunting season? Seceding from the US? Declaring Christianity the one true religion and outlawing the rest? Mandatory prayer sessions?
For what reason did Deacon deserve to have you take these shots at him? I mean, you're putting some really out-there words in his mouth that, far as I can tell, he has done absolutely nothing to warrant.
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Re: Indecision 2012

Post by collegestudent22 » Tue Nov 13, 2012 4:06 am

The Cid wrote:Being that this is the same model that predicted then-Senator Obama would win the Democratic nomination in 2008 and go on to win the general election, I think the numbers are proving very useful.
Yes, but the "percent to win" number is absolute nonsense. (Or Vegas odds, as it were, which are not determined by analysis, but what people are willing to bet.)
CS22, unique events does not mean they are not repeatable events.
In the sense I am using it, it does. It means the event does not share any factors in common with other "similar" events. The 2012 election does not have anything in common with the 2008 election - the people have different information, many have different views, different candidates are running, and so on and so forth.

The weather forecast, by the way, should not be numerical either. A 30% chance of rain tomorrow is also nonsense - it will either rain or not, and there is no numerical way to determine some sort of chance. It makes sense to be reasonably sure it will (or will not) rain, but "30% chance" is nothing more than metaphor.
Just because you don't understand how it's calculated doesn't make it nonsense.
That is not my claim. My claim is the sentence: "Obama has an 85% chance of winning" has no literal meaning - it can only be metaphor. It's as sensible as saying I have a 45% of going out for dinner tonight.
It's not how many times Obama or Romney have won, it's how many times Joe Schmo has voted one way or the other (and quite a few other data points).
But "Joe Schmo" is voting for a candidate. If he votes for Clinton in 1996, there is no way to know whether he will vote for Gore or Bush (or at all) in 2000 - all you can do is guess. The members of the electorate are not fixed, nor are their views and votes.

The accuracy of the numbers is not in question here - the prediction that Obama would get X electoral votes is a separate issue, and relies on - mainly - an assumption of continuity that tends to (but does not always) hold. The idea that a candidate has a certain percentage of winning the election, however, is nonsense.
Frédéric Bastiat wrote:And now that the legislators and do-gooders have so futilely inflicted so many systems upon society, may they finally end where they should have begun: May they reject all systems, and try liberty; for liberty is an acknowledgment of faith in God and His works.
Count Axel Oxenstierna wrote:Dost thou not know, my son, with how little wisdom the world is governed?

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Re: Indecision 2012

Post by ampersand » Tue Nov 13, 2012 5:32 am

collegestudent22 wrote:The weather forecast, by the way, should not be numerical either. A 30% chance of rain tomorrow is also nonsense - it will either rain or not, and there is no numerical way to determine some sort of chance. It makes sense to be reasonably sure it will (or will not) rain, but "30% chance" is nothing more than metaphor.
30% chance of rain means that in the area of forecast that a forecast is for, 30% of the area will get rain, 70% of the area will not get rain. Which 30% or 70% will or will not get rain they don't and they don't want to know. If you've looked at the national graphical forecast that the National Weather Service prints out for Probability of Precipitation, most of the percentages are graphically presented in bulls-eye form, so areas that they have more confidence more areas will receive precipitation will get higher percentages and they decrease as you get away from the more certain areas. It's the same principal as for hurricane charts where the further out you go in time, the wider that path gets.

You can't make forecast and you can't keep statistics on how good your forecast are unless the forecasts have a numerically defined meaning, and that's true whether you're forecasting the weather, a company's stock, the entire stock market or the national deficit. Heck, you can use them to forecast the election results, which is what Nate Silvers did.

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Re: Indecision 2012

Post by collegestudent22 » Tue Nov 13, 2012 8:09 am

ampersand wrote:30% chance of rain means that in the area of forecast that a forecast is for, 30% of the area will get rain, 70% of the area will not get rain.
Not so. The probability of precipitation is an estimate of the likelihood that measurable rain (.01 inch or more) will occur at any given location during the valid period of a forecast for that location. The percentages are based on classifying repeatable weather patterns, according to the frequency of the appearance of rain with the patterns.
You can't make forecast and you can't keep statistics on how good your forecast are unless the forecasts have a numerically defined meaning, and that's true whether you're forecasting the weather, a company's stock, the entire stock market or the national deficit.
This is not probability. This is guessing - perhaps educated guessing - and past statistics on how well your guesses are. There is not, for instance, a probability that the stock of a company will go up 6% over the course of a year. That's just something that could happen, and you can be more or less certain that it will, based on your understanding of the factors that affect stock prices. You can record how many times you are right - just as you can record the win-loss record of the New York Giants - but that won't tell you anything at all about the next time. And you certainly cannot get a percentage figure on how likely the Giants will win their next game.
Heck, you can use them to forecast the election results, which is what Nate Silvers did.
Not according to some percentage of likelihood. That's nonsense. And the formulaic method of determining how many electoral votes some candidate will get is only an educated guess.
Frédéric Bastiat wrote:And now that the legislators and do-gooders have so futilely inflicted so many systems upon society, may they finally end where they should have begun: May they reject all systems, and try liberty; for liberty is an acknowledgment of faith in God and His works.
Count Axel Oxenstierna wrote:Dost thou not know, my son, with how little wisdom the world is governed?

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Re: Indecision 2012

Post by Deacon » Tue Nov 13, 2012 2:54 pm

Yeah, Amp, wtf do you know about meteorology? Please leave your ignorant guesses aside so the experts can educate us.
The follies which a man regrets the most in his life are those which he didn't commit when he had the opportunity. - Helen Rowland, A Guide to Men, 1922

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Re: Indecision 2012

Post by The Cid » Tue Nov 13, 2012 4:15 pm

collegestudent22 wrote:The accuracy of the numbers is not in question here - the prediction that Obama would get X electoral votes is a separate issue, and relies on - mainly - an assumption of continuity that tends to (but does not always) hold. The idea that a candidate has a certain percentage of winning the election, however, is nonsense.
The number you're pointing at is one of many numbers the site in question runs. They run these on the right edge of the site. To the left of them is an extensive blog that explains the logic, math, and margin of error behind those numbers.

I don't see what there is to argue about. The sabermetrician got it right. His electoral college projection was pretty much dead on.
collegestudent22 wrote:(Or Vegas odds, as it were, which are not determined by analysis, but what people are willing to bet.)
Um, no. That's not how Vegas determines their odds. The original odds are always determined by analysis by professional handicappers who, were they not extremely good at this, would not be professionals anymore. From there, betting action moves the line, but never by very much. (An NFL point spread in a given week might move by up to two points, but that would be a wild swing and those are rare.)

So you're arguing with ampersand about meteorology, and now you're calling me out on something sports-related. Would you care to complete the trifecta, and argue with Deacon about trucks?
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