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Reply #193: You are WAY over-thinking this, PoliSciGuy,... [View All]

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anaxarchos Donating Member (963 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-20-05 12:55 PM
Response to Reply #183
193. You are WAY over-thinking this, PoliSciGuy,...
... and drifting toward comfort, I think. Let's stick to the de facto truce we just established above and see what we get. But, in order to do that, we also have to stick to some basic rules... which we just make up, of course.


1) The game is a game of "Best Fit" but the boundaries are subjective. Someone (maybe Descartes?) once said that "mathematics has a soul but it has no heart" (i.e. "conscience"), meaning any value is acceptable in calculation but not necessarily in life. We use a standard of "plausible", stretch our self-discipline to the max, and see where we end up.

2) The game gets played right here and anyone can play. Despite the "crazy" tone we sometimes adopt, there are close to 65000 experts here on what is "plausible" in politics. A few are truly nuts so we identify them early and make them the board of directors.

3) We keep it really simple, just as you said.

4) No changing assumptions in mid-stream without calling a time-out and saying... "This assumption can no longer be sustained because...". I am speaking specifically about: "Given the extreme partisan polarization of views about Bush, I imagine that turnout among Bush2K and Gore2K voters was fairly similar"(YOU) and "The 43/37 retrospective Bush2K/Gore2K split in the weighted 2004 exit poll seems plausible to me, and I don't think anyone could convince me that clearly it ought to be 40/40, but conceivably I might be convinced that it ought to be somewhere between." (also YOU). No shaving points allowed. This will test whether we can even get started. I'll start. I expect no more than a one to two point differential between returning Gore and Bush voters (I could argue it the other way). Some demographics favor the Republicans (re-registration) but others favor the Dems (Age). ...Let's see if we can even start this game.

5) No controversial applications of controversial interpretations of controversial theories (as in: "I don't know whether anyone ever bothered to work through the implications of false vote recall for retrospective cross tabs"), until simple sources of trace data are exhausted. We are dealing in gross magnitudes here and we have a thousand sources of info. For example, we are starting with the question of whether there was an erosion of the base for Democratic voters in 2004. On this, we have multiple survey questions in the 2004 exit poll (and from previous years) alone, on subjects such as "Were you contacted by the XXX campaign", where NO implication of response error applies.

6) You and I have a standing side agreement that I won't quibble with you about "post-election bandwagon effect"... I'll quibble with Febble (or was it queble with Febble?). If you really, REALLY need it, we will cut a new side deal.

7) I further agree not to comment on your serve until we get to the "double-dare-you" stage.

8) This game is only indirectly about Exit Polls and Polling in general. We are actually trying to reconstruct the election of GW Bush, in a "plausible" way.

9) This game is deadly serious for me, but turning it into a game avoids what is "conceivable" for some, what is "proof", what is "acceptable", and all the rest... the only standards for this game are "reason" and "virtue".

10) First one who says "the real vote count has to be right because it is the real vote count", loses.

Wadda you say?

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