The Other McCain

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

Signs and Omens: Obama’s Fading Hope and the Graveyard Whistling Choir

Posted on | October 23, 2012 | 59 Comments

Nate Silver continues to lead the Democrat Graveyard Whistling Choir, raising Obama to a 70.3% likelihood of victory based on . . . what?

I dunno. I’m not an expert with a New York Times column or anything, much less a Magical Forecasting Model™ that can divine future events with the precise scientific exactitude of 1/10 of one percent.

This morning, Silver told us that Ohio might be a crucial battleground, which may be news to a victim who just escaped from an underground rape-dungeon after nine months of being held hostage and tortured by a sociopathic sex offender. But to everyone else, it’s not news at all.

My apologies for the bizarre word-imagery. Debate-night aftermath, a shortage of sleep and other psychological stress sometimes have this effect on my prose. But don’t worry. After 24 debates in 16 months, I’m used to it by now. And speaking of bizarre word-imagery, Ace of Spades:

“It’s going to be a grim affair, grim and horrible and just sad, but there’ll be lots of alcohol.”

That’s in reaction to unmistakable evidence of doom and gloom in Obama’s increasingly desperate fundraising e-mails. The plural of “anecdote” is data, as they say, and you don’t need a Magical Forecasting Model™ to see the dots in this emerging gestalt pattern, including the Gloria Allred “October surprise” gambit. Never heard a peep about this until after Obama got his ass kicked in the first debate, did ya?

Four new national polls — Gallup, Rasmussen, ABC and Monmouth — show Romney leading, compared to one (IBD) that shows Obama leading. If you average those five most recent polls, Romney’s lead is 2.2 points, while the RCP national average (which includes earlier results) has Romney ahead by a more slender 0.9 points.

In other words, while I haven’t yet seen any polling that reflects reaction to Monday’s debate, the trend going into that debate was steadily in Romney’s favor, which in turn would rather tend to contradict any thought that the pro-Obama shift in Nate’s Magical Forecasting Model™ is a function of actual data inputs. There is a growing suspicion that Nate’s just pulling his “data” out of his ass and wishcasting, and if that suspicion should prove true — if it becomes clear Romney is heading toward victory and Silver is forced to scramble his numbers — it might produce the biggest scandal since we learned that Jayson Blair was filing West Virginia datelines from his Brooklyn apartment.

However, I have no definite reason to accuse Nate Silver of deliberate fraud, and it’s entirely plausible that he’s just the victim of his own erroneous faith in statistical modeling. And when Team Obama starts talking about scenarios where they can win without Ohio, maybe you want to add a few extra grains of salt to Nate’s numbers.

The first rule of Losing Ohio Club is you don’t talk about Losing Ohio Club.

Damn, I love that Ewok. But the thing is, to repeat: I dunno. Maybe tomorrow’s numbers will show a shift toward Obama, and maybe Gloria Allred will come up with the “October Surprise,” and all the confidence exuding from the Romney campaign will evaporate. Events cannot be predicted by polls and all we can do (unless we wish to make a claim to Special Expertise) is watch the trend and keep an eye out for the anecdotal evidence that might indicate which way the trend will go in future days. Here’s a possible clue:

My Virginia source couldn’t confirm that Team O has done this, mind you, but I spent three days driving across Virginia last week, and the lifelessness of the Democrat operation was obvious:

And as I pointed out in my column about Monday’s debate:

Romney said — quite accurately — that the U.S. Navy “is smaller now than at any time since 1917,” with fewer ships than the Navy says it needs. To this, Obama replied: “Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military’s changed. We have these things called aircraft carriers, where planes land on them. We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines. And so the question is not a game of Battleship, where we’re counting ships. ”
What in the name of John Paul Jones was this? Did the president sincerely think Romney needed to be told what submarines and aircraft carriers are? Fact-checkers were quick to point out that the Marine Corps still trains with bayonets, but the implication of Obama’s remark — that naval ships are as obsolete as 19th-century horse cavalry and bayonet charges — was certainly not likely to win him many votes in such swing-state Navy towns as Norfolk, Virginia, and Pensacola, Florida.

Virginia and Florida were already trending toward Romney. How many more votes will Obama lose in those states by his idiotic jab at the Navy? For that matter, how many Navy veterans (and bayonet-trained Marine veterans) are there in Ohio? Events, anecdotes, data — the facts accumulate steadily, like the bones of unfortunate victims buried in the backyard of a sociopathic sex-offender.

Damn. There I go again . . .

Halloween’s barely a week away, folks, and I’m thinking there might be ghosts in that graveyard the Democrats are whistling past.



UPDATE: Doug Hagin at Daley Gator doesn’t have a New York Times column, and neither do Bill Quick at Daily Pundit or Karen the Lonely Conservative. Little wonder, then, that these non-experts don’t have the Mystic Insight of the Grand Swami, Nate Silver.

Meanwhile, Donald Douglas at American Power sees the bones piling up in Ohio, and while Glenn Reynolds is merely a Yale-trained law professor — and thus, not an expert like the Grand Swami — they have consented to give the professor a column in USA Today that might be worth reading.



59 Responses to “Signs and Omens: Obama’s Fading Hope and the Graveyard Whistling Choir”

  1. Daniel Swensen
    October 27th, 2012 @ 11:51 am

    No statistical model can beat the ironclad credibility of driving across Virginia!

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    October 30th, 2012 @ 2:30 pm

    […] 25: Polls Continue to Show Trend Toward Romney — Nate Silver NotwithstandingOct. 23: Signs and Omens: Obama’s Fading Hope and the Graveyard Whistling ChoirOct. 22: The Democrat Graveyard Whistling Choir Ignores ‘Preference Cascade’ ScenarioOct. 20: My […]

  4. mnny
    November 6th, 2012 @ 11:18 pm

    Yeah, Obama really doesn’t have a chance. Nate Silver doesn’t know what he’s doing. You all live in a little Fox world bubble. Thanks goodness the rest of this great country sees through the Fox and Breibart bull crap.

  5. Joe Smooze
    November 7th, 2012 @ 2:41 am

    Well…..Looks like Nate Silver was absolutely correct.

  6. ysosrs
    November 7th, 2012 @ 3:20 am

    You people can keep your gut thinking. I will stick with math and science

  7. Jack Hanlon
    November 7th, 2012 @ 9:37 am

    Nate successfully predicted 50 out of 50 states, within a percentage point in each state. How does that taste? “Scary math” wins another round against blind conjecture–what a shock.

  8. William A. Staffen
    November 7th, 2012 @ 11:54 am


  9. tyler
    November 7th, 2012 @ 12:54 pm