• on a comment on Open Thread over 7 years ago

Cook's projection is merely a range. You act as if it's a 100% certainty it falls withing that range, and therefore 75% of the time we come out ahead.

Talk about bizarre fuzzy math. If someone put actual odds on the number falling between 14 and 17, that range is a significant underdog, not the favorite. You could get at least 3/1 or higher on it landing there. It's like a prop they have every year on the Super Bowl. The over/under might be 47. Then the sportsbooks will put up ranges, like 35-39 and 40-44 and 45-49, etc. Just because the 47 is smack between the 45 and 49 doesn't mean it's the odds-on favorite to land there. It simply means that range will have lower odds than any of the other ranges. It would still be at least 3/1 against. Of course, it could fall higher as well as lower.

If Chris is estimating 90%, which I didn't see but has been quoted in this thread, then he doesn't understand what 90% means, how much of an avalanche you need to stick a 90% number out there. Let's use a football example. A 90% favorite equates to roughly a 16 point favorite, in man-to-man terms. That would be the corresponding money line. Non-bettors always throw out the garbage that a pointspread is merely used to balance action. That is ignorant malarkey. The number has a direct relationship on likelihood of straight-up victory, based on charting thousands of  results going back decades.

Today's great turn of events in Florida moved the market on Tradesports from roughly 42% chance of a Democratic House up to 47%. I think it will inch more in our favor in coming days due to the Woodward book and the overall climate with the GOP on the defensive. But at today's number we would be the equivalent of a 1 point underdog. So, Chris at 90% means he thinks he's so astute at the projection that he can conclude a 1 point underdog should actually be a 16 point favorite. Wow. That's beyond my capability. I always search for minimal advantage and try to grind with value and an edge. I literally know guys here in Las Vegas who would wager their entire net worth and be borrowing from everyone they knew if they truly believed they had an advantage anything close to that neighborhood, 90% instead of 47%.

I think Jerome's +14 and +4 sounds very real-world right now. It's virtually the same place I am.

I agree with some of what lynx wrote but not that this Florida seat isn't in the bag. It's one thing for the GOP to try to win DeLay's seat via write-in, but here it would look sleazy to make a big push when one of your congressmen has just resigned in a situation like that, one which figures to get worse with new revelations in the coming days/weeks.

Florida has a tilted congressional number based on the small red lean of the state, due to idiotic gerrymandering. This pickup gets us closer to where we should be.

Here's the best example of the difference between 47% and 90%. McCaskill is basically 47%. Nelson in Florida is 90%. I don't think we seriously would assert those races are equivalent.

• comment on a post Allen Getting Burned on Both Ends over 7 years ago

On another liberal website someone who went to high school with Allen in Palos Verdes has posted for years that Allen's racism was well known throughout the high school, including spray painting racist graffiti. Supposedly this poster tried to contact Chuck Robb's campaign in 2000 but nothing came of it. Also there are reportedly posts on Classmates.com dating to 2001 dealing with Allen's conduct at that high school.

Today after seeing the woman on Hardball I sent an email including a link to a new post from the other site with the details. Looks like Matthews wants to run with this so it will be interesting if he checks it out.

• comment on a post Comparing 2006 to Recent Elections over 7 years ago

Now that's my kind of bookmaker. He'll give you big plus money on both sides in every race, guaranteeing a profit no matter who wins. I guess he's trying to establish some type of relationship, like Ritter at 3/1 and Beauprez at 10/1 supposed to mean that Ritter has more than 3 times the chance Beauprez does, but he's is so ignorant it's laughable.

Then he's got the killer line in the summary; "Think of it like a betting line, with these being the odds you'd get if you were laying down money today."

Yeah, don't I wish.

• comment on a post Comparing 2006 to Recent Elections over 7 years ago

Look, there is no question we are much better off in 2006 than any recent cycle. The fearful reminders about 2002 (post-9/11) and 2004 (incumbent with his party one term in power) are asinine. We were too optimistic then but now we're in a second term midterm with the prevailing wind.

The dispute is whether we are optimizing our advantage. I say no, because we are ignorantly relying on vote-against instead of giving voters reasons to storm to the polls on our side. That's never going to pay full dividend but we don't seem to understand that, especially the young liberal bloggers.

The GOP won in 2002 because white women shifted to Republicans due to a positive, that the party was better suited to handle national security concerns. We handicapped it wrong, that we have lost solely due to negative campaigning. You can't win to the degree you should until you understand why you lost, and right now we suck in that aspect.

• I remember on DU in 2004 there was the prominent poster named TruthIsAll asserting for months that Kerry's win likelihood was 99.99%. I asked if he legitimately believed that and he shouted yes. But when I asked why he wouldn't take plus money on Kerry winning he said he didn't gamble. Any mathematician who thinks something is 99.99% likelihood yet is petrified to take +140 or higher on the outcome is a pure wimp. Or knowingly lying with his 99.99%.

It's simple to spit out opinions and claim it's nothing but conventional wisdom. I've mentioned ahead of time I took the GOP in the Alaska gov race at roughly 4/1 on Tradesports. That's now trading at 90. I also mentioned I have -120 and -135 on Lieberman on Bodog and provided a link. Last week it went back to -130 and I took some more. On Tradesports he's now more than a 2/1 favorite and on Bodog it's back to -190. Kudos, BTW, to the geniuses on Bodog who bet it down to -130. That was gift money I hadn't counted on.

For every example someone gives of the markets being wrong I can provide dozens when they were correct. Obviously it's a moment in time projection but that's the beauty of it, pouncing when you think the down the road advantage is yours.

There is plenty of conventional wisdom spewed here that has no basis in truth. For example, we keep hearing that New Jersey polls toward the GOP and Republicans were supposed to win or come very close in 2004, etc. Garbage. The odds on Kerry and Gore and Corzine winning their races were always huge, in the 90+ percentage. Now you've got Kean a slight favorite over Menendez yet posters want to compare this race to others. Brilliant.

I can just imagine if the bloggers made the betting odds. HA! What a feast that would be on a daily basis. Anyone with a poll lead would be the favorite. You would have wild shifts in the odds based on one poll or another. You could go to right leaning blogs and the over/under would be a shift of 5 House seats and on liberal sites it would be 23. I'd be taking even money or higher on Republicans maintaining senate control instead of the 17 to 20% on the market sites. Work would be optional within seconds.

It's a useful tool and pretending otherwise is nonsense. Kerry was always the betting underdog in 2004, even when he had the poll lead.

• comment on a post Senate Forecast Update and Open Thread over 7 years ago

A Democrat ahead by 1 point among women is not going to cut it, in that race or virtually anywhere else. I'm not sure if the old comments have prevented him from gaining among women but he needs to figure out something.

How does SurveyUSA consistently find the pro-GOP Hispanics? It's laughable when you look at the crosstabs. In this case it's 12 for Allen and 3 for Webb so the raw numbers are low but when they put them in percentage form it makes it appear that Hispanics are storming toward the Republicans. I've seen that in one SurveyUSA poll after another this year.

There are some good signs for Webb in those crosstabs. I doubt blacks will support Allen by 21%, which is what SurveyUSA is showing. Also, the percentage of liberals and moderates is somewhat low by typical Virginia breakdown, and you've got 5% of liberals supposedly undecided, the highest number.

It also should be pointed out that Tuesday, Webb's best night of polling after the deer head confirmation, is the lowest percentage of the sample, at 29%.

I'll continue to assert negativity against Allen is not going to be enough. Webb needs to convince people to vote for him. He trails by 3% among independents with 6% undecided. In fact, very low undecideds in that race, a bad sign for Webb. In every crosstab I've looked at this year a Democrat is dependent on women and independents and Webb is underperforming in both categories, especially compared to Warner and Kaine in recent Virginia victories.

• comment on a post Update: McCain's Collapse over 7 years ago

McCain has almost zero chance at the GOP nomination. He is loathed by the base of the party. Try posting on some balanced sites or talking to Republicans on a regular basis and that will be clear in a hurry. There was even a poll that demonstrated it a month or so ago, that people who give Bush high favorable numbers think very low of McCain, somnething like a 20 or 30 point gap. There is no way McCain can survive that in a primary season. The base will look elsewhere.

I'm convinced it will be Guiliani. Again, I'll point out the Strategic Vision polls. They ask Republicans their 2008 preference and Guiliani is the overwhelming choice in every state other than Michigan, where McCain leads. Guiliani's edge over McCain is in the 20 point range in many of the states. We will reject Hillary on electability but electability is Guiliani's ace. He puts New York and the northeast in play and his views on the social issues can help him among swing voters.

It's at our peril we assume he will be denied the nomination. Just last night I talked to a far right wing friend who I hadn't seen in 6 months and when we started talking politics he immediately championed Guiliani for 2008.

• comment on a post The Lamont-Lieberman Contest over 7 years ago

The basic problem with that race is the primary has no relationship to the general election. You're not going to get a Lamont wave among independents or Republicans, similar to the final months of the primary. I think there was strange denial in that regard on the progressive sites, not unlike expecting momentum from the end of one football game to carry over to the following week despite a far superior opponent. Lieberman may not have changed but the playing field became vastly more friendly to him.

Lamont is dependent on minor gains in all areas, retaining more Democrats than it now appears, slicing some GOP support from Lieberman along with Schlesinger yanking from Lieberman, and most importantly Lamont has to sway a chunk of the independents.

I think it can be done but there is almost zero margin for error. If a had to put a range of likely outcomes on that race, it would stretch from Lamont winning by 2 to Lieberman by 12. Lamont has to do everything right and get some breaks to have the bell ring while he's in the +1 or +2 area.

Admittedly, until a month before the primary I never thought Lamont could win that one.

• Well, I don't pretend to have followed House districts carefully prior to this cycle. The district by district analysis may look great in our favor. Although I will provide what should be the obvious caution, something that shows up on liberal sites every cycle. You can't look at minimal poll leads and assume victory in every one. It's simple math, that a bunch of 55-45 or 60-40 advantages are inevitably going to produce losses. A 3 point favorite in a football game is roughly 60-40. Everyone knows a 3 point football favorite is vulnerable to a loss but somehow we think a similar theoretical advantage in politics is absolute, and the opposite result is pure theft.

I don't know what is causing the political markets to move toward GOP advantage in retaining the House, but it's foolish to completely dismiss it. The Iowa Futures Market moved as low as 34% today in terms of Democrats taking control, before bouncing to 37. At Tradesports we are now at roughly 43% after being 55% a few weeks ago.

Here are the Tradesports odds on individual House races (Democratic percentage listed first):

• Arizona 8: 80-19
• Colorado 7: 85-15
• Connecticut 2: 59-41
• Connecticut 4: 55-45
• Illinois 8: 75-25
• Indiana 8: 65-35
• Indiana 9: 67-32
• Iowa 1: 92-7
• New Mexico 1: 50-49
• Ohio 6: 75-24
• Ohio 18: 49-50
• Pennsylvania 6: 72-28
• Texas 22: 69-22
• Washington 8: 38-62

• Gov. Richardson,

Thank you for the post and for sponsoring the governors forecast.

I understand the cheerleading theme in highlighting the races we are certain to win, and I don't want to understate the signficance, but I think MyDD readers are more concerned with the races in the balance, namely the endangered midwestern incumbents and Kulongoski. You do mention Granholm and Davis at the end of your updates.

As a Nevadan, my frustration and concern is the apparent lack of prioritization and funding for Dina Titus. She is markedly superior to opponent Jim Gibbons, as demonstrated in the first debate last night. Yet she has been overwhelmed in the media since the August 15 primary, allowing Gibbons to frame the race and extend his lead. IMO, that was horrific handicapping and neglect by the national party in not funding this race, especially since Nevada is a relatively cheap media state as Sara Carter has accurately detailed in her diaries.

I count 10 or less truly competitive gov races and I have no idea why Nevada wasn't prioritized. Anyone who can evaluate Nevada politics realizes Gibbons' lead is no higher than the 4-6 point range, with equal emphasis from both sides. I hope we aren't embracing polls above basic common sense.

Perhaps it's not too late. Helping Titus could have turnout benefit in the senate race along with the Tessa Hafen and Jill Derby congressional races, both potentially vital in retaking the House. Not to mention downballot races like secretary of state with Republican Danny Tarkanian emphasizing Voter IDs should he defeat Ross Miller.

I'd hate to have another competitive loss, like Ohio in the 2000 presidential vote, and realize it might have been winnable with sufficient attention and cash.

• comment on a post Adwatch: Young Virginians Talk to George Allen over 7 years ago

My initial reaction was drop the all-white audience line. Also that there were too many cuts from speaker to speaker. Use maybe half that many. And I completely missed the wink and laugh line, to the point I was stunned to read about it in the comments.

Overall plenty of potential with this ad. I would expand on the California surfer line, maybe including the ages he lived in California. He didn't move to Virginian until age 19, or whatever. I think he attended UCLA for a year after high school then transferred to Virginia.

• http://www.reviewjournal.com/lvrj_home/2 006/Sep-26-Tue-2006/news/9865601.html

I was hoping for better news on that race after the 9-point poll but my sense has always been that Ensign is invulnerable. It should tighten somewhat once Carter goes back on the air. Mason-Dixon has been consistently polling a 20+ point gap while Rasmussen has it much lower. Bizarre.

BTW, Titus clearly dominated Gibbons in the first gov debate tonight, but unfortunately she flubbed the beginning, thanking UNLV students in the audience when the debate was held in Reno at UNR. That drew boos as did her awkward comment once she realized her error. The damn AP report focused heavily on that "gaffe" even though Gibbons bumbled throughout and Titus was clearly on the offensive especially in the second half of the debate. The audience was cheering for her and turned on Gibbons especially when he flippantly tried to use 9/11 as an excuse for his votes to put the nation into heavy debt.

• comment on a post Two Nations Appeared Before An Election over 7 years ago

Sorry, it's not equally probable. I deal in odds every day and have for two decades. I get annoyed when people who have no background in the matter simply guess.

You didn't specify what surpassing the Republican gains of '94 means, but if you're talking in terms of +40 or +50 seats or anything close to that, the odds would literally be hundreds if not thousands to one. The odds of a small Democratic gain, let's say 5 seats or less, would be significantly lower, perhaps 3/1 or slightly less than that. You could only get big odds if you wanted to wager Republicans would gain seats, and huge odds if you started declaring Republicans would gain 10 seats or more.

The base number right now would be roughly +12. The odds would would move slowly in either direction as you move away from the base, particularly upwards. But once you move 10 or more seats away and particularly 20 or 30, the odds change exponentially. I'm talking about true odds. Bookmakers are notorious for ripoff prices especially at high numbers. Teams that should be thousands to one are offered at 200 or 300 to 1 because they oddsmakers know the suckers won't know true odds and jump on the low ripoff numbers. When I worked in sportsbooks and later consulting oddsmakers we used to joke all the time that the Excel math put the true odds at let's say 5000 to 1 but no sense putting up more than 300 to 1 because you'll get plenty of square money at that price. The Chicago Cubs, in particular, are notorious for drawing ridiculous sums of future bet money no matter how absurdly low their odds are set.

If I see odds on a bracket of House or Senate pickup, like Democrats +5 to +9 in the House, for example, I'll post it here. I've seen that previously but the offshore outfit that offered it has changed owners and has not dealt political odds so far this year.

• Meanwhile, why don't we wait until after the results to determine which polling firms were most accurate. That was remarkably absent in 2004. Progressive blogs were assailing certain polling companies throughout the cycle as biased, then when those firms were the ones who nailed the results, somehow that was ignored and I'm still seeing the same claims, that Rasmussen is slanted toward Republicans, etc.

This year I've seen some absurd poll numbers and they haven't come from Strategic Vision. Am I allowed to wager an over/under on the polls giving Klobuchar a 56-32 lead or Blago at 56-26?

And if Strategic Vision is solely concerned with polling D-held senate seats to make them appear more competitive than they are, then what are they doing wasting time in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Florida and New York? That's a majority of the states they are polling on a regular basis. Seems like an overly elaborate and expensive head fake to me. Why wouldn't Strategic Vision abandon a New York or Florida and shift to Maryland in midstream? Probably because they were contracted to poll specific states at the beginning of the year and have merely continued along those lines.

I find Strategic Vision very useful, asking questions no other firm asks. They have Bush's approval numbers very low, including as I've pointed out, lower state-to-state approval percentages on the economy than I've seen anywhere else. If they are slanting or concealing, they aren't doing an effective job of it.

• comment on a post George Allen Losing His Senate Seat over 7 years ago

This is hardly surprising. On DU there are several posters who knew Allen from high school in California. They have detailed several episodes and said other classmates were prepared to come forward if Allen decided to seek higher office. These are college teammates and incidents, but if reporters were aggressive enough they could probably tie it back to the high school friends and acquaintances to demonstrate an unmistakable pattern and mindset. You know damn well Rove would have 10 people on it, digging up everyone Allen ever met.