Free Markets, Free People

Prediction time (Update)

If you haven’t read Karl Rove’s analysis of the election, you ought too. Yeah, I know, Rove is partisan and all of that, but, like Michael Barone (who, by the way, has predicted a Romney win), he knows election demographics.

Rove makes a point that seems to be missed by a lot of people or, perhaps, ignored instead:

He maintains a small but persistent polling edge. As of yesterday afternoon, there had been 31 national surveys in the previous seven days. Mr. Romney led in 19, President Obama in seven, and five were tied. Mr. Romney averaged 48.4%; Mr. Obama, 47.2%. The GOP challenger was at or above 50% in 10 polls, Mr. Obama in none.

The number that may matter the most is Mr. Obama’s 47.2% share. As the incumbent, he’s likely to find that number going into Election Day is a percentage point or so below what he gets.

Why is that significant?

For example, in 2004 President George W. Bush had 49% in the final Gallup likely-voter track; he received 50.7% on Election Day. In 1996, President Clinton was at 48% in the last Gallup; he got 49.2% at the polls. And in 1992, President George H.W. Bush was at 37% in the closing Gallup; he collected 37.5% in the balloting.

If you can’t get above 47%, and your challenger is running above that number, chances are you aren’t going to win.

Then there are the polling demographics. Remember when I said that if a poll has D+ anything, it is likely wrong? I stand by that:

One potentially dispositive question is what mix of Republicans and Democrats will show up this election. On Friday last week, Gallup hinted at the partisan makeup of the 2012 electorate with a small chart buried at the end of its daily tracking report. Based on all its October polling, Gallup suggested that this year’s turnout might be 36% Republican to 35% Democratic, compared with 39% Democratic and 29% Republican in 2008, and 39% Republican and 37% Democratic in 2004. If accurate, this would be real trouble for Mr. Obama, since Mr. Romney has consistently led among independents in most October surveys.

So, assuming Gallup is right, and it is R+1 as we’ve been saying is likely here, what does that mean for the polling that’s going on?

Take a look at this handy little chart from RCP:

The chart makes the point about how important it is for the polling company to get the mix correct and the probability that many of them haven’t. If they’re not properly skewed, you aren’t going to get valid results. We know there are still polls being run out there with D+5 and up to D+8. Those were legitimate in 2008.

This ain’t 2008 (and you have to ignore 2010 to believe it is) by a long shot.

Then there’s this:

Gallup delivered some additional bad news to Mr. Obama on early voting. Through Sunday, 15% of those surveyed said they had already cast a ballot either in person or absentee. They broke for Mr. Romney, 52% to 46%. The 63% who said they planned to vote on Election Day similarly supported Mr. Romney, 51% to 45%.

So, what is happening is the Democrats are getting their most motivated voters to the polls early and they’re still running behind the GOP.  If, in fact, that’s the case, then who will the Dems be trying to turn out on Tuesday and how successful will they be?  It all comes down to enthusiasm, doesn’t it?  And as measured, that too resides on the side of the GOP (well, except for the NYT poll, unsurprisingly):

Finally, while looking that that chart, remember that independents have been breaking large toward Romney. More than for any GOP candidate in recent history.  Add all the other demographics that have shifted significant support from Obama in the last election to Romney in this one, not to mention the atmospherics that simply aren’t there for the incumbent and it is difficult to believe that Obama will win.

So, all that said, I’ll predict a Romney win with slightly over 50% and around 279 electoral votes.  I’ll also predict that Nate Silver will be donating $1,000 to charity and David Axlerod’s mustache will be absent Wednesday of next week.

UPDATE: A reminder for all the doubters out there who want to dismiss Rove – In 2008 Karl Rove predicted an Obama win with 338 EVs (actual: 365)


71 Responses to Prediction time (Update)

  • Sea-change election…flushing the Obamic Decline.
    Standing by my prediction of months ago, and more confident than ever!
    Americans don’t want the Collectivist future.

  • From your mouth to gods ears….
    My predictions:
    – Romney wins
    – The GOP gets to 50 in the Senate, flipping to GOP control.
    – 5 minutes after we have Pres.-Elect Romney, the left will delegitimize him (RAAAAAAAAACIST, Ohio voting machines, Sandy, etc)
    Once it becomes clear Romney is having a good night I’m flipping my coverage to MSNBC. I’m going to roundly enjoy that.

  • This is why price-gouging is good. Supposed Home Depot has 4 generators in a flood hit area. If they keep the price at the “normal” level, some idiot with a koi pond who happens to get in line first, gets a generator. If you let prices rise, not only will more generators be sent to the area immediately by the price signal, you also have a rationing system based on actual need. See, if the price goes up 10 times, suddenly the koi pond owner decides to let the koi die, while the ice cream warehouse is more than willing to pay top dollar.
    Thus the free market signals not only will drag more generators where they are needed, but they also ration limited product in a fairly rational way. Yes, some super rich guy could buy a generator to save his koi over the ice cream warehouse owner, but that will not happen often, and far less often then when its rationed by first come first serve.

  • Throw in the Katrina like situation unfolding in NY/NJ and it gets even worse.  Obama is the cheerleader for big government solutions.  The propaganda wing of the DNC, the NY Times, declared that disasters such as this are the reason you want big government.  Now big government is in mid face plant and the natives are getting restless.

    • It TAKES BIG GOVERNMENT to screw the pooch a ‘la Nanny Bloomers and the Marathong.
      Let the free market work, and you will flood the areas of need with power, fuel, food, and heavy equipment to clean up the mess.

    • It can be Obama’s Katrina but you won’t hear rachel madcow or chris “thrill up my leg” matthews saying obummer is neglecting the poor minority in NY/NJ like they did about Bush.

  • We will soon see if the empirical polling is better or the mental analysis is better.
    Either way it will be very interesting.
    Normally, I go with the data, but I hope I am wrong.

  • I think things are unfortunately closer than people think.  Too many people who are dependent or basically on some sort of take.  Even if they complain about everyone else’s hand out, when they get some, its stimulus or owed.
    As for Rove, the problem I have with him is his competency.  I assume that Bush’s behavior of trying to be above all the accusations and not respond to them or respond after some protracted investigation was Rove.  And it was incredibly damaging.  Accusation became fact due to lack of any timely challenge from the Bush administration.  I wouldn’t hire Rove to help a candidate run for class president.

  • Don’t get cocky.  Get to the polls, get everyone you can to the polls

    The numbers here represent hypothetical honest elections.
    Out margin of victory has got to be bigger than the margin of cheating, or its all for nothing

  • This jibes nicely with the technique I used during the Tea Party wave of 2010 to beat Silver black and blue. He plugged his numbers into his spreadsheet and came up with a 25% chance of the GOP taking 60 seats away from the Democrats. My final call was a bit firmer: 64 seats, no hedging with probable outcomes or any of that BS.

    The real result was 67 seats. I missed three out of the 113 I figured might be up for grabs.
    So how did a blogger in his pajamas absolutely smear a statistician armed with the best tools and data the New York Times could provide?
    Well, as I said, I have a technique. It’s called “judgement.” That’s exactly what Cost is writing about above. Judgement is inherently humble, because it comes from hard experiences of being wrong. And it isn’t hobbled by the vile progressive insistence that what they do is science because they’re just so damn forward thinking and progressive and scientific and so it must be so.
    —Steve Green @ VodkaPundit

    I call it intuition, and it has worked well enough for me in the past that I rely on it.

    • Yup … and I predicted 62 I believe – or there abouts.

      • And Erb (aka Joe Citizen or whatever “sock puppet” he is calling himslf these days) predicted the Dems would hold the House!

        • Imagine the stew burbling in that poor, confused brain this weekend…!!!

          • He is so deep into Nate Silver it is not even funny! He is convinced all of this talk about D+ oversampling in the polls is right wing noise!
            Additionally, he has put out his prediction for the Senate. he says it will end up with the Dems gaining seats, 54-46 – funny how every singe toss-up he is calling for the Dems.

          • Correction – Erb calls it D56 – R44.  A D+3 gain!

  • So we’re all gonna get our revenge on Baracky come Tues!

  • Romny 320-218 EVRomney 54-46  Popular voteRepublicans 51 seats in Senate  and gain 2 seats in House.  

  • Romny 320-218 EVRomney 54-46  Popular voteRepublicans 51 seats in Senate  and gain 2 seats in House.The lamestream media wont call OH, PA, Va, or Florida until after 12 pm  CST and will play up the Obama vote as long as possible.  They wont call the race for Romney until at least 2 hours after Fox has called and I have gone to bed.   Ohio wont get called until maybe Weds mid morning.   

  • Maybe this will make a difference…
    Maybe they should ask WalMart if they could help out…
    S-a-n-d-y…how you spell “Obama’s Katrina”

    • And again, fast and Furious, Benghazi, Sandy……no press, no story.   All okay in Obamaville, greatest President ever, trust us.

    • New York doesn’t let Wal-Mart open stores, no?

    Well. That ain’t good. I have every confidence Eric Holder will rush into action on this. (snark off)

  • I’m going to guess Obama wins, but doesn’t break 300.

    But either way, I’m going with Clubber Lang on this one:

    “My prediction? Pain!”


    • I think I’m the closest in this comment thread.  What do I win?
      I know, I know–I’m getting four more years of infringements upon our rights … what am I saying?  It’s Mitt Romney!  Mitt Romney lost.  It wasn’t Ron Paul or Barry Goldwater, or even Ronald Reagan.
      I was tempted to fall for the prognostications of Dick Morris, et al., but my gut told me they were whistling past the graveyard and I have no tolerance for false hope. Why Morris and those like him find work today is beyond me.
      Fox News needs to take inventory of the pundits who failed, again, and start losing their numbers.
      Neal Boortz called it correctly, too, but that miserable SOB is retiring.

  • Well I am going to start taping MSNBC right befrore they call election for Romney so I can see Mathews have heart failure.

  • Romney by 10%+, pick up of 10-12 in Senate. And no, I ain’t smokin no good stuff. I’ve seen these things before – 1964, 1980, 1994, 2010. Notice that these “waves” come about every 15 years. In 1980 the Rs picked up 12 Senate seats with 22 Ds defending. This year 23 Ds are defending.
    The real wild card is the abysmal response rate of polling. In 1996 Pew had a rate of 37%. It is now 9%. There is some serious self-selection bias going on. I don’t see any reason to believe that it isn’t the same king of thing we have seen in exit polls. In 2004 Kerry thought he had won based on the exit polls. In 2012 the networks reported that, based on the exit polls, Walker had been recalled. Gallup’s survey of early voters this year probably has the same bias.
    I am a most happy fella.

  • “… it is difficult to believe that Obama will win.”
    Well, don’t forget the busloads of Somalians proudly clutching their “proof of residence”; or the mysterious voting-machine “miscalibrations” which record votes for Romney as votes for Obama; or NAACP members storming polling places and lecturing the would-be voters that they should be voting for Obama and the Democrats; or the liberal university students voting at school and then again (absentee) at home; or our military personnel who’ve had a helluva time trying to get ballots in the first place, and then have to jump through hoops to get them returned in a timely manner; or Democrat poll-workers who “find” boxes of ballots in their car trunks; and all the Democrat hotspots where asking for ID is considered tantamount to “voter suppression”; not to mention that some company in Spain I never heard of is going to be tallying our votes (Hunh???  What idiot thought this was a good idea??); and so on and so on.
    There are enough layers of cheating going on that if Team Romney doesn’t get something like 80% of the popular vote, the cheats will carry the election.

  • Romney by a length and a half.

    • I’ve been saying for months that I thought Romney would win and it would not be close. Of course, saying something that simple is quite declasse in this Nate Silver era, so let me express it as a 93.14159265358979 chance that Romney will win. Which has the benefit of coming back in the case of an Obama victory and saying “But I said Obama had a 7% chance!”

      It could end up really lopsided, though I’m not expecting or counting on that. However, I do remember 1994, where zero major media outlets or major pundits predicted the wave that happened. I still remember that smarmy jerkwad Peter Jennings muttering about voters throwing a temper tantrum. Man, would I love to see that same lemon-sucking look on Brian Williams’ face.

      And the usual disclaimer: I don’t like Romney much, and I don’t expect much from him in actually turning around the situation that’s driving the federal government into financial Armageddon. He might slow down the rush. Or he might be the guy who gets left holding the bag, and the resulting mess will be blamed on the GOP for a generation.

      But maybe I’m wrong. Maybe he picked Paul Ryan for a reason. I hope we get a chance to find out, and I think we will.  

      To name a number, I went through the electoral map state by state and came up with 315 Romney to 223 Obama. That number sounded familiar so I checked, and it’s the same as Barone’s. Popular vote? At a guess, 52-47.

  • So let me get this straight:
    Romney is going to take the normal “red” states no problem.
    Ro mney is VERY close in traditional safe blue states like PA/MI/MN/WI
    But he’s going to somehow lose the “swing” states?
    I’m no expert in statistics but sumpin’ looks wrong with that set of assumptions….

  • George Will predicts 312 Romney.

  • Let me just say if Romney doesn’t win, and we elect Big Ears again, I predict I’ll start seriously considering the question of whether the United States is really the United States any more.
    I predict no matter how big a win Romney has, it will not go legally uncontested and that there will be rioting, ironically enough in blue states that went for Obama.
    I predict the rioters will sensibly burn their own neighborhoods to show us how mad they are that we elected the wrong guy.  Then afterwards, they’ll bemoan the terrible conditions they are forced to live under, and will blame the new administration for it.

    • I predict no matter how big a win Romney has, it will not go legally uncontested and that there will be rioting, ironically enough in blue states that went for Obama.I predict the rioters will sensibly burn their own neighborhoods to show us how mad they are that we elected the wrong guy.  Then afterwards, they’ll bemoan the terrible conditions they are forced to live under, and will blame the new administration for it>>>>>> And I predict that I’ll laugh at them in their self-inflicted misery.

      • With every day that passes and reports coming out of New Jersey and New York I mumble “you guys have the government you voted to create, still think you should be depending on it?”.
        Just think, this last demonstration gives Romney a perfect reason to reorganize FEMA, clearly size isn’t helping the organization.

        • I feel bad for Staten Island – it’s a pretty  good GOP enclave and they deserve better. Everyone else is getting what they wanted really. I wonder if they’ll learn a lesson from this? Probably not. FEMA is out of supplies already? Not like they didn’t have over a week’s warning to stockpile….

          • Bu bu bu – only BIG government can handle a crisis like this!   So if it’s not being handled, it’s not BIG enough!   It’s not that it sucks at it you know.
            So…between disasters, what is FEMA doing?  You’d think they’d have this shit planned or something and be ready to roll the day it hits.   Looks like that’s not how they work – contracting 5 days AFTER the storm hits?   Did they hire the guys who saved New Orleans to run this one?  I mean, after all the bitching that was done during Bush’s term, where’s the non-stop media bitching about FEMA failure?  Where are the calls for the Craig Fugate to resign?
            Try searching the words “FEMA head” right now – most of the articles are criticism of Brown, criticizing FEMA’s Sandy response.
            Thank God the media had Bush and his administration to cover for the Obama Administrations crappy performances, otherwise they’d have had to invent them.
            Here’s a clue y’all, if you ran out of WATER to supply the populace, no matter what else you did, you were NOT F*ING READY.

          • Shark – I know – but here’s proof, their leaders aren’t REALLY worried about them….
            This is how seriously they’re taking it – heads should roll.

        • What I mumble is “you people had three (3!) days notice that Sandy was going to be rough and still you could go out on your initiative to buy water, food, fuel, Sterno, batteries, candles, etc…?” And now you are whining that the feds are derelict in their duty(?) to feed you and provide water? What happened to personal responsibility? Clearly people whose homes have been damaged or destroyed deserve help but the rest are just whining moochers. Out here in earthquake land we do not get three days advanced warning which is why we are always stocked with a few weeks of food, fuel, water, and ammunition.

          • Bingo – which is why my metered level of sympathy right now has the pointer bouncing on the minimum pin.    Can’t do that with the new fangled digital sympathy gauges.

          • Personal responsibility died in Katrina.

          • Only in places.  New Orleans is the epicenter of state dependency, and Nuevo Ork is not far behind.
            Compare and contrast to the people of the states hit by flooding and tornadoes in the Mid-West and South.  Or even Houston.
            It is very fortunate that Los Angeles and Chicago don’t have hurricanes, because that would be ugly FAST…

          • McQ’s note – and you would have thought AFTER Katrina and how well THAT went….people with half a brain would have made note of the government response and made their own preparations to be on the safe side this time.    Seems to have had no effect, or even the opposite effect.
            Now try to imagine something that impacts the whole country, or even only one coast.   Not a pretty picture is it.

      • Evidently you have been to Detroit. Decades after the 1967 riots, many of the burned neighborhoods are still empty lots, bereft of homes and stores. Of course, that is true of much of Detroit anyway.

  • I’m just putting this out there for fun. This is what I get for playing around on and looking at stuff on Nate Silver’s site.1. Ohio margin is from 10,000 to 12,000 votes. In this instance, Obama carries Ohio by somewhere in that range.2. Colorado margin is 7500 to 9000 votes. Same note.3. Romney carries New Hampshire by 5000 to 9000 votes.4. Romney carries ME-2 by a narrow margin, 3000 votes or less. This results in one EV for him and 3 for Obama.5. Obama will not carry NE-2 this time.  6. Obama does not win the popular vote but carries the EC. Romney wins the popular vote by 330,000 to 400,000 nationwide.7. Dems keep Senate.

  • I have to say, I’ll be fine with either outcome. If Americans want more of Obama, well, then they deserve it.

  • Premise:  Polls are weak, under count R’s (sample) and D fraud, weak LV screen overcounts D support compared to enthusiasm. 

    Prediction:  D’s win where they thought they needed to (where the fraud is ramped up) and where the fraud machine is strong (PA).  R’s win where actual votes can put it outside the margin of fraud and where the major metro areas have enough of an R presence to keep fraud to managable levels. 

    Romney gets ~273-265 electoral victory.  R gets FL, NC, VA, CO IA and WI.  O gets OH, PA, MI, NV, MN. 
    Romney may pick a few electoral votes out of NH or Maine, but doesn’t need them. 
    O gets OH, still loses, but barely.  PA by actual voters for Romney, but Philly fraud keeps the Electoral college blue (PA ex philly goes Romney by ~430k votes, Philly provides that plus 15k votes, regardless of what the rest of state margin is) .  MI is closer than many think, and ‘strong Detroit turnout’ (ie some transplanted Philly/Chicago fraud, such as unmonitered precints voting anyone who did not show up for O) keeps it blue.  Strong union ‘turnout’ in Las Vegas keeps NV blue.  OH has some late reporting blue districts that miraculously provide just enough margin to win (alternative…OH too close to call, recount until the Dems win). 

    WI goes Red, as the recall kept the R machinery oiled.  FL NC IA and VA go red because the cities are not big enough nor blue enough to sustain the needed margin of fraud.  CO has enough red in Denver to keep the fraud inside the margin of victory, but it is a close run thing. 

    Election is close…and it comes down to enthusiastic R voters vs D fraud.  I think the D fraud loses…this time. 

    Another prediction:  Romney wins 2012, loses 2016.  Without the ‘crawl over broken glass to vote against O’ vote, the fraud wins. 

    • I will say, I think if Romney takes 2012, he’ll take 2016 too.  My gut says Reagan’s ghost may be sitting on his shoulder, and I see no one nationally for the Dems for 2016.   Hillary isn’t going to get away with Benghazi next time around, she was too complicit with this one to escape the long term outcomes.

      • The prediction (obviously) is not about who is on the ticket.  It is whether the WI, CO, VA and FL voters will be motivated enough to turn out in the numbers necessary to cover the dependant vote and vote fraud.  At least one won’t be.  Huge numbers of people are voting against O, not for R.   Motivated voters win this time (I am an optomist!) but the leeches and frauds win next time. 

        Given the culture of dependency and fraud, D’s win unless the R voters are highly motivated, and win independents.  The next 4 years will be somewhere between very rough and gawd awful.  2016 will be another change election.   Romney will either make some very unpopular moves, or be very ineffective.  D’s (whoever that is other than Biden, he is just too stupid to be elected) will win.  And by much more than Romney this time.   

        • “Romney will either make some very unpopular moves, or be very ineffective.”
          Too soon really, but for some reason my gut says no on this too.  I suspect a ‘new day’ to hit us on November 7th, well, maybe on the 10th, once parts of the country are done burning.   Any kind of activity like that will also change hearts and minds of the independents for a while.  And the old media, having sold it’s soul in public over the last 4 years, isn’t going to be as influential again for a while.
          but….You’re probably right if the Republicans can’t take the Senate.  Without the Senate, soon, or Harry Reid meets a heart attack, Romney and Ryan will be stuck unless Romney does the things we abhor Obama doing – that is, using the executive office like an imperial throne. Actually that won’t work for him, creating more regulations to get what he wants doesn’t HELP what Romney is supposed to be about.
          As far as the cheating – IF Romney wins, you can expect the DOJ to stop trying to piss all over voter id, and the locals who suspect voter fraud and voted FOR Romney this time are going to feel more like they can get actionable cases against the fraud, so it might work against the DEMS this time around if Big Ears loses.   The only good to be said about the fraud is I expect it to occur in places they don’t even NEED to do it, but they’ll do it anyway.

  • Prediction: Obama 303… And you guys collectively lose your marbles.

    • Ah, home from the pub early I see.

    • By the way, are you prepared for the alternative where some segment of the population burns shit down after they’ve had their heads explode.
      At least if we ‘lose our marbles’ your property will remain safe.

    • Whatever else happens today and the next few days…
      YOU will remain a loser, Poque.

  • Or Romney wins, and your business and the country improves….gee you win either way huh?