The 538 Magic-BS-Spewing-Machine Takes Google Surveys Seriously

There’s been a lot of talk about Nate Silver’s Five Thirty Eight blog at The New York Times this week. I’ll spare you the arguments (pro and con) to Silver’s application of baseball’s sabermetrics to election polling to produce election projections. What I do want you to know though is that most of the articles don’t dive deep into which polls are included in his magic formulas.

So what do I see in the most recent column? A discussion of a Google Consumer Survey.

Perhaps the most intriguing result from this group is the poll from Google Consumer Surveys. (Yes, Google has begun to conduct surveys online.) That poll had Mr. Obama ahead by four percentage points, an improvement from a roughly 1-point deficit for Mr. Obama in their prior survey last week.

The Google survey could be an indication that the effects of the hurricane will play somewhat to Mr. Obama’s political advantage. But it will probably be Thursday or Friday, once power and some of the national tracking surveys that have been discontinued have come back online, before we can say so with much confidence.

Having never heard of this survey I decided to take a look. It’s very short – essentially two questions. The first question was how likely are respondents to vote. Here’s a quick tally of the response to that question.

100% likely 48.8% (+2.2 / -2.2)
Extremely likely 24.0% (+1.9 / -1.8)
Somewhat likely 7.8% (+1.3 / -1.1)
Not very likely 19.3% (+1.8 / -1.7)

Basically that’s a 72.8% to 80.7% voter turn-out number, which isn’t anywhere close to reality. In 2008 the turnout race for the Presidential race was 61.6%, in 2004 it was 60.1%. That question should be enough to discard the results of the survey itself, but not at Five Thirty Eight.

The second question is “Who would you be more likely to vote for.” Here’s the result table, taken from those who were either 100% likely to vote or extremely likely to vote (72.8%):

Barack Obama/Joe Biden, the Democrats 37.7% (+2.7 / -2.6)
Mitt Romney/Paul Ryan, the Republicans 34.0% (+2.7 / -2.6)
Leaning toward Obama/Biden 9.4% (+1.9 / -1.6)
Leaning toward Romney/Ryan 9.1% (+1.9 / -1.6)
Third party ticket 9.7% (+1.9 / -1.6)

Given the selection skew, and the fact this is an online survey it’s not surprising that the third-party ticket number is nearly 10%, but that number itself calls all of the other responses into question. There’s not going to be 10% of the vote going to third-party candidates in this election, just as there hasn’t been since Ross Perot ran in 1992 against Bill Clinton and George H. W. Bush.

So this whole poll is just online polling garbage, not that there’s anything necessarily wrong with it. What’s wrong is that it’s part of the Five Thirty Eight formula (with an unknown weight since the model is not published) used to produce that magic data that shows Obama with a 77% chance of winning the Electoral College vote.

As the old saying goes, “garbage in, garbage out.”

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  • GarandFan

    What’s wrong is that it’s part of the Five Thirty Eight formula (with an unknown weight since the model is not published)

    Sort of like the AGW modeling and data. “It’s a SECRET!” Usually followed by “Trust us!”

    • retired.military

      You have to pass it to know whats in it.

    • Shizuppy

      Silver was right, the clown who wrote the above article wrong, Q.E.D.

  • GarandFan

    What’s wrong is that it’s part of the Five Thirty Eight formula (with an unknown weight since the model is not published)

    Sort of like the AGW modeling and data. “It’s a SECRET!” Usually followed by “Trust us!”

  • So the inclusion of one poll, to which Silver probable affords less weight, dooms a model that is in accord with every other polling aggregator on the internet that uses state data? Why should Silver destroy a trade secret process just to accommodate some naysayer like you?

    • herddog505

      Um… because it provides credibility?

      Do re-read what you wrote:

      So the inclusion of one poll, to which Silver probable affords less weight, dooms a model… [emphasis mine – hd505]

      Seriously? You believe it because Silver “probably” weights his data in some way that is unknown?

      I appreciate that Silver has a pretty good track record. I understand that polling is hardly an exact science. But I also believe that including on-line polls, no matter what sooper-to-sekrit method is used to weight them, is a pointless exercize bordering on charlatanism.

      • jim_m

        Hardly bordering. It crosses the border and annexes itself to charlatansville.

        That’s why I ignore the RCP average poll. It includes all sorts of crap polls that are way out of line with reality, and obviously so. These averages also contain polls that are arguably out of date and the data from them is worthless because circumstances and the electorate has changed.

        Any poll that conceals its demographics or otherwise hides its methodology is not worthy of attention.

        • herddog505

          I agree. The RCP is useful in that it is a place to quickly see the results of several polls, but the average is, as you write, highly suspect.

    • jim_m

      Poll aggregators in general are crap because they include poorly designed polls like this one. What they do is the aggregate pools and increase the over all accuracy by diffusing the bias and sloppy methodology of the poorly run polls. While it may look like it is more accurate than some polls that is not because it is inherently accurate, but that it decreases the impact of the BS.

      It is not a substitute for a well designed poll.

  • So the inclusion of one poll, to which Silver probable affords less weight, dooms a model that is in accord with every other polling aggregator on the internet that uses state data? Why should Silver destroy a trade secret process just to accommodate some naysayer like you?

  • Aerin_S

    Are you on the Romney payroll, as part of Romney’s new effort to attack the credibility of 538? Nate’s track record speaks for itself. Believe it or not, Nate actually is just trying to make the most accurate predictions humanly possible. If you’ve got a better model, let’s see your detailed predictions.

    • It’s funny how people look at disagreement on the internet and immediately go “WTF! Who’s paying your misbegotten ass to sit there and disagree!”

      Could it be because they’re the paid shills, and assume everyone else is being paid also?

      Take global warming – you can’t disagree on that based on published evidence and because the computer models aren’t holding up – it’s got to be because you’re being paid by big oil or big coal. Now – someone disagrees with a poll, they’ve got to be paid by Romney?

      • Whoa there….

        You had me until global warming. The basic models are holding up, and the storms have begun. Even former industry shills are on board. Show me one objective measure that indicates room for rational debate, other than questions of severity and a full understanding of impact?

        If you don’t believe me, tour New Jersey, and look into where the blocking pattern came from that turned Sandy into a hybrid storm and drove it off of its original eastern track and into the shore line.

        In a generation, politicians who argued against global warming will be as incomprehensible as those who argued for slavery or were Nazi sympathizers.

        • herddog505

          Yes, because there have NEVER been hurricanes or winter storms before, and indeed we had to invent the phrase “perfect storm” just this past month to describe a totally unprecedented event. It’s just like we recently had to invent the phrase “heat wave” here in the South in a past few years; why, in my youth, it was NEVER hot down here.


          The models are NOT holding up well. There has been no warming in the past sixteen years. The killer hurricanes, the endless series of Camilles (you know: the big storm from a half-century ago?) hasn’t materialized. Contrary to the SCIENTIFIC predictions, it snowed in Britain this past winter. Florida and the Caribbean Islands are still there; New York City hasn’t been permanently flooded out.

          What HAS held up well is the persistent belief in this bunk, unfortunately reinforced by the occasional severe weather event, which gorebots rush to pronounce as evidence – IRREFUTABLE evidence, comrades – of global warming. The True Believers “ooh” and “ahhh” over every storm or drought, forgetting that there has been bad weather before, that hurricanes, droughts, blizzards, floods, and all the other miseries of extreme weather have been a plague on humanity since time immemorial. The world in which there’s nothing but the routine white Christmas, where gentle rains come on a predictable schedule, where it’s never too hot or too cold, would be very nice, but it’s never existed outside the minds of con artists and their dupes.

          By the way, read up on such storms as:

          — The Great Colonial Hurricane of 1635

          — The New England hurricane of 1938 (aka the Yankee Clipper). This monster was a cat-3 when it came ashore on Long Island and killed 600 – 800 people.

          — The New England hurricane of 1944

          — The 1954 hurricane season when TWO hurricanes (Carol, a cat-3 at landfall, and Edna) hit Massachusetts

          — Hurricane Donna in 1960 (cat-2 when it came ashore)

          — Hurricane Gloria in 1985
          — Etc.

          These storms are apparently referred to as “Cape Verde-type” hurricanes; that we have a name for them indicates that there is nothing especially unusual about them.

          • The North Atlantic is 5 degrees F warmer in October than ever recorded before. Hurricane Sandy had the lowest pressure readings of any storm ever recorded in the Atlantic. So I guess the ‘tree huggers’ are out in the Atlantic with hot water bottles…keeping the temperatures up. Arctic Sea ice is the thinnest ever recorded…Eskimos with magnifying glasses? Most global change deniers are monetarily connected to the energy corporations. The most vocal denier at my University works part-time for a global oil company…gee…I wonder what would happen to his job if he were to say differently. Coal miners threatened with firing if they didn’t show up at Tea Party rallies. Nuff said.

          • jim_m

            Arctic refreeze: fastest ever.

            Antarctic sea ice extent record set Sept 22, 2012

            You cite anecdotal evidence but are incapable of citing anything statistical. You cite local phenomena but cannot cite a global trend.

            “Most global change deniers are monetarily connected to the energy corporations.”

            Got statistical data to demonstrate that claim? I thought not.

            The fact that you use the epithet “denier” to describe people with
            enough intelligence to look at the data themselves indicates that you are an unthinking ideologue and a religious fanatic. What do you call someone who once believed in warmism and has “fallen away”? An Apostate?

            Somehow I am not surprised that some imbecile who claims to work for a university is incapable of distinguishing between anecdote and statistic.

          • Peter Kafin

            I don’t know about “most” but the facts certainly hold that many (and many of the most vocal) do hold such ties. I can start naming names, but, perhaps this would be easier: How about you name 3 climatologist who have published refutations to the basic premise behind global warming theories who do not have such ties.

          • Ah…. university. That explains a lot, sadly. You’re taught to believe what you’re told, and not question it. That’s a way to get good grades, but not to really learn anything.

            We… question. I’ve learned a LOT about climate, weather, and cyclic patterns over the last decade or so. (Google is your friend, after all…) But you? What have you learned, and who have you learned it from? Have you bothered to check any of the claims, or are the claims themselves sufficient proof for you?

            Here’s the thing – you tell me what temperature the planet should be at – and whether or not we’ve got people, plants and animals who’ve adapted to life everywhere from the Arctic Circle to the equator.

            Also – please give a link to the North Atlantic temperature you cited. That’s the first I’ve seen of it, and I think it would have been trumpeted before as proof of AGW if it were actually out there.

          • herddog505

            I believe that you are misinformed to some extent.

            1. Sandy’s lowest barometric pressure was 940 mbar(1); the lowest on record is Wilma (2005) at 882 mbar(2).

            2. The data record for Atlantic Ocean temperatures, like many other such records, is of insufficient length or uniformity to say whether some high (or low) is significant. Watts Up With That has a handy page of ocean temperature data(3). What one sees is:

            (A) A dearth of long-term data. This is a problem with most of the global warming theories: we simple haven’t got reliable records going back far enough to say what is and what isn’t due to some natural phenomonon such as El Nino / La Nina, the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, etc. For example, our satellite temperature record goes back to only 1979. The AMO has a period of seventy years;

            (B) There are cycles in the data that we have, and we are still learning about what they are, how long they last, what causes them, and what effects they have;

            (C) The “record” in the North Atlantic Sea Surface Temperature Anomoly stands at about +0.5degC, almost what it was in 2005. In contrast, the South Atlantic SST stands at about +0.05degC. The Pacific is showing actual cooling.

            3. Arctic sea ice coverage is rising from a minimum this year reached in late September; this is the lowest coverage on (a very brief) record. Antarctic coverage, in contrast, is steady. This makes sense considering that the North Atlantic Oscillation is in a rise. Again, Watt’s Up With That has a page of charts and data.(4)

            As for the issue of people – somehow – making money from being a denier, I suggest that you look at the financial records of one Albert A. Gore, Jr. He’s making quite a tidy sum from his con job. The various professors who’ve fallen in line are also doing well: new offices, new buildings, plaudits from their peers. There’s fame and fortune in being a gorebot, no doubt about it.

            Finally, IF we assume that the (North) Atlantic is at a record high temperature, then it seems to blow a big hole in climate theory, which postulates that increasing ocean temperature leads to more and stronger hurricanes. We aren’t seeing that. Sandy was a destructive storm, no question about it, but with a minimum pressure of 940mbar, it didn’t even come close to the top ten. I list them here for reference:

            WILMA (2005) – 882mbar
            GILBERT (1988) – 888mbar
            “Labor Day” (1935) – 892mbar
            RITA (2005) – 895mbar
            ALLEN (1980) – 899mbar
            KATRINA (2005) – 902mbar
            CAMILLE (1969) – 905mbar
            MITCH (1998) – 905mbar
            DEAN (2007) – 905mbar
            “Cuba” (1924) – 910mbar
            IVAN (2004) – 910mbar

            Naturally, we don’t have any data for the Great Colonial Hurricane of 1635 or the Great Hurricane of 1780, which killed an estimated 25000 people.

            Further, 2012 is not on track for the record hurricane seasons:

            2005 – most hurricanes (15). So far, 2012 has 10.

            1950 – most major hurricanes (8). So far, 2012 has… 1.

            As I stated above, the hysteria – the artificial, ginned-up hysteria, I should say – about this or that hurricane strikes me as bunk. We had a bad storm. This has happened before, and therefore I see no reason to regard it happening again as significant.



            Sandy does hold the record for the lowest pressure reading for a storm to make landfall on the US coast.



            Other data may be found here:



            See also:


          • Bravo, HD.

            One thing I’d like to point out – just because we can measure something doesn’t mean we understand what it is we’re measuring, or the significance of any movement in the readings.

            There’s also a tendency to assume a false precision. A difference of 0.05c wouldn’t be noticeable in the real world, and 0.5c would be just barely so.

            I remember a few years back seeing a chart of the Antarctic, where there were shadings of dark blue to bright red. The implication, of course, was that the ice cap was in peril from melting.

            When you looked at the scale, you saw that the dark blue was something like -31c, while the bright red was -30c.

            But the first impression? The Antarctic was about to turn into God’s own ice cube, floatin’ in the ocean.

          • herddog505

            There’s a neat little book that tells how to do that sort of thing:

            How To Lie With Statistics*

            I deal with data in my job, so I’m aware of how it can be massaged and presented to make it look “good” or “bad”. Unfortunately, many people have no idea of these tricks. Worse, they are not taught to ask some basic questions about the history of the data, its accuracy and precision, etc. It’s therefore easy to fool them with dire statements like “hottest EV-AH” or “worst EV-AH!”.


            (*) Darrell Huff. How To Lie With Statistics. New York: W.W. Norton, 1954.

          • Peter Kafin

            That’s a lot of words to refute something that is obvious, predicted, and supported by the vast preponderance of empirical data.

          • herddog505

            What empirical data? You mean the temperature records that have been “adjusted” and “homogenized” using algorithms that the authors refuse to share to show a warming trend? You mean that models that predicted that it would likely never snow in Britain again?

            What I’ve shown IS empirical data: a part of the actual record. This isn’t a model or a prediction: it’s hard data. The gorebots are out there talking up Sandy as some “proof” of global warming because a hurricane struck New Englang as if it’s never happened before. As I point out, it has happened MANY times before, and has been far worse in the past.

            Now, let’s talk about predictions. For this season, NOAA predicted 12 – 17 named storms. We’ve had 19. They predicted 5 – 8 hurricanes; we’ve had 10. They predicted 2 – 3 major hurricanes; we’ve had 1. While I realize that they do their best, there are people who predict sports scores with similar accuracy. This is not something I would crow about as “scientific accuracy”.

            Not to pile on NOAA, but let’s look at the worst season on record, 2005. NOAA predicted 18 – 21 tropical storms; there were a whopping 28. NOAA predicted 9 – 11 hurricanes; there were 15. NOAA got it right on majors: they predicted 5 – 7, with 7 majors actually occuring.

            I suggest that one could just about throw darts at a board and get as good a “prediction”.

            So, tell us another one about predictions and empirical data. I just can’t hardly wait to see it.

          • John Jacobs

            You’re absolutely full of it.

            Global warming works on a lenghty (but accelerating) time scale. Please refer to the scientific journal that claimed NYC would be permanently flooded out and Florida underwater by 2012.

          • herddog505

            Oh, yes, OF COURSE. I’m “full of it” because I point out that Sandy is hardly an unprecedented storm. NATURALLY I simply don’t realize (like you smart, well-informed people) that there’s a subtle process going on that makes Sandy totally different from the Yankee Clipper, Edna, and all the other hurricanes that have struck the northeast. I guess I just can’t comprehend that a hurricane with a modest pressure reading of 940mbar really is unprecedented and means we’re all doomed.


            If global warming is on some magical “accelerating time scale”, then please explain why the storms have not uniformly gotten stronger and more frequent. Why was the 2012 season not worse that the horrible 2005 season? Why do we have to go back to 1950 for the record for the most major storms in a season? Why is the Pacific getting cooler? Why is the South Atlantic temperature at its average? Why is the Antarctic ice sheet at a record size?

            Wait: I know! It’s complicated. But there’s a consensus of scientists who understand, and I’m just supposed to shut up and listen to what they say without using my own judgement.

            Like they taught me to do in all those chemistry classes I took in college and grad school. See, I AM a scientist, and I know the difference between science and a con job.

        • jim_m

          Sandy and what happened in NJ are called weather. Weather is what warmists call climate when it suits their ideology. Climate is not what happened this year, but what happens over several years. There were actually more hurricanes in the1950’s hitting the mid Atlantic and New England states, look it up.

          Meanwhile, since you need to look up real data I suggest that you look up the fact that climatologists are in agreement that no significant warming has occurred in the last 15 years and look up the concern that the sun has entered a historic quiet period that presages global cooling.

          Warmism is an ideology and not science. The first clue is when adherents start claiming that “Science is settled”. Real science is never settled. In a generation the people who panicked over AGW will be laughed at like the people who believed that Phlogiston was the substance that caused things to burn and that an ice age was headed our way in the 1970’s.

          You are probably among the uninformed who believe that people in the 15th century really did believe that the world was flat, when documented history demonstrates that the western world knew the world was round going back to the ancient Greeks who figured it out. The earth is flat was a literary invention of Washington Irving in the 19th century. Gullible idiots like you have believed it ever since.

          • Most scientists in the 70’s did not believe that an Ice Age was coming. There was an article in Time that showcased a single scientist predicting such a thing, but even back then most scientists knew that the Earth was warming at that CO2 was a likely culprit.
            Climate is distinct from weather and it’s silly when people point at snow or hurricanes or deserts and say, “look it’s really hot out” or “look it’s cold out”.
            The last 15 years include at least 13 of the warmest years in recorded history. Granted, sophisticated measuring devices and records don’t go back thousands of years, but at least in the last 100 years we can see a warming trend.
            There really is not much significant debate about whether the Earth is warming or whether CO2 plays a part.
            There is significant debate on whether we should put in place huge taxes on carbon output, or try carbon caps, or other means to limit carbon output. Personally, I don’t believe that it’s a good use of our resources to try to limit carbon output. I think the devastation to our economies from that would be worse than just dealing with the consequences of a warmer planet.

          • jim_m

            The last 15 years include at least 13 of the warmest years in recorded

            Your data is incorrect. Only 6 of the last 15 were amongst the 15 warmest in the last 105 years. (that ignores the medieval warm period where every year was warmer than they are today)

            There really is not much significant debate about whether the Earth is warming or whether CO2 plays a part

            That is not correct either. The problem with warmists is that they listen to the propagandists who tell them that “everyone agrees with this” and “people who disagree are like Nazi collaborators and slaveholders”. The weak minded hasten to appear wise by swift agreement.

            The rest of your BS is about differences within the warmist community and ignores anything about science.

          • Whoa there….

            Your passion is commendable. I’d be curious to hear what you think about the counterarguments on this site:

            Real science is sometimes settled. The Greenhouse Effect is as clear as a hot car on a summer’s day. I’ve not seen a skeptical site that can explain why it wouldn’t occur. In fact, if it didn’t, we’d all be dead – the temperature of the Earth’s surface would be the same as the Moon’s.

            The link between CO2 levels and temperature is also just about as clear as a complicated world gets:

            As to Sandy, here’s a nice rundown on the evidence for the impact of global warming:

            What’s scary about Sandy isn’t that it was a SuperStorm – it’s that it was an ordinary storm transformed into an extraordinarily destructive force by a recent Jet Stream pattern. The dipping Jet Stream caught a hurricane that was headed east,
            as is normal for this time of year, and pulled it in to New Jersey.

            I’m familiar with Eratosthenes and Paul Erlich. I’m certainly not a Gore cultist (in fact, I don’t know of any. Do you really think he’s that charismatic?) I’m not sure why you believe academic institutions are fundamentally bad at science, nor why you’d imagine the only clear-headed people are lone voices and lobbyists.

            As to the Nazi-sympathizer and Slavery parallels; neither Charles Lindburgh nor John Calhoun were monsters. They were just on the wrong side of history, and blind to the destructiveness of their beliefs. I firmly believe, based on all of the evidence I’ve seen, that politicians who claim Global Warming is a partisan and not a scientific question are analogous.

          • retired.military

            Hey have you visited the North Pole this year. Al Gore said it would be ice free.

          • jim_m

            Real science is sometimes settled.

            Until it does not match with the data and then someone figures out a new paradigm. Much like the understanding of the cosmos went from earth centric to heliocentric to the understanding we have today. Only an arrogant fool considers all science to be settled. Newton’s laws work in certain regimes but only a fool would say that Newtonian physics applies under all circumstances. Einstein up ended Newtonian physics with his theory of relativity.

            What is really scary is your ignorantly conflating a once in a century storm and claiming without any proof that this is caused by CO2 content in the atmosphere. Sorry, let me correct that: It is caused by the fraction of CO2 produced by human activity (excluding breathing) and CO2 is only 0.03% of the atmosphere. Human produced CO2 is far less than that.

            What is scary is that you claim a single storm is evidence of a long term climate shift even though you cannot claim any data that such storms are becoming more common.

            As for your bullshit about your slanderous comments it is only bullshit. You meant those nazi slanders to defame and discredit anyone who disagrees with you . I am sure it sounds really good in your echo chamber with your lefty friends. It doesn’t work in the real world.

          • herddog505

            The role played in global temperature by CO2 is not well understood. That CO2 absorbs certain wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation is known. However, we don’t know whether atmospheric CO2 concentration it is a leading or lagging indicator of temperature.* Further, to claim that CO2 is what keeps us warm overlooks the effect of a much more prevalent gas: water vapor. As I recall, IPCC was very careful to avoid discussing the role played by water vapor and cloud cover in global temperatures. Finally, even if CO2 does play a major, leading role in controlling global temperature, man’s contribution to the total CO2 concentration is pretty miniscule.

            By the way: depending on where you are on the surface of the Moon, it can be pretty toasty: over 100 degC.


            (*) Leading: increased CO2 content (from whatever source) causes the planet to heat up.

            Lagging: increased temperature (from whatever cause) causes CO2 concentration to increase. The proposed mechanism for this is the oceans: CO2 solubility in water decreases with increasing temperature, and so warming water releases CO2.

        • 914

          Its called the law of averages.

        • Well, let’s see…

          Here’s some models that don’t predict accurately.

          And it’s funny how biased data can produce ‘desired’ results.

          Changing how you look at things makes a difference, also…

          “Today there was a new Sea Ice Extent Chart with this text at the bottom:

          The plot above replaces an earlier sea ice extent plot, that was based on data with the coastal zones masked out.

          That implied that the previous sea ice extent estimates were underestimated.

          The new plot displays absolute sea ice extent estimates.”

          How about 0.0 warming? Over 16 years?

          For what it’s worth – the Met Office response was that whether things were warming or not depends on where you set your baseline. That’s certainly true. So tell me – what temperature are we SUPPOSED to be keeping the thermostat at?

          Of course, ‘expert’ adjustment to the actual data record is a touchy subject.

          And if things were warming due to human activity, wouldn’t they be warming everywhere?

          Then there’s the ‘consensus issue’.

          As of today, climate models are the last realm where rise of trace concentration of carbon dioxide, vital gas for biosphere, causes catastrophic warming with all accompanying results. It cannot be forgotten, though, that these very models are a basis for regulations, taxes and restrictions imposed by policy-makers, developed countries destroy their own energy basis in environmental madness and media churn out apocalyptic prophecies on nearing end of the world in medieval style. There is some general consciousness that models are not perfect yet, but it is only a question of time or hardware power to get the temperature rise in year 2100 right; the question is how much, not if at all. However, considering our experience with fundamental claims of orthodox climatology, it might be of great interest to look closely at these crystal balls with powerful silicon hearts and to assess credibility of their projections for year 2100 by the simplest way – by comparing their outputs with present observations.”

          That’s got some ugly charts in it, I gotta warn you…

          And how about if someone with a background in data reduction where his life DEPENDS on getting correct answers takes a look at the available evidence?

          Study the data, make your own conclusions. that’s what I’ve done.

          You seem to see it as very much a passionate issue – I’m looking at it from the standpoint of someone who’s done enough noodling around with programs to understand the output is only as good as the input and the algorithms used – and if you’re hiding the input (or adjusting the hell out of it) and you’re not showing your models, your output is suspect at best and bogus as hell at the worst.

          “Trust us – we’re experts and you’ll never understand what we’re talking about” should give you a sense of foreboding – especially when they won’t show their work on how they got their results.

          Let’s take a look at solar activity. I believe you’ll agree that the space heater we’re circling has some effect on the climate? Solar cycle 24 has significantly fewer sunspots than cycle 23, and using sunspots as an arbitrary indicator of activity, we’re entering a ‘quiet sun’ period, which may last a few decades… or we could be entering a Maunder Minimum scenario where it’s going to get damn cold.

          And Sandy? That was an isolated event – and as we’ve been constantly told by the AGW crowd when events like extremely cold winters in the UK happen, that’s just weather – not climate.

        • jim_m

          You might want to look up neo-Malthusianism and take note that hysterical, apocalyptic ideologies periodically spring up and gather many adherents and then eventually die out as their dire predictions all prove to be unfounded.

          Warmism is just another of these end times prophesies that rely upon the ignorance of the masses and are used as a tool to control people and their behavior. Like any cult you find that the leaders (Al Gore for instance) do nothing to adhere to their doctrine. They pollute and use carbon at rates far beyond the regular individual. These people do not really believe in warmism, since, if they did they would alter their behavior.

          No. These people believe in the control and power that warmism gives them and idiots like the commenter above are only too happy to cede their freedoms to the cult leaders who have them duped.

          The scurrilous comparison to slave holders and Nazis is just another example of the intellectual and moral bankruptcy of warmism.

          • Re Al Gore – as the saying goes, I’ll believe there’s a problem when they start acting like THEY think there’s a problem.

            And Ol’ Al – doesn’t.

          • 914

            Yes, but Albert has these useful idiots so far stuffed up his ass, they would rather worship at his altar then admit they are mentally ill.

          • I don’t think they’re mentally ill – I just think they’re choosing to believe someone who’d scam them into living in energy poverty while he lives a jet-set lifestyle.

            If that’s mentally ill, then everyone who’s ever been conned is mentally ill…

          • 914

            It goes beyond being conned when you have overwhelming evidence to the contrary year after year, such as jet setting billionaires telling you to sacrifice while they build their mansions upon your dirt poor existence but still cannot or refuse to acknowledge reality.

            I was just referring to the Algore con game, not the myriad of other snake oil games out there.

          • It turns into a quasi-religion for some, I think – something greater than themselves they can devote themselves to. Yes, the high priest is flying while they’re walking, but because they’ve been enlightened by him, they’re superior to us unenlightened sheeple. So it’s okay because they’re the virtuous and saved…

            And they’ll do their damnedest to make sure you’re saved also.

            Folks in the church-going side of the spectrum will at least take “No, thanks” for an answer if they knock on your door. Folks on the AGW side not only won’t take “No, not interested”, they’ll legislate you into the ground and force you to be ‘saved’, if they must.

          • Jwb10001

            Al Gore is Elmer Gantry who also had useful idiots. I’ll believe in global warming when people like Al Gore stop selling get out of jail free cards…..

          • herddog505

            jim_mThe scurrilous comparison to slave holders and Nazis is just another example of the intellectual and moral bankruptcy of warmism.


          • Peter Kafin

            Deniers use similar language regularly. One need only to listen to their supporters in Congress to hear such language.

            Take Sen Inhofe, for example ”

            In an interview, he heaped criticism on what he
            saw as the strategy used by those on the other side of the global warming debate and offered a historical comparison.

            “It kind of reminds . . . I could use the Third Reich, the big lie,” Inhofe said.”

        • By the way, I fully expect you to discount the links I’ve provided, since they’re from that notorious anti-AGW site Wattsupwiththat. But each link has hard info and/or backed-up opinion backing it, if you’ll click through and actually read it.

          Burt Rutan’s an aeronautical engineer – not a climatologist – but he lives or dies on data points and analysis, and by his analysis the whole AGW thing’s a scam.

          I, however, believe in AGW, at least partially. The thing is – it’s gone on one hell of a lot longer than anyone in the contemporary AGW movement would suspect. Ruddiman’s paper on Anthropogenic Global Warming – – is heavy wading, but his chart at Fig. 1b shows that we should be in the middle of a glaciating period right now. But thanks to methane increases (which are attributable to the development of agriculture) – we’re not.

          The funny thing is – when you actually start looking at the data instead of the hype, the complexity is such that you start seeing long-term cycles that have little to nothing to do with the last 100 years, including factors that have been discounted and discarded by the folks insisting that a baseline of 10-20-50-100 years is sufficient to understand what’s going on.

          So that’s why I think the way I do. I don’t blindly take anyone’s word for stuff like this, I figure I can understand the work, in overview at least – or I can find someone who can explain it. (Google being your friend, after all…)

          And then I form my own conclusions – and my conclusion is that the AGW folks are like mayflies on a sunny day, trying to figure out what the weather will be tomorrow from the last minute’s variability.

          added – And if you think THIS is bad, don’t get me started on High Speed Rail in the US, lol…

          • retired.military

            Mr Lawson
            I salute you. I have much less patience to deal with the global warming idiots any longer.

          • Thank you. It’s cheap entertainment.

            They come in all full of themselves and “OMG the world is burning!” and then I show it isn’t so… You can hear the self-righteous eco-outrage deflating, like a balloon losing helium as they review facts they’ve never been shown.

            Either that, or egotistical self-preservation kicks in, they leave and are never seen again… but I hope a seed that “Maybe I’m not being told the truth” has been planted. It might not sprout for years – but if it does, then they’re going to be pissed about being lied to.

          • Peter Kafin

            There are a lot of people who have followed this issue for over 30 years. They are not alarmists, though those so exist. Their concern is over a change that is slow, sometimes subtle, yet remarkably consistent when viewed in terms of it’s predicted pacing.

            You seem all too ready to dismiss any of it because of what you perceive to be uniformed hysterics. Certainly there are folks out there who don’t understand the science and who are making wild claims. You can refute them until the cows come home. Unfortunately while it will convince them of nothing, it will also do nothing to refute the less inflammatory, but very real, scientific consensus on this matter.

          • 30 years is less than an eyeblink in the climatological history of the world. As has been pointed out, there have been warm periods and cold ones – even within human memory. The alarmists stand to gain fame and make money off pushing the AGW cant – because they’re selling a solution to a problem only THEY really take seriously, that only THEY know an answer to.

            So you end up with windmills that cost a lot more than they’ll ever produce and need both massive government subsidies AND backup generators to take the load when they can’t… with Solyndras and A123 Systems sucking loads of government subsidies without producing anything of note (Well, in A123 System’s case, batteries that could be used to start fires…) – while in Germany they’re essentially going “WTF were we thinking with this green energy stuff? We don’t have enough wind, and the climate is ridiculous for solar!”

            It’s this century’s “Tulip Madness”, I think. As far as a consensus goes, I refer you to this Forbes article.


            So where did that famous “consensus” claim that “98% of all scientists believe in global warming” come from? It originated from an endlessly reported 2009 American Geophysical Union (AGU) survey consisting of an intentionally brief two-minute, two question online survey sent to 10,257 earth scientists by two researchers at the University of Illinois. Of the about 3.000 who responded, 82% answered “yes” to the second question, which like the first, most people I know would also have agreed with.

            Then of those, only a small subset, just 77 who had been successful in getting more than half of their papers recently accepted by peer-reviewed climate science journals, were considered in their survey statistic. That “98% all scientists” referred to a laughably puny number of 75 of those 77 who answered “yes”.

            That anything-but-scientific survey asked two questions. The first: “When compared with pre-1800s levels, do you think that mean global temperatures have generally risen, fallen, or remained relatively constant?” Few would be expected to dispute this…the planet began thawing out of the “Little Ice Age” in the middle 19th century, predating the Industrial Revolution. (That was the coldest period since the last real Ice Age ended roughly 10,000 years ago.)

            The second question asked: “Do you think human activity is a
            significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?” So what constitutes “significant”? Does “changing” include both cooling and warming… and for both “better” and “worse”? And which contributions…does this include land use changes, such as agriculture and deforestation?”

            It’s all about how you look at the ‘consensus’.

        • LiberalNightmare

          I want to believe in global warming but i just can’t. For one thing the polar bears are thick as flies around here.

          Seriously i wouldn’t mind a few less.

          • Apex omnivorous predators aren’t fun to play with…

        • retired.military

          Hey have you visited the North Pole this year. Al Gore said it would be ice free.

          • Whoa there….

            Have you? Arctic Sea ice levels were the lowest on record:

            Here’s the source, and it’s unimpeachable:

            And here’s a nice summary of how the melted Arctic may have turned Sandy into a SuperStorm:

            I wish I could believe this is a hoax. It would be terribly reassuring. I envy those of you who can.

          • 914

            Hypothetical theories are interesting to speculate with. Especially when you have a dog in the race.

            Less ice is in one region means more in another. I for one would prefer warmer weather. But either way, I do not want politicians pontificating out of my pocket book then flying off to Las Vegas and laughing all the way to the bank.

            BTW, what did you think of Barry’s fly over? I’m sure it was a great comfort to those bailing out there basements..

          • jim_m

            From the link I posted earlier:

            After all of the news about a minimum record ice extent last month, this is interesting. As we know when water loses its ice cover, it allows a lot of heat to radiate into space as LWIR. many predictied that as a result of the extra open ocean surface, we see a very fast refreeze in the Arctic. It appears they were right.

            So stop it with the straw man argument. No one denies that Arctic Sea ice was low. But we pointed out that it refroze.

            You also ignore that Antarctic sea ice is at the greatest extent ever. Since we are talking about global warming I find it more than a little dishonest of you to ignore the fact that Antarctic sea ice is growing a record level.

            You are either ignorant or dishonest. Neither is attractive.

          • Whoa there….

            My comment was in response to retired military, who specifically brought up the North Pole. I responded to him. I fail to see how that is either dishonest or ignorant.

            The fact that climate science is complicated should not be used to disguise those things that are clear. CO2 levels and atmospheric/ocean temperature is one of them.

            Historic patterns are changing and breaking down. The data on this are also very clear. The Antarctic is part of this (and Antarctic ice has not grown nearly as much as Arctic ice has shrunk.)

            We’re performing a science experiment on the atmosphere. I freely admit no one knows exactly how it will turn out. But that doesn’t mean that there is no consensus, or that it makes sense to continue on our current path.

          • jim_m

            Claiming as proof of global warming the decrease in Arctic ice while ignoring the increase in Antarctic ice is dishonest. If you were unaware of the increase in Antarctic ice then you are ignorant. Take your pick.

            Yes, climate science is complicated. That is one reason why the fixation on CO2 would be comical if it weren’t focused so as to punish developed nations and control economic growth.

            As I have pointed out consensus has frequently been wrong in the past. Turning the world into a fascist state on the extremely suspect notion that a tiny fraction of 0.03% of atmospheric CO2 is driving the entirety of global climate is something else.

          • You ought to go through Rutan’s engineering analysis of the AGW theology. It’s… well, let’s just say he’s not kind.


            And you know – I think theology probably IS the best way to define AGW. You’ve got priests, you’ve got acolytes, you’ve got true believers, and the religion demands sacrifices that the priests and acolytes don’t have to contribute to but will end up beggaring the believers.

          • “The fact that climate science is complicated should not be used to disguise those things that are clear. CO2 levels and atmospheric/ocean temperature is one of them.”

            Actually… not so much. There’s a good bit of evidence that CO2 levels LAG temperatures, not force them.

            An important new paper published today in Global and Planetary Change finds that changes in CO2 follow rather than lead global air surface temperature and that “CO2 released from use of fossil fuels have little influence on the observed changes in the amount of atmospheric CO2” The paper finds the “overall global temperature change sequence of events appears to be from 1) the ocean surface to 2) the land surface to 3) the lower troposphere,” in other words, the opposite of claims by global warming alarmists that CO2 in the atmosphere drives land and ocean temperatures. Instead, just as in the ice cores, CO2 levels are found to be a lagging effect ocean warming, not significantly related to man-made emissions, and not the driver of warming.


            An analysis of it…

            And this is kind of fun, also…

            Not that I expect you’ll read any of the links…

            By the way… “Historic patterns are changing and breaking down.” In the 1920s, there was enough melt that people thought the Arctic would be ice-free in a few years. We’ve had direct observation of the North Pole only since the mid-late ’70s, so it’s kind of hard to find any real pattern in that short a time.

            Note how eerily similar all of this sounds to a November 2nd, 1922 article in the Washington Post article titled “Arctic Ocean Getting Warm; Seals Vanish and Icebergs Melt”:” The Arctic ocean is warming up, icebergs are growing scarcer and in some places the seals are finding the water too hot, according to a report to the Commerce Department yesterday from Consul Ifft, at Bergen, Norway. Reports from fishermen, seal hunters and explorers, he declared, all point to a radical change in climate conditions and hitherto unheard-of temperatures in the Arctic zone…Great masses of ice have been replaced by moraines of earth and stones, the report continued, while at many points well known glaciers have entirely disappeared.”


            Sorry, but I think you’ve been fed an enormous load of bullshit. You know that old saying about how if something is too good to be true, it probably is? I think a lot of what Jim calls Neo-Malthusians see this and think how wonderful it would be if true – because then they could justify taking control of the world economy and make people live (and/or die) like they believed they should, and bugger the US economy through green initiatives as a side benefit..

            The trouble was, along the way they lost the ‘If true’ portion of their wonderings – and took it as a given that (a) it was getting hotter, and (b) it would continue getting hotter.

            Only problem is – it hasn’t. That kind of messes up the ol’ Malthusian theology. It’s really hard to claim you’ve got to decimate the economy in order to save the planet from warming when the planet refuses to warm.

          • Whoa there….

            Here’s a nice post refuting the CO2 lag:

            There are, of course, cycles in weather, and many factors that can cause – and have caused – global warming.

            That doesn’t mean, though, that CO2 isn’t one of them, and that it isn’t the cause of the current measurements.Mainstream scientists believe that there is sufficient evidence to no longer doubt this.

            You seem to think that there’s a wealthy conspiracy behind this science. I’m not sure what to say to that, except to point out that the fossil fuel industry is far wealthier than any alternative energy company.

            You’ve also argued that paradigm shifts are possible, that Copernicus/Kepler and Einstein should teach us not to be too certain about our science. In both cases, though, it was the combination of a mathematically elegant model with confirming observation and measurement that made the new paradigm compelling.

            I’d argue the basic model behind anthropogenic global warming through CO2 emissions is similarly elegant, simple, and verified through evidence.

            But rather than let ourselves be distracted by these sorts of arguments, please tell me why it is you believe CO2 emissions wouldn’t cause global warming. Is it that you think the human race simply hasn’t added enough carbon dioxide to the atmosphere to make a difference?

          • Actually, it doesn’t refute the lag. It attempts to explain it. There’s a difference.

            As far as a ‘wealthy conspiracy’ goes, I don’t believe there’s one as such – not one that was actually funded, at any rate.

            I believe there’s folks who really want fame, and really want money, and really want power over others (Venn diagram, intersecting circles…) – and they’ve pushed AGW as a means of getting it all. It’s a case of them seeing the idea of AGW, for example, and realizing they could use it for their own gain.

            Al Gore, for example, thought it’d be a good idea to sell ‘carbon credits’. He made a good bit of money off it, until it became evident that those were about as useful as the Indulgences for your sins you could buy from the Church in medieval times. And let’s not even talk what Spain did to their economy in the quest for green power, or what Germany did to theirs. Hansen and Mann have been quite in demand for their views, and fame, for an academic, is a powerful lure. Then there’s the enviro groups who’ve pushed to stop this project and that, based on AGW objections.

            Scratch an enviro, and you’ll find a wannabe tyrant – looking to take away what we’ve got for our own good, of course.

            Anyway… another thing that doesn’t ever seem to be taken into account is the ability of CO2 to trap heat. The assumption seems to be that it’s got an unlimited ability to absorb it, and at some point a runaway positive feedback loop hits. If you get 0 effect at 0ppm, X effect at 200ppm, then you’ll get 2X at 400. But is that reality? And do lab-scale experiments scale up to the entire planet?

            With CO2 concentrations being much higher than current in the past, and not necessarily correlated with warm periods, I don’t see that happening. So there’s apparently limits to how much heat it can trap.

            Does an albedo change from cloud cover have any effect? With a warmer climate, there’s more clouds – reflecting light and heat out into space. Is there a good possibility that the planet is actually self-regulating to a degree that the AGW folks aren’t willing to model – and not prone to dropping into a feedback loop?

            Then you get into the issue of solar variability. That wasn’t apparently even considered in the early models – much easier to assume a flat constant – it made the computations simpler.

            And as I posted above (or below – hard to keep track sometimes) I’m an AGW believer. But it’s been going on a lot longer, and we’ve reached a ‘steady state’, so to speak, with a degree or three variance.

            Seriously, I urge you to take the time to go to these two links. Read Rutan’s engineering analysis of the AGW theory and evidence, and also Ruddiman’s paper on AGW methane.




            Anyhow, the takeaway is this –

            1. I believe the planet is quite adaptable to pretty much anything we could do to it, within rational limits. The gulf recovered from the oil spill. The Iraq oil-field burnings didn’t set off a ‘nuclear winter’ scenario. Does this mean we shouldn’t avoid those things? No – it doesn’t, because it’s a sheer waste of resources.

            2. Civilization is dependent on energy. Constant, reliable power – not intermittent power from windmills and solar. Until we can shift to an all-nuclear economy, we’re going to need fossil fuels, and there’s going to be a CO2 output from those. Cut the power – and civilization as we know it will end. There may be some in the AGW movement that think we can return to an agrarian society, or one approximating the 1910s or so – but that will not happen.

            3. AGW has hit already (see Ruddiman’s paper, Chart 1, section b) – and if it hadn’t, polar bears would be snacking on penguins around the equator. But we’ve pretty much reached the black body limits, so to speak, on heat-in and heat-out as far as greenhouse gasses can manage with our current setup. There may be some variance overall, 1-3 degrees or so up or down from an approximate centerline – but not more than that.

            4. Computer models are useful things – but should never be confused with reality. Add in ‘adjusting’ the input data in various directions, and you’re turning science into science fiction.

          • Jwb10001

            You say climate science is complicated but it’s settled? One of these things is not like the other.

          • retired.military

            Follow the money and you will find the source of Global warming.

          • 914

            Where there is billions in fraudulent tax payer boondoggles. There be the source of Gorebal warming.

          • retired.military

            So you failed to answer my question. Are you visiting the North Pole this year. Al Gore said it would be ice free.

        • jim_m

          Perhaps you should take a look at this graph of US hurricanes and atmospheric CO2. SO your claim is shown to be completely contrafactual and non scientific. Your claim obviously comes from an ignorant parroting of talking points from ideologues who don’t really care about the science and only use the pretense of science to fool gullible stooges like yourself.

          • Whoa there….

            I never claimed that the frequency of hurricanes has been proven to have increased because of global warming. What I did claim is that global warming seems to have increased perturbations in the Jet Stream, as this blog post from last April, written long before Sandy, discusses:

            Sandy was caught by one of these blocking patterns, which transformed it from an ordinary October hurricane into a “SuperStorm.”

            The post I linked to above was written by the founder and chief blogger behind Weather Underground. Weather Underground is owned by the Weather Channel, which is owned by Comcast and Bain Capital (yes, that Bain Capital). Not exactly Al Gore cultists or liberal loonies.

            Another thing global warming has done is to increase the intensity of storms by providing more energy to fuel them. Hotter oceans, etc.

            Pretty mainstream stuff.

          • herddog505

            Whoa there…Another thing global warming has done is to increase the intensity of storms by providing more energy to fuel them. Hotter oceans, etc.

            There is no evidence of this:

            It is premature to conclude that human activities–and particularly greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming–have already had a detectable impact on Atlantic hurricane activity. That said, human activities may have already caused changes that are not yet detectable due to the small magnitude of the changes or observational limitations, or are not yet properly modeled (e.g., aerosol effects).


            The rest of the article makes many of the points I’ve made above, notably about the paucity of good data:

            Existing records of past Atlantic tropical storm numbers (1878 to present) in fact do show a pronounced upward trend, which is also correlated with rising SSTs (see Figs. 1 and 9 of Vecchi and Knutson 2008). However, the density of reporting ship traffic over the Atlantic was relatively sparse during the early decades of this record, such that if storms from the modern era (post 1965) had hypothetically occurred during those earlier decades, a substantial number would likely not have been directly observed by the ship-based “observing network of opportunity.” We find that, after adjusting for such an estimated number of missing storms, there is a small nominally positive upward trend in tropical storm occurrence from 1878-2006. But statistical tests reveal that this trend is so small, relative to the variability in the series, that it is not significantly distinguishable from zero [emphasis original – hd505]

    • It’s funny how people look at disagreement on the internet and immediately go “WTF! Who’s paying your misbegotten ass to sit there and disagree!”

      Could it be because they’re the paid shills, and assume everyone else is being paid also?

      Take global warming – you can’t disagree on that based on published evidence and because the computer models aren’t holding up – it’s got to be because you’re being paid by big oil or big coal. Now – someone disagrees with a poll, they’ve got to be paid by Romney?

    • retired.military

      I have a better model

      It is called the common sense method.

      Romney 54 Obama 46 Romney 320 EV Obama 218 EV.

      That is my detailed prediction.

      • 914

        Hey? Looks similar to my model? An optimal landslide..

      • grysl

        Funny name for a method that applies no common sense.

      • Nailed it

  • Aerin_S

    Are you on the Romney payroll, as part of Romney’s new effort to attack the credibility of 538? Nate’s track record speaks for itself. Believe it or not, Nate actually is just trying to make the most accurate predictions humanly possible. If you’ve got a better model, let’s see your detailed predictions.

  • All the polls are useful weather you agree with the results or not. The Korean community in Denver will vote for Romney only because he is republican and believe he will win by landslide. I site Rasmussen and Gallup polls to bolster their belief. Therefore they may not vote. After Nov 6, inaccurate ones will lose money along with their credibility.

    • In the end, the only poll that counts is on November 6th…

  • Jimh753

    Don’t you just love it when Reps and baggers get bad news….hahahhaaa

    • 914

      I think your Obamasiahs impending doom is good news you clown..

      • Jimh753

        Who is the clown now dumbass

      • Jimh753

        What an idiot prognosticator you turned out to be….have you got anymore sure fire predictions you wanna share with me….BAAWWAAAAHHH

  • Jonathan Sadow

    For reference regarding determining likely voters:

    (disclaimer: I work for Google Consumer Surveys)

    • retired.military

      I wipe my ass with the huffington post.

      • Do you get splinters? And how do you ignore the smell of it?

  • Actually, Doug, the weight given to each state poll is provided at 538 Blog, so your entire premise is wrong. You can see in the state-by-state projections on the far right the exact weight that Nate Silver has given to each polling source, only the first few in the list are shown right off, but if you click “more” underneath the polls, you can see every single poll and the weight used. The Google poll was “intringueing”, but it also receives zero weight in the state polling, which is what Nate uses to determine the chance of winning in each state and the likelihood of each of the scenarios of Romney or Obama winning the Electoral College based on those results.
    Professor Wang at Princeton has additional statistical review of the poll results and shows even more dire chances of Romney winning the electoral college.

    Wang has published his exact weighting method and the MATLAB code used to generate his data and graphs, so you are free to actually criticize the methods and weighting or even the polls themselves.

    • Scalia

      And you can find cogent criticism HERE.

      • Pick up your free money at Intrade. People want to believe Romney’s chances are better than a 2-1 underdog, but nobody puts their money where their mouth is. Obama is up 3% +/- 0.5% in Ohio. That is not a dead heat as the media is portraying it.

        —– Reply message —–

      • Pick up your free money at Intrade. People want to believe Romney’s chances are better than a 2-1 underdog, but nobody puts their money where their mouth is. Obama is up 3% +/- 0.5% in Ohio. That is not a dead heat as the media is portraying it.

        —– Reply message —–

        • Scalia

          Well, I thought that you had something intelligent to offer, so I took a chance and gave you an opportunity to rebut what was contained in the link that I provided. You’ve just proven that you’re not interested in rational dialog. Why am I not surprised?

          • You can resort to ad hominem attacks if you must, but when 16 state polls in Ohio of likely voters show one guy up by 3% and an error margin of 0.5%, that isn’t a dead heat. We can pretend that everyone is skewing data improperly, but there isn’t a history of that and you’d have to believe that even FoxNews is working for Obama since their poll also has him up 3%.
            —– Reply message —–

          • Scalia

            And you obviously don’t know what an ad hominem argument is. It is a FACT that you are avoiding a conversation that substantively compares both models; but since you don’t want to talk about either model (except to extol your bias) in the context of the critique–which you invited–your posts hang irrelevantly in midair. You cannot rebut the analysis, so you resort to repetition. Try addressing the argument.

          • Well I’ve read the article and found nothing persuasive and no factual evidence provided. Perhaps you can point out a single FACT in the article for us? In the meantime I am offering up shares of Romney for you at 3.50 that pay off $10 on election day. Good luck!
            —– Reply message —–

          • Scalia

            Nice dodge. Muhammad Ali would be proud. If you read the article and understood it, then the rational approach would be to point out the salient facts and rebut them. Remember, you invited a critique. When you got one, all you say is that you “found nothing persuasive.” That’s what I call an intelligent reply—not.

          • So you couldn’t find a single fact in the article either? Opinions are nice.
            —– Reply message —–

          • Scalia

            Oh, there are plenty of them, but the fact that you continue to dodge proves that you either didn’t read it, or that you cannot refute it.

            You wanted to sound intelligent by touting what you thought was irrefutable proof of Obama’s impending victory. Your invitation to challenge it was nothing more than an attempt to appear rational. What’s the narrative? Conservatives are stupid? But when you find out that you’ve bitten off more than you could chew, you rope-a-dope.

            Keep trying to look smart. Everybody here knows otherwise.

          • There is nothing but opinion in your article and your consistent inability to even name a single fact in it demonstrates that. If Romney wins Ohio I’ll eat bug. The likelihood that 15 of the last 16 polls in Ohio are all biased in favor of Obama is quite slim. Of course you are free to disagree based on some guys opinion that Romney has momentum or another guys opinion that Romney supporters look more energized, but I’m only interested in cogent arguments based on facts.
            —– Reply message —–

          • Scalia

            Once again proving that simkatu either didn’t read the article or he doesn’t understand it. So typical.

  • Peter Kafin

    Other organizations are plenty open about their formulas for extracting predictions from poll aggregates. They aren’t predicting things much different from 538.

    For example, the Huffington Post’s trailing average currently is “tracking 98 polls” as part of their process of creating one graph line. They have Romney up by 3. Nate Silver (538) is currently giving Obama an 80% chance of winning the State. Bush erased a 2.4 polling average lead with a week to go in 2004, but, other than that, nobody who was behind in an aggregate of an individual’s state polls by 2 points or more (with 10 days to go) has won that state in modern history.

    The numbers are clear, Romney will lose, the only precondition being that people show up and successfully vote for their choice.

    Shooting the messenger isn’t going to change that.

  • John Jacobs

    You completely missed the boat on this – and poll aggregation in general. The theory is that:

    For the most part, crap (poll) cancels crap (poll). Nate doesn’t exclude partly as a concession to the hacks (you?), who will inevitably accuse him of having choosen polls to favor one candidate over another. Actually, I think the trend compromising polling this season is the unprecedented number of (pure) crap Republican funded polling

    What if the poll is online? There are also a bunch of landline only polls that are sure to target the other end of the populace (tech backwards)

    • jim_m

      Since most of the polls are tending to over sample dems, the notion that crap poll cancels out crap poll is rendered worthless

  • Richard Broderick

    I’m not taking a stand here as I know the partisans will charge. I’m a math believer though. I wouldn’t make a bet on this election as I also believe it’s up in the air. But math is really superior to any partisan cheer. When I see a headline with such a charged title it concerns me because it’s clear there is a charged desire to see a particular outcome which then influences the argument. Emotions don’t help me with stocks or bets. Luckily this guy does use some math. My concern now is that I understand Silver is an extraordinary mathmetican. What background does Johnson have in that arena? No one is saying he doesn’t have a strong math background. This is a question.

    • Scalia

      Hi, Richard. Please see the link that I posted in the mini-thread just above your post. You’ll find an intelligent analysis why Silver may be incorrect.

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  • Will737

    I’m just curious. How does the author of this article like his crow cooked?