The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler


Posted on | November 5, 2012 | 19 Comments

Volunteers make calls at Americans for Prosperity phone bank in Ohio

We’re at the center of the storm — ground zero of the entire presidential campaign — and you’d think this might provide some special insight into the ultimate outcome of the election. Not so. Ali’s spent the morning pondering the Electoral College map, trying to make his final predictions.

Fortunately for me, I’m a reporter, not an operative, a consultant, an analyst, a pundit or whatever you want to call Nate Silver. What I’d call Nate Silver is an Anglo-Saxon comp0und word with 10 letters. It’s not “psephological godhood,” although I’m grateful to Colby Cosh for teaching me that word.

Making predictions is above my pay-grade, although I’ve occasionally ventured a prophecy based on omens and portents, but there have been no earthquakes in Vanuatu lately, so I have no claim to know the mysterious will of God in this election. Selah.

Eight days into this Ohio road trip, I’m sick of all these experts who issue their pronouncements from the comfort of their living rooms without ever having set foot in a swing state, pundits whose idea of a “road trip” is blogging from their neighborhood Starbucks.

To hell with Nate Silver, and to hell with all the rest of them, these stationary buddhas of political prognostication, journalistic intellectuals who consider mere reporting to be beneath their dignity. You won’t find any graduates of the Kennedy School of Government sleeping on the floors of motel rooms and eating crappy breakfast food from the nearest convenience store. But I digress . . .


In the Information Age, everybody can see the polls, and this has been the most extensively polled presidential race in American history. Yet we arrive at Election Day with the outcome still very much in doubt, thanks to the cleverness of the Romney campaign. It was brilliant how, in the past 10 days, Mitt’s team seized the initiative and “expanded the map,” making plays in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire. With the polls showing Ohio, Florida, Virginia, Iowa and Colorado all within the margin of error, Romney made a bold gamble that clearly confused Obama’s brain trust: Was Mitt really so confident of carrying the key swing states that he felt he had the luxury of pushing for a mandate or, alternatively, was Mitt so worried about the Ohio polls that he was seeking an alternate route to 270 Electoral College votes?

At this point, it’s moot. The upshot is that Romney’s gamble threw the Chicago gang off-stride, forcing them to send Obama and his top surrogates to play defense in states that had been thought safely “blue,” preventing the Democrats from piling everything they had into Ohio. Granted, Romney has had to make visits to defend Florida and Virginia — both of which should be safely in his column on Election Night — but somewhere in the third week of October, looking at the Big Picture, Mitt decided to go big or go home, and this is perhaps the only reason that he’s still in the game on this final Monday.

If he had played it safe, Romney would have lost. As it is, he’s got a chance to win, a chance that’s certainly greater than the 13.7% Nate Silver gives him. And here in Ohio, with the Republican ground game running at Full-Tilt Boogie speed, the two most recent polls — by Rasmussen and the University of Cincinnati — show a dead heat. And here’s the lunatic gibberish I filed from the Double Tree Hotel lobby at midnight:

Tens of thousands of Republicans were jammed into a Friday night rally in the Cincinnati suburb of West Chester, and Ron Sokol leaned over the crowd-control barricade to talk about what he’s witnessed during his door-to-door canvassing expeditions.
“Between now and 2008, I see a world of difference,” Sokol said, explaining how much more enthusiasm there is for GOP nominee Mitt Romney — and how much less for Barack Obama. Sokol also mentioned that Republican get-out-the-vote operations here in Butler County have been bolstered by an influx of volunteers from around the country. “I see people from Tennessee, Texas, Indiana — everywhere.”
Eyewitness accounts like Sokol’s are routinely dismissed by analysts as mere anecdotes and, even though it is proverbial that the plural of “anecdote” is data, such tales don’t count for much among the gurus, soothsayers, and other savants who arrogate to themselves the mantle of political expertise. But why bring up Nate Silver at this late stage of the campaign?
The statistical wizard of the New York Times has gone so far out on a limb with his prediction of an Obama victory that Silver might as well pull a Joe Namath and guarantee it. Late Saturday, he peered into his vaunted “Forecasting Model” and raised the likelihood of the president’s election to 85.1 percent, the one-tenth of a percentage point being the gimmick by which Silver provides his guesstimate with the illusion of scientific precision. Whatever his qualifications as a political analyst, Silver may be the most successful public-relations man since Eddie Bernays. His self-created aura of infallibility has made Silver a vital bulwark of the Obama campaign, which fed him their internal polling data (and signed him to a confidentiality agreement) in 2008 when he was openly advocating the Democrat’s candidacy on his own blog.
These days, as Mike Flynn of says, Silver has become “the patron saint of confirmation bias,” providing statistics that support the liberal True Believer’s faith in the ultimate triumph of Obama. . . .

Read the rest at The American Spectator. There’s a Romney rally this afternoon at the Columbus airport.

We’re going. Please hit the freaking tip jar!




19 Responses to “OHIO: IT’S MITT’S TO WIN”

  1. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    November 5th, 2012 @ 1:19 pm

    Nate Silver is an Anglo-Saxon comp0und word with 10 letters.

    Something involving a bovine?

  2. Lloyd Snauwaert
    November 5th, 2012 @ 1:26 pm

    Colby Cosh has Nate Silver’s number…

  3. jsn2
    November 5th, 2012 @ 1:51 pm

    My guess is a male chicken who vacuums.

  4. jsn2
    November 5th, 2012 @ 1:56 pm

    Romney wins in a landslide. The squeeky wheel gets the grease and more Romney voters are pissed than Obama voters.

    Have your tivo’s ready to record msnbc, cnn and other liberal outlets. Re-playing the exploding heads will be fun to watch for years to come.

  5. Greg
    November 5th, 2012 @ 2:03 pm

    Crap weasel

  6. R.S. McCain: Ohio is Mitt’s to Win. « The Rhetorican
    November 5th, 2012 @ 2:47 pm

    […] R.S. McCain: Ohio is Mitt’s to Win.R.S. McCain: Ohio is Mitt’s to Win. […]

  7. James Knauer
    November 5th, 2012 @ 3:30 pm

    Math hurts. Its really shows.

  8. 1bulwetweft
    November 5th, 2012 @ 3:58 pm

    Same guess – although my term was a “phallus-shaped lollipop”.

  9. Adjoran
    November 5th, 2012 @ 4:15 pm

    Romney is no gambler. His decision to expand the battlefield into these other states with tightening numbers was simple business logic.

    His strategy of ensuring he had at least an equal amount of cash at the end has worked. Obama spent more than his advantage (including PAC$) before the conventions attacking Romney. Romney is flush now at the end. But where to spend it?

    Frankly, there is no more ad time available in OH, FL, VA, or CO. Everything which can be done on the ground in those states is already being done. So Mitt’s choice was to end the campaign with millions in the bank – to save for reelection efforts, or disperse to others if he loses – or to spend it elsewhere.

    And the next-closest states were only the logical place to do that, even if they were only getting close at the end. And in PA & MI, he isn’t fighting months of Obama smear ads – Obama assumed those states were safe and didn’t flood them.

    This is no Hail Mary pass. It’s simple business strategy. It’s also why Romney may be the best-suited person in the country to untangle our fiscal mess.

  10. Adjoran
    November 5th, 2012 @ 4:18 pm

    Math hurts. Its really shows.

    Apparently grammar can be painful, too?

    Ohio: Democratic early voting DOWN 150K+ vs 2008, GOP UP 108K+. Obama margin in 2008: 260,000. Do the math, and suck on it. Hard.

  11. James Knauer
    November 5th, 2012 @ 5:02 pm

    11/5 5pm EST Nate Silver 13.7% chance of a Romney win. He is not alone, not by a mile, and you know it. Of course Silver has nothing to lose as a pure statistician; both “right” and “wrong” results contain valuable information, so his science will continue unabated by these election results.

    In politics, it’s the “wrong” part that frustrates. But the math remains the math.

    Ergo, there remains nothing to suck, particularly where you are concerned.

  12. steveb
    November 5th, 2012 @ 6:21 pm

    Lefty’s newest prop … First Big Bird, now Nate, the “unbiased and completely reliable expert”. Now, why would the “expert” make such a stupid, and easily disproved prediction? Well, communists/progressives/socialists have to contest the election results as illegitimate, so you have to plant “experts” to mislead your idiot voter base into thinking your candidate’s ideas aren’t considered stupid. You simply got cheated by the evil republicans. It wasn’t Obama destroying the economy, destroying healthcare, driving the country into bankruptcy through massive and unsustainable debt, weak, vacillating foreign policy that treats our enemies better than our allies, massive coverups with Fast and Furious, the death of 4 Americans in Libya. No,it can’t be their ideas were smashed, rejected… it’s the racist, evil republicans who cheated them. And Nate is their stage prop to lie to their idiot voter base.

  13. steveb
    November 5th, 2012 @ 6:46 pm

    The myopic lefty death spiral is such a work of art to behold. I am more than ready. I will be watching MSNBC periodically to catch Chrissy wetting himself, I’ll flip over to ABC to witness Snufalufagus squirt a tear.
    I will be closely monitoring Democratic Underground to witness the carnage. DU is without question, my favorite lefty site because you see how truly unhinged, full of hatred and resentment these people are. Some of the most unhappy people on earth reside at DU, and tomorrow will be their most unhappiest day. That is such a piece of cherry cheese cake to witness. When it dawns on them they are getting smoked, and they think they have been cheated, it’s really hilarious as they all try to outdo each other in cursing out republicans. This only comes around once every 4 years, so you won’t want to miss it.

  14. california_red
    November 5th, 2012 @ 11:19 pm

    In a just world Silver would be finished when Romney wins.

  15. Becca Lower
    November 6th, 2012 @ 1:34 am

    When AFP officially tallies its door knocks in SW Ohio sometime tomorrow, I’m hearing that it will reach a figure at or slightly over 30k– that’s from Thurs.-Mon. Try to tell me there isn’t enthusiasm here!

  16. Day Of Decision « The Camp Of The Saints
    November 6th, 2012 @ 10:00 am

    […] -Stacy McCain: …Mitt decided to go big or go home, and this is perhaps the only reason that he’s still in the game on this final Monday. […]

    November 6th, 2012 @ 10:42 am


    November 6th, 2012 @ 7:15 pm


  19. aduignancabrera
    November 28th, 2012 @ 2:11 pm