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  #201  
Old 10-03-2019, 05:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Velocity View Post
The argument that "76 and 78-year old Biden and Bernie are too old, so we need to all go over to 70-year old Warren" isn't too persuasive to voters.
It may or may not be persuasive to most voters, but as someone else pointed out in one of these threads in the past year there is very real and substantial difference between 70 and mid-70's( especially when considering a 4-year term ), at least on average. I'm not thrilled with Warren's age myself, but I feel much better about her in that regard than either Biden or Sanders. It seems, anecdotally at least, that decline in the 70's tends to be more exponential than arithmetic.
  #202  
Old 10-03-2019, 09:35 PM
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FWIW, spoken as someone who does not feel age is a problem per se, I agree with that exponential comment, especially for the most highly functioning and capable. The most highly functional hold a high function for a long time but then when they drop they drop fast. And it tends to be in the 80s more than the 70s. Also later for women then men I think. Warren’s 70 is not a worry at all. But then even Sanders age is not a major issue for me. Other things about him are ...
  #203  
Old 10-04-2019, 08:20 AM
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I commented on the age difference earlier. (Of course perception may be much more important than actuarial fact. OTOH, I am worried about health lapse between now and Election Day. Sanders has already had one.)
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Originally Posted by septimus View Post
Warren is 6.59 years younger than Biden. That's most of a decade.

A 70 year old woman has the same probability of dying as a 64˝ year old man. A 77 year old man has the same probability of dying as an 80-year old woman. Thus, assuming illness rates correlate with death rates, Biden is effectively at least ten (gender-adjusted) years older than Warren. Yes, that's Ten with a T.

Of course, those are average numbers, and I'm the first to scream objections when overall averages are applied to specifics. All three of the front-runners seem healthy and strong for their respective ages (and all three seem healthier than Trump). Among the group, it is Warren whose stamina seems most impressive. How many "selfies" have already been taken with Warren since she began campaigning? 40,000+ by one estimate!
Warren is effectively Ten years younger than Biden. With a T.

Last edited by septimus; 10-04-2019 at 08:21 AM.
  #204  
Old 10-09-2019, 06:31 PM
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It's Wednesday, so I'm back with this week's Democratic averages. Polls included in this week's average: the A-rated Monmouth carried over from last week, and new polls from Quinnipiac and IBD-TIPP; the B-rated Emerson and Ipsos, plus the weekly YouGov and Morning Consult; and the C-rated and daily updated HarrisX.

Code:
Candidate  Date  8/14  8/21  8/28  9/04  9/12  9/18  9/25  10/2  10/9

Biden            30.1  28.6  28.5  29.8  26.5  28.5  28.4  27.6  26.2
Warren           17.0  16.2  16.8  19.0  17.6  18.6  21.5  22.4  25.0
Sanders          17.1  15.2  16.9  16.0  17.9  16.9  16.8  16.4  15.3
Buttigieg         5.6   4.7   4.7   5.2   5.0   5.7   5.8   5.6   5.2
Harris            8.2   7.2   7.2   6.8   6.6   5.6   5.2   5.1   4.2
Yang                    2.0   2.5   2.6   2.5   2.8   3.0   2.9   3.1
O'Rourke          2.6   2.7   2.1   1.4   3.0   3.0   2.4   2.4   1.6
Booker                  2.5   2.3   2.3   2.1   2.9   1.9   2.2   1.4

Everyone else < Booker
Biden's still ahead, contra RCP (see below), but not by much. His slow decline continues, and Warren's rise over the past few weeks has been impressive. Everybody else is either treading water or gradually declining.

Here's the comparison with the other averages:
Code:
Candidate  Average RTF   RCP  Econ

Biden             26.2  26.4  25.0
Warren            25.0  26.6  24.0
Sanders           15.3  14.6  15.0
Buttigieg          5.2   5.6   6.0
Harris             4.2   4.4   5.0
Yang               3.1   2.8   4.0
O'Rourke           1.6   2.0   2.0
Booker             1.4   1.4   1.0
  #205  
Old 10-09-2019, 06:43 PM
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One interesting fact is that all three of the A-rated polls have Warren at least nominally in the lead: Monmouth has her up by 28-25 over Biden; Quinnipiac has her up by 29-26, and IBD-TIPP has her up by 27-26.

The two polls keeping Biden ahead are the C-rated HarrisX, which has Biden up by 36-17 over Warren, and B-rated Morning Consult, who must be polling the same 16,000 Dem voters every week, because they've had Biden at 32% +/- 1% since the last week of June, and he's far from the only candidate whose average has held steady for months - really all of them have, except Warren and Harris. Anyhow, MC has Biden ahead of Warren 33-21.

Last edited by RTFirefly; 10-09-2019 at 06:43 PM.
  #206  
Old 10-09-2019, 09:52 PM
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Even if Warren isn't actually in the lead just yet, she's in the lead. Biden was the electable guy. Now he's not. Game over.

But having said that, Warren can only defeat Trump if he completely fucks up. If things are the way they are right now, with low unemployment and relative peace, Trump wins. It might be a squeaker, and it might be a controversial photo finish, but he'll win. Warren will need a recession to win.

Last edited by asahi; 10-09-2019 at 09:54 PM.
  #207  
Old 10-09-2019, 10:42 PM
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“Game over” is very premature.

I agree she is now the front runner more than the polls would indicate alone. Now we get to see how she handles that position. That mantle she now wears has a big target on its back. Ask Biden about it. Or Clinton.
  #208  
Old 10-09-2019, 10:45 PM
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Originally Posted by asahi View Post
But having said that, Warren can only defeat Trump if he completely fucks up.
....Eh? All RCP polls currently have Warren leading Trump.
  #209  
Old 10-09-2019, 10:57 PM
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RTFirefly, your interest in Booker makes me laugh every week. Thanks for that.

One week, Booker goes before Yang despite not having a single stat higher.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RTFirefly View Post
And just for the fun of it, here's how my numbers this week compare with the Real Clear Politics average and The Economist's average:

Code:
Booker             2.1   2.3   3.0
Yang               2.5   3.0   3.0
Another week, Booker shows up despite being outside the perameter you set.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RTFirefly View Post
Details later, numbers now:

Booker 1.9

Everyone else < 2.0
This week, the actual standard is Booker himself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RTFirefly View Post
Code:
Booker                  2.5   2.3   2.3   2.1   2.9   1.9   2.2   1.4

Everyone else < Booker
Every week, I look at your numbers to see how you're accounting for Booker. Quite amusing.

If Booker drops further, I'll be interested to see what happens next.

It reminds me that political pundits like Nate Silver might be talking about the numbers, but sometimes bending the numbers a little to fit the narrative can be punditry license.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RTFirefly View Post
Code:
Candidate  Date  8/14  8/21  8/28  9/04  9/12  9/18  9/25  10/2  10/9

Biden            30.1  28.6  28.5  29.8  26.5  28.5  28.4  27.6  26.2
Warren           17.0  16.2  16.8  19.0  17.6  18.6  21.5  22.4  25.0
Sanders          17.1  15.2  16.9  16.0  17.9  16.9  16.8  16.4  15.3
Buttigieg         5.6   4.7   4.7   5.2   5.0   5.7   5.8   5.6   5.2
Harris            8.2   7.2   7.2   6.8   6.6   5.6   5.2   5.1   4.2
Yang                    2.0   2.5   2.6   2.5   2.8   3.0   2.9   3.1
O'Rourke          2.6   2.7   2.1   1.4   3.0   3.0   2.4   2.4   1.6
Booker                  2.5   2.3   2.3   2.1   2.9   1.9   2.2   1.4

Everyone else < Booker
Biden's still ahead, contra RCP (see below), but not by much. His slow decline continues, and Warren's rise over the past few weeks has been impressive. Everybody else is either treading water or gradually declining.
There's only one person on this list besides Warren who didn't go down from the previous week and has the highest number this week in his set of numbers since you've been keeping track. He must be the one "treading water".
  #210  
Old 10-09-2019, 11:07 PM
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Even if Warren isn't actually in the lead just yet, she's in the lead. Biden was the electable guy. Now he's not. Game over.

But having said that, Warren can only defeat Trump if he completely fucks up. If things are the way they are right now, with low unemployment and relative peace, Trump wins. It might be a squeaker, and it might be a controversial photo finish, but he'll win. Warren will need a recession to win.

I disagree with both of your paragraphs, even though they kind of almost contradict each other. Electability is not “nominatability”. The most electable candidates in the field (not just my opinion but that of David Axelrod, who is the expertiest expert there is right now) are either at the bottom of the list of candidates’ polling averages, or are not even shown because their totals are so low. George McGovern was the most popular with Democratic primary voters in 1972, but that did not make him the most electable, as the Nixon campaign‘s dirty tricksters understood quite well.

I also disagree that Trump would be favored to win against Warren. Virtually anyone can beat Trump now. But weaker candidates like Warren will be much more vulnerable to losing in 2024.
  #211  
Old 10-10-2019, 01:20 AM
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... But weaker candidates like Warren will be much more vulnerable to losing in 2024.
I'm not sure about this. Some citizens will come around when they see that their doctor still answers the phone, that their guns haven't been melted down and made into Chairman Mao buttons, and that very few of their neighbors have been sent to Stalinist gulags.

What I worry about — but this would be a problem for any incumbent running in 2024 — is that the economy will be in shambles again. With interest rates already low and deficits already high, it will be hard to recover from any downturn. (Stagflation a la 1970s is a real possibility IMO.) Radical progressive measures might work, but not in time for the 2024 election.
  #212  
Old 10-10-2019, 04:05 AM
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The most electable candidates in the field (not just my opinion but that of David Axelrod, who is the expertiest expert there is right now) are either at the bottom of the list of candidates’ polling averages, or are not even shown because their totals are so low.
Feel free to link to Axelrod's argument, because it's damned hard to rebut its absence.

[digression/rant]
In the meantime, fuck David Axelrod. "What a horrific commentary about our times that [Ellen DeGeneres] should even have to explain herself for hanging with" a freakin' war criminal. That sort of acceptance is wonderful for reassuring Trump and all those hanging with him even still, that nobody's going to kick them out of polite society for letting Turkey slaughter the Kurds. So fuck David Axelrod. That sort of expertise I can do without, thankyewverymuch.
[/rant]

OK, forgetting Axelrod, the notion that the most 'electable' candidates are down in the low single digits or not even registering, is like me saying, "if I could only get nominated, I'd be a terrific general election candidate." Well, bullshit. If I can't develop enough of a following to get on people's radar in the nomination process, then if I magically got nominated, I'd be an empty suit, propped up by the fact of having the nomination. Just a pretty face for guys like Axelrod to make the centerpiece of an ad campaign. And frankly, that's what's true of Booker and Klobuchar and Bullock and all those others. If they can't ignite any support now, they won't do so as the general-election candidate either.

And we're in a polarized era where median voters are increasingly rare. In the latest Fox News poll on impeachment, 55% are for impeaching Trump, and 43% approve of the job he's doing. The Democrats need a candidate who can turn out voters who will vote Dem if they vote, but aren't reliable voters. Anyone who can't marshal support now, is unlikely to be able to mobilize those voters a year from now.

And that's the true meaning of 'electability' these days. Sorry, but none of those candidates whose polling numbers are scraping up against zero - none of them are 'electable.'
  #213  
Old 10-10-2019, 04:10 AM
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The main problem with Warren, IMHO, is that Trump has a 100% election success rate against old white women.
  #214  
Old 10-10-2019, 06:45 AM
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The main problem with Warren, IMHO, is that Trump has a 100% election success rate against old white women.
Small sample size!
  #215  
Old 10-10-2019, 07:19 AM
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It truly would be interesting to see the reaction to/outcome from Warren v Trump. There are several intelligent, well-spoken candidates among the Dems, but to my ear, Warren comes across as the - um - most professorial? Some might say pedantic?

Not saying I laud every thing abut her, but I'm reminded of how some people criticized Obama for sounding too intelligent. Like that's a BAD thing in one's president?

The dichotomy between how Warren and Trump express themselves is about as wide as imaginable. Would be interesting to see if they could get past the cartoon stage of blustering past each other, and interesting to see which the American public votes for.
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  #216  
Old 10-10-2019, 08:36 AM
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RTFirefly, your interest in Booker makes me laugh every week. Thanks for that.
Whaaaaaaat?!

The funny part is, I've never been able to summon up a lick of interest in Cory Booker.
Quote:
One week, Booker goes before Yang despite not having a single stat higher.
And the two weeks before that, both Beto and Booker went before Yang, despite Yang having higher averages than both of them.
Quote:
Another week, Booker shows up despite being outside the perameter you set.
And a few weeks prior, I did the same with Beto, and explained it at the time. Same explanation applies to Booker.
Quote:
This week, the actual standard is Booker himself.
Well yeah. Seemed easier than saying, "as before, I showed Beto's and Booker's stats even though they were below 2.0%, because they'd been at or above 2% the previous week and I didn't want anyone to ask if I'd just overlooked them, but I also wanted to say that no, there wasn't anyone under 2% but above Booker."

I was right, too.
Quote:
Every week, I look at your numbers to see how you're accounting for Booker. Quite amusing.
If you look only at data that fits your pattern, it's easy to see your pattern even if it isn't real.
Quote:
If Booker drops further, I'll be interested to see what happens next.
If either he or Beto or both are below 2% for a second consecutive week, they'll drop off the list until they get back over that mark, if they ever do.
Quote:
It reminds me that political pundits like Nate Silver might be talking about the numbers, but sometimes bending the numbers a little to fit the narrative can be punditry license.
Your capacity for seeing things that aren't there truly impresses me.

Besides, I'm not sure how showing a number you didn't think I should show constitutes bending the numbers.
  #217  
Old 10-10-2019, 09:19 AM
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There's only one person on this list besides Warren who didn't go down from the previous week and has the highest number this week in his set of numbers since you've been keeping track. He must be the one "treading water".
Buttigieg is down less than half a point this week (thats nothing) but basically where he was a month ago. It's not all anti-Yang conspiracy.
  #218  
Old 10-10-2019, 09:20 PM
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Just as they had Hillary leading Trump.
  #219  
Old 10-10-2019, 09:23 PM
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I disagree with both of your paragraphs, even though they kind of almost contradict each other. Electability is not “nominatability”. The most electable candidates in the field (not just my opinion but that of David Axelrod, who is the expertiest expert there is right now) are either at the bottom of the list of candidates’ polling averages, or are not even shown because their totals are so low. George McGovern was the most popular with Democratic primary voters in 1972, but that did not make him the most electable, as the Nixon campaign‘s dirty tricksters understood quite well.

I also disagree that Trump would be favored to win against Warren. Virtually anyone can beat Trump now. But weaker candidates like Warren will be much more vulnerable to losing in 2024.
If there's a recession -- and there may well be -- he loses.

If there's not a recession, he will find a way to defeat Elizabeth Warren in the EC. It's entirely possible that the popular vote margin of victory would be even wider for Warren than it was for Clinton, but he will win if the current economic circumstances remain relatively the same.

Americans don't want to jinx the economy by changing presidents when they assume that the presidency will change hands in 4 years anyway.
  #220  
Old 10-10-2019, 09:28 PM
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It truly would be interesting to see the reaction to/outcome from Warren v Trump. There are several intelligent, well-spoken candidates among the Dems, but to my ear, Warren comes across as the - um - most professorial? Some might say pedantic?

Not saying I laud every thing abut her, but I'm reminded of how some people criticized Obama for sounding too intelligent. Like that's a BAD thing in one's president?

The dichotomy between how Warren and Trump express themselves is about as wide as imaginable. Would be interesting to see if they could get past the cartoon stage of blustering past each other, and interesting to see which the American public votes for.
If Elizabeth Warren begins to dominate the polls, the Chinese may give Trump a temporary deal, which would boost his political standing. A lot of centrist corporate America that would have voted for Biden will be cool to Warren - you've already seen what Mark Zuckerberg's had to say about Warren's candidacy.

Elizabeth Warren would be a good candidate if there turns out to be an economic crisis. But short of that, I don't think she's going to win over key constituencies in key states/
  #221  
Old 10-10-2019, 10:37 PM
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Sorry, but none of those candidates whose polling numbers are scraping up against zero - none of them are 'electable.'

This is just flatly wrong.
  #222  
Old 10-11-2019, 04:33 AM
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This is just flatly wrong.
Wow. "This is just flatly wrong."

Sounds like Argument Clinic time. "No it isn't."
  #223  
Old 10-11-2019, 07:04 AM
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If there's a recession -- and there may well be -- he loses.

If there's not a recession, he will find a way to defeat Elizabeth Warren in the EC. It's entirely possible that the popular vote margin of victory would be even wider for Warren than it was for Clinton, but he will win if the current economic circumstances remain relatively the same.

Americans don't want to jinx the economy by changing presidents when they assume that the presidency will change hands in 4 years anyway.
These are no more than wild guesses. It's not reasonable to expect strangers on the internet to assume the political predictions of an internet stranger, barring some sort of model with a record like Nate Silver, are anything more than wild guesses.

Same goes for anyone else proclaiming that certain candidates are or are not "electable". Just wild guesses. It's way too early to have any idea about this.

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  #224  
Old 10-11-2019, 02:53 PM
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It’s not too early, when you have evidence from a recent general election like we do with Warren.


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Wow. "This is just flatly wrong."

Sounds like Argument Clinic time. "No it isn't."

Are you claiming there was logic or evidence in the post of yours I was responding to?
  #225  
Old 10-11-2019, 03:52 PM
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It’s not too early, when you have evidence from a recent general election like we do with Warren.
Yes it is. Obama lost his first congressional election (the primary, anyway)... that didn't mean he was bad at politics. Maybe he needed to be in the right situation. Maybe the same for Warren.

I'm not saying Warren is an A+ politician -- I doubt she is. Those only seem to come around every 20 years or so (or maybe every 16 years, if we look between '92 and '08). But I think she's got skills, and they're only growing. Her last election under-performance might have just been due to inexperience in running, and/or a sub-par team. She's doing much, much better this time. Watch her on camera -- she's very sharp, and even funny sometimes. Not Obama or Bill Clinton-level, but a lot better than Hillary, IMO. So far I'm very impressed with her political skills. One sub-par election in MA doesn't mean she's a bad politician. A steady rise in the primary shows real political skills.

Last edited by iiandyiiii; 10-11-2019 at 03:53 PM.
  #226  
Old 10-11-2019, 04:16 PM
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George McGovern had “real political skills” too. Being catnip to primary voters is a real skill, but it can be the opposite of the kind of skill needed for general elections.

She underperformed in her previous campaign as well, and at the beginning of the primary season she was Massachusetts voters’ third choice for presidential nominee.

I normally try to keep my subjective impression out of this discussion, but since you specifically mentioned watching her: I do, and I find her extremely grating every time. It’s not about her gender, because I did not feel that way about Hillary and do not feel that way about Kamala. I don’t like Warren’s vocal intonation, her preachy speaking style, or the cross look she gets on her face that her staff has clearly essayed mightily to train out of her, to inconsistent effect.
  #227  
Old 10-11-2019, 04:30 PM
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We'll see.
  #228  
Old 10-11-2019, 04:40 PM
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Fortunately Trump looks like a walkover at this point. 2022 and 2024 are what I worry about.
  #229  
Old 10-11-2019, 06:41 PM
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Are you claiming there was logic or evidence in the post of yours I was responding to?
Well, I said a lot of stuff. If it's "just flatly wrong," I'm sure you can dismantle it, thereby demonstrating the absence of logic or evidence.

If you're going to just assert I'm wrong, without attempting to demonstrate it, I can only conclude that your assertion is all you've got.
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Old 10-11-2019, 07:21 PM
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Whaaaaaaat?!

The funny part is, I've never been able to summon up a lick of interest in Cory Booker.
Yeah, I struggled to find a word there. You've noted your interest in Warren often, but the assumption that certain people should be shown with disregard for the written perameters also shows an interest or an assumption.

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Originally Posted by RTFirefly View Post
And the two weeks before that, both Beto and Booker went before Yang, despite Yang having higher averages than both of them/
Huh. I missed that. Was there a reason for that?

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Originally Posted by RTFirefly View Post
And a few weeks prior, I did the same with Beto, and explained it at the time. Same explanation applies to Booker.
I saw that. I wondered why there was an assumption that anyone would be asking about Beto when his average was so close to the 2% perameter you set. It seemed reasonable to think he'd fall below it on any given week.


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Originally Posted by RTFirefly View Post
Well yeah. Seemed easier than saying, "as before, I showed Beto's and Booker's stats even though they were below 2.0%, because they'd been at or above 2% the previous week and I didn't want anyone to ask if I'd just overlooked them, but I also wanted to say that no, there wasn't anyone under 2% but above Booker."

I was right, too.
Yup, you were right. I wonder how many of your predictions show up in your display of your numbers.

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If you look only at data that fits your pattern, it's easy to see your pattern even if it isn't real.
Exactly right. When people expect to see patterns in the data, they often magically show up. It's especially pronounced when you're the one creating the data, reporting the data and interpreting the data. Your predictions often magically show up in the data.

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If either he or Beto or both are below 2% for a second consecutive week, they'll drop off the list until they get back over that mark, if they ever do.
Ah, OK, this is a rule of displaying the data that was not transparent. Makes me wonder how many of these rules there are like this with assumptions that are not communicated.

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Originally Posted by RTFirefly View Post
Your capacity for seeing things that aren't there truly impresses me.
Thanks. Your sarcasm here belies your objectivity.

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Originally Posted by RTFirefly View Post
Besides, I'm not sure how showing a number you didn't think I should show constitutes bending the numbers.
When people look at reports or lists of numbers, they have a tendency to think that those numbers are somehow evidence of something. They especially have that tendency when there's a summary of those numbers that looks like a conclusion.

I was just listening to Eric Weinstein about a trick called magician's choice. It goes like this:

Quote:
Let's look at a simple example. You have three objects: A, B and C. You want your spectator to pick the object A. So you tell him to select two objects and then you act according to his choice. If he picks B and C, you say you will eliminate these two and the remaining object (A) is his decision. However, if he selects A and B, you eliminate C and ask him to select one of the remaining two objects. If he selects A, that is his selected object. If he selects B, you eliminate it and the remaining (A) is his chosen object. I doesn't matter what he selects, you will always end up with A.
What people decide to show and not show affects the tendency of people to make conclusions that they think they've drawn themselves. Sometimes this can happen without any intention on the person showing the numbers. Mostly and in this case, it's no big deal.

But when it's done by people (intentionally or not) on a national or international platform, it can have effects that people aren't aware of.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarnalK View Post
Buttigieg is down less than half a point this week (thats nothing) but basically where he was a month ago. It's not all anti-Yang conspiracy.
The number either declined or it didn't. Anything else is spin. It takes more than one person for a conspiracy. No one is claiming any kind of conspiracy here, especially not me.
  #231  
Old 10-11-2019, 08:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Heffalump and Roo View Post
Yeah, I struggled to find a word there. You've noted your interest in Warren often, but the assumption that certain people should be shown with disregard for the written perameters also shows an interest or an assumption.
Yer funny.

You could argue that, by showing Beto the week he dropped under 2%, I was disregarding the written parameters. But from that week on, it was a written parameter.

Quote:
Huh. I missed that. Was there a reason for that?
I told you already. (Post #110.)

Quote:
I saw that. I wondered why there was an assumption that anyone would be asking about Beto when his average was so close to the 2% perameter you set. It seemed reasonable to think he'd fall below it on any given week.
Well, good. Then you know that I set a precedent then, and have followed it consistently ever since.
Quote:
Yup, you were right. I wonder how many of your predictions show up in your display of your numbers.
How many predictions have I made? Not that it matters: one of the advantages of having stuck to my rules is that I've disproved the only predictions I can recall making: (1) the Warren/Sanders inversion, where once Warren got ahead of Sanders in the polls, she was going to start sucking support away from him - and instead, he held steady or gained, until this past week; and (2) my observation a few weeks back that, despite my hopes, Warren wasn't going to break 20% anytime soon.

Quote:
Exactly right. When people expect to see patterns in the data, they often magically show up. It's especially pronounced when you're the one creating the data, reporting the data and interpreting the data. Your predictions often magically show up in the data.
And which predictions were these?

I'm serious. Produce my predictions.

But let me repeat this:
Quote:
It's especially pronounced when you're the one creating the data, reporting the data and interpreting the data.
I think I've spelled out my rules clearly enough that anyone can follow them and replicate my results. Because this is what scientists do. Shall we go over them again?

1) The eligible polls for a given week are those that satisfy the following conditions:
a) They are national polls, not state polls.
b) The midpoint of the time they were in the field is within the past 2.5 weeks. (Started off at 2 weeks, but a few weeks ago i said I was going to extend it to 2.5 weeks.)
c) The pollsters have ratings of at least C- from 538.
d) There is no more recent poll by that pollster that is eligible per the other rules.
e) If several versions of a poll are reported at 538, LV > RV > A: that is, I'll take the poll of likely voters over registered voters, and registered voters over adults.

2) I take all the eligible polls. I multiply the results of the A-rated polls (A+, A, A-) by 5, I multiply the B-rated polls (B+, B, B-) by 3, and the C-rated polls (C+, C, C-) by 1. I sum up all those numbers, and divide by the sum of the weights. So if I've got two A-rated polls, three B-rated polls, and two C-rated polls, I divide the sum by 21 = 2*5 + 3*3 + 2*1.

3) And then I show the numbers on everyone who is above 2%, or was above 2% the previous week.

There. You have all the information you need to check my work. Knock yourself out. If you think I've been screwing with the numbers, now you can prove it.

Put up or shut up.
  #232  
Old 10-12-2019, 01:34 AM
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RTF, when we get into actual discussions of opinions, I often find myself disagreeing with yours.* But I don’t think you are guilty of cooking the books on these numbers and I appreciate your posting them.


*To wit:

Quote:
Originally Posted by RTFirefly View Post
Well, I said a lot of stuff. If it's "just flatly wrong," I'm sure you can dismantle it, thereby demonstrating the absence of logic or evidence.

If you're going to just assert I'm wrong, without attempting to demonstrate it, I can only conclude that your assertion is all you've got.

I quoted a single sentence of yours which is also just an assertion: “Sorry, but none of those candidates whose polling numbers are scraping up against zero - none of them are 'electable.'” And I do think your claim is flatly wrong, but there is no real way to prove it, any more than you can prove what you said.
  #233  
Old 10-12-2019, 02:09 AM
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Mark Shields on PBS Newshour earlier tonight sees it just the way I do:


https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/sh...hment-politics

Quote:
SHIELDS: I mean, the Democrats better just confront the reality that they're about defeating Donald Trump. And they — the old aphorism is, Republicans fall in line, Democrats fall in love. That’s necessary for their candidates.

So it's, historically, Republicans have dominated the next in line, next whose turn it was. And Democrats can't afford just a flight of passion in 2020. They better pick somebody, if they're really interested in defeating Donald Trump, someone who is not going to become the issue himself or herself in that campaign.

And I think that's — I think that's a concern for Democrats at this point, especially as impeachment becomes larger.

WOODRUFF: And who would that be who you're referring to?

SHIELDS: Who would I refer to?

No, far be it for me to say. I'd say Bennet or Bullock right now, if you're picking — looking for people who have good records and have won in purple or red states.
  #234  
Old 10-12-2019, 04:04 AM
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Originally Posted by RTFirefly View Post
There. You have all the information you need to check my work. Knock yourself out. If you think I've been screwing with the numbers, now you can prove it.

Put up or shut up.
Just to be clear, I'm not accusing you of intentionally falsifying the numbers. I also don't know how I would prove you wrong. There are way too many moving parts, some of them requiring judgment and others demanding error-free inputting and fomulas with no cross-checks.

Some of the polls are not super clear about which numbers I was supposed to pick up. I tried to find the list of Democratic voters. I will say that the methodology to use likely voters over all adults has the potential to move the numbers toward established candidates.

That said, just for grins and giggles, I tried to replicate your report. Here are the polls I used with the weighting I gave them.

Emerson (3)
Zogby
Harris poll
Ipsos (3)
Monmouth (5)
IBD (5)
Morning Consult (3)
Quinnipiac (5)
YouGov (3)
HarrisX

Here are the results I got for Oct. 9, 2019.

Biden 27.1
Warren 25.1
Sanders 15
Buttigieg 5.3
Harris 4.2
Yang 3.4

Here are your numbers for the same time.

Biden 26.2
Warren 25
Sanders 15.3
Buttigieg 5.2
Harris 4.2
Yang 3.1

I'm not sure why my Biden number is so high. It could be input error on my part. I only spent a couple hours doing this. But the raw numbers seem to roughly match the numbers you gave in an earlier post. It's also possible that a calculation or weighting could be faulty. But the other numbers are pretty close.

I'm also going to guess that the Zogby poll made some difference because you didn't mention it and I didn't see a reason to exclude it. Short of going over every number and calculation, I can only guess where the differences lie.
  #235  
Old 10-12-2019, 06:02 AM
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Shields and Brooks agree on one point. With news now focused on impeachment rather than the Democratic candidates, the race "is frozen." This will favor the current front-runner Biden (and perhaps Warren).

Also available to Biden is the argument that Trump is so afraid of Biden he commits felonies to neutralize him.
  #236  
Old 10-12-2019, 07:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heffalump and Roo View Post
Just to be clear, I'm not accusing you of intentionally falsifying the numbers. I also don't know how I would prove you wrong. There are way too many moving parts, some of them requiring judgment and others demanding error-free inputting and fomulas with no cross-checks.

Some of the polls are not super clear about which numbers I was supposed to pick up. I tried to find the list of Democratic voters. I will say that the methodology to use likely voters over all adults has the potential to move the numbers toward established candidates.

That said, just for grins and giggles, I tried to replicate your report. Here are the polls I used with the weighting I gave them.

Emerson (3)
Zogby
Harris poll
Ipsos (3)
Monmouth (5)
IBD (5)
Morning Consult (3)
Quinnipiac (5)
YouGov (3)
HarrisX

Here are the results I got for Oct. 9, 2019.

Biden 27.1
Warren 25.1
Sanders 15
Buttigieg 5.3
Harris 4.2
Yang 3.4

Here are your numbers for the same time.

Biden 26.2
Warren 25
Sanders 15.3
Buttigieg 5.2
Harris 4.2
Yang 3.1

I'm not sure why my Biden number is so high. It could be input error on my part. I only spent a couple hours doing this. But the raw numbers seem to roughly match the numbers you gave in an earlier post. It's also possible that a calculation or weighting could be faulty. But the other numbers are pretty close.

I'm also going to guess that the Zogby poll made some difference because you didn't mention it and I didn't see a reason to exclude it. Short of going over every number and calculation, I can only guess where the differences lie.
The most recent national Zogby poll I could find at 538 was in the field September 16-17. Median field date, 9/16.5. 2.5 weeks (17.5 days) later was October 4. So it aged out between 10/4 and 10/5. It was included in the prior week's average, but not this week's.

Harris Poll, HarrisX, and Harvard-Harris are all the same Mark Penn-owned outfit; they only get represented once. HarrisX is updated daily, so that's the one I use.

Other than that, you used the right polls, and assigned the right weights.

Including Harris Poll and Zogby would have changed things only slightly due to their low weights. They had Biden at 31 and 28, respectively; both had Warren at 17. Including them should have raised Biden's average by about 0.2%, and lowered Warren's by 0.5%, rather than lifting Biden by nearly 1% and leaving Warren nearly unchanged. So I'm thinking arithmetic errors crept in somewhere.

The point is, I have a pretty rigorous and transparent process here, one that I went out of my way to 'me-proof,' so to speak. So yeah, I resent innuendos like
Quote:
I wonder how many of your predictions show up in your display of your numbers
and
Quote:
When people expect to see patterns in the data, they often magically show up. It's especially pronounced when you're the one creating the data, reporting the data and interpreting the data. Your predictions often magically show up in the data.
OTOH, I'm more amused than anything else by your suggestion that I had a thumb on the scales for Cory Booker, a politician that I quite honestly have a hard time working up an iota of interest in.

FWIW, I think my decision to include Beto (and then anyone else) the first week after they drop below 2% is looking pretty good: that first week might be a fluke - and was, the first time Beto and then Booker dropped below that mark; they were both at or above 2% the following week. So the question is, which makes more sense - a blank spot for that candidate for that one week, or the actual number?
  #237  
Old 10-12-2019, 07:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heffalump and Roo View Post
The number either declined or it didn't. Anything else is spin.
No, it's understanding that minor fluctuations shouldn't be considered real movement.
  #238  
Old 10-12-2019, 07:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SlackerInc View Post
RTF, when we get into actual discussions of opinions, I often find myself disagreeing with yours.* But I don’t think you are guilty of cooking the books on these numbers and I appreciate your posting them.
Thanks!
Quote:
I quoted a single sentence of yours which is also just an assertion: “Sorry, but none of those candidates whose polling numbers are scraping up against zero - none of them are 'electable.'” And I do think your claim is flatly wrong, but there is no real way to prove it, any more than you can prove what you said.
Excuse me, but WTF?!

It's true that you quoted just a single sentence, which, standing alone, is no more than an assertion. But the assertion in question was the conclusion of a three-paragraph argument. Your assertion was your entire post.

So what you're saying is that, by quoting just my conclusion, you don't have to deal with the argument that led up to it - and that your one-sentence post, consisting of nothing but an assertion, is just as good as mine.

That's total bullcrap, and you know it.
  #239  
Old 10-12-2019, 08:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarnalK View Post
No, it's understanding that minor fluctuations shouldn't be considered real movement.
This is an important point, so thanks for making it. Polls have sampling error, and while taking the average of 6-8 polls causes a certain amount of that to cancel out, it doesn't make it entirely go away.

If we look at the numbers to date, there's plenty of evidence of that, too. Biden dropped from 29.8 to 26.5 one week, then was back up to 28.5 the week after. Warren went from 16.8 to 19.0 - woohoo, breakthrough!, from a Warren fan's perspective, right? - but down to 17.6 the week after. Between 8/14 and 8/21, Sanders went from 17.1 to 15.2; his fans are finally moving to Warren, right? Oops, next week he was back to 16.9, and until this week, he'd never been below 16.0 since. Maybe his drop to 15.3 this week is real, maybe it's just statistical noise; we don't know until we see more polls.

So yeah, reading anything in to Yang's increase from 2.9 to 3.1 is a bad idea.
  #240  
Old 10-13-2019, 08:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RTFirefly View Post
So I'm thinking arithmetic errors crept in somewhere.
I took out the Zogby and Harris polls. Then I went back to your numbers about Warren and Biden to back into your numbers. I used the Democratic voters numbers for the IBD and Ipsos polls when I was supposed to use the total voters numbers, it seems.

The numbers match up pretty closely to your numbers except Yang's. But meh, once the Emerson 8 ages out, the point is pretty moot, so I can't care enough to chase it down.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RTFirefly View Post
The point is, I have a pretty rigorous and transparent process here, one that I went out of my way to 'me-proof,' so to speak. So yeah, I resent innuendos like
When a question about the numbers being displayed out of order gets a response of post #110:

Quote:
Originally Posted by RTFirefly View Post
Personal prejudice.
I think it's fair to question what else in the process is affected by personal prejudice. Just because anyone *can* replicate your numbers doesn't mean that anyone *will* or should. Duplicating effort is a waste of tme. I did it because I thought it might be interesting, which it was.

Among other things, it was interesting to me how the poll questions or the format of the poll or the methodology of the poll has the possibility of changing the direction of the results. In some of the polls, there are a LOT of questions about everything. The featured question of the candidates is buried in the middle, and sometimes not all of the candidates are listed. That gives the people with name recognition even more likelihood of showing up in a poll than someone without it. If there's that much time to ask so many questions, it seems like there should be enough time to ask about all the candidates that RCP features. I didn't study it closely, but I think I ran across some polls that didn't.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RTFirefly View Post
OTOH, I'm more amused than anything else by your suggestion that I had a thumb on the scales for Cory Booker, a politician that I quite honestly have a hard time working up an iota of interest in.
It's not about Cory Booker. It's about the assumption that anyone cares if he shows up in the numbers enough to make special rules about it. Would special rules be made up equally for other candidates that you have personal prejudice against if there wasn't one already?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RTFirefly View Post
This is an important point, so thanks for making it. Polls have sampling error, and while taking the average of 6-8 polls causes a certain amount of that to cancel out, it doesn't make it entirely go away.

If we look at the numbers to date, there's plenty of evidence of that, too. Biden dropped from 29.8 to 26.5 one week, then was back up to 28.5 the week after. Warren went from 16.8 to 19.0 - woohoo, breakthrough!, from a Warren fan's perspective, right? - but down to 17.6 the week after. Between 8/14 and 8/21, Sanders went from 17.1 to 15.2; his fans are finally moving to Warren, right? Oops, next week he was back to 16.9, and until this week, he'd never been below 16.0 since. Maybe his drop to 15.3 this week is real, maybe it's just statistical noise; we don't know until we see more polls.

So yeah, reading anything in to Yang's increase from 2.9 to 3.1 is a bad idea.
By that logic, none of the polls' movements are worth examining from week to week. All of the polls' changes are within the margin of error in any given week and if even the aggregate creates some sampling error and directionality can change week to week until the race is over, then there's not much to say about any changes week to week.

I was amused that when Warren overtook Biden for a week in a couple polls, you made a point about it, but when Yang overtook Harris in the Emerson poll, you made it a special point to note that it was within the margin of error.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RTFirefly View Post
[Statistical nitpick]
One point difference, five point MOE. Coulda said 'essentially tied with Yang', same message but accurate.
[/statistical nitpick]
But since all of this is mostly just speculation and entertainment, it's all good.
  #241  
Old 10-14-2019, 06:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heffalump and Roo View Post
When a question about the numbers being displayed out of order gets a response of post #110:



I think it's fair to question what else in the process is affected by personal prejudice.
Wow, I displayed the numbers 'out of order'!

Wow, you really got the goods on me.

Yes, I think Yang isn't a serious candidate, so I left him last in the order for a few weeks, even though his numbers were surpassing Beto's and Booker's.

Oh my, that demonstrates my lack of integrity!

Quote:
Just because anyone *can* replicate your numbers doesn't mean that anyone *will* or should.
True, but that's up to you. Not to mention, there ARE other polling averages out there, nobody here has to rely on mine alone. I even linked to them, and I've been comparing my averages to theirs for several weeks now.

Quote:
It's not about Cory Booker. It's about the assumption that anyone cares if he shows up in the numbers enough to make special rules about it.
Well, I didn't. But you keep flogging this deceased equine.

I'm done with you and the bullshit you bring up. It just isn't worth any more time than I've already thrown at it.
  #242  
Old 10-14-2019, 08:14 AM
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Another voice of appreciation for what you've contributed here and for the objectivity and transparency with which you've done it RTF. As well as of course the work!

I have to admit I was initially thinking that H&R was tongue in cheek self-mocking their obsession with Yang ... but onwards!


I don't know about the race being frozen (even if ends up not moving much). Warren is now becoming the clear front-runner and will over the next few weeks take some of the heat that comes with that position as that narrative becomes more popularly understood. Biden is hamstrung some as it is harder to sell being strongest against Trump without undermining confidence in a successful impeachment/conviction process. Sanders will hang on to his floor as long as he brings his energy level to the next debate (and I think he will) but if not then yes Yang poaches some of his support (a point or two). Not enough to be of real note but to be in same level of insignificance as Harris has become.

I fear 2022 and 2024 are going to be tough in any case. Trump will be leaving an economy starting to decline with no tools to fix it and an existing huge debt, and huge international distrust of the United States as a partner going forward. The disaster he is creating with having greenlit Turkey's actions will haunt the next president and even the one after. But the public will hold the person in charge then as responsible and want change again. A Nikki Haley, for example, would be tough against anyone in that position.
  #243  
Old 10-15-2019, 10:49 PM
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Yes, 2022 and 2024 are likely to be our Waterloo. But some candidates have a better chance to weather that storm than others.

It's a sign of how desperate I'm getting for a solid alternative to the top three that after Klobuchar's strong debate performance, I have gone from "she's dead to me" to "go, Amy, go!"
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  #244  
Old 10-16-2019, 09:53 AM
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Quote:
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Another voice of appreciation for what you've contributed here and for the objectivity and transparency with which you've done it RTF. As well as of course the work!
Thanks! Gotta say, once I set up my spreadsheet and my text file the way I wanted, it's been surprisingly easy. And fun, too - and it gives me a place to stand on to critique the other two polling averages. Which this week, I will.
Quote:
Warren is now becoming the clear front-runner and will over the next few weeks take some of the heat that comes with that position as that narrative becomes more popularly understood.
It was clear last night that her rivals now see her as the front-runner. As you'll see from this week's numbers, I'm not ready to say that just yet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SlackerInc View Post
Yes, 2022 and 2024 are likely to be our Waterloo. But some candidates have a better chance to weather that storm than others.
I think the Dems will need to look back at 1994 and 2010, and understand why they got hammered those years. The midterms are always a challenge for the party in power, but there's a lot of room between modest losses and catastrophic losses. The key, IMHO, is to make people's lives better in tangible ways, remind them of it, and remind them that the other party wants to take those things away.
  #245  
Old 10-16-2019, 10:02 AM
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And it's Wednesday, the latest YouGov polling is up, so here we go.

Only a couple of carry-overs from last time: the Fox News and IBD-TIPP polls haven't aged out yet. Other than that, we've got a fresh Quinnipiac poll, and our three regulars: YouGov, Morning Consult, and HarrisX. The rather sparse number of polls makes this week a bit shaky in terms of how much I'd want to depend on it, but where the numbers showed the same thing before and after a passel of polls (Monmouth, Emerson, Ipsos) recently aged out, I feel a bit more confident.

Anyhow, the numbers:
Code:
Candidate  Date  8/14  8/21  8/28  9/04  9/12  9/18  9/25  10/2  10/9 10/15

Biden            30.1  28.6  28.5  29.8  26.5  28.5  28.4  27.6  26.2  28.7
Warren           17.0  16.2  16.8  19.0  17.6  18.6  21.5  22.4  25.0  25.4
Sanders          17.1  15.2  16.9  16.0  17.9  16.9  16.8  16.4  15.3  13.6
Buttigieg         5.6   4.7   4.7   5.2   5.0   5.7   5.8   5.6   5.2   6.0
Harris            8.2   7.2   7.2   6.8   6.6   5.6   5.2   5.1   4.2   4.4
Yang                    2.0   2.5   2.6   2.5   2.8   3.0   2.9   3.1   2.4
O'Rourke          2.6   2.7   2.1   1.4   3.0   3.0   2.4   2.4   1.6   2.1

Everyone else < 2.0.
Worth mentioning that Beto once again bounced back from a week under 2.0, so he's still here, but Booker didn't, so he's not.

And the comparison with other averages:
Code:
Candidate  Average RTF   RCP  Econ

Biden             28.7  29.4  25.0
Warren            25.4  23.4  27.0
Sanders           13.6  15.4  15.0
Buttigieg          6.0   5.6   6.0
Harris             4.4   5.2   5.0
Yang               2.4   2.2   3.0
O'Rourke           2.1   2.8   2.0
  #246  
Old 10-16-2019, 10:08 AM
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Uh oh. Yang ain't treading water no more! His numbers plummeted by over 20%. Stick a fork in him, he's done.

  #247  
Old 10-16-2019, 11:49 AM
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Looking at the other two averages, I'm pretty uncomfortable with both of them, and all of a sudden I'm glad to be doing my own average, just to have an independent assessment of where the race is. Because both of them seem to be kinda lopsided in the polls they rely on right now, just in opposite directions.

I'll start with The Economist's average, which has Warren up by 2. If you click through, you'll see that 5 of the most recent 10 polls in their average are YouGov polls. And I'm hardly the only observer who's noticed that YouGov has a pretty visible pro-Warren house effect, compared to other pollsters. (The Economist is the sponsor of YouGov's weekly poll, btw.)

They also "include only surveys from pollsters who conduct their interviews over the phone with a live interviewer—rather than with automated machine recording—or that use rigorous and well-documented online methods" which is a reasonable standard, which apparently neither Morning Consult nor HarrisX live up to, since they're not included at all in The Economist's average. (I'm rather suspicious of both outfits for various reasons, but I don't feel I'd be on solid ground to exclude them due to those suspicions.) Since they both have heavy pro-Biden leans (and MC has a big pro-Sanders lean too), that makes a difference.

Which brings me to RCP, which suddenly has Biden up by 6. They weight all their polls equally, and two of their five polls right now are HarrisX and Morning Consult, with their heavy pro-Biden leans (MC hasn't had Biden below 31% since April, and HarrisX currently has Biden at 35% and Warren at 17%, which is not unusual for them) and low 538 ratings.

So these two iffy polls count 40% of their average right now; due to downweighting for being B- and C-rated polls per 538, they count 18% of my average this week, and they're only that high because of how few recent polls there have been.

As far as my own average is concerned, I think Biden's 28.7% is a fluke of the scarce polls, and I'd bet his average will drop a point or two once the post-debate polling is published. Warren's probably about right, midway between the other two.

But I think I have it right, and both of them are wrong, on Bernie's drop, and how far Harris is down now. My sense from the polls is that Bernie's heart attack is costing him some of his less intense fans. And I don't know what the deal is with Harris, but she's sinking. I'm surprised (not so much now specifically, but rather on an ongoing basis), because I expected her to be more formidable a candidate than she's been.

Last edited by RTFirefly; 10-16-2019 at 11:50 AM.
  #248  
Old 10-17-2019, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by RTFirefly View Post
And I don't know what the deal is with Harris, but she's sinking. I'm surprised (not so much now specifically, but rather on an ongoing basis), because I expected her to be more formidable a candidate than she's been.
I think Harris has had an authenticity problem.
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Old 10-17-2019, 04:03 PM
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CNN now has Warren as a clear front-runner. This is very bad. I like Warren a lot, but in a general election Warren is going to attract such a groundswell of hostility from the corporatocracy and many moderates that even a totally disgraced Trump will get propelled to a second term. I'd love to see a Warren presidency but thinking it will happen seems like sheer naivety. Has everyone forgotten that the main objective is to prevent the orange menace from being re-elected to another four years of chaos and even further radicalization of the Supreme Court?
  #250  
Old 10-17-2019, 05:13 PM
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Has everyone forgotten that the main objective is to prevent the orange menace from being re-elected to another four years of chaos and even further radicalization of the Supreme Court?
Yes, I have. Of course, I never remembered it in the first place.

The main objective, AFAIAC, is to do what it takes to keep global warming from going out of control. This will require (a) winning the White House, (b) winning the Senate, and (c) getting rid of the filibuster. Plus some damned good fortune even after that.

Since even a barely Dem-controlled Senate isn't likely to ditch the filibuster without being pushed hard on it, a precondition for (c) is that we nominate a candidate who will do that pushing. That means Warren or Harris.

If we don't rein global warming in, then AFAIAC the rest is rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

So the way I figure it, either we nominate Warren or Harris, or we lose. We ALL lose. Big time.

We may still lose even if we nominate one of them and she wins the election, but at least we'll go into 2021 with a chance of winning. Otherwise, no.
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