A few note on the total disconnect from reality by the GOP in this election.
First, CBS News reported this:
Mitt Romney‘s campaign got its first hint something was wrong on the afternoon of Election Day, when state campaign workers on the ground began reporting huge turnout in areas favorable to President Obama: northeastern Ohio, northern Virginia, central Florida and Miami-Dade.
Then came the early exit polls that also were favorable to the president.
But it wasn’t until the polls closed that concern turned into alarm. They expected North Carolina to be called early. It wasn’t. They expected Pennsylvania to be up in the air all night; it went early for the President.
After Ohio went for Mr. Obama, it was over, but senior advisers say no one could process it.
“We went into the evening confident we had a good path to victory,” said one senior adviser. “I don’t think there was one person who saw this coming.”
OK, let’s stop here for a minute. I’ve posted Nate Silver‘s poll-based forecasts from the 538 Blog since July and on Election Day morning (links, here, here and here). And other statisticians, like Sam Wang at the Princeton Election Consortium, were looking at the same numbers Silver was using and coming to the same conclusion. So a bunch of people saw this coming and gave relatively high odds on an Obama victory. And when they released their findings, the right went nuts, saying it was part of a left-wing media conspiracy that used skewed results to give the impression that Obama had the election all sewn up. But the “REAL NUMBERS” that the GOP had were showing a Romney landslide.
Really, how can they have been so blind? Paul Krugman says:
I suspect that it comes down to two things: self-definition in terms of always being the people with the power, and the right-wing information bubble, which left them completely unaware of information they didn’t want to hear.
Yeah. They didn’t want to hear what skewed poll numbers, based on probability and statistics, were saying. So they decided to seek out the skills of the “unskewers” to validate their version of reality. And you saw how that worked. Here’s what one of the GOP-supporting unskewers said after the vote:
Dean Chambers, the man behind “unskewed polls,” a site that attempted to re-weight polls that Chambers thought oversampled Democrats, admitted to his model’s shortcomings on Wednesday.
“Most of the polls I ‘unskewed’ were based on samples that generally included about five or six or seven percent more Democrats than Republicans, and I doubted and questioned the results of those polls, and then ‘unskewed’ them based on my belief that a nearly equal percentage of Democrats and Republicans would turn out in the actual election this year,” Chambers wrote on The Examiner website. “I was wrong on that assumption and those who predicted a turnout model of five or six percent in favor of Democrats were right. Likewise, the polling numbers they produced going on that assumption turned out to be right and my ‘unskewed’ numbers were off the mark.”
Of course, we now have to go through the spectacle of a political party trying to figure out how its presidential campaign derailed so badly:
Top Republican officials, stunned by the extent of their election losses Tuesday night, have begun an exhaustive review to figure out what went so wrong and how to fix it.
Party leaders already had planned to poll voters in battleground states starting Tuesday night in anticipation of a Mitt Romney victory — to immediately begin laying the groundwork for midterm congressional elections and a Romney 2016 reelection bid.
But as they watched one state after another go to President Obama and Senate seats fall away, party leaders quickly expanded and retooled their efforts. They’re planning a series of voter-based polls and focus groups, meetings with constituency group leaders, and in-depth discussions with their volunteers, donors and staff members to find ways to broaden their appeal.
The Rude Pundit has a suggestion:
You are going to get advice from everywhere, all over, left, right, crazy. So the Rude Pundit’s not going to attempt to say much here because you’re not going to listen. It comes down to this: Stop being jerks, and, as Joe Biden said, get out of the way. Stop being jerks to women, to immigrants, to gays, to union members. Just…well, just fucking stop.
Now, you have to ask yourself, will they listen?
And I’ll close with this little dose of skewed reality from a YouTube commenter:
You KNOW your party is pathetic when a friend asks: “Hey, did that guy who talked utter nonsense about rape get elected?”
And YOU have to reply: “Which one?”
- ‘Unskewed’ Pollster: ‘Nate Silver Was Right, And I Was Wrong’ (businessinsider.com)
- Dean “Unskewed Polls” Chambers: I Was Wrong, Nate Silver Was Right (outsidethebeltway.com)
- ‘Unskewed’ pollster: ‘Nate Silver was right and I was wrong’ (rawstory.com)
- The Whole Romney Ticket Believed in Unskewed Polls? (theatlanticwire.com)
- The ‘Skewed Polling’ crowd looks as silly as Donald Trump and Dick Morris (examiner.com)
- The Unskewed Election (buzzfeed.com)