Wednesday, August 06, 2008

It's Not That Bad

If you're like me and read political news online way too much, you might've gotten the impression that Obama is withering under attacks by McCain and his mouthpieces in the media and the blogosphere. But as Kevin Drum reminds us, it's important to step back and take a look at the bigger picture, and the bigger picture has Obama-absent a massive collapse-trouncing McCain in November:

I just now got an email from Sam Wang announcing the re-launch of his Meta-Analysis of State Polls for 2008, an automated compilation of state-level polls from around the country. Read here to understand how his methodology differs from Nate Silver's of fame. A pay-per-view cage match is expected shortly.

So what's his bottom line? Simple: as of noon today, he predicts that Obama wins 306 electoral votes to McCain's 232 [if the election were held today at noon]. As you can see by eyeballing the chart on the right, he basically projects about a 99% chance of Obama winning the presidency, and that's after McCain's recent minor climb in a few of the national polls. It's not over til it's over, but the numbers still heavily favor Obama.

And no silly tire-pressure gauges are going to change that.

1 comment:

Allen said...

FYI, Sam Wang's blog at Princeton allows users to submit comments.

He had one blog post criticizing for having a predicted electoral vote distribution that was not Gaussian. I posted a comment pointing out that you only get a Gaussian distribution if you assume independence between the state outcomes, and's includes correlations which breaks that assumption. I posted another comment further explaining how not including state-to-state correlations when making certain predictions can give you a false sense of confidence in your answer. (Sam Wang's results to not include correlations.)

It turns out however that Sam Wang moderates the comments on this blog. He deleted the comments I made, and also deleted an earlier comment I made pointing out that the # of EV's on one of his maps did not add up to 538.

Because he is moderating thoughtful comments that he does not agree with or that point out problems in his assumptions or methodology, I believe both his site and his blog should be boycotted, i.e., simply ignored.

Thank you.