Dick Morris

Great sledge

Frank Rich delivers a lengthy dissection of the problems facing the GOP in rebuilding but starts off with this excellent sledge, one which Leighton Smith will appreciate.

It?s gotten so gloomy that at the?annual House Republican retreat?just before Inauguration Day in January, the motivational speakers included the executive who turned around Domino?s Pizza and the first blind man to reach the top of Mount Everest. Were the GOP a television network, it would be fifth-place NBC, falling not only behind its traditional competitors but Univision.? Read more »

Why it is important to be accurate as a pundit

The US elections taught me a great deal…they taught me to look at the math, and to remove emotion from punditry…unfortunately many, many pundits in the?US failed to learn that lesson and now they are being treated to ratings downgrades not unlike the so-called fiscal cliff.

You can still show bias…but you should call things as they are despite your bias…calling things as they are doesn’t make you a traitor to your cause. It makes you honest.

In the case of Hannity and a few others, the cliff and the fall off of the top after they called the election so wrong is real:

In a fitting coda to 2012, we?ve learned that the ratings for rock-ribbed conservative?Sean Hannity?cratered after Barack Obama won his second term, with viewers tuning out the Fox News Channel talk-show host in droves.

According to Nielsen numbers, Hannity lost around half of his audience in the weeks after the election, while his Fox News colleague Bill O?Reilly ? who steadfastly refuses to identify himself politically as a conservative ? retained around 70% of his audience.

So what happened to Hannity?

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Wise words for Leighton Smith

Leighton Smith would do well to read these wise words about the recent US elections. And before anyone whinges that a left-winger wrote them, they come from The American Conservative site?and true fiscal conservative Bruce Bartlett.

At least a few conservatives now recognize that Republicans suffer for epistemic closure. They were genuinely shocked at Romney?s loss because they ignored every poll not produced by a right-wing pollster such as Rasmussen or approved by right-wing pundits such as the perpetually wrong Dick Morris. Living in the Fox News cocoon, most Republicans had no clue that they were losing or that their ideas were both stupid and politically unpopular.

I’m looking forward to that lunch Leighton…

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Pundits v. Pollsters

The pundits got spanked severely for their incessant spin in the face of reality in the US Presidential election. In particular Dick Morris, who was so outrageously wrong, hell bent on spinning Mitt Romney into the Whitehouse, he is?thoroughly?discredited.

One thing I have learned from the US elections is to take the blinkers off and look at the data. Julian Sanchez?explains?why partisans are poor at reading polls.

Ideally, professional pollsters have no particular agenda beyond accurately forecasting the outcome of a race. But pundits are trying to influence outcomes, and forecasts don?t just predict outcomes, but at least partially help to determine them. There?s plenty of social psychology literature showing bandwagon effects in elections: Voters on the fence often pick the candidate they expect to triumph anyway, because it?s nice to be on the winning side. Campaign workers become demoralized if they think they?re laboring those long hours for a hopeless cause. A 20 percent chance of victory is still a chance, after all, and you don?t want people throwing in the towel prematurely. Here as in many areas of life, when the odds are heavily against you, being a perfectly accurate assessor of your chances can actually make the odds worse. If you are rational, you will want to have some irrational beliefs. So I don?t expect supporters of a candidate who?s unlikely to win on election eve to?acknowledge this, any more than I expect the coach of an underdog team to deliver out an honest read of the stats as a pre-game pep talk. We don?t make fun of coaches for this, because we all understand they?re engaged in a bit of socially appropriate bullshitting.

Apparently I should listen more to Dick Morris…not going to happen

I have been told that I should listen more to Dick Morris, rather than Nate Silver and Andrew Sullivan…

Here is why that won’t be happening anytime soon. The man is a fool and a partisan hack who gets things dreadfully wrong.

His spin on getting his arse handed to him in the election is also ridiculous:

I?ve got egg on my face. I predicted a Romney landslide and, instead, we ended up with an Obama squeaker. The key reason for my bum prediction is that I mistakenly believed that the 2008 surge in black, Latino, and young voter turnout would recede in 2012 to ?normal? levels. Didn?t happen. These high levels of minority and young voter participation are here to stay. And, with them, a permanent reshaping of our nation?s politics.

Snigger…an Obama squeaker…what shit. He is a shameless hack, when he predicted a Romney 325-213 win it was a “landslide,” but a 332-206 Obama win is a “squeaker.” I mean WTF?

Some one who is paid to analyse polls and comment as though he is wise and all knowing who gets things so wrong and then shamelessly spins even more crap should be sacked…and ignored.

Dan Hodges on Fox

Dan Hodges may be a ?pinko leftie?, but this is a very good piece about the perils of politically-partisan media outlets. it is important to make sure you peek outside of your bubble.

?[T]here were times in the campaign when I saw Karl Rove on Fox make quite a mature and compelling argument about how ? despite the evidence of the polls ? Romney was well placed to win. But then a few hours later I?d see Dick Morris making the same arguments in his cartoonish way. And as soon as I saw Dick Morris peddling the line, I knew for certain Rove was bluffing.

Perhaps most damaging of all was the way Fox prevented Romney and the Republicans from properly stress-testing their arguments. Time and again, a Romney surrogate would be taken apart on an issue like their economic policy or stance on abortion. But an hour later they?d be back in the Fox studio, being lobbed softballs and given a soft ride. And it lulled them and their campaign into thinking the earlier car-crash had been an aberration, just one more example of the venality of the MSM.

Obviously Fox are influential. They reach a wide audience, and are a major, well-resourced and professionally run national broadcast outlet. But I?m not so sure they?re as damaging to Democrats as Democrats fear, or as helpful to Republicans as Republicans like to think.

And as the GOP begins the process of sifting through the wreckage of its latest election defeat, it needs to learn a lesson. Just because you?re winning around Bill O?Reilly and Sean Hannity, it doesn?t mean you?re winning around America.