Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Not at all what I expected

So obviously, my predictions were all wrong yesterday, mostly because no one saw the electorate really being D+6.  I still can't get my head around the fact that Romney received less votes than McCain, after being spotted 2.5 million Independent votes.

This was a turnout election that wasn't.  The lack of turnout also sank every Senate candidate, with the exception of Fischer and Heller.  At least those were the ones I said were at 100%, saving a tiny little bit of face.

One tiny nugget though.

I plugged the actual partisan split of the election in my model, and it would have predicted Obama 49.22 to Romney 47.68.  While it isn't the 50-48 that CNN has up it's web site, it is better than the 48.8 - 48.1 that RCP was projecting, and a lot better than the 2 point Romney win Rasmussen was predicting.

So in the end, there may be some value to this model.  All you need to know is what the turnout will be.  If I do this again, I will probably pay more attention to the reported partisan split and use an average of those to provide one of the model results.

Not that I am in much of a mood to be doing this again.  I think we have turned a corner in the country, and I am very worried about what that means.

I don't really plan to keep using this blog.  I have nothing really to say of much value now that the election is over.  So thanks everyone for putting up with me for the last month.


  1. I enjoyed this blog IMMENSELY. I guess we got caught up in the moment and our hopes ran away with us a bit.

    Looks like Mr. Silver' model is correct - and for the future the GOP needs to mind that.

    They also need to look at their policy. You can't spot a 90% share of 1/4 of the total electorate. While I and most of the GOP don't like the bad ideas of the opposition regarding the plurality in the republic it's time to come up with something other than "no ideas".

    Again, thank you for your efforts and opening this up to others whose not liking things a chance to use math and to hope.

  2. Thanks for all your hard work. It made sense. How we ended with a D+6 electorate is beyond me and I share your worries.

    I cannot comprehend how Romney got less votes than McCain. I can see missing a very impressive GOTV effort by Dems, but cannot see how Reps or Romney leaning Inds would stay home this election.

  3. I'd love to know the reasons why Republicans didn't show up. Of all the scenarios, I never saw that one coming.

    Also, we make this mistake every time, we can't ignore the polls and pretend we live in an alternate reality. It seems all of us (including me) want to pretend we are somehow operating outside of that "this one time."

    When I see our Senate losses across the board even in deep red states during 8% unemployment, it's clear there were real policy differences that kept Republicans from winning the electorate.

    I agree with Ace's suggestion, if Democrats are going to be the party of "free stuff" we need to be the Party of "free people". The fact that a conservative like Giuliani could be elected as mayor of NYC (or Romney to Massachusetts) is almost purely because they were able to set aside the abortion issue. Once women get past that, you can start talking about real issues.

    1. That is a lot of votes to throw away. But one point I've been making for 4 cycles now is if they represent 25 million votes, why can't we depend on them to vote?

      To be fair, we don't yet know that the SoCons didn't vote, but it is hard for me to figure out where those voters went. I watched red polling places overflowing, and watched as Pasco county over performed 2008 by a large margin. But the totals don't fit.

      And I would be lying if I didn't think that there is fraud somehow involved to make GOP votes disappear in the process.

      However, in 2000 and 2008 they did not turn out. If they want to be part of the coalition, we must be able to depend on them. Especially if they insist on their ideal candidates, who are hard to sell to the larger population.

    2. I truly believe we need to start from the ground up, and not everyone is going to like the new GOP, and it will probably be a rough election or two, but ask the Democrats if they're upset they stopped running Michael Dukakis Democrats that were soft on crime and were against the death penalty.

      Abortion has never been a public policy problem, even well before Roe vs Wade abortions were done all the time before it was a political issue. I'm not saying people should drop their moral objection to it, but as a political issue, it's costing us large swaths of the country. The northeast and West Coast make any candidate espousing the pro-life plank dead on arrival.

      Here's the problem, SoCons now cost us votes every cycle. They make all sorts of boasts about how important they are but I've yet to see a true SoCon Republican win an election outside the Bible Belt, and now they can't even win there, There WAS a time when SoCons were what won Republicans elections, but that went out the window in the 1980's. We are a much more secular nation now, unfortunately, and our politics need to adapt unless we want to become greece while fighting over abstract moral issues.

    3. Dave: "However, in 2000 and 2008 they did not turn out. If they want to be part of the coalition, we must be able to depend on them. Especially if they insist on their ideal candidates, who are hard to sell to the larger population."

      Did socons get an ideal candidate in Romney?


      Did Romney lock down the evangelical portion of the vote in the same way that Obama locked down/pandered to the gay and young/single woman portion of his vote?

      Not that I saw or heard. He seemed to send out some below-the-radar signals towards the very end of his campaign, but that was apparently not enough. (Compare McCain's endorsement from that evangelical leader whose name I can't recall.)

      Unknown: "I truly believe we need to start from the ground up"

      No, no, no. This would be a huge mistake.

      It is NOT easy to find an ideal candidate who can (i) turn out the conservative base, and (ii) win independents.

      A Rockefeller Republican - who focuses on fiscal issues and goes with the zeitgeist on social issues - is NOT going to win a presidential election.

      In Obama, the Democrats had a presidential candidate who could nail down their liberal base and independents (or did he in 2012?), but Obama will never be a presidential candidate again.

      Democrats have their own issues with changing demographics to deal with. They failed to find an ideal candidate in 2000 and 2004, and it remains to be seen whether they will find one for 2016.

    4. People need to stop blaming this on social conservatism. It's a ridiculous argument, least because it assumes by dropping the abortion issue people will flock to the GOP; they won't, as the GOP would not be providing them "freebies" as does the Democratic party.

      I can't stress this enough, but becoming "Democrat Lite" is not going to win the GOP any votes. That's the exact same problem European conservatives have and why they're almost permanently relegated to second party status.

  4. YOuth turned out, something unexpected, probably spurred on by comedians like Chris Rock; obviously people who watch the Comedy Hour and late night shows really helped Obama.

    However, can you tell me what demo didn't turn up? I mean, the crowds that Romney got were phenomenal, even with college aged kids. Did that many GOPers die?

    I read an article that said evangelicals turned out although I haven't had time to look at who stayed home?

    Do you think the next few days will answer that question? If I were not a conspiracy theorist, I'd believe the machines were rigged.

    Oh, and something else, Jerry Brown's tax proposal in CA was doomed to the last minute, it passed. Something is very crazy here and that has CA pundits wondering what happened.

    1. "YOuth turned out, something unexpected"

      All those college campus appearances by Obama paid off?

      Could be that, although I can't stand the sight of them, Axelrod and Messina were just smarter and better than the campaign guys on Team Romney.

  5. Hume on Fox suggested that when people are asked their political leanings and they answer "moderate" it meant liberal, not moderate at all.

  6. Reason for loss is simple and is being overlooked:

    The majority of Americans get their news from ABC, NBC, CBS and AP wire service stories, either read in their local paper or online or heard for 5 minutes on the hour on the car radio.

    There isn't a single criticism either of those news sources above offered in 4 years so...when the economic news was bad, they either spun it positively or they actually found ways to suggest that he was the victim of Bush policies.

    Even people out of work were convinced, because they heard it from the media, that nobody could do better than Obama.

  7. Then, there's the tribal vote--minorities voting for a minority.

    If you think that's going to ever change, fuggitaboutit. If Jeb Bush thinks he can win Hispanic votes, nope, and God, I don't want another Bush.

    There is no reason to have two democrat parties.

  8. "Looks like Mr. Silver' model is correct"

    Silver's model has been tested twice on a presidential scale, and it works with Obama, apparently. (Was 2008 a fair test, given his access to thousands of Obama campaign internal polls? Was he given under the table access to those polls this time around?)

    The question is: Does it work with a GOP candidate who is able to fire up the base? (As Romney was evidently unable to do, drawing 2.5M fewer votes than McCain, and 4.5M fewer votes than Bush?)

    That remains to be seen.

    Such candidates typically beat their polling numbers, and it's not apparent that Silver's model could account for such extra-polling discrepancies.

    1. One thing we forgot. Silver would have access to the internals again. We should have thought of that.

    2. The internals may well have been the secret weapon which allowed him to go SO far out on a limb with his forecast. They probably also guided him in the highly subjective weightings that were analyzed by Josh Jordan.

      That of course assumes pinpoint accuracy on the part of Team Obama's internals.

      Follow-up question: Did Romney's polling experts screw up? Were they less accurate than Team Obama? Not ready for prime time?

    3. Good god. Silver plugs the same polls we all see on RCP into a simulation and it spits out percentages. Why do people act like it is some freaking magical mystery election predicterator? You get the same result just looking at the RCP averages. The reason that Nate was the target was because he was calling the race 85% for 0bama so EARLY, which completely ignores the remaining time factor. And because he was worshiped as God by left-wingers who bragged that they could prove 0bama was going to win. But the main criticism of him was his complete reliance on state-level polling, which many of us questioned. His faith in it turned out to be well-placed. But for crying out loud, it wasn't anything magical about Nate freaking Silver.

  9. I'd have to agree with anecdotal evidence that GOP turnout was huge, yet....where are the votes?

    Something is very, very odd. I hope people get to the bottom of it. YOu can't talk about lines going for blocks in FLA, CO, Ohio, and in conservative areas, yet......

    1. Dave in Florida, thank you for all you did. I really appreciated your blog.

      I agree that there is something wrong. The on-the-ground reports from ALL OVER THE COUNTRY were off-the-charts turnout. Now they're saying right-leaning turnout was down by huge margins. The observable facts on the ground don't match the vote-machine totals.

      The observable facts are facts. So what is manipulating the totals?

      If there is massive fraud, I think that's a good thing, compared to the idea that Americans are so confused that they would vote for the crushing poverty that results from these policies.

      I would actually prefer to think that there is some massive fraud than to think that the American People would vote to have their economy and governmental structure destroyed.

      It will be interesting to see how the future unfolds. My mother was a teenager as WWII loomed upon the horizon. My acupuncturist lived through the Chinese Revolution. Sometimes big and terrible things happen in this world.

      We are Americans. We have a true north star to steer by: the proposition that our Rights come from the Creator, and we are meant to be free. This is the true north start for us all.

      May God bless America and all of us, and all the world. And may each of us be guided to be the best person we can, and make good decisions.

      Dave in FL, thanks again. I hope you will blog again more in the future. We need clear thinkers like you who look at the facts.

      "2010 Hope 2012 Change -- God protects children, fools and the United States of America. Keep the faith."

    2. I'm starting to think this WAS stolen. In the Ind vote, we would have picked up 5 million votes. We know they swung 16 percent all told and we know they percentage of the electorate.

      So we went from 5 million above the McCain 2008 number to 3 million down. That is 8 million votes that are missing.

      Reports are 7% of evangelicals didn't vote, that only accounts for 1.75 million (assuming that they did vote in 2008).

      There are some very questionable results from swing and blue counties in Florida. The Red counties came out with huge Romney numbers. But in the other counties we are seeing numbers that are lower than the total of early votes and the strike lists.

    3. Yep, it's strange but sadly it is over and nothing can be done. Also, thanks to the losses in the Senate, nothing will be done about Benghazi. Sure, maybe some low level person will serve as a scapegoat, but Obama won't be held accountable. The press sure as hell has made it known they won't hold the President's feet to the fire over it.

    4. "There are some very questionable results from swing and blue counties in Florida. The Red counties came out with huge Romney numbers. But in the other counties we are seeing numbers that are lower than the total of early votes and the strike lists."

      Eff me, what the hell?

      What. The. Hell.

      The butterfly ballot debacle - never let a crisis go to waste - led to electronic voting.

      I thought it was odd how rapidly, and by seemingly universal agreement, the leap was made from a local problem to a national demand for 100% electronic polling, which I hated, as the absence of a paper trail seemed, on its face, fraught with peril for fraud.

      I always smirked that the butterfly ballot was designed and/or implemented (can't recall) by Democrats.

      Maybe they knew what they were doing after all.

    5. Not only electronic, but you've got vote by mail in some states (like in Oregon where I live). Luckily when I turned 18, just before it was fully implemented, my parents insisted I went to the voting place (first and last time).

    6. On this issue, please let us know if you pick up anything or if others who study poll results are finding anything. We do know that it takes days, even weeks for all votes to be tallied.

  10. I have been following for a month all the articles on Ralph Reeds' push to register 2 million unregisterd evangelicals in the battleground state, and all the articles I could find about whether, after the Billy Graham and Reed push, they felt it was working. This is just one such article.

    Evangelicals stayed home for McCain (even though the vocally pro-life Palin was on the ballot with him) while turning out in earlier years for Bush.

    Word coming out of Ohio yesterday, (interviews with pastors and such) had it that it looked like the push was successful. Of course, that's just anecdotal, but if it's true, it simply can't mean they voted Obama and it should have meant increased voters by a quite a bit. Maybe Ohio did have better turnout than other states, but this is fishy.

    The same is true of VA. Was voting down in VA?

  11. "I'm starting to think this WAS stolen."

    I don't think you're alone. I think even Barack Obama thought he was losing, seeing the lack of enthusiasm in the crowds, and was probably being told all along, "Don't worry, our internals say you're fine."

    I also believe both Romney and Ryan (and their wives) exhibited signs the last few days that "told" them they were going to win. They weren't faking it.

  12. I fear that a substantial number of Republicans are fed up with DC and didn't bother to vote on Tuesday.

    The polling was all legit and accurate, right? That means Rasmussen's R+6 Party ID for October is legit as well. But, we still only had a D+6 turnout on election day.

    Systemic cheating? That is a hard sell for me. The exit polls pegged it at D+6, and that result matches the actual result and the expected vote split using the DaveInFla polling model.

    Many soft (R) voters seemed to stay home. Why?

  13. IT WAS STOLEN! 8 million voters don't just disappear! I spent the whole morning trying to fathom where are the missing voters? Enthusiasm for Repubs was high, whille Dems were demonstrably low, yet......higher turnout for Dems and lower for Repubs? Somehting's rotten in Denmark!

    Dave, you need to do some analysis of this. You have an excellent grasp of the numbers and parameters that need to be cross-checked against each other to show what and where the discrepencies lie.

    1. I suspect that voting machines can work in miraculous ways. Every 20th vote for one person might go for another on some machines. I don't trust them or how they are calibrated. We've all played a roulette wheel, right? Well, they are "balanced" in favor of the house. We've all thrown suspicious die. We've all known a slot machine can be "set".

  14. I'm wondering if Romney's Mormonism pulled down the Evangelical vote? Even being a Baptist, I thought that was absurd, but it might have played a role. Wouldn't they have turned out regardless though for down ticket races? I don't for a minute believe Romney being insufficiently conservative on social issues made evangelicals stay home.

    Had it been a D+3 electorate, Romney would have won, that should have been easy for Romney's GOTV efforts to produce considering what Gallup and Rasmussen was saying about Party ID.

    I think our biggest problem is not machine politics with respect to turnout but forming a coalition that more Americans can be comfortable with. Our Party should not be DOA in certain parts of the country, we SHOULD do really well in states like minnesota or Massachusetts, it's mainly affluent whites, yet we get crushed.

    I don't buy the fraud theory or the stolen votes theory, no one could pull something like that off in so many states, counties and precincts, and if they could, why not give Obama a landslide for a mandate?

    1. Informative article over at Red State. Look for the Nov 7, 9 pm post. It's about how the union bosses ran the dem GOTV and were superb in doing so. The GOP had nothing like it.

  15. Thanks for all your hard work. I know I'm pissing in the wind at this point but it just seemed odd to me that people in Florida who hadn't voted in at least 3 presidential elections were suddenly overcome with the need to vote & vote early....for Obama: @ElectionLawCtr "Sporadic" early Dem voters = FL Voter Fraud? Dems crushing Reps on sporadic Fla voters in early voting

    Also, why did the Dems in Philly refuse to seat 75 Republican poll watchers, in some cases physically removing them against their will. They went to court & a judge ordered them back in but what happened in that 5 hour period.

    Removing my tin-foil hat now...

  16. The evangelicals showed up, you can read it in the exit polls, so find another scapegoat. If Republican votes are missing, why did the exit polls turn out just like the final vote? Remember Drudge's leak? Actually, he said Romney was getting FL, so that was even more favorable. Nothing was stolen. 0bama depressed turnout across the board by going hard and negative early. So even though a lot of people were disgusted with him, they didn't want to vote for the other guy either. His strategy all along was turn out the base and scare the middle. It worked. Game over. Yes, I want to find out who was scared off too. But it wasn't the SoCons you all are so eager to blame and kick out of the party.

    1. You are correct, they did. Exit polls show that to be the case.

      This was not a depressed vote, 5.5 million Romney votes are missing.

    2. I don't understand how you can say that. See this piece:

  17. Dave, I want you to consider this. If Silver and Obama's polling team really did have great internals like that, why the heck did Obama looked really freaked out, as if he were actually afraid Romney would win. Recall that out of the blue, freakish "I want to have a Secretary of Business" thing he came up with to answer critics that he'd not offered anything new? Recall that pamplet of "new ideas for a second term" they threw together and even the press made fun of it--it was all full of colored pictures and very little text. This was after the debates, but also after the gallup had begun to close...and even though romney still led in the gallup, supposedly, according to Silver, Obama had always had a comfortable margin in the battleground states, yet it really did look as if barry thought he would lose, even the crying that last night.

    Yet, as luck or great analyses would have it, don't you find it curious that after all the behavioral indicators that showed barry thought he might lose and romney thought he might win, the turn out figures are matching the Silver projections, almost as if they could make those final figures match those projections?

  18. When you have liars and cheaters in power, the privacy of the voting booth is not favorable. I would love to be able to look up and see what was recorded for my vote.

  19. Another point. More people watched the debates and less people voted?

    Something stinks.

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