Plenty of people called me out on the US Elections, some in not so flattering terms. Well it has been a few days and I would have thought a few conciliatory emails or comments wouldn’t go amiss…but alas, there has been none, save from Leighton Smith who will honour his bet.
One person who expended several posts about me was Blair Mulholland, as well as comments on my blog…here is one example:
There has been a lot of debate over the accuracy of recent polling in swing states with regard to the race for US President. Based on these increasingly ludicrous juiced polls, a whole month out from polling day, and with four televised debates to go, Cameron Slater is prepared to call it for Obama on Whale Oil. Imagine calling the 2005 New Zealand election for Brash one month out, and you get some idea of how stupid this move is.
I’m trying to be a good Christian, so I will refrain from calling Slater all the names I would like to call him at this point. Let’s just settle for questioning his intelligence if that is what he really thinks. I think deep in his heart he knows this is not a done deal, but he clearly wants Obama to win so very badly, because he has made the foolish error of calling it very early on, and knows that he is going to look a massive fool if Romney actually wins. If Obama does win, he has massive bragging rights. He can claim he called it early on and that he is pundit magnus rex, when the most one can say about his claims is that even a stopped clock is right twice a day. Hell, you could toss a coin and be right 50% of the time.
Or you could follow Nate Silver and be right all of the time.
Polling companies want to be accurate in the last week. That’s the only poll anyone remembers afterwards. They can publish any crap before that, and it looks like they do. If, as Silver claims, he is only as good as his data, then he is no good to anybody. And neither is Slater. You can’t trust the sampling on these polls. It’s like counting the number of bumper stickers for Obama that I see here in a Democratic stronghold like San Antonio (lots and lots) versus the number I see for Romney (almost none) and assuming that Obama will win Texas by a landslide, when reality, precedent and political instinct all tell me that Romney is going to wipe the floor here by about twenty points.
I maintain that Rasmussen is still the only poll worth a damn, and Rasmussen still shows a two point race. It is still very close. Anything can happen. I think Slater should check his credit card limit in case he has to buy Leighton Smith a good feed.
My credit card won;t be troubled in the slightest.