Princeton Election Consortium

A first draft of electoral history. Since 2004

Beyoncé and Me

November 5th, 2016, 5:56am by Sam Wang



Well, this was unexpected. The clip is here.

Tags: 2016 Election · President · Senate

126 Comments so far ↓

  • Michael Coppola

    Off-topic, but I just got polled. CNU live caller on my landline. Did my part to shift the MM in the right direction, but I was a little disappointed that there wasn’t one more follow-up question:

    Do you support Hillary Clinton because:
    a) you agree with her positions on the issues
    b) you believe that she is the most qualified candidate
    c) her opponent is an existential threat to the human race
    d) all of the above

    And by the way, it really is over:

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/benjamin-franklin-elementary-school-has-correctly-predicted-every-presidential-election-for-48-years/

  • drylake

    By the way, props to Larry O’Donnell for actually making the effort to pronounce your name correctly and fie on that next guy, Lipinski, for 1) being absurdly condescending and 2) not making any effort to get the pronunciation right, even after O’Donnell had done so repeatedly.

  • Paul Corrigan

    Serious, though possibly silly question:

    The headline probability for a Clinton victory remains above 99 percent. However, by the eyeball metric, the current histogram and the EV estimator plot suggests a slightly lower probability, more like 97 percent.

    Could somebody point me to an explanation of the discrepancy, if one has already been published? If it hasn’t, what is the source of the discrepancy?

    • MarkS

      The Bayesian probability (>99%) assumes that the meta-margin will move up a little closer to its long-term average by election day. Random-drift, as I understand it, should give a lower probability than whatever it is right now. I agree that eyeballing the histogram seems to make this 97% or less, but that’s likely to be a failure of the eyeball method to get the estimate number that precisely.

  • Karl Hudnut

    I see your point. “Sam Wang Data Scientist”. Not only did they get your job description wrong, they used an oxymoron. What they heck is a “data scientist”? :-))

    • BrianTH

      Hopefully they also start indicating when someone is a pseudo-scientist.

    • Paul Quirk

      They analyze data…about data?

    • Avattoir

      A category of wizard trained in the how working of spells with data, by a process roughly equivalent to how male jumping spider attempt to exploit mating opportunities, in either case involving attention-grabbing displays of color & movement often accompanied by and coordinated with attention-holding rhythmic sounds & movements, with the primary distinction between the cases being that the set under consideration may manifest in involve coordination with other members of the same species in the use of intricate repeated patterns, including choreography, whereas the equivalent, to date at least, is not known to have ever occurred with the comparator set.

    • Jeffrey Bank

      When I was little boy, about 7 years old, in Baltimore, I lived in the same neighborhood as Edward Witten who was about 5 or 6. His father would bring him over to my house and asked my parents if I would play with him, which I always did, usually wiffle ball. He was considered a little egghead back then, kind of different from the other little kids. How was I to know I was playing with the soon-to-be most intelligent person on the planet.

  • PaulC

    You’ll know you’ve arrived when they drop the “Wang” and the captions read “Beyonce” and “Sam” discuss the election.

  • Sander Gusinow

    The real question is…. Who wore it better?

  • Sk

    I think that is what we need more of around here. Some pizzazz instead just boring data scientology

  • Michael

    Sam: Two serious questions. 1. Do you think they booked you for Friday — a low ratings night — so as to maintain the suspense that will fuel their ratings until Election Night? 2. Was the same motivation behind them not letting you address the concerns of Josh Barro, who followed you by saying two “knobs” could easily be “turned” to adjust your numbers — the possibility of a polling error of 3 points, and the related idea of the states being “correlated,” such that an error would carry across all of the states?

    • Michael Coppola

      The meta-margin implicitly includes the possibility of correlation, as it is the amount that all polls would have to shift by to create a pure toss up.

  • fred flint

    It wasn’t just Sam. They did that in the next segment as well.

    I found it kind of entertaining. I was able to watch Beyonce and be informed at the same time. So it wasn’t much of a distraction.

  • gwanung

    I expect tour dates to be announced soon.

  • Terry MacFarland

    The expression on your face…as if you Just Can’t Even take Beyoncé. I enjoyed Smerconish this morning.

  • mcorn

    Aside from the optics, I thought it was a pretty good short interview, including Sam’s comment that one should not place a lot of weight on the differences between 90%+ predictions.

  • Jef

    About time they cut into Beyoncé to hear from you. Long overdue.

  • jim robson

    That wasn’t planned?? And I thought Beyonce and the dancers were doing an interpretive dance routine to your data points!
    ;)
    Great interview btw

  • 538 Refugee

    Her Twitter feed must be going bonkers.

  • Steven Weiss

    Saw Sam on both MSNBC and CNN last night. Well done!

  • smartone

    The only issue is the window sizes should have been reversed

    • Vasyl

      looking at this screen and location of the text it is obvious that MSNBC people think that Sam Wang is on the left side of the screen.

  • Lois

    In this nail-biting, stomach-churning election, it’s good to have a bit of a giggle with your morning coffee. Thanks, Sam.

  • William

    Did this happen on purpose…..or was it just a mistake??

    Priceless!

  • JPI

    It was great to see you on MSNBC, but the juxtaposition of you talking about statics and prediction while Beyoncé was dancing kind of made me feel like I’d eaten a bug.

  • Bob McConnaughey

    http://drscience.com/wordpress/

    back when..he went from “I’ve got a Master’s degree….in science” morphed to…a “Doctor’s degree”…

  • Bob McConnaughey

    who’s Beyonce??? ;-)

  • Marco

    Look at the front page of MSNBC…

    http://www.msnbc.com/

    • Matt McIrvin

      Can’t argue with SCIENCE!

    • Bill G.

      Oh man, that is cringe-worthy.

    • Tim L

      Nice job Sam!

      O’Donnell kind of had a Fred Willard in Best In Show/in over my head feel to him – especially the “i’ve never heard seven quadrillion used in a sentence before!” – half expected him to ask Sam how much he could bench press.

      Really great to hear real data reported and not bed-wetting.

  • Bender

    It’s like the 21st-century version of Arthur Miller and Marilyn Monroe.

    • Ed Wittens Cat

      yeah, totally…
      but if Arthur Miller had a doctorate in molecular biology and Marilyn Monroe was black.

  • GEORGE

    You’re on top of your game. The Bayesian rocks. keep up the good work, Sam.

  • Mark

    The new power couple!

  • Scott

    like, Spanish Inquisition level unexpected.

  • A New Jersey Farmer

    I hear Jay Z is already working on the breakup song. Rock on, Sam!

  • tex in the city

    YAY, sam! btw – you are keeping me sane. ish.

  • Sophia

    I like that you and Beyonce color coordinated.

  • Ed Wittens Cat

    One of my friends is a total fashionista who works now for a top 10 law firm in Manhattan. She told me last week that she bought an “adorable” plaid pantsuit for work– I had forgotten that until i saw Beyoncé and her backup dancers all rocking HRC style pantsuits. The mostly male commentariat here wouldnt know this, but fashion is a cultural barometer.
    Right after Dr Wang was on Lawrence cut to an AP story abt Melania– she worked as an illegal alien for 10 months. That poor woman– as if being married to that dreadful orange buffoon wasnt enough punishment.
    And who writes her speeches?
    “Cyberbullying is Bad” when ur married to the biggest cyberbully on twitter, a guy that is up at 3AM attacking judges, gold star families, Miss Universes and Jon Stewart?

  • Amitabh Lath

    “Data” scientist? As opposed to innuendo? I had naively assumed all scientists grappled with data in some form.

  • Ron Pitts

    Mate Silver had that happening as a 3% chance, but only 1% that Beyoncé would be in Ohio when it did

  • Olav Grinde

    Post-election, MSNBC will show a new split-screen: Beyoncé will be interviewed about how “pussies grabbed back” and handed Trump a humiliating loss – while Dr Sam Wang is doing an energetic victory-celebration dance!

  • Ron Pitts

    The Upshot had it at a 3% chance of that happening.

  • bks

    I assume Sam is the one wearing a tie that looks like a paternity test?

  • Greg Gross

    “Hmmm. Well, folks, I’ve heard about that Dr. Wang guy. His stats supposedly aren’t fixed. Well, people have been saying, that he and Beyonce, a lefty pop star, have been seen together, just yesterday – after dark – all dressed to the nines! I’ll say it again: Together, folks! And Crooked Hillary’s people say you can trust his numbers!”

  • Scott

    I always associated Beyoncé with Random Drift.

  • Mothi

    Great fan of ur calm demeanor in these times of madness Prof W.

    But …

    your expression (which pbbly had nothing to do with B on the split screen) is priceless !

  • BrianO

    I viewed your mobile app after you finished .

    Now we will always think of you when some one mentions Beyoncé.

    Thank you for all the good work you do.

  • Mike Shultz

    I’m new here. Which is Sam?

  • Bill Hall

    Hi Sam, nice to see you thriving!

  • Dave James

    Not that I am desperate for any scrap of information, but my inner voice was saying,
    “Cool. Sam’s on The Last Word.” when that screen was live.

  • EricJ

    My wife and I were watching and I must have been more focused on you, because I was surprised to hear her say, “How does she do that in those heels?”

    • RobK

      I was multitasking and wondering the same thing as Sam was discussing 72 quadrillion possibilities.

  • Rick

    We do this enough and osmosis will make data nerds sexy! :-)

  • Aaron

    Your next book is “Bey and Me – The Sam Wang Story”

  • Jay Sheckley

    Friend John Sawyer immediately notified me he had a vision of your voice and head with Beyonce’s singing, dancing body. \/\/ () \/\/ .
    Waiting for full footage.
    And this is just the beginning.
    Never quit, Sam.

  • maye

    I always associate you with Beyoncé.