Wednesday, November 7, 2012

"2012 was the First Moneyball Election"

So concludes John Sides (GW Political Science) at The Monkey Cage.  John writes:

Barack Obama’s victory tonight is also a victory for the Moneyball approach to politics.  It shows us that we can use systematic data—economic data, polling data—to separate momentum from no-mentum, to dispense with the gaseous emanations of pundits’ “guts,” and ultimately to forecast the winner.  The means and methods of political science, social science, and statistics, including polls, are not perfect, and Nate Silver is not our “algorithmic overlord” (a point I don’t think he would disagree with).

But 2012 has showed how useful and necessary these tools are for understanding how politics and elections work. ...

And a fitting comic courtesy of xkcd:

Electionmath

[posted by Bill Henderson]

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/legalwhiteboard/2012/11/2012-was-the-first-moneyball-election.html

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Comments

The forecasting is only as good as the input. The disagreement was over the accuracy of the state polls. It turned out that D+6 or D+8 better reflected the turnout than D+3. However, that was a judgment call and not the result of mathematics.

Posted by: Rick Caird | Nov 10, 2012 8:48:51 AM

Oh, joy. IOW, he's saying the pundits will be replaced by the number cruncher. He makes it sound like this is a good thing. Farther we move from ideas to numbers or 'guts', the worse the health of politics.

Posted by: David | Nov 10, 2012 5:06:20 PM

"The forecasting is only as good as the input. The disagreement was over the accuracy of the state polls. It turned out that D+6 or D+8 better reflected the turnout than D+3. However, that was a judgment call and not the result of mathematics."

No, the polls were far closer to the correct result than the pundits. And the pundits' 'judgement' proved to be worse.

Posted by: Barry | Aug 19, 2013 12:22:54 PM

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