Princeton Election Consortium

A first draft of electoral history. Since 2004

PEC on the BBC (and other venues)

November 7th, 2012, 11:17am by Sam Wang


At noon (in about 45 minutes), I’ll be on BBC Radio 4. At some point soon I’ll be on ‘More Or Less,’ a programme on the use of numbers in the news.

Adam Gopnik in the New Yorker. Also Mashable, Gawker, the Chronicle of Higher Education, Simply Statistics, Business Insider, NYTimes, Forbes. It’s fun to see the regular press get so interested in good statistical analysis.

Photo: Ian Holmes. Here’s a cake video. Happy birthday, Jay!

Tags: 2012 Election

266 Comments so far ↓

  • don in fl

    when will the first book from romneys aides hit the shelves? theres always a book.

  • wheelers cat

    hmmm.
    Do you guys think I might be right on + 4.2% for the popular vote for Obama?
    http://www.buzzfeed.com/buzzfeedpolitics/there-are-no-missing-voters
    Only #drunknatesilver knows.
    ;)

  • A New Jersey Farmer

    Anybody see this? I am quite surprised that Romney’s staff didn’t believe the actual math.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-250_162-57547239/adviser-romney-shellshocked-by-loss/

    • HorseIsAHorse

      Especially if the stories regarding the Romney campaign’s internal poll of Ohio on Sunday 11/4 are true. That one supposedly had Ohio at +5 Obama. Of course, there was supposed to be another internal showing PA tied, so maybe they really were deluding themselves.

    • Froggy

      Wow, just wow. This was this passage that really caught my eye:

      “As a result, they believed the public/media polls were skewed – they thought those polls oversampled Democrats and didn’t reflect Republican enthusiasm. They based their own internal polls on turnout levels more favorable to Romney.”

      Essentially then, the Romney guys were no better than Dean Chambers, the Unskewed Polls guy, at understanding polling. That’s shocking.

    • wheelers cat

      well Rasmussen was the most influential pollster for the right.
      His demographics were Neil Newhouses demographics I expect. And Gallup had the same demos. These guys dont actually release their “secret sauce” but the pollster people figured that Gallup was estimating white share of the vote at something like 79%. Thats like 2000 level. It turned out to be 72% according to CNN.
      In typical red phenotype fashion they validated their estimates with “common sense”.
      How many times did you see “there is no chance %dem in the electorate exceeds 2008 levels”.
      That was the whole poll-truther argument.
      Well, apparently math trumps “common sense”.

  • Howie Weiner

    Still coming down after the buzz of a really exciting victory on Election night. The President’s talk to his campaign workers was so inspirational, so human, it is amazing.
    One thing I noticed is that all of the swing states with the exception of Ohio came in with a greater margin for Obama than was predicted by the aggregate of state polls. So they were actually biased towards Romney and not Obama as the Republicans claimed. Any comments as to why the polls behaved in this manner?

    • Emerald

      My bet is that the polls were just fine. The difference easily could have been caused by the invincible Obama turnout machine. I’ve heard it said that their ground game was worth a good one to two points. They got people to the polls that normally wouldn’t have voted, and therefore wouldn’t have shown up in the polls.

    • wheelers cat

      no Esmeralda. Rasmussen, as it turned out was not just fine.
      Dr. Wang had EVs at 332 and then changed to 303 because FL poll averaging showed a tossup.
      I held at 332 because I thought Rasmussen was distorting Obama’s win prob.
      Drew Linzer right also.
      Nate Silver was tailriskhedgefunding and split the difference at 313, but came down on the side of FL going Obama. Dr. Wang went the other way from his models 312.
      Rasmussen’s asymmetrical behavior distorted Romney’s win prob all across the map.
      I thought it might be endemic to the nat’l polls, but it looks like just Rassmussen and Gallup.
      With Gallup it does look like it was legacy polling methodology caused them to make demographic errors– but Rasmussen is likely more sinister.
      Thus the ninth circle of hell.
      ;)

  • Martin

    REVENGE OF THE NERDS i say!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • wheelers cat

    well….no one else said this so im saying it.

    That is one cake that is not a lie.
    ;)

  • JK_CA

    This is the first time I commented. I have been following you since 2004. I am a strong believer in numbers and the MM having studied Statistics in College. I saw how some of your followers were freaking out a little before the election and you kept responding to not freak over one poll or pundits comments..relax and follow PEM every couple of days. Thank you Sam, for adding a whole lot of reality to a political enviromment that needs some truth..

  • Ms. Jay Sheckley

    For those who love PEC as much as I do, and for those following the fate of the cake… from Maddow to movie to munchies… Jack Rems was eating a piece on the 8th and reading PEC when he had a strange feeling… realised he was eating the exact piece of food pictured online…. Here is the final bite of the yellow and red prediction bar, as sacrificed on a presidential plate showing its own voter enthusiasm:

    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=4951909600171&set=a.1154730673071.23076.1371822976&type=1&theater

    Please Sam, I dare you to share my last picture of your BELOVED 2012 metamargin graph

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