How Do They Do It?

Know what’s a great job?  Analyzing shit.  You don’t have to be right and if it turns out you’re wrong, no one cares because no one cared what you had to say anyway.

Midterm elections are just nine weeks away and to spice up the drama, a bunch of nerds are telling you how it’s gonna be.

A group of political scientists, gathered for a conference in Washington D.C. this weekend, forecast significant losses for the Democrats. Three of the five forecasts predicted that Republicans will gain majority control of the House of Representatives.

Did they just throw darts on a board?  No, they used sophisticated models;  possibly not unlike the kind you used to get high from after sniffing the glue.

Five political scientists presented the latest results from their forecasting models, some of which have been in development for 30 years or more.

Three of the models, two of which draw on national polls measuring whether voters plan to support the Democrat or Republican candidate in their district, point to Republicans picking up between 49 and 52 seats in the House, more than enough to win majority control.

What did the other 2 models show?

…a Republican gain of 27 to 30 seats

…a Republic gain of just 22 seats

Why a discrepancy of 30 odd seats?

Gary Jacobson of the University of California San Diego, pointed out that the number of previous elections typically used by forecasters (typically between 16 and 32) is “not a very big number,” while a great many “plausible” predictive measures exist. Moreover, the national polling numbers used by the modelers are often “really, really noisy.”

You’d think 30 years was long enough for these people to get their act together.  If you’re basing your predictions on something people in your field call “noisy, ”  why the fuck would you stand up and make a prediction.

Maybe these are the same “experts” who told us that the economy was improving and should be fine within the next year?  Or the same “experts” who said that there was no way big financial institutions would crumble? Or that there were definitely WMDs in Iraq?

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One Response to How Do They Do It?

  1. Kered says:

    Polls are basically bullshit, so their models are based on bullshit!

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