by Carl, 10/31/2012, 7:15 PM

I thought I might be all out of what the fucks this campaign season. Especially after the shitty hurricane coverage. But there’s still at least one more. What the fuck, John Koster?

Koster: “When a mother’s life in in danger. I’m not going to make that decision. You know, I know they go out and… incest is so rare, I mean, it’s so rare. But the rape thing…you know, I know a woman who was raped and kept her child, gave it up for adoption, she doesn’t regret it. In fact, she’s a big pro-life proponent. But on the rape thing, it’s like, how does putting more violence onto a woman’s body and taking the life of an innocent child that’s a consequence of this crime, how does that make it better? You know what I mean?”

First off, if that story is true it doesn’t really change the facts for the women who get an abortion after being raped. If a woman decides to have a kid after being raped, I want to live in a society that respects that. But society should have just as much respect for a woman who doesn’t want to bring her rapist’s child into the world.

Now I think all women should be able to make that decision for themselves under any circumstances. But it’s tough to imagine that a person wouldn’t feel a little compassion sneak in when we’re talking about rape victims.

by Carl, 10/31/2012, 8:05 AM

- Aside from the anti-bus one, I like these reasons to bike to work.

- I’m not an evangelical, and we live in a secular society is a better response on policy than to tell them what they should believe about religion. But the relatively recent change to opposition to abortion in the evangelical community is pretty fascinating.

- Good for Italy.

- Bogus photos, however, are a strange new form of popular expression attached to unfolding crises, hovering somewhere on the boundary between art and commentary.

- Obviously, it’s limited in geography and scope, but I think the MTA Flickr had the best pictures.

- When I was in England and people would ask me why people call it football, I would tell them it was because the ball was shaped like a foot. I like this answer better.

by Carl, 10/30/2012, 9:01 PM

I don’t care how desperate you are for a local angle on the biggest story right now. If the story you’ve decided to write is What does Michael Brown think of Sandy (h/t) you’re writing the wrong goddamn story. I mean maybe if you preface it with, and do the opposite of what this fucker says.

Seriously, after his monumental fuckup in the wake of Katrina why the hell would you ask his opinion if you had a hangnail? Honestly.

Also, even if you didn’t know it was this fucker, that’s really terrible advice. Obama is being too prepared for a disaster and Something something Benghazi.

by Carl, 10/30/2012, 5:12 PM

Seriously. It’s cheap enough to be like “storm good for candidate arrrgh” or “Storm Bad for candidate!” But to be both for no real reason other than to just have something to say? Boo.

And yes, I realize that if you’re a pundit, you have to keep doing punditry. But maybe take a breath or some shit. I don’t know.

Just to be clear, I’m not inherently opposed to tying Sandy to the presidential election. It’s a week away, and Sandy may have an impact. But when there is a disaster, maybe step up your game.

by Goldy, 10/30/2012, 3:57 PM

Please join us tonight for a special edition of the Seattle Chapter of Drinking Liberally, where we’ll all raise a pint in honor of Darryl’s aging pancreas.

We meet every Tuesday at the Montlake Ale House, 2307 24th Avenue E. Starting time is 8:00pm. Some people show up earlier for Dinner.

Our gatherings are informal. If you show up and don’t immediately recognize the pack of liberals, ask a bartender or server.

by Darryl, 10/29/2012, 11:09 PM
Obama Romney
95.9% probability of winning 4.1% probability of winning
Mean of 303 electoral votes Mean of 235 electoral votes

Electoral College Map

Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Connecticut Delaware Florida Georgia Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas Kentucky Lousiana Maine Maryland Massachusettes Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolina North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont Virginia D.C. Washington West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming

Electoral College Map

Georgia Alaska Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Delaware Connecticut Florida Mississippi Alabama Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolina North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont Virginia D.C. Washington West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming

The previous analysis showed President Barack Obama leading Governor Mitt Romney with a 93.4% to a 6.6% probability of winning an election now. Obama led 294 to 244 electoral votes

Today’s polls through about noon were…

start end sample % % %
st poll date date size MOE O R diff
CA LA Times 15-Oct 21-Oct 1440 2.9 54 40 O+14
CO ARG 25-Oct 28-Oct 600 4.0 47 48 R+1
FL PPP 26-Oct 28-Oct 687 3.7 49 48 O+1
FL CNN/OR 25-Oct 28-Oct 770 3.5 48 48 tie
MD Baltimore Sun 20-Oct 23-Oct 801 3.5 55 36 O+19
MA UNH 24-Oct 28-Oct 583 4.1 52 38 O+14
MN Mason-Dixon 23-Oct 25-Oct 800 3.5 47 44 O+3
MO Mason-Dixon 23-Oct 25-Oct 625 4.0 41 54 R+13
NE Wiese Res 23-Oct 25-Oct 679 3.8 40 54 R+14
NH PPP 26-Oct 28-Oct 874 3.3 49 47 O+2
NJ Philadelphia Inquirer 23-Oct 25-Oct 601 4.0 51 41 O+10
NM Research & Polling 23-Oct 25-Oct 662 4.0 50 41 O+9
NY SurveyUSA 23-Oct 25-Oct 554 4.1 61.7 32.7 O+28.9
NC Elon 21-Oct 26-Oct 1238 2.8 45.4 45.3 O+0.1
NC Rasmussen 25-Oct 25-Oct 500 4.5 46 52 R+6
OH Rasmussen 28-Oct 28-Oct 750 4.0 48 50 R+2
OH Gravis Marketing 27-Oct 27-Oct 730 3.6 50 49 O+1
OH PPP 26-Oct 28-Oct 718 3.7 51 47 O+4
OH Cincinnati Enquirer 18-Oct 23-Oct 1015 3.1 49 49 tie
PA Philadelphia Inquirer 23-Oct 25-Oct 600 4.0 49 43 O+6
TN Middle Tennessee State U 16-Oct 21-Oct 609 4.0 59 34 O+25
VA Gravis Marketing 26-Oct 26-Oct 625 3.9 48 48 tie
VA Washington Post 22-Oct 26-Oct 1228 3.5 51 47 O+4

After 100,000 simulated elections, Obama wins 95,877 times and Romney wins 4,123 times (including the 363 ties). Obama received (on average) 303 to Romney’s 235 electoral votes. In an election held now, Obama would have a 95.9% probability of winning and Romney would have a 4.1% probability of winning.

The long term trends in this race can be seen from a series of elections simulated every seven days using polls from 29 Oct 2011 to 29 Oct 2012, and including polls from the preceding ten days (FAQ).

Here is the distribution of electoral votes [FAQ] from the simulations:
Read the rest of this entry »

by Darryl, 10/29/2012, 10:51 PM

Over lunch today, I was putting together a post with the latest election analysis. I started feeling bad. It got worse, and to make a long story short, I ended up in the ER.

The diagnosis is pancreatitis. So, I’ll be in the hospital for a couple of days, receiving morphine for the pain. I will try to finish an abbreviated poll analysis, but it will include only polls through this morning.

Morphine makes me tired.

by Carl, 10/29/2012, 6:39 PM

- If you’ve got any money left over after campaign giving season, this kickstarter for Bezango, WA looks pretty good (h/t).

- Larry Stickney, as you can see, is super concerned with privacy.

- I’m still put off by Powell’s endorsement because of the war. But John McCain doesn’t really have a right to complain.

- And Barbara Guzzo, organizer of Catholics for Marriage, argued that the bishops have brought “anguish, division and sadness” to the faithful, “particularly those with a gay person in their families, the hurt that this has caused.”

- Still have to take some time to digest this XKCD on the partisan makeup of Congress

by N in Seattle, 10/29/2012, 12:08 AM

Who’da thunk it?

The home of such dreck as Pawn Stars, Ice Road Truckers, and Only in America with Larry The Cable Guy may have actually gotten something almost right, almost historically accurate:

That’s the trailer for an episode of “Mega Disasters” on The History Channel, ordinarily as misnamed a channel as there can be. What the environs of New York City are facing in the next few days may, in fact, be even more catastrophic than that program envisions. To wit:

  • The storm depicted in the show comes up the coast, basically tracking toward the northeast. Hurricane Sandy is expected to travel in a northwesterly direction, churning into New York Harbor directly from the open ocean.
  • The hypothetical storm moves very fast, with clear skies arriving within less than a day. Sandy, we’re told, will stall over Pennsylvania for days, deluging the entire Northeast under at least 6-12 inches of rain.
  • Coming at the end of October, newly-fallen leaves will obstruct and clog storm drains, making for faster and deeper flooding than would happen in the September timeframe of the TV show’s storm.
  • As a final kicker in the real scenario, Monday, October 29 is a full moon, when tides are always at their highest. High tides at the Battery will occur at 8:31am and 8:53pm Monday, 9:06am and 9:32pm Tuesday, and 9:40am and 10:13pm Wednesday.

Here’s hoping it isn’t nearly as serious as the dire predictions are telling us. I expect to hear reports from my nephew, who lives near Lincoln Center, once the worst passes … if there’s any electric power in the area, that is.

PS. This is Bruce’s Sandy:

by Lee, 10/28/2012, 12:00 PM

Last week’s contest was unsolved as of Thursday night. It was in Yakima.

This week’s contest is related to something in the news from October, good luck!

by Goldy, 10/28/2012, 7:00 AM

[HA Bible Study is on hiatus through the November election as we honor Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney by studying the scriptures of his Mormon religion.]

Doctrine and Covenants 130:22
The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s; the Son also; but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit. Were it not so, the Holy Ghost could not dwell in us.

Discuss.

by Darryl, 10/27/2012, 1:28 AM

Stephen: voting and hormones.

Thom with some Good, Bad, and Very, Very Ugly.

Sensual Voting:

Mark Fiore: Suzilection.

Andy Cobb: Why everything sucks now (hint…Ohio).

Thom: More Republicans arrested for election fraud.

Willard! (and Friends):

Leno: Obama on Donald Trump:

Key & Peele: Luther on Romney’s Debate Face.

Thom: Has Darrell Issa committed treason by leaking identities of Syrian informants?

Mockit TV: The Donald’s big announcement.

Ann Telnaes: McCain criticizes Powell.

God’s Little Rape Snowflakes:

The Ann Coulter 60 second karma smackdown.

Pap: Republican perverts trying to control your sex life. Part I.

Pap: Republican perverts trying to control your sex life. Part II.

Indecision Forever: The five funniest Congressional ads.

Michelle’s plan to get people to vote.

This Week in G.O.P. Voter Suppression:

GAJILLIONAIRES: Zombie Romney.

Leno: Obama comments on the debates.

Thom: The Good, the Bad, and the Very, Very Ugly.

Stephen make a $1 million dollar offer to Donald Trump.

Powell endorses Obama…“not sure which Romney we’d be getting”.

Roy Zimmerman: Vote Republican—Oregon edition: .

MockTV: Bidenetics.

White House: West Wing Week.

Maddow: Union rights victory in Ohio becomes Obama asset.

Ann Telnaes: Romney and Obama clones on drones.

Thom: more Good, Bad, and Very, Very Ugly.

Last week’s Friday Night Multimedia Extravaganza can be found here.

by Darryl, 10/26/2012, 7:32 PM
Obama Romney
93.4% probability of winning 6.6% probability of winning
Mean of 294 electoral votes Mean of 244 electoral votes

Electoral College Map

Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Connecticut Delaware Florida Georgia Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas Kentucky Lousiana Maine Maryland Massachusettes Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolina North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont Virginia D.C. Washington West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming

Electoral College Map

Georgia Alaska Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Delaware Connecticut Florida Mississippi Alabama Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolina North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont Virginia D.C. Washington West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming

My analysis two days ago showed President Barack Obama leading Governor Mitt Romney by 299 to 239 electoral votes, and Obama with a probability of winning a hypothetical election now by 93%. I pointed out that the race had stabilized and, perhaps, slightly swung in favor of Obama.

Today’s polls are consistent with the idea that the race has stabilized. We see Romney bouncing up a handful of electoral votes, but Obama’s gaining a bit more in his probability of winning an election now.

Here are the 36 new polls covering 16 states released over the past couple of days:

start end sample % % %
st poll date date size MOE O R diff
AZ Rasmussen 21-Oct 21-Oct 500 4.5 44 52 R+8
CA PPIC 14-Oct 21-Oct 993 4.0 53 41 O+12
CO Purple Poll 23-Oct 25-Oct 600 4.0 47 46 O+1
CO PPP 23-Oct 25-Oct 904 3.3 51 47 O+4
CO Keating 23-Oct 24-Oct 502 4.4 48 45 O+3
CO PNA 23-Oct 24-Oct 500 4.4 46 43 O+3
CO Marist 23-Oct 24-Oct 1128 2.9 48 48 tie
FL Rasmussen 25-Oct 25-Oct 750 4.0 48 50 R+2
FL Gravis Marketing 24-Oct 24-Oct 1182 2.8 49 50 R+1
FL PNA 23-Oct 24-Oct 600 4.0 47 45 O+2
FL Susquehanna 22-Oct 24-Oct 1001 3.1 46 51 R+5
IA Gravis Marketing 24-Oct 24-Oct 517 4.3 50 46 O+4
IA PPP 23-Oct 24-Oct 690 3.7 49 47 O+2
MN St Cloud State U 17-Oct 26-Oct 601 5.0 53 45 O+8
NV CallFire 23-Oct 25-Oct 909 3.4 50 46 O+4
NV Gravis Marketing 24-Oct 24-Oct 955 3.2 50 49 O+1
NV Marist 23-Oct 24-Oct 1042 3.0 50 47 O+3
NH New England College 23-Oct 25-Oct 571 4.1 49 46 O+3
NM PPP 23-Oct 24-Oct 727 53 44 O+9
NY Siena 22-Oct 24-Oct 750 3.6 59 35 O+24
NY Marist 18-Oct 21-Oct 565 4.1 61 35 O+26
NC Gravis Marketing 24-Oct 24-Oct 1723 2.4 45 53 R+8
NC PPP 23-Oct 25-Oct 880 3.3 48 48 tie
NC Grove Insight 23-Oct 24-Oct 500 4.4 47 44 O+3
NC Civitas 20-Oct 21-Oct 600 4.0 47 48 R+1
OH CNN/OR 23-Oct 25-Oct 741 3.5 50 46 O+4
OH Purple Strategies 23-Oct 25-Oct 600 4.0 46 44 O+2
OH ARG 23-Oct 25-Oct 600 4.0 49 47 O+2
OK SoonerPoll 18-Oct 24-Oct 305 5.6 32.8 58.7 R+25.9
PA Rasmussen 24-Oct 24-Oct 500 4.5 51 46 O+5
VA Purple Strategies 23-Oct 25-Oct 600 4.0 47 47 tie
VA Rasmussen 24-Oct 24-Oct 750 4.0 48 50 R+2
VA FOX News 23-Oct 24-Oct 1126 3.0 45 47 R+2
WI Rasmussen 25-Oct 25-Oct 500 4.5 49 49 tie
WI Grove Insight 24-Oct 25-Oct 500 4.4 48 43 O+5
WI PPP 23-Oct 24-Oct 827 3.4 49 47 O+2

You may recall from early October, a Rocky Mountain poll in Arizona that had Obama leading by +2%. We finally get a new poll from the state. And it has Romney leading Obama by +8%. The new poll seems consistent with most earlier polls, suggesting the Rocky Mountain poll was an outlier. Even so, the Rocky Mountain poll was notable because they provided both English and Spanish language live interviews, thereby likely capturing a more representative sample of Latino voters. Why is that important? University of Washington Political Science Professor Matt Barreto explains.

Five Colorado polls were released, none of which showed Romney leading. There was one tie, and Obama had smallish margins in the rest. Of the seven current polls Romney leads in one. Even so, the very small leads for Obama only put him at a 79% probability of winning right now.

Four new Florida polls go 3:1 in favor of Romney. In the past 10 days, there have been 11 polls taken, and Obama only leads in three (plus there is one tie). Romney takes away an 86% probability of winning at this point in the race.

In Iowa, two new polls show Obama leading by small (+4%, +2%) margins. Romney only leads by +1% in one of the six current polls. Obama is at a 92% probability for taking the state now.

A new Minnesota poll has Obama leading Romney by +8%. With only two current polls Obama is at a 95% probability of winning now.

The three new Nevada polls favor Obama by small margins, and by 50% in each case. Obama leads in all seven current polls, and is at a 96% probability.

Just a week ago, New Hampshire was looking to be in Romney’s column. Today’s poll gives Obama a +3% and three of the six current polls, and Obama’s margins are greater than Romneys. Together, the evidence suggests Obama would take the state now with a probability of 77%.

New Mexico remains rock solid for Obama with this new +9%.

Four new North Carolina polls tell a mixed story. Romney has a +8% in one and a +1% in another, Obama leads one by +3% and one is tied. In aggregate, however, it is pretty clear that Romney is ahead overall. He leads in three of the six current polls, with stronger leads. Taken together, Romney is at a 94% probability of taking the state now.

Three more Ohio polls go to Obama, but by small margins. We now have 14 current polls, and Obama leads Romney eleven to one with two ties. The net result is that Obama is at a 97% probability of taking this most important of swing states.

Another Pennsylvania poll goes to Obama by a single-digit +5%. But Obama is at 51% in this poll. The four current polls all go to Obama by similar small margins.

Virginia keeps us guessing with Obama and Romney splitting a new poll at 47% each. Here is how close the state is. Each candidate leads in three polls of the seven current polls, and there is a tie. There are 4,970 total “votes” therein, of which Romney gets just 10 more than Obama. That’s close!

Two of the three new polls in Wisconsin goes to Obama, and the third is a tie. Romney does not lead any of the six current polls, so Obama earns a 92% probability of winning the state.

Today, after 100,000 simulated elections, Obama wins 93,432 times and Romney wins 6,568 times (including the 487 ties). We get a split decision. Obama received (on average) 294 (-5) to Romney’s 244 (+5) electoral votes. In an election held now, Obama would have a 93.4% (+0.4%) probability of winning and Romney would have a 6.6% (-0.4%)probability of winning.

Here is the long term trend in this race, found from a series of elections simulated every seven days using polls from 26 Oct 2011 to 26 Oct 2012, and including polls from the preceding ten days (FAQ):

Here is the distribution of electoral votes [FAQ] from the simulations:
Read the rest of this entry »

by Carl, 10/26/2012, 6:39 PM

In our secular, democratic country, it probably shouldn’t matter that a large group of Catholics is taking out an ad saying they support marriage equality. You can be any religion and support any law based on the merits. But since the hierarchy is making a push, it seems fair for a large group of laity to push back.

The names of more than 1,000 Catholics will appear in a full-page newspaper ad Sunday endorsing Washington’s marriage equality law.

[...]

The advertisements of Catholics in support of same-sex marriage will appear in the Herald of Everett, The Seattle Times, and the Yakima Herald-Republic.

by Carl, 10/26/2012, 8:01 AM
by Darryl, 10/26/2012, 12:19 AM

Over at The Ave a guest editorial appears from Robert called, “The Worst Case Scenario” (my emphasis):

Assuming Romney & Ryan (these lethal bozo’s should not have even been close) win their attitude of extreme conservative austerity, the sworn oath of the Tea party politicians to never raise taxes on the wealthy and the republican obsession to regain power by sabotaging the black man’s presidency at any cost will result in America’s very own holocaust. The next four years will include a collapse of the American economy, drastically increased unemployment, destroy the social safety net, gut the public schools system, close the US Post Office, deprive millions of healthcare, expand the war on collective bargaining and working people, on women, on the underemployed, on minorities, end fair elections, end affordable higher education, reinforce a corporate dominated supreme court, keep money in politics, start unnecessary wars resulting in millions of casualties, destabilize world peace, put global warming on steroids which could be the beginning of the end of the human species. The Tea party republicans then would give the trillions they skin for social services to the already obscenely rich and a bloated military.

Robert argues his case from these premises.

To me, the essay is a little over the top, and a little on the pessimistic side. But it raises a good question: “What is the worst case scenario for a Romney–Ryan presidency?”

I remember when Shrub more-or-less won in 2000. I imagined that we were in for a depressing four years in which not much got accomplished except the decimation of the responsible fiscal budgetary policy of the Clinton administration.

And then came 9/11.

Rather than impeaching the President for ignoring a memo titled, “Bin Ladin Determined To Strike in US”, America reacted by turning over and playing dead.

The nine years that followed were a worst case scenario, from throwing fiscal responsibility totally out the window, starting two wars, including one that led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, allowing N. Korea to develop and test a nuclear weapon, providing for unprecedented powers of spying on the American people, creation of the seemingly biblically inspired Department of Homeland Security and the fucking TSA (together a huge expansion of the federal government), sanctioned torture in our name, indefinite detention, vilification of Islam, and the Roberts/Alito court.

And the whole clusterfuck was capped by the collapse and near-ruin of the U.S. economy.

Man…that was some shitty scenario! But not really on the level of a holocaust—except, maybe, what happened in Iran.

Would a Romney–Ryan administration be worse than that? I cannot imagine it so…

But, then again, I could not foresee the profound wounds that the Bush–Cheney administration would end up inflicting on my country.

So what do you think? Am I not pessimistic enough? Is Robert too pessimistic? Seriously, what is the likely and the worst case scenarios from a Romney–Ryan administration?

Just how bad could it get?

by Darryl, 10/25/2012, 11:59 AM
Obama Romney
93.0% probability of winning 7.0% probability of winning
Mean of 299 electoral votes Mean of 239 electoral votes

Electoral College Map

Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Connecticut Delaware Florida Georgia Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas Kentucky Lousiana Maine Maryland Massachusettes Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolina North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont Virginia D.C. Washington West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming

Electoral College Map

Georgia Alaska Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Delaware Connecticut Florida Mississippi Alabama Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolina North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont Virginia D.C. Washington West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming

[Note: This analysis was completed this morning, but publication was delayed for the two previous posts. New polls are probably out by now...they will be included in my next analysis.]

The previous analysis showed President Barack Obama leading Governor Mitt Romney by 292 to 246 electoral votes. The Monte Carlo analysis give Obama a 93.4% and Romney a 6.6% probability of winning an election held now.

There was a boatload of new polls released in the past couple of days. But before discussing them, I should point out, that I am now using a ten-day “current poll” window. This means the analysis works with polls taken within the past ten days whenever possible. Next Tuesday, if enough polls are being released, I’ll shrink the window down to one week. After some poll talk, I’ll discuss the effect on the results of shrinking the window.

start end sample % % %
st poll date date size MOE O R diff
AR AR Poll 09-Oct 14-Oct 642 4.0 31 58 R+27
CT Rasmussen 21-Oct 21-Oct 500 4.5 52 45 O+7
CT Quinnipiac 19-Oct 22-Oct 1412 2.6 55 41 O+14
CT SurveyUSA 19-Oct 21-Oct 575 4.2 53.4 39.5 O+13.9
CT Mason-Dixon 15-Oct 17-Oct 626 4.0 49 42 O+7
FL Pharos 19-Oct 21-Oct 759 3.6 46.8 46.6 O+0.2
FL Mellman Group 18-Oct 21-Oct 800 3.4 47 47 tie
IN Pharos 19-Oct 21-Oct 754 3.6 38.3 51.5 R+13.2
MA WBUR 21-Oct 22-Oct 516 4.4 56 36 O+20
MI Baydoun 22-Oct 23-Oct 1122 2.9 46.9 46.6 O+0.3
MN Rasmussen 21-Oct 21-Oct 500 4.5 51 46 O+5
MT Pharos 19-Oct 21-Oct 828 3.4 41.3 47.5 R+6.2
NE Pharos 19-Oct 21-Oct 783 3.5 31.4 42.9 R+11.5
NV PPP 22-Oct 24-Oct 636 3.9 51 47 O+4
NV Rasmussen 23-Oct 23-Oct 500 4.5 50 48 O+2
NV ARG 19-Oct 22-Oct 600 4.0 49 47 O+2
NH Rasmussen 23-Oct 23-Oct 500 4.5 48 50 R+2
NH ARG 19-Oct 22-Oct 600 4.0 47 49 R+2
NH Lake 18-Oct 22-Oct 400 4.9 48 45 O+3
NY Marist 18-Oct 21-Oct 565 4.1 61 35 O+26
ND Pharos 19-Oct 21-Oct 807 3.4 39.3 49.4 R+10.1
ND Rasmussen 17-Oct 18-Oct 600 4.0 40 54 R+14
ND Essman 12-Oct 15-Oct 500 4.4 32.4 56.8 R+24.4
OH Rasmussen 23-Oct 23-Oct 750 4.0 48 48 tie
OH Time 22-Oct 23-Oct 742 3.0 49.3 43.7 O+5.7
OH Lake 20-Oct 23-Oct 600 46 44 O+2
OH SUSA 20-Oct 22-Oct 609 4.1 47.2 44.2 O+3.0
OH Pharos 19-Oct 21-Oct 810 3.4 49.9 45.2 O+4.7
PA Pharos 19-Oct 21-Oct 760 3.6 49.5 45.5 O+4.0
VA PPP 23-Oct 24-Oct 722 3.6 51 46 O+5
VA Mellman Group 18-Oct 21-Oct 800 3.5 46 45 O+1
WA Strategies 360 17-Oct 20-Oct 500 4.4 52 39 O+13
WI Mason-Dixon 15-Oct 17-Oct 625 4.0 48 46 O+2

Two new Florida polls both have the candidates tied. Still, Romney takes four of the seven current polls, giving Romney a thin +1.4% lead in “votes” and a 77% probability of winning an election held now.

Indiana polls are notable because they are relatively rare. This new poll confirms that Romney has a good lock on the state.

Michigan turns in a squeaker…essentially a tie, with Obama up by +0.3%. With one other current poll giving Obama a +6%, Obama holds a 79% probability of winning the state.

The new poll in Minnesota is the only current poll for the state. With Obama up by a thin +5%, his probability of winning the state is 79%.

We get a new Nebraska poll showing Romney up by +11.5%. Unfortunately, we don’t get the breakout of the Nebraska congressional districts. Mid-September was the last time we had a poll for NE-2, and that showed a 44%–44% split. Obama won NE-2 in 2008 by +1.2%, so in the event of close race, NE-2 could end up being kingmaker.

Three new Nevada polls all go to Obama by quite small margins (+4%, +2% and +2%). In total, we have six current polls and they all favor Obama, giving him a 96% probability of winning now. The last three months of polling in the state tell a story of a small, but stable, lead:

ObamaRomney25Sep12-25Oct12Nevada

Three new New Hampshire polls go 2:1 for Romney. In fact, the candidates split the six current polls. Obama comes out +1.4% ahead in the “votes”, largely on the strength of one University of New Hampshire poll.

Three North Dakota polls in one week? Go figure! But, no doubts, either. Romney is double-digit solid there.

Five new polls come in for Ohio. Romney takes exactly zero of them, although the Rasmussen poll is a tie, and Obama’s leads are pretty small. The current polls support a small lead for Obama, and jointly give him a 96% probability of winning right now. The past month of polling in this race shows a race that has been stable with, on average, a small advantage for Obama:

ObamaRomney25Sep12-25Oct12Ohio

Pennsylvania supports Obama over Romney by +4.0%. The three current polls give Obama a +4% advantage that translates into a 90% probability of winning the state now.

Two new Virginia polls give Obama a +5% and +1% edge over Romney. With three of four current polls in Obama’s column, Virginia turns blue. Obama’s lead is tenuous, however, and he has only a 67% probability of winning the state now.

In the new Washington poll, Obama gets a solid double-digit lead.

Obama gets a narrow lead in the new Wisconsin poll. With all three current polls giving him a small lead, Obama gets a 90% probability of winning an election now in the state.

After 100,000 simulated elections, Obama wins 93,023 times and Romney wins 6,977 times (including the 611 ties). Obama received (on average) 299 (+7) to Romney’s 239 (-7) electoral votes. In an election held now, Obama would have a 93.0% (-0.4) probability of winning and Romney would have a 7.0% (+0.4) probability of winning.

The large batch of new polls, combined with the ten-day “current poll” window, has increased Obama’s expectation for electoral votes by +7, but slightly reduced the probability of winning. The reduced probability reflects the fact that the smaller window results in a smaller number of polls and, therefore, polled individuals. And a smaller sample of “voters” increases uncertainty in the outcome. Essentially the ten-day window throws out older evidence. That way, if the race is undergoing shorter changes in the weeks before the election, the analysis will more likely pick them up.

The time series graph (from elections simulated every 7 days using polls from 25 Oct 2011 to 25 Oct 2012 [FAQ]), it looks like Romney’s post-first-debate gains peaked a week or two ago. The race has, at least, stabilized, and Obama’s slight gain may be a sign of the trend reversing. It’s too early to claim that Obama has the momentum, however.

Here is the distribution of electoral votes [FAQ] from the simulations:
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by Roya, 10/25/2012, 8:24 AM

It seems to have worked out just perfectly that my first year in France is an American election year. I came with the intention to understand the culture of France and advance my level of French but what has been the most interesting part is learning about French culture and simultaneously critiquing and comparing it with our own systems in the States.

One thing that has really stood out is the interest that France takes in American politics. Whereas in the United States, we tend to take little to no interest in international politics unless we feel threatened by someone who came into power. And even then, it’s usually only the most politically informed who seem to know about international politics with any sort of depth. I’m sure we could all take a lesson from that, because we aren’t the only one’s living on this planet.

Another plus, not only do the French seem more often politically and internationally informed, according to a recent study done by BBC, France is the country with the highest support for Obama. However, by living here, that fact is pretty clear.

An easy way to depict this is by showing some of the numerous magazines that feature articles about the upcoming election.

Here are a few examples that I love:

"L'Amerique d'Obama" means "Obama's America"

“Obama’s America”; the cover of the most well known magazine series in France. They published this magazine with a full, detailed description of current state of the United States and the context and implications of this in the upcoming election.

l'insaissiable mitt romney

This is one of the articles in the same magazine that reads, “The Elusive Mitt Romey.”

romney contre le monde

Another magazine cover that reads, “Romney Against The World.” Sadly, a large portion of Americans can’t seem to see that…

obama obervateur

This one reads, “The America That We Love, And Those Who Scare Us.” With clear intentional placement of Obama next to the words, “the america that we love” and Romney next to “those who scare us”.

After posting a few of these photos on my facebook page, an American friend of mine living in Nantes as well cleverly stated, “France loves to hate Romney, and I love France.” Which in my opinion pretty well sums it up.

by Carl, 10/25/2012, 8:01 AM

I don’t have much to add to this Seattle Transit Blog piece. But right on.

The few million in this proposed budget seems like so little compared to the huge Sound Transit projects many of us are used to – but in this case, at this time, it goes a long way.

In the next couple of years, Sound Transit is likely going to put together their ST3 package; sources in Sound Transit say it’s looking more likely that we could see a regional vote in 2016. The primary goals for the next package are to connect Everett, Tacoma and Redmond (and maybe Issaquah) with extensions of Link. This means there will be money in Seattle for projects too, but it might not be exactly the right amount for the big projects we need in the city – it could be too much for one surface or elevated rail line, or too little for underground rail. We don’t know.

The projects on the table right now – major improvements to the streetcar line on Westlake (likely making it more like Link than streetcar), connecting it through downtown to the First Hill line, to Ballard via Fremont, and to the U-district via Eastlake, building real BRT on Madison, and extending the First Hill streetcar to Aloha – are all projects that might fill in those gaps.

by Darryl, 10/25/2012, 1:09 AM

A new Elway poll has Washington state AG Rob McKenna leading former WA-1 Congressman Jay Inslee, 47% to 45%. The poll comes on the heels of a Strategies 360 poll showing the race tied up. The Elway poll surveyed 451 likely voters (4.5 MOE) from 18 Oct to 21 Oct.

A Monte Carlo analysis employing a million simulated elections, based only on the responses to this poll, gives McKenna wins 617,196 times and Inslee wins 369,576 times. The analysis suggests that, if the election was held today, McKenna would win with a 62.5% probability and Inslee would win with a 37.5% probability. Here is the distribution of election outcomes:

ElwayOct

This new poll is one of five recent (October) polls trying to assess this race, and they largely overlap:

Start End Sample % %
Poll date date size MOE Inslee McKenna
Elway 18-Oct 21-Oct 451 4.5 45.0 47.0
Strategies 360 17-Oct 20-Oct 500 4.4 46.0 46.0
PPP 15-Oct 16-Oct 574 48.0 42.0
SurveyUSA 12-Oct 14-Oct 543 4.3 47.0 44.0
Washington Poll 01-Oct 16-Oct 644 3.9 47.1 46.3

If you believe the dynamics of this race have not changed much over the several weeks, then a pooled analysis of the five polls can provide additional evidence of the state of the race.

The pooled sample provides 2,712 “votes”, of which 2,487 are for Inslee or McKenna. Inslee receives 1,267 “votes” (46.7%), and McKenna receives 1,220 “votes” (45.0%).

The Monte Carlo analysis gives Inslee 745,625 wins and McKenna 249,491 wins. The analysis suggests that, for an election held now, Inslee would win with a 74.9% probability and McKenna would win with a 25.1% probability:
FIVEOCTPolls

It’s hard to say which of these two analyses better reflect the dynamics of the race. But, it would be naive to deny that this race has tightened up in the past few weeks.

The Elway poll has a pretty small sample, which means there is more sampling error; but, combined with the Strategies 360 poll, it is perfectly justifiable to suggest that McKenna is really in the lead now.