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Reply #60: "Hell, letís be honest: itís impossible." [View All]

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OnTheOtherHand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 10:37 AM
Response to Reply #58
60. "Hell, letís be honest: itís impossible."
Well, I'll be honest. Your argument here is an unsupported appeal to personal incredulity, of the same sort as creationists' claims that it is "impossible" for eyes to develop through evolutionary processes. (In your second post you add, or revert to, argument by adjective: "massive" defection. Obviously, the more Gore votes there were to begin with, the more "massive" a defection is possible; there really isn't much more one can say about that.)

In real life, we don't have enough information to infer confidently what percentage of Gore voters 'must have' defected to Bush in these 15 counties -- and we certainly don't have enough information to declare any particular percentage "impossible." The existence of four late pre-election polls, each one giving Kerry a lead between 15 and 18 points, is a pretty good indication that Kerry probably didn't win the state by 30-plus points, even if we assume some bias in the LV models. It's mildly interesting to see you screen out that inconvenient evidence, but it isn't very interesting to argue with you about it.

Now letís see you comment in the content of the post; namely the average NY 8.0 wpe for Bush 1 and 2 compared to the 0.6 for Clinton. I am sure all Duers would be interested in your explanation.

I don't think this requires any explanation at all. The WPEs reported by E/M are -11.4 in 2004; -3.3 in 2000; +2.1 in 1996; -4.6 in 1992; -7.2 in 1988. We don't have standard errors for any of these, but we know the Best Geo standard error in 2004 was 3.7. We can infer, of course, that most of these WPEs are statistically indistinguishable from each other, although clearly they aren't all equal. Your retrospective partitioning is a variant of the Texas sharpshooter fallacy. Even if one believes that the exit polls are infallible beyond sampling error, it's wishful to infer that the vote count was more accurate in 2000 than in 1992.

Your observation could at least be interesting if you had answers to my straightforward and pertinent questions in post 52. Do you? I am not at all sure, but I suppose some DUers might be interested in your explanation of how Bush Sr.'s role as vice president empowered him or his minions to alter the lever machine counts, and why this capacity apparently didn't extend to, say, Pennsylvania.

As a bonus, I note that the WPE in Texas in 2000 was -0.4. I will leave it as an exercise for you to deduce my question about that.
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