Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Romney in Ohio

Romney's team is replaying the tricks that Karl Rove wore out several times, a false sense of guaranteed victory.  From saying in 2006 that Republicans would control the Senate and the House right before they lost both, to the current claim of momentum, it's smoke and burnt toast.

In Ohio, polls show Obama ahead, and way ahead in the locked in, early vote:
On one hand, the two candidates are locked in a dead heat among Ohioans who have not yet voted but who say they intend to, with 45% of respondents supporting the President and 45% preferring his Republican challenger. 
But Obama has clearly received a boost from Ohio’s early voting period, which began on Oct. 2 and runs through November 5. Among respondents who say they have already voted, Obama holds a two-to-one lead over Romney, 60% to 30%. 
When those two groups are combined, the TIME poll reveals, Obama leads by five points overall in Ohio. 
“At least for the early vote, the Obama ground game seems to be working,” says Mark Schulman, president of Abt SRBI, which conducted the poll. 
Nearly one third of all Ohioans voted early in 2008.
(Emphasis added.)  Romney's losing ground with every day.  If he doesn't pick up three or four points or even more starting now, not just on Election Day, then he loses Ohio (assuming the poll's right, of course).  Nate Silver says the candidate who wins Ohio wins the election in 95% of his simulations.  If Romney loses Ohio, he then needs to win Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Colorado, and Virginia.

Keep talking up that momentum Mitt, but you're losing the race as long as the Democrats do a good ground game on turnout, or someone springs an October surprise.

UPDATE:  I forgot to add the obvious that Ohio is car-manufacturing oriented, and the less-obvious that it's 82% dependent on coal.  This might help explain, although not excuse, Obama's climate silence.


John said...

Romney went to Reno NV today (Wednesday 10/24). Guess who wasn't there in Reno today? Republican Governor Brian Sandoval, who found a reason to be in Canada. Who was in Reno? Pete Arnault, Sandoval strategist and confidante, who gave an interview to the media saying that Obama would likely win Nevada.

The Democrats have built up a pretty big registration edge in Nevada. Yesterday, at a Obama rally at UNLV, actress Eva Longoria (famous for playing Desperate Housewife Gabrielle Solis) urged UNLV students to support Obama.
By the way, Longoria is divorced from NBA player Tony Parker, and just broke up with Jets QB Mark Sanchez.

Students, I hope you are paying attention to this celebrity gossip because it will be on the exam!

TheTracker said...

Campaign offices in Ohio:

Romney: 40
Obama: 131

. . . and exhale.

Jack Ripper said...

Willard Mitt Romney is his real name.

Wikipedia says so..

John said...

Control of the 2012 voting process in Ohio:
the GOP

2008 Dem
2004 GOP
2000 GOP

John Puma

Russell said...

Holy idolaia, Eli !

What will Roy Spencer do when he discovers Mormon archaeologists have found The Toaster Of The Covenant ?

a_ray_in_dilbert_space said...

John, I wish I could be so sanguine. I don't trust the polls--primarily because about half the electorate (Republicans) lies.

Everyone needs to get the f*** out there and vote. I do mean everyone, or we'll have a President who believes in holy underwear and that tribes of Israel emigrated to the US in pre-Columbian times.

"If they can make you believe absurdities, they can make you commit attrocities"--Voltaire

Anonymous said...

"The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money."

Anonymous said...

That's Tocqueville, of course.

Anonymous said...

Nate Silver


John said...

What did Tocqueville have to say about corporations buying Congress, and state legislatures, with the public's money?

John Puma

Anonymous said...

Not sure where corporations figure in this.

We know the problem is entitlements.

But we also know the last two presidents, one R, one D, have added major entitlements.

Guess we're doomed.


EliRabett said...

Yes, but the D made sure there was funding to pay for his:)

cynthia said...

Obama serves many useful purposes for the elites. He attracts hatred from male whites (and female whites) which spurs them to greater racism, which, in turn, causes greater divisiveness in middle-class society.

He keeps middle-class blacks and other middle-class people of color quieter while the elites strip them of what modest wealth they have managed to accumulate.

He has done the bidding of Wall Street and the Pentagon to a tee.

He is able to accomplish awful things (such as continuing the Patriot Act and Bush's torture program, enacting Section 1021 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), launching drone attacks on all sorts of innocent brown people, conducting vicious attacks on whistleblowers etc etc) that a Republican would be hard pressed to accomplish. If Obama were a Republican, the Left would take up arms against him for these blatant acts of fascism. Instead, they give Obama a pass just because he is a Democrat, and especially because he is a minority.

I think from a DESIRED RESULTS perspective, Obama is the guy for TPTB.

Now folks, just let me be clear
You really have nothing to fear
I've heard all the groans
About building those drones
What's that? I can no longer hear!

The Limerick King

Anonymous said...

"Yes, but the D made sure there was funding to pay for his:)"

If by funding you mean ten years of taxes for six years of service and pretending we'll 'save' $700 billion from Medicare to spend on another entitlement, then you are correct.

Otherwise, you may be deluded.

Sargent Pepper.

EliRabett said...

As opposed to no years of funding for part D, that is indeed progress, and, of course we have eight years to fully fund.

Brian said...

Agamemnon, review your chart and you'll see the main problem is interest on debt, not entitlements.

Thank the Rs for more wars, more defense spending, and more tax cuts, and more of the above if Romney's elected.

Anonymous said...

"As opposed to no years of funding for part D, that is indeed progress, and, of course we have eight years to fully fund."

Both are adding to the deficit and are the problem.

But really it's we the sheeple that tolerate or demand it even though we'll be Greece because of it.

Anonymous said...

"Agamemnon, review your chart and you'll see the main problem is interest on debt, not entitlements. "

Right. Stop paying interest and see what happens.

But you're not looking very closely.

The MAXimum we ( US federal government ) ever taxed was 21% of GDP ( during WWII, with really high rates at ALL income levels ). The average, as depicted on the chart, is about 18% of GDP. Entitlement and discretionary spending will reach 37% of GDP within a generation.

Now, some nations do tax a higher level. But there are two big problems with counting on that:

1. State and local taxation is facing a huge burden with retirement plans ( like Eli's and mine ).

2. Greece thought they could just get more revenue also, but the higher the rates go, the larger the motivation and the propensity to avoid taxes.

Most of the failing Euros are not choosing 'austerity' but rather, the bind markets are imposing austerity because they have exceeded their ability to pay.

Stay off the streets when the riots start.

Hanover Fist.

Anonymous said...

Yes, but the D made sure there was funding to pay for his:)

Yep about $10 trillion from China and counting.

Anonymous said...

"Agamemnon, review your chart and you'll see the main problem is interest on debt, not entitlements."

Thank Obama and Democrats for adding almost $6 trillion to the debt in just 4 years. I wonder if that increased the interest payment? Hmmm.

Wait I know, Obama has proposed two budgets to Congress (two more than the Democrat Senate has, but that is another story). And every Democrat voted for the President's budget proposals.

Wait...! What? You don't say.

Sorry I mis-typed. Obama's budget proposals have gained ZERO votes in Congress. Not a single one. And we are supposed to take Obama seriously?

Brian stay to local water issues like counting frogs or something you are just too darn ignorant and out of your depth with national policy and politics.

It is embarrassing.

cynthia said...

This horror show ticket looks steady
It's GOP Herman and Eddie
These Munsters are scary
But no match for Barry
They've lost the election already

The Limerick King

EliRabett said...

Right now the rates on 10 20 and 30 year T bills are 1.86% 2.60% 2.98%. That is less than inflation. Now is an excellent time for the US to borrow almost without limit.

J Bowers said...

Looks like nature might heavily influence the vote.

J Bowers said...

Hurricane Sandy Aims For East Coast As a ‘Frankenstorm’

dhogaza said...

OT but Rabett Run is under attack by a spambot, caroline leon, caleb, etc all link to ads.

ligne said...

...and are all merely reposting comments from further up the same thread.

EliRabett said...

Eli is trying, but you don't want the captcha, you gotta put up with some spam. Right now it's running a couple of hundred a day which the team can handle.

Anonymous said...

"Right now the rates on 10 20 and 30 year T bills are 1.86% 2.60% 2.98%. That is less than inflation. Now is an excellent time for the US to borrow almost without limit."

I'm pretty sure that's how the Greeks felt before rates started rising.

The issue is not so much the current situation but the fact that Boomers have started to retire proportionately fewer Xs, Ys, and millenials are taxable to pay the bills.

Further, through out the postwar boom, employed percentage of population was rising. Now, we don't have have to rely only productivity gains, it means maximum GDP growth will be lower ~ 2% ( the 'new normal' ).

Increased cost, reduced revenue.

Bad juju.


Anonymous said...

Snow Bunny says --

Back to the topic (forgive me), but I find it curious that the early voting is going 2:1 for Obama. Can't think of an obvious reason why O's supporters vote earlier than R's. Of course if they do, that subtracts O's votes from the remaining pool. Question is, how did early voting trend in 2008?

EliRabett said...

The Greeks don't control their currency.

dhogaza said...

"I'm pretty sure that's how the Greeks felt before rates started rising."

Oh, yeah, the Greeks felt they were the strongest economy in the world, and that investment dollars were running to Greece for safety.


Overseas money still flees to US bonds for safety. The implication that the US is like Greece is laughable.

Though Romney and the tea party might lead us there ...

(nah, not really, maybe france or the UK, but not like Greece.)

Russell said...

"The Greeks don't control their currency."

Have they no obols at all ?

Anonymous said...

"Overseas money still flees to US bonds for safety. "

Credit worthiness is dichotomous.

The word, of course, derives from belief.
Investors either believe they will be paid back or they don't, so, there is a 'tipping point'.

Debt is not a problem all the way up to the point where belief flips at which point it's a huge problem,
and as Greece is discovering, not one you can just back away from.

Unlike Greece,
...the US can devalue its own currency to help remain competitive ( which we are doing )
...the US has a history of paying its debts ( though not with the persistent levels that are likely )
...the US will likely maintain some population growth from immigration

But like Greece, pre-crisis,
...the US has debt to GDP ratios near 100%
...the US is a net importer, not exporter
...the US has an aging population, and increasing dependency ratio
...the US has a lower theoretical upper limit to economic growth

The US has had many historical advantages but it is foolish to believe
that somehow economic forces don't apply to us.


dhogaza said...

"The US has had many historical advantages but it is foolish to believe
that somehow economic forces don't apply to us."

Pointing out that the US is not Greece and not even close to being like Greece isn't the same as "foolishly believing that somehow economic forces don't apply to us."

Anonymous said...

It’s amazing how right wing working class people stretch their necks for the chopping block. We’re fighting two wars and giving large tax breaks that mostly go to the one percent by offsetting those costs by taking money out of our Social Security Trust Fund. The one percent win in every way, they make big bucks supplying the accoutrements of war. Their children never have to in those wars they profit from and they don’t have to pay a dime for fighting them. And after all this, right wing working class people are happy to see their Social Security benefits cut while their Medicare benefits to decline over the next decade.

Can you see whose waging class warfare?

Jeffrey Davis said...

Wasn't there some famous Indian gentleman who said of America that it was a happy country that had such fat poor people? He should have stuck around for the poor who beg the rich to go untaxed.

Anonymous said...

@anon above.

A nice list of myths not supported by facts.

Reverting the Bush tax cuts on those that make $250 more (family) $200k (individual) only adds $70 billion a year in revenue.

You are still $1 trillion short on balancing a single yearss deficit.

Math is hard for liberals. Class warfare and slogans of urban legend fool about 47% of the population.

Brian said...

Last anon: got a link?

Brian said...

Re the question about early voting ratio: Ds are younger and more likely to vote early (older voters have the pattern they don't want to change). Ds also generally have a better ground game and early voting is what you do with your ground game in order to lock in your vote.

So unfortunately the Ds need to run up the score as much as possible in the early vote game. Still, leading on the early vote is better than being behind.

Anonymous said...


Page 2 Third Paragraph

I have seen other estimates that also try to include "saved interest" payments over ten years, but if the money is just spent on something else, well. The highest estimate I have ever seen is $95 billion a year which includes fictional interest savings.

Anonymous said...

Even assuming that the poll was of a representative sample of the voting population, that pollees told the truth, etc it's still important to consider the margin of error.

According to the information on the Time Poll
Obama holds a 49% to 44% lead over Romney in a survey taken Monday and Tuesday night.

The poll’s margin of error is plus or minus three percentage points.

In other words, likely support for Obama ranges from 46% to 52% (at 95% CL)
Support for Romney from 41% to 47%

So, according to the Time poll, Obama may be leading.

Or he might not be.

Those numbers are certainly nothing that the Obama campaign should get overly confident about.


a_ray_in_dilbert_space said...

Errors on a binomial distribution don't work that way--there is only one parameter to the distribution--P, the proportion who are voting for candidate X--the rest (1-P) being assumed to be voting for his opponent.

As such, Obama's lead is outside the margin of error.

dhogaza said...

"Reverting the Bush tax cuts on those that make $250 more (family) $200k (individual) only adds $70 billion a year in revenue.

You are still $1 trillion short on balancing a single yearss deficit.

Math is hard for liberals."

Anon has made the fatal error of assuming that the only tax breaks the previous anon was referring to were the Bush tax cuts.

There are, of course, many other tax breaks which are mostly taken advantage of by wealthier individuals, such as the lowered tax rate on long-term capital gains. Those in the top tax bracket get the largest tax break in this case.

There are many other examples.

Reality is hard for conservatives.

Anonymous said...


Sure tax the rich at 100% and you can balance the budget one year. Well the years after that you'll be in trouble.

So who, other than you, has proposed to raise the long term capital gains rate?

How much revenue are you predicting to receive from that? Go visit and look at the latest numbers, they do list income from capital gains taxes. Nah you like bumper sticker phrases more than numbers.

See math is hard for liberals.

There is also no reality in your response, as is your track record.

You'll get nasty in a few more posts and then disappear for awhile.

Go on you know you want to do that now.

Anonymous said...

That the media may use the "outside the margin of error?" (ie, difference is > 1X margin of error) test to decide whether one candidate is leading does not make it correct.

Here's what Cal tech scientist Jason Marshall (who has a PhD from Cornell) says on the subject of

How to use statistics to understand poll results

"How to Know if Political Poll Results are Significant Or Not

Now, let’s go back to our original question: Should you trust the results of a poll? Well, let’s return to our imaginary presidential poll in which candidate A received the support of 42% of the population and candidate B received the support of 46% of the population, with a margin of error of ±3%. This means that candidate A could have up to 45% of the support and candidate B could have as little as 43% of the support, so that while the poll seems to indicate a 46% to 42% lead for candidate B, it cannot actually be used to determine who is really leading—no matter how many times pundits claim otherwise—since the margin of error is too big.

If, however, the margin of error were smaller—something like ±1.5% instead of ±3% could be achieved by polling a significantly larger sample of the population—then candidate B’s 4% lead would actually be significant since (with 95% confidence) candidate B would have a minimum of 44.5% of the vote to the maximum 43.5% support of candidate A. The general rule of thumb is that the lead must be at least twice the margin of error to be significant, and the quick and dirty tip is therefore to be sure and pay attention to margins of error—without them, poll results are essentially meaningless.

//end quote

In the case of Romney/Obama Time poll, twice the margin of error is 6% (ie, larger than the 5 point difference between 49 and 44), which means there is overlap between the 95% CI's.

I agree that the overlap of the two 95% confidence intervals (for Obama and Romney) in this case is small, but it is not nonzero, which it would have to be for one to conclude (again, by the normal statistical standard) that Obama is "leading".

For any who don't believe Jason Marshall, the basic concept is also explained at here

under the section titled:

"The Difference Between x% and y%


Anonymous said...


Don't bother the rodents of this hole will just start attacking you, they do not get math or facts.

Very good post though, great information thanks!

Anonymous said...

Use of the "2X margin of error of sample" rule (eg given by Jason Marshall) for testing whether a lead is significant at the 95% confidence level is warranted when the two main candidates in a race together receive the vast majority of the polling votes (as they did in the above Time poll)

The 95% confidence interval for the difference between the two candidate percentages (the minimum difference that can be considered significant at 95% confidence) is actually 6.7% for the above poll -- using the information given in The ‘Margin of Error’ for Differences in Polls (Charles H. Franklin
University of Wisconsin, Madison)
equation adapted from Kish, Survey Sampling) with the relevant values for the poll: n=783, p1=0.49 and p2=0.44

On the other hand, if one uses the standard equation for the "margin of error" for the sample (also given at the above link) , one gets 0.035 = 3.5% which is actually slightly bigger than the "3% margin of error" claimed in the article describing the time poll. the article may have rounded down (for some reason).

At any rate, using the "2X margin of error" rule with this value gives about 7%, which is just slightly bigger than the 6.7% result obtained with the more accurate equation. So, it only makes a small difference in this case

And actually, both values (7% and 6.7%) are even larger than the 6% (2X 3% margin of error) I used above to test whether Obama's lead was significant at 95% level.

If one uses 6.7% as the 95% confidence interval for the difference between the two candidate percentages, it actually makes the claim of a "significant lead" (with 49% vs 44%) even less warranted (though just slightly).


By the way, the reference at the link above contains the following text that refers to the "2X margin of error" rule (which as I indicated, while not strictly true in this case, is very close:

"In horse-race polls, we want to know the difference in proportions supporting the top two candidates (and perhaps between other pairs) and we need the confidence interval
for this difference to tell if the lead is statistically significant (or “outside the margin
of error”). Often pollsters, journalists and political scientists calculate this as twice the reported margin of error of the poll. This is done following the logic that if one candidate
is at 55% and the other at 45% and the poll has a ±5% margin of error, then the first candidate could be as low as 55−5 = 50% and the second could be as high as 45+5 = 50%.
In this case reporters would say the race was a statistical dead heat because the gap between the candidates (55 − 45 = 10%) is not more than two times the margin of error of the poll (5%). While this is the correct conclusion when there are only two possible
survey responses, it is not correct when there are more than two possible responses,
which is in fact virtually always the case. How much difference this makes depends on how many responses are outside the two categories of interest."