Skip to comments.Did Nate Silver Tip the 2012 Election to Obama? (Will Quit if He's Too Powerful)
Posted on 02/15/2013 9:37:20 PM PST by nickcarraway
The New York Times stats whiz says he'll stop blogging if his poll analysis sways future contests
Nate Silver was vilified by some Republicans and political journalists during the 2012 election, and embraced by Democrats looking for a fix of reassuring political news during rocky periods of President Obama's re-election bid. This week, the seemingly prophetic New York Timesemployed political polling aggregator told an audience of students at Washington University in St. Louis that "the polls can certainly affect elections at times." They're not supposed to, Silver added, but some voters may "take the forecasts too seriously."
Then, says Michael Tabb at the Washington U. newspaper Student Life, Silver dropped this juicy little bit of news: "If it gets really weird in 2014, in 2016, then maybe I'll stop doing it. I don't want to influence the democratic process in a negative way.... I'm [hoping to make] people more informed. I don't want to affect their motive because they trust the forecasters."
Politico's Dylan Byers says he "reached out to Silver to ask how much of an effect he believed his data and analysis had on voters in 2012, if any," but got no reply perhaps, Byers speculates, because Silver has "been a critic of this blog and of Politico in the past." (Byers then goes on to archly note that Silver "inaccurately predicted that the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks would meet in the Super Bowl, and then inaccurately predicted that the San Francisco 49ers would beat the Baltimore Ravens in the Super Bowl.")
Well, "unlike Super Bowl predictions," says Matt Lewis at The Daily Caller, "political forecasts can have unintended consequences," and "I'm glad Silver sees this." By suggesting that he personally swayed the election, "some people will now accuse him of egotism and narcissism, but I actually agree with him." The idea that "the media's constant attention on static polling might have an impact on voters' political preferences" isn't far-fetched at all, says Doug Mataconis at Outside the Beltway. "With the media spending most of its time focusing on the 'horse race' aspect of the race it's logical to assume that at least some segment of voters might be influenced in to backing Candidate A not so much because they agree with him, but because it looks like he's the one who's going to win."
Well, so what? says John Aravois at AmericaBlog. "In the end, Nate is influencing elections." In fact, "every election observer, every reporter, influences the election, even though it's their job not to." It's an offshoot of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle: If you observe an election, and people read your observations, you influence it "information is influence. Period." But what's the alternative?
Had Nate chosen not tell us what the polls were really saying, he would have still been influencing the results. Think about it. Obama voters were fretting, we now know needlessly, that our guy was losing, and was going to lose. Nate showed us that in fact our concerns that the president didn't have enough votes to win were factually incorrect. We were basing our sense of who was going to win, and our dispiritedness, on incorrect information. Nate provided us with correct information instead....
The question is whether any one piece of information unfairly influences the election, and that's hard to say. There is an argument to be made that Nate doesn't just have the influence of any other lead actor, even a large actor, in the electoral debate Nate is a super-actor, with inordinate, unique influence. And he is. But he also happens to be right. I just have a hard time with anyone who would argue that voters are better off relying on less-accurate, rather than more-accurate, information. [AmericaBlog]
Libtards always let us know who they are afraid of.
Sorry, wrong thread (meant for Texas Senator Cruz attacked by NYSlimes)
Nate Silver had as much Impact on election as UnSkewed Polls.
I suspect this has about as much empirical backing as global warming.
What tipped the election to 0bama are the majority of morons that inhabit this nation. Not Nate Silver.
Democrats were smiling Ear to Ear when Mitt and his Magic Underwear was finally given the title of GOP Nominee.
All they had to do was point out he was Rich and White and a member of one of those Bitter-Clinger groups who hoard food and have strange ideas about religion to get those voters that lean left not to vote for him. Then they just talked about his political record to get those that lean right not to vote for him and Obama walked into his second term.
Nate Silver, don’t flatter yourself. It’s likely that Mr, Silver did have some influence, but most people don’t even know who he is, or why others consider him important. I think No. 6 had it to a great degree, we of The Tea, were out numbered by the sheeple, the black people who felt obligated to vote for another black man, even when some of these black voters knew the economy was not getting better, and it was not due to anyone from the Bush Family.
You can bet in spite of what was implied, the vast majority of Occupiers voted for the Communist In Chief with all the other fringe groups. You recall those fringe groups of the Dems, like the one’s who rejected the mention of GOD’s name over and over during their last coven, I mean convention.
So, there’s the kool-aid group, walking arm in arm with The Cheaters. Both groups, Kool-Aids and Cheater’s are aware of each other, and are willing to carry lies for their comrades when need be. Some call this brand of the deceptive arts TAQIYA,
Somebody’s blowing smoke up somebody’s ass here. They obliquely mention the Super Bowl — he was wrong on that. But I recall looking at InTrade and seeing that there were only long-shot odds for Romney winning the Presidency and every single one of the eight or nine swing states.
99.99 % of the Obama voters had no idea who Nat Silver was or is!
I suspect this has about as much empirical backing as global warming.
"Bandwagon" behavior was well-known even before modern psychology began to measure such phenomena. The ancient Romans elected their annual officials by reporting to the polling place in the Campus Martius and gathering in roped-off areas reserved for each ancient tribe (there were three): the roping-off (praecinctus) gave us our word for "precincts", although they were more like political wards.
Immediately before and during balloting, people would visit across the ropes and talk about the candidates and watch their progress as the ballots were tallied through the tribes and smaller subgroups (I should imagine they were voting by clans and families, though I don't know that). Thus it became political strategy to try to obtain support in the first groups to be polled, in order to sway those voting later. And yes, bribery was not uncommon in the later Republic. That's the essential bandwagon.
They've been depressingly accurate overall .... but remember that as recently as Dubya's 2000 campaign, someone was able to come back and beat the odds. In May 2000, the Gorebot was headed for a comfy 55-45 "historic victory" over Dubya, according to Intrade and the Iowa academics, but Alan Greenspan held ManBearPig's head under water with rising interest rates and discount-window tightening, and his lead disappeared in the EC.
Footnote: The MSLiars to this day insist Gore won the popular vote. They don't insist simultaneously that California had bags and bags of absentee votes, many of them military ones, that weren't counted, in order to protect DimRat bragging rights, and they likewise don't insist, or even inquire into, the strong rumors that Bill Clinton ordered an aircraft carrier returning from the Mediterranean to dump many thousands of military absentee ballots off the fantail.
I fully understand bandwagoning. It's manifested itself even in places without the vote, where the warlord perceived to be losing has his allies or underlings turn against him in midst of battle. Richard III was the hapless victim of bandwagonning. The difference between factual instances and the foundationless version being promoted by the media is that the historical examples involved real trade-offs involving life and death.
In fact, a major reason Muhammad’s conquests were so rapid had a lot to do with bandwagonning. Anyone who resisted was slaughtered along with his entire extended family. Ditto with entire cities. That was reason enough to join his war bands, as long as he was winning. Weirdly enough, if we had implemented Muhammad’s policies in Afghanistan and Iraq, they would already be pacified, although I’d expect to hear of Interpol warrants for Bush, Rumsfeld, Cheney and Rice for war crimes.
The Communists at the Kunstler Center and the National Lawyers' Guild are still working on that project, last I heard, when they're not pumping up the Troofers. They also want Henry the K ever since Chile -- talk about holding a grudge. Which does nothing but vindicate Dr. K's judgment in the first place. Eff 'em.