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Wed Oct 24, 2012, 05:46 PM

Something I am keeping in mind - polls/stats, politics and the 2011 Red Sox. Seriously!

I suspect that each of us who keep an eye on polls do so for various reasons - we like numbers, are fascinated with statistics, hungry for news, anxious about the election - you name it.

But a great lesson I learned about polls and statistics last year. At one point, early in September, the Red Sox were at 99% to make the playoffs. Slam dunk, right? Then they started losing. And losing. And the number dropped. And of course, they completed their famous late season collapse that left them at home watching the other teams fight it out in the playoffs.

I sure was thrilled just before the first debate when Nate Silver, at his 538 site, had our president at well over 90% chance for reelection in his Now-Cast model. then there was the first debate....and despite the rest of the debates, and various news, here we are. Still at a roughly 70% chance to win - but if you watch the polls daily - especially Intrade, which clearly is being manipulated to some degree....well, caveat emptor.

So what's my point? I am trying - TRYING - to not take them as seriously as I did, because a poll is a temperature check with many variables, an aggregate and percentage estimate is the product of statisticians trying to both make sense of the polls, and trying to get it right - so that people will trust them more the next time (which translates to more website hits, etc, not to get too cynical about it all).

The election is not polls (I know, sure, the polls can impact what the MSM says, and those who watch can get either more or less motivated) -but it is boots on the ground, it is voters getting inspired to go and vote. It is we on the left ensuring, if we can, through poll watching and advocacy of whatever sort we can muster, that the eligible voters and vote, and the votes get appropriately counted.

So, yes, I will still go to the various polling sites too much, probably get too agitated. I think Obama will be reelected. I think the election will be closer than it should be but not as close as it looks right now. I hope for the sake of our country, my kids, our sanity here at DU, it works out that way. None of can imagine a Romney presidency - it is too much to imagine, really, and keep sane.

But as I learned last year, anything can happen......and that cuts both ways!

Hang in there, my DU friends. We are nearly done with this. Thankfully! And after the election, there will be much to do, and much to discuss.

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Reply Something I am keeping in mind - polls/stats, politics and the 2011 Red Sox. Seriously! (Original post)
NRaleighLiberal Oct 2012 OP
LVdem Oct 2012 #1

Response to NRaleighLiberal (Original post)

Wed Oct 24, 2012, 08:18 PM

1. The president has a better bullpen...

than the Red Sox had.

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