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I Guess the Polls Weren’t Skewed, Eh?

Our long national nightmare, aka the presidential campaign, is over. Barack Obama has been reelected and not only were the polls not skewed, they actually understated his electoral advantage. I can’t wait to hear what Dennis Dean Chambers has to say. Even after strongly narrowing his prediction down to Romney barely winning with 275 votes, he still wasn’t even close.

He predicted that Romney would win Ohio, Colorado, and Florida. So all that talk from Chambers about how the polling companies were skewing the results, that they were beset by liberal bias and that “leftists” were desperately clinging to Nate Silver to hold on to fading hope — all bullshit, as any rational person knew it was. So what will Chambers say now? Will he admit he was full of shit? Will he claim the election was rigged? Will he claim there was massive voter fraud? I’m dying to hear.

I’m also dying to hear what Dick Morris has to say. And Vox Day. And Michael Barone. And George Will. All of them predicted a landslide for Romney, which was so completely contradicted by the evidence that they would have to be nearly delusional to believe it. As I said, there was always a possibility that Romney would eke out a win, but if you thought he was going to win a landslide with 315+ electoral votes, you were engaging in the most absurd wishful thinking.

It was a very good night for Democrats, not just for Obama, and a bad day for the loony religious right candidates. Todd Akin found out that when you say legitimately stupid and crazy things, women have a way of flushing you out of the Senate (and he’s now out of the House too, so it’s a double victory). Richard Mourdock found out that since everything is God’s will, God apparently didn’t want him in the Senate. Elizabeth Warren won in Massachusetts. Chris Murphy won in Connecticut. All in all, the Democrats have to be giddy.

Oh, and it looks like Allen West lost in Florida. And so did Roscoe Bartlett in Maryland, another one of the total nutballs in the House.

In Michigan, Debbie Stabenow was reelected. I’m not a big Stabenow fan, but the guy she was up against, Pete Hoekstra, would need a promotion to get to be an idiot. And all the referendums went down, which means the emergency manager law is repealed.

Unfortunately, it looks like Roy Moore was elected to his old position as chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court.

I’ll recheck some of the results in the morning to see if any of those likely results had changed overnight.

Comments

  1. Ichthyic says

    don’t forget:

    -Pot is now legal in Washington and Colorado!

    you will be able to buy an ounce of weed from your local pot retailer in colorado starting in january.

    -Marriage Equality has finally been achieved in Maine and Maryland (for the first time in 28 tries).

  2. sawells says

    All together now: the election result clearly over-samples Democratic voters! If the electorate included more Romney voters then he’d have won :)

  3. anubisprime says

    So despite the desperate attempts to rig various voter intentions, despite the cynical unconstitutional ‘laws’ that were struck down by a slightly more reality based judiciary, and above all despite all the pastors, ministers, priests and other woo merchant practitioners swearing black and blue that this was not gods wish and the end times will descend with vengeance if that ‘blackman’ enters the white-house again…America survived to offer a more rational face to the world.

    I offer congratulations to the Democrats..and wish Obama well in what will undoubtedly be a challenge in the next few years.

    And maybe just maybe Rethugs might realize that presenting the loony fringed uber rich ignorant lying flip flopping dullards to vie for a place at the rational table of world politics is not best policy, and because they nearly got away with it this time, does not mean they would be any the more fortunate next time.
    Well one can dream I suppose!

  4. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    anubisprime@5,

    One can certainly hope for a period of serious infighting among Republicans, as they split over whether to move even further into wingnut territory – you just know many of them will be convinced Santorum or Bachman would have won a landslide – or to try and broaden their appeal outside Angry White Men. The first big test will be over the “fiscal cliff”: are there enough of the latter group in the House who will draw back from the kind of deliberate economic sabotage Romney threatened would continue if Obama was re-elected?

  5. says

    My guess is that the “poll skeptics” will continue with the “explanation” they gave for why the polls were supposedly skewed to begin with: to discourage the Republicans. Now they’ll just say it apparently worked. Of course, that doesn’t explain why their own “unskewed” polls were so wrong…

  6. acroyear says

    Oh and there’s still some entertainment to be had. In a very tight race, Bachmann edged out her challenger and held onto her seat along.

  7. Tualha says

    Good news, but let’s keep our perspective. It means another four years of bitching about Obama, instead of screaming about Rmoney. And we all know there’s plenty to bitch about. At least Roe is relatively safe for now.

    I’m stuck with a Tea Party congressman for the next two years, too. Not as bad as the Alabamans have it with Roy Moore, I’ll grant you.

  8. says

    Does all of this mean that the dozen or so sane members of the GOP will say, “Let’s create a 3rd party that will espouse the fiscally conservative values of the Rockefeller Rebumblicans and jettison all of that bullshit about “family” values.” To which the reply would be, “It already exists, it’s called the Democratic Party.”?

  9. D. C. Sessions says

    At least Roe is relatively safe for now.

    And not just Roe.

    It will be exceeding strange if at least one, and more likely two, USSC seats don’t come up in the next four years — and Harry Reid appears to have had it with the Party of No. Pity he’s only seen the light when the House is Red, but at least we can expect some appointments to go through for a change.

  10. tbp1 says

    Not that I’m so in love with Mr. Obama, but Romney was just unthinkable. And nice to see that the Koch brothers’ money actually can’t buy an election, although it came much too close for comfort. Now if the president can just stop trying to make the Republicans like him…

  11. unbound says

    I assume Faux News will be talking about voter fraud for the next several months. Rethuglicans in congress will demand investigations (again). Investigations will reveal that there were spot cases of voter fraud, none of which were remotely significant enough to affect the election (again).

    In other words, just like 2008.

  12. stace says

    Congratulations, Barack Obama, on winning the Presidency again. Now for your reward you get to go deal with those dipshit Republicans in Congress for at least two more years. Good luck, you will need it.

  13. says

    “Rethuglicans in congress will demand investigations (again). Investigations will reveal that there were spot cases of voter fraud,”

    And few, if any, of which will be traced back to anyone but GOP operatives.

    Now, lets see how long it takes the VA AG to consign their own GOP’s election process tampering scandal to the memory hole.

  14. ambulocetacean says

    Phew, but…

    There are so many many insane things about the American political system that really need fixing — and of course will never be fixed.

    In Australia — and, I presume, most comparable countries — we have one federal election commission that organises and oversees federal elections. It is staffed by public servants and operates under federal legislation.

    This means that voting hours and regulations are exactly the same at every polling station in every town in every state. Voting enrolment/registration is only done via the electoral commission. There is zero scope for state governments, political parties or other groups to interfere.

    Oh, and we have our elections on weekends.

    It’s pretty simple stuff, isn’t it?

    The American system is the dumbest thing this side of the House of Lords.

  15. danielkim says

    I am so relieved. I cannot say how grateful I am to the volunteers and voters. Having the superPACs and billionaires running the show was like having a foreign power try to take over the country. It’s only this morning that I can actually articulate the reason this election felt so desperate.

    Still, train up and keep your powder dry. In two years, the Republicans will see their chance to take the Congress. If the “ground game” was hard-won this year, it will be ten times worse in 2014.

  16. MikeMa says

    Allen West indeed seems to have lost his seat. He lost his mind years ago so now he has a matched set.

    I’ll expect his brand of lunacy to fade slowly though. I’m sure they are warming up a seat for him at Faux so we can continue to spit at his crazy.

    Scott DesJarlais, the philandering Doctor, won handily. So the GOP constituency still supports hypocrisy and likely a criminal. I’m sure I read about some rules against seducing your patients.

  17. hunter says

    “. . . they would have to be nearly delusional to believe it.”

    Not “nearly.”

    And we can see how much attention anyone pays to any of them.

  18. rork says

    @21 “There is zero scope for state governments, political parties or other groups to interfere.”
    We like local control cause there is less scope for centralized interference, which we greatly fear. That’s particularly true for police power. It’s possible we overgeneralize in applying the idea to many other issues, I grant.

  19. eric says

    @5: (and @13 and @14)

    And maybe just maybe Rethugs might realize that presenting the loony fringed uber rich ignorant lying flip flopping dullards to vie for a place at the rational table of world politics is not best policy

    I was thinking about this last night and I think its unlikely in the near term. Here’s my reasoning: when the GOP does significantly change its platform, it will likely be on social issues such as women’s rights, immigration, and gay rights. Those are the issues demographically killing them. If/when they do that, the religious right will desert – at least temporarily. They may come back after considering a ‘lesser of two evils’ argument, but for that first ‘new platform’ election, the GOP will likely lose big time. GOP leaders will not want to give up an election where they could make significant gains, so they will strategically hold off on any new platform until they come up to an election where they would stand to lose some anyway. They’ll introduce it when it matters least.

    2016 is a presidential election without a Democratic incumbent. They are absolutely not going to give up their shot at that one. So IMO we will definitely not see any major change until after that race is completed. If another Dem is elected in 2016, the mid-term 2018 election may be the earliest we see a sea change. If a conservative wins in 2016, they would not want to mess with that sitting President’s chances of reelection, and so now we’d be talking 2022 before there would be any significant change in platform.

    All of this ignores for the moment the possibility of some really charismatic moderate republican. Personality counts, so if they can find a candidate who is wildly popular with the right despite being pro-choice or pro-immigration reform or something, they could run such a person earlier.

  20. jnorris says

    Looks to me the 50 million Muslims Pres Obama smuggled into the USA didn’t vote either. What a waste of smuggling resources. but some of them will buy American made Jeeps.

  21. eric says

    @19:

    Now for your reward you get to go deal with those dipshit Republicans in Congress for at least two more years

    Yeah, even staying nonpartisan, here’s what we can look forward to:
    - Four more years of CRs and no actual budget.
    - Gridlock on pretty much any other legislation too.
    - (More) massive pork barrel spending on any bill that does get passed and signed, since political bribery is going to be the only way to get GOP representatives to agree to Obama-sponsored bills.
    - A major fight in the Senate, lasting months, over any pro-choice SCOTUS candidate. Sorry Dems, but 52 + 1 caucusing independent is not enough to stop the GOP from derailing the process.

  22. eric says

    More on topic – if the polls were skewed, it was likely towards the GOP. Obama taking Ohio, Virginia and Florida (are they still counting votes there?) was not something most people would’ve predicted. That’s a significant sweep and probably means Obama’s numbers were underestimated, not overestimated.

  23. says

    @eric in #36:

    probably means Obama’s numbers were underestimated, not overestimated…

    …which is actually exactly what was predicted by the poll analysts. For example, differences between polls that include cellphones and those that don’t suggests there may be a bias favoring the GOP in many polls (see a discussion by Nate Silver here).

  24. says

    “2016 is a presidential election without a Democratic incumbent. They are absolutely not going to give up their shot at that one.”

    It will be rather more difficult for them to rig the next one as the FEMAbamastapo will have placed them all in Re-eduaction/Death Camps.

  25. Chiroptera says

    eric, #36: Obama taking Ohio, Virginia and Florida (are they still counting votes there?) was not something most people would’ve predicted.

    Nate Silver actually predicted that Ohio and Virginia would go Obama with comfortably large probabilities (90% for Ohio, 79% for Virginia). He also predicted the essential tie that is occurring in Florida, giving Obama an almost even chance (50.3%) of taking it.

    These numbers, though, came the day before the election, if I recall correctly; in the weeks before, Ohio was estimated to be a lot less certain, but Silver was still counting it for Obama.

  26. Michael Heath says

    I argued the polls were biased towards Obama by around 2 points in the tight swing states. So I was wrong on New Hampshire, Virginia, and Florida.

    My 2% factor was based on my thinking the polls weren’t factoring a certain degree of racism in non-partisan voters and Republican efforts to suppress the vote in Florida (and Ohio where I correctly picked Ohio for Obama since he was up by more than 2 points).

    I’m not sure I’m wrong since I haven’t had time yet to research what all the factors were that were in play prior to the election, which factors were accurate, and those which were incorrectly ignored. Deen @ 39 writes that the polls still aren’t sufficiently adjusting for not sufficiently capturing voters who rely exclusively on cell phones. I thought they had figured out to make accurate adjustments on that factor; so perhaps I was right where my biases were overwhelmed by the bias of polls towards land-line users.

    If I turn out to be wrong, the corrective action is one I should have already learned by now. That’s to trust the experts when there’s a consensus amongst the non-cranks and that consensus is confidently held. Which has been largely true during this entire election campaign.

  27. says

    Barack Obama has been reelected and not only were the polls not skewed, they actually understated his electoral advantage.

    The polls appeared to be dead spot-on. Nate Sliver and Sam Wang called the election almost perfectly, pending how FL turns out (and both were quite clear that they couldn’t call it). All of the other quant guys did just as well. Wang’s popular vote prediction was correct to the tenth of a point, and Silver’s was off by roughly 0.3. There are still votes to be counted, but that is an impressive degree of accuracy no matter how you look at it.

  28. says

    Dean Chambers has gone into total radio silence apparently. Either that, or he’s busy creating unskewedelections.com, where he explains that if you drop the Democratic votes by 5% and increase the Republican votes by 5%, Romney really won the election.

  29. says

    My 2% factor was based on my thinking the polls weren’t factoring a certain degree of racism in non-partisan voters and Republican efforts to suppress the vote in Florida (and Ohio where I correctly picked Ohio for Obama since he was up by more than 2 points).

    The so-called Bradley Effect appears to no longer be a significant factor. That’s not to say that there aren’t racists who adjust their votes accordingly, but it appears to be adequately captured in the polling data.

    As for voter suppression, while there are still serious issues to work out, I never though it would play much of a role. The Democrats did a good job of fighting back on that and what problems did exist were mostly minor and isolated. A much bigger problem was the long poll lines, which effectively function as a form of poll tax. But the poll lines were a reflection of voter enthusiasm and high turn-out, and if masses of people decided to go home rather than wait, I didn’t heard about it.

  30. says

    Romney boosters among the punditry (Morris, Beck et al) appear to have fallen victim to Wizard’s First Rule.

    (Parenthetically, given how clever humans as a species are, I would change the wording given from ‘stupid’ to ‘irrational’, since the latter is observably true (fundamental attribution error, confirmation bias, heuristic-based thinking, and so on and so forth).)

  31. caseloweraz says

    Scienceavenger wrote: “Jonah Goldberg is begging for a dogpiling. Don’t disappoint.”

    It looks to me like he’s getting one.

  32. zmidponk says

    I’m just wondering how long it’ll be before some of the right-wing loons claim that Obama won due to massive amounts of voter fraud, which, of course, would have been prevented by voter ID laws.

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