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Comment from: mycue23 [Visitor]
Burr,
Thanks you so much for giving me a shout out. I can't say that I'm back, but I just felt the need to say something. You keep doing that voodoo that you do so well!
11/10/12 @ 08:46
Comment from: james wigderson [Visitor] · http://www.wigderson.com
Two basic flaws in Sanchez's reading of why conservative pundits criticized Nate Silver's model.

The first one, seems to me, is an obvious point, or at least should be. The role of any writer should not be as a cheerleader for a particular partisan cause. Instead, the writer's responsibility is to describe what the writer sees. If I see a particular candidate is going to lose, I cannot turn to my audience and say otherwise. Then I move from being a writer to a propagandist.

For example, no inducement was possible, save for an extended stay in Orwell's room 101, for me to say Chad Lee was capable of defeating Mark Pocan for Congress in the Madison area.

(I did have lunch with a local liberal blogger who regularly casts races as the local Democratic David ready to slay the GOP Goliath. I asked her if she's writing as a writer or as a Democrat. She told me she was writing as a Democrat, which told me all I needed to know.)

If Sanchez truly believes that writers have an obligation to engage in such cheerleading, and if this is in any way typical of liberal punditry (I hope not), then honest debate is impossible.

The other assumption is that criticism of Silver's model and the polls could only be the result of self-interest (or group-interest) and not the result of an honest disagreement in the underlying assumptions and the possible failures of modern polling. Twenty years of political observation led me to believe that the underlying fundamentals of the economy, as Michael Barone put it, would lead to a failed re-election attempt. What we missed is the underlying fundamental that a significant percentage of those who thought the economy was the number one issue still blamed President Bush. Had more attention been paid to that factor, Romney might had had a concession speech prepared.
11/10/12 @ 09:12
Comment from: JMyste [Visitor]
Mr. Wigderson,

Are you prepared to admit then that Silver's predictions were purely mathematical or are you going to call this the world's greatest coincidence (again)?

11/10/12 @ 10:11
Comment from: JMyste [Visitor]
Mr. Deming,

Don't feel bad about not taking a firm stand on the election outcome. I did not either. In my case, as I suspect was the case in yours, it was not a lack of courage that motivated me, but the lack of a crystal ball. My mom has one I could have borrowed, but she worries that it is inhabited with demons. I worry that I would drop it and unwittingly become the antichrist.
11/10/12 @ 12:45
Comment from: james wigderson [Visitor] · http://www.wigderson.com
I think someone would be hard pressed to find any instance where I said the successes of Silver's model was a coincidence (world's greatest or otherwise). So "again" would be a real trick.
11/10/12 @ 22:19
Comment from: T. Paine [Visitor] · http://savingcommonsense.blogspot.com
Dropping your mother's crystal ball would not result in such dire consequences for you, Mr. Myste. After all, it is plainly obvious that Obama is the anti-Christ. :)
11/12/12 @ 11:12

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