Monday, August 22, 2011

NATE SILVER: PRETTY CHARTS, BUT FAULTY REASONING



NATE SILVER - AT HIS NYTIMES 538 BLOG ARGUES THAT THERE IS ROOM FOR MORE CANDIDATES TO ENTER THE RACE FOR THE GOP NOMINATION TO BE POTUS.



SILVER MAKES PRETTY CHARTS BUT HE IS WRONG.



HE CONFLATES THE SPACE HE MAKES BETWEEN THE PRETTY CIRCLES IN HIS CHARTS WITH AVAILABILITY OF FUNDS AND AVAILABLE VOTERS.





WHAT IF THERE ARE MORE MOTIVATED PRIMARY VOTERS IN THE LOWER RIGHT QUADRANT THAN THE UPPER LEFT?



THEN THE SPACE THERE IN HIS CHART IS WORTHLESS.



WHAT IF THIS IS ALSO TRUE IN THE GENERAL ELECTION?



I DON'T THINK A TAX AND SPEND LIBERAL CAN WIN THE GENERAL ELECTION IN EITHER PARTY. THEY CAN HAVE ALL THAT UPPER OR LOWER LEFT SPACE IN SILVER'S CHART AND IT WON'T DO THEM NO DAMN GOOD.



ANOTHER POINT:



ELECTIONS ARE WON BY CANDIDATES WHO GOTV (HAS MOTIVATED SUPPORTERS) AND NOT BY CANDIDATES WHO HAVE "SUPPORTERS" WHO SUPPORT THEM IDEOLOGICALLY BUT NOT ENTHUSIASTICALLY.



THE SIZE OF SILVER' PRETTY CIRCLES IS BASED ON % OF SUPPRT, NOT ENTHUSIASM OF THE SUPPORT.



BASED ON PERRY'S METEORIC RISE, IT WOULD SEEM TO ME HE HAS THE MOMENTUM AND THE BASE AND THESE ARE MORE IMPORTANT QUALITIES THAN "SPACE".



AND SILVER'S PRETTY CHART ALSO HAS A BIAS TOWRAD THE CENTER.



THE EMPTY CENTER.



AS IF THAT'S WHERE ELECTIONS ARE WON - BY CANDIDATES WHO OCCUPY THE SPACE AT THE CENTER.



MEMO TO SILVER:



THE SWING VOTER - THE INDEPENDENT WHO SEES HIMSELF AS A CENTRIST AND WHO DECIDES LATE IN THE ELECTION CYCLE IS A KEY ELEMENT, MAYBE EVEN A CRUCIAL ELEMENT, BUT HE IS NOT A MAJORITY.



THE UNDECIDED CENTRISTS ARE AN IMPORTANT MINORITY AND - AS HUNTSMAN PROVES - NOT A VIABLE BASE.



IOW: THAT PART OF THE CHART IS NOT A VIABLE PIECE OF REAL ESTATE.



LOOK AT IT THIS WAY:



WHO CARES IF GOV'S JOHNSON AND HUNTSMAN OCCUPY SOME PRETTY CIRCULAR YELLOW REAL ESTATE IN SILVER'S CHART!?



THEY HAVE NO CHANCE OF WINNING THE GOP NOMINATION OR A GENERAL.





DITTO THE OTHER POSSIBLE CANDIDATES SILVER THINKS COULD ENTER AN TAKE UP "UNOCCUPIED SPACE".



AS THE CAMPAIGN'S OF THE GOP CANDIDATES DEVELOP WE WILL SEE THESE CIRCLES GROW AND SHRINK AND MOVE AROUND - EVEN MORPH INTO ODD SHAPES AS THEIR POSITIONS BECOME MORE KNOWN:



FOR EXAMPLE PERRY - WHO SILVER HAD FIRMLY ON TH RIGHT - MIGHT ACTUALLY BE SOFT ON IMMIGRATION AND GLOBAL JIHAD. WHEREAS ROMNEY'S POSITION'S ON THESE ISSUES ARE MORE TO THE RIGHT.



SO SILVER'S POSITIONING OF THESE PRETTY CIRCLES IS ALSO DUBIOUS.



PRETTY DUBIOUS.

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