That continually astonishes me, the lack of emphasis on gov races. I'm not sure anyone picked a gov race and no one was mentioned, other than Dina Titus as a secondary point earlier in this thread.
I would have given the million to Titus. For purely selfish reasons. That's my state and her opponent Jim Gibbons is a colossal buffoon with no specifics and no clue. He's only running for governor since he was so obscure and lowly in the House the Republicans wouldn't give him committee positions that he cherished. The current Republican governor Kenny Guinn wants nothing to do with Gibbons and in fact won't mention him by name.
Titus was stuck for cash coming out of the August 15 primary so a million at that point could have kept the race within striking distance. Instead, Gibbons has pounded her virtually unchallenged for a month and now it's severely uphill.
The gains will not be what they should be because our platform is not clear, we have spent too much time emphasizing negativity, and not nearly enough focus on the economy specifically in terms of getting out the vote of young women who priorotize economy/jobs.
You can't look at the bottom line and assume we did wonderful just because we picked up seats and maybe took control. The question is maximizing opportunity. It's like Tiger Woods constantly tinkering with his swing and changing equipment to reach the next level. He doesn't assume since's he's on top and has been there since '97 that everything is great and he doesn't need to alter anything.
Our party is relying on anti-GOP and this year that happens to be working out, due to remarkable sustained implosions. But let's not kid ourselves that it is any type of foundation. We'll be here two years from now with a Republican nominee who doesn't have a 40% approval rating, and then what? We're stuck. I'm continually amazed at how incompetent the handicapping is.
Ask Chuck Todd now if he thinks there's no difference between netting three Senate seats and netting six or seven. It's one thing to write that when it's a generic thought, quite another when the playing field and state of the races is clear.
Let me point out I'm as big a Chuck Todd fan as anyone. He was the analyst who consistently pointed out in '04 that white women would decide the election, something that is still not accepted or properly examined on progressive blogs.
I agree with the premise that seats tend to shift in one direction or another. It's one of the reasons it's difficult to assign a percentage to senate takeover by looking at odds on the individual races. Much more precise than the House in that regard, but you have to take into account a wave possibility and not solely the individual odds of races. Actually, if you did it seat to seat the Democrats would have far less than the 17-20% that the markets are allowing. Because some of the seats we are assuming are hardly 100%, like Ohio. I'm scared as hell about that race. Not Diebold, but that Brown is too liberal for the state. I think DeWine will win the undecideds as the persistent underdog throughout the past few months.
Mostly, I will be stunned if McCaskill wins. That's what prevents me fropm thinking we have a great chance at senate takeover. She lost statewide for governor in '04 and I have a very difficult time belieiving that will reverse two years later in a state that is moving red due to increased turnout in the rural areas. Talent does not have the negative net approval rating of some of the other endangered GOP incumbents.
First of all, what 8 point change? You are taking the most unfavorable Menendez poll then the most favorable one and using 8 points as a supposed switch in the race. How much am I allowed to wager the race has not changed 8 points, let alone via garbage like unconfusing junior with dad? That is something posters have desperately clung to as a rationale why Menendez is not faring much better in the polls. IMO it's laughable. I believe the aspect that voters assume junior is more moderate like his dad, but not that they don't know who is running.
Here's a question, let's say the next poll moves 3 points in Kean's favor. Are we supposed to conclude at that point that 3% suddenly have forgotten the new info, and again believe Kean is his dad?
I'm moderately optimistic also, mostly because Menendez should take advantage of the debates and his cash advantage in a blue state. But that name-confused stuff is ridiculous.
Excellent idea but they didn't provide a memorable standout line(s). In that situation you can basically make up anything you want, so think it through and don't merely slap out the first string of sentences that sound decent. The best professor I had in journalism school used to emphasize every day, "every word is important." I'm sure that's what he would be screaming after watching that ad.
RedMan is correct, humor is priceless but IMO neither side utilizes it even 5% as much as they should. A great comedy writer could have made this commercial truly memorable and effective, but as is I think it's an A idea with C execution.
Other than picking up the House seat, I almost wish the Foley scandal never happened. Or happened three weeks from now. The Woodward book is 50 times more significant with national implication in terms of November yet we're burying it with "oh by the way" diaries here and there. Meanwhile, you get flooded with Foley threads and diaries on every site to the point I'm shaking my head in disbelief.
I'm a handicapper and I'll state flat out we are overplaying the Foley story. I'm amazed that isn't obvious. It has many of the same characteristics of the culture of corruption angle, the one I thought we figured out was idiotic unless it applies to a specific target. Similarly, there is no way the voters are going to conclude the GOP as a whole is a group of pedophiles or pedophile-concealers. Even if we think it attaches to someone else by way of coverup the voters are not going to accept that or put as much emphasis on it as we believe. Foley was the wrongdoer and he's gone. That's how the voters will view that story. If we want to believe otherwise our analytical ability is even more inept than I've always asserted.
I hope and trust the networks are superior handicappers to progressive blogs. And that we get a flood of Bob Woodward this week. This is huge news, hiding vital info from the 9/11 commission. Remember, Condi Rice was scheduled to give a major speech on 9/11 in which Bin Laden and Al Qaeda were not in the prepared text. Now here we've got evidence the head of the CIA was trying to '"shake Rice" into persuading the president to respond to dire intelligence warnings that summer about a terrorist strike." That is devastating, two months before the attack, and the entire book puts the GOP on the defensive throughout the rest of this election cycle if we play it correctly.
You win when you get unusually high turnout. That's what the GOP received in '94 and '02. So the question is not if we can desperately hope the other side doesn't show up, but whether we have motivated our voters to storm the polls in similar 36+ million numbers that the Republicans got in those midterms.
I'm hopeful but not convinced, not when the message is much more anti-GOP than for our candidates and messaging. No one will ever convince me that is the proper strategy or pays full dividend.
You can look at it another way also. Since Rove has been completely in charge beginning in '02 the Republicans got surreal turnout in a first term midterm in '02 (compare to our '94), then swamped all turnout expectation in '04. I think it's extremely dangerous to assume the other side will hand us a glorified forfeit.
I've read many similar threads on various sites and the same thing always strikes me, an aspect no one ever seems to mention. It's extremely rare to win big when you are in the early stages of a building process. In fact, it's almost a contradiction. I hope we realize that if our gains in November aren't what we expect. Throughout this thread there are matter-of-fact mentions that it took the Republicans 30 years to build from the ground up, etc, or that we won't begin to see benefit from some of the new emphasis until 2008 at the earliest, etc.
Again, I'll default to my sports background since that's what I do every day at work with the sports statistics. Teams almost never win big when they are early in a building process. It's an exciting time but inevitably a more established team will snuff out hopes late in the season or in the playoffs. Maybe that doesn't translate perfectly to politics but I have a feeling it does somewhat, and we'll lose a few of the critical races we now expect to win. I hope it's correctly attributed to early in the foundation process and not Diebold or similar.
I neglected to mention that in my previous comments but it's important.
It's hardly a surprise that the senate odds have basically remained stagnant all year, with Democratic takeover in the 17-20% range. Those odds are a simple matter of looking at the odds on individual races and calculating the chances of Democrats netting +6. Since there are only 8 or 9 races with somewhat competitive odds it's very similar to figuring out a series price on a postseason matchup, like next week when the Yankees play the Tigers, or whoever.
Those sporting odds aren't guesswork. The sportsbooks project pitching matchups and what the game odds will be and compute the series price based on those numbers. It's the same process in NBA and NHL series prices. Years ago you had ignorant sportsbook managers, notably at the MGM late '90s, who would guess at the prices instead of figuring them out mathematically. I could go on for hours detailing the gaffes they made.
The House is much more of a national impression, not a seat-by-seat examination. Therefore much more vulnerable to sways and I'm sure that will continue. The speculators have concluded there are so many seats in play and the number 15 is a vague target since the polls are lesser in number and probably less precise than senate races. That's why you have greater variance of opinion. Chris is embracing a race-by-race analysis with great faith in individual polls and particularly the generic advantage, if I am reading him correctly. That may be the more accurate frame of reference in this case, but it's not the consensus and therefore the dispute.
It's not completely unlike predicting an NFL season ahead of time. I would simply guess that favorites will cover 50% and take my chances. Someone using Chris' approach would look game-by-game months in advance and probably come up with a number at least 10% higher or lower depending on the year and the subjective viewpoints. There's a hell of a lot more satisfaction that way when you're right, but I would caution it's likely to fall below the other approach more often than not.
I'm sure somewhere right now there's a righty blog with a host embracing favorable empressions of individual races and insisting the Republicans will lose no more than 5 or 6 seats, while the market-minded posters are telling him he's drifting dangerously from probability.
One sportsbook tried to get cute in the early '90s. It was called Sport of Kings, located across from the Las Vegas Hilton on the current site of a nightclub called The Beach.
They brought in a sharp sportsbook manager and tried to pretend they could get away with fixed odds. In other words, they set the number on sports and horses and arrogantly took the action, confident in their number and not moving it.
Well, let's just say it was a paradise. Bettors left alone the numbers that were accurate and relentlessly pounced on the mistakes. Sport of Kings slowly cut their limits, then went out of business. It was open less than a year and has served as a laughing stock ever since then, for local gamblers on how the knowledge of many will destroy the knowledge of one or a few, no matter how astute.
Very astute comments in this thread. What exactly is demonstrated in Chris's long rant, that a 52% likelihood or a 70% likelihood can produce the opposite result? OH MY GOD!! I need to open the window and absorb that. Next thing you know he'll be telling me a 1 point favorite and a 7 point favorite in football have been known to lose, even in the biggest games. Seems like my alma mater USC forgot to win as a 7 point choice, which is roughly 70%, in the Rose Bowl last year.
I have been wagering on politics since '96, the year I entered a 16-man wagering pool. In those days it was so simple it was a farce. There was no such thing as the markets or Tradesports and all I did was basic analysis, an early version of the Partisan Index and some sampling of how undecideds figured to break. None of my competitors had any comprehension of true odds and I walloped them in '96 and '98.
It got a helluva lot more difficult in 2000. Simply due to the explosion of the internet and the more accurate odds all over the place. As commenters before me in this thread have already emphasized, it all boils down to properly understanding odds and therefore likelihood. Chris focuses on a handful of events, while the correct attitude is to form a proper understanding of percentage over a massive sample. As a newcomer to Las Vegas I pretended I didn't need to know that in regard to sports. I remember one example, where I loved Ivan Lendl to defeat Boris Becker in the US Open. But the odds were much higher than I anticipated. One of the sharpest guys in town asked if I was still going to wager on Lendl. "Of course," I said arrogantly, "he's going to win, so what do I care what the odds are?" He laughed, and correctly so. Lendl lost but that's beside the point. I was ignorant of basic probability and therefore I had no chance in the long run. Very shortly thereafter, I did. It is all the difference. You take the best of it by a few percent as often as possible and it's remarkable how the the results and the luck spill in your favor.
Same thing in politics. No way Chris would be using 90% in regard to the House takeover if he had knowledge of true probability. There is nothing in his analysis or current form that even threatens 90%. It is a guess, and a very poor one. The result doesn't matter and I don't think Chris realizes that. Even if Democrats gain 25 seats, saying they have a 90% probability of taking the House is rank foolishness.
As lynx correctly points out, the cumulative knowledge of everyone in the market will inevitably trump one man's opinion in the long run, no matter who it is. That's why any huge sample of pointspread results hits almost exactly 50/50, in terms of how many favorites and how many underdogs cover. You will have individual favorites lose by 50 or win by 50, and one year the tilt might be 58-42 one way or the other, but drag it out long enough and it hits almost exactly 50/50. That demonstrates the basic odds are correct, and it will play out in politics also.
Playing the markets will indeed cause you to lose money, if you think a 50/50 scenario is 90/10.
It comes with a built-in slogan, State of Denial. That more than overwhelms cut and run and makes up for the Democratic leaderships complete inability to put anything into the national vocabulary.
If we don't abuse State of Denial in commercials and at every opportunity we're stone nuts. It has national implication, unlike Allen or Foley.
We can combine State of Denial quotes with the clips of Bush from the press conderence, irritated that the NIE assessment was supposedly leaked for political gain. Then ask with a devastating voice-over, "Were President Bush and the Republicans concealing the truth and intentionally misleading us for nothing but political gain, while Americans die in Iraq and Afghanistan?" Bush's mug was even more unappealing than typical in that political gain clip, and I'd make damn sure it was frozen on the screen for impact.
Obviously very good news but Webb still won't win this unless he gets his favorables up. Notice from that link that 64% to 35% say their vote will be "for candidate" as opposed to "against candidate." I've been stressing that for years but liberal blogs don't seem to get it. Voters would much prefer to vote for a person or an ideology than against, but our emphasis continues to be on the negatives.
It literally cracks me up when we expect Webb to zoom into the lead simply because of negatives against Allen, a known quantity. Notice that Allen still has a plus approval rating of 41-32 despite all the revelations. For Webb to win he's got a find a way to become more well known, and favorably viewed. That 41% neutral opinion of Webb is not going to win an election.
No doubt the old comments regarding women are acting as a hindrance. Webb blew it on MTP by not denouncing them and he needs some warm and fuzzy commercials with an emphasis on the womens vote to widen the gender gap and pull this race out. If he continues to hammer Allen and not take care of his own vulnerabilities and favorables this will be a close loss.
It's another example of needing outstanding candidates to win, not neutral candidates who require the other guy to implode. I'm not saying it's easy but we need to find them. Far too often it's like we're expecting .500 teams to win a championship based on incompetence from the other team.
If the most respected doctor in the country evaluates my health and family history and predicts I'll live to 85-100, does that mean it's 100% certain I reach at least 85? I'll take it, but I'm not foolish enough to believe it.
Even Rothenberg wouldn't say it's 100% the Democrats gain 15 or more, just because that's the low end of his range. It means he thinks 17.5 is the expectation, the 50% level, then you drift upward or downward percentagewise from there. Near the number it doesn't change radically. At 15 the magic number, I would estimate Rothenberg, if he knew what he was doing mathematically, would move the number about 10%. Therefore, his 15-20 would be about a 60% chance to gain at least 15.
So he's about 13% more optimistic than the markets, which is reasonable. The 90-99.99% estimates are the ones that are clearly out of whack. Lynx is correct about that.