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From the Notebook

English: Martin Buber in Palestine/Israel עברי...

English: Martin Buber in Palestine/Israel עברית: מרטין בובר בארץ ישראל (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

– The novel is coming along alright. I’m now doing the final edit, and waiting for feedback from my reviewers. I probably won’t be able to release it before Christmas because of my new job. But I’ll try anyway.

– If anyone wants my pWP data for 2012, I made a pdf of my spreadsheets. It’s there if anyone wants to try to replicate my results. Just email me through my About page or leave a comment in this post.

– I am currently working a new job at Walmart, and while it’s not necessary, I do want to say that anything I post here is my own work and views, and nothing here represents Walmart in any way and that I do not represent Walmart in any way, official or not.

– The futility of blogging: In nine years, I have published nearly 5000 posts and earned an invite to the 2008 RNC. In that time, I have earned $11.80 from Amazon.com’s referral program. I’ve “earned” about 17 dollars from Google ads but I can’t collect it. And I got a huge $175 from a one-time text-ad deal. That’s less than 200 dollars. And the sad part is that’s far more money than most bloggers out there will ever earn blogging. The writing bug is just about the worst ill that could befall a human being.

Some pWP notes that didn’t get published during the election, when they would have made more sense:

– Anyone looking really close at some of my pWP graphs will notice the pWP of any individual poll never goes above 95% or below 5%. This is a product of my general philosophy of statistics. There is always some level of “Black Swan-ness” that erodes the confidence I have in the predictability of something like an election. One candidate can die, or commit a crime, or say something awful, etc. These tail events are more common than you’d think, and when combined with the limitations of polling and just a generic fudge-factor, I made the decision that we can never be more than 95% confident a particular candidate will win an election except in extraordinary circumstances. There have been several polls that would have put Obama above the 95% pWP mark, just so you know.

– The tracking polls, which give rolling averages of five or more days, are my nightmare. They basically make my task of trying to calculate the impact of events on the electorate completely impossible. I don’t know how to properly account for them, and they represent a majority of the polls I use for measuring POTUS pWP. I have a few ideas on how to change things for next election, but it basically increases my workload sevenfold.


How to think about God, by Mortimer Adler. This short book on “philosophic theology” is really incredible. Adler outlines the traditional deductive arguments for the existence of God, and strengthens them. His argument does not require any religious experience, feelings, supernatural experiences or any other questionable claims that are easily discarded by skeptics. His argument, focused on the idea of radical contingency, is surprisingly strong. Anyone interested in theology, and in particular arguments for the existence of God, should read this book.

Dilbert and the Way of the Weasel, by Scott Adams. This was an abridged audiobook I got for $1.98. And it was good. Adams central thesis is that we area all weasels, and that’s okay. And I agree.

– Finished the Khan Academy Macroeconomics playlist. Conservatives and libertarians generally object to the methods of macroeconomics, and their criticisms are strong. But the vast majority of conservatives and libertarians, at least among those I know, don’t have a strong grasp of macroeconomic orthodoxy. Sal’s playlist gives a very good starting point and puts those criticisms in proper context.

– 2016: Obama’s America. I like Dinish D’Souza. I do. But he destroyed any credibility he had by making this film. imho.

– The Punisher: Kingdome Gone. This was a shortish graphic novel I found lying around the house. It’s older, and a little tame. There’s some kind of underlying political message that I didn’t entirely comprehend about the invasion of Grenada.

– The Walking Dead; Compendium 1. [It’s awesome, just FYI]

– I and Thou, by Martin Buber. I was first introduced to Buber in a Freshman seminar. Since then, I’ve been a big fan.


Personal Update

I’ll be taking a bit of a break after the election. My pWP stat did great, it was over 94% accurate in predicting the races where I was keeping track, and that’s a higher percentage than the model itself would expect. The model only failed to be predictive in races where there wasn’t regular polling (North Dakota). I’m hoping to write a long and detailed analysis of the 2012 election and codify all the lessons I learned in using pWP to create a guide for future elections. But I’m going to start a new job here very soon, so I may not get to any of that at all. There will be a few posts on here, from time to time, but for now I have some other big projects to get to. I’m still working on the final draft of a novel, which should keep me plenty busy. Thanks everyone for your interest in my pWP stat, I hope my Republican friends learn to embrace polling as another tool in winning future elections.

One Last Little Graph…

Ohio and pWP Graphs

Obama pWP: 52%; Ohio pWP: 73%

Anything in the 40-60 range is a tossup as far as pWP goes, so I can’t predict who will win the popular vote. However, Ohio is strongly leaning in Obama’s direction. Romney has to win Ohio and one other swing state, so I would say there is a one in eight chace Romney wins. Again, this is just based on polling data. I have a gut feeling Romney is going to do better than what the polls are suggesting, but I can’t quantify that.

Here are a bunch of graphs and tables:

Election Day

Updated pWP Table

The Rasmussen and Gallup polls showing Romney up have shifted around the pWP numbers. The popular vote is now a tossup, and Obama’s pWP lead in Ohio has gone down slightly.

Current Obama Ohio pWP: 74%

Hurricane Sandy?

Current Obama Ohio pWP: 82%

No graphic, this is just a quick update. A PPP poll was recently posted on RCP; Obama has a 82.3% chance of winning Ohio, based on every publicly available poll released in November. No poll has shown Romney ahead in Ohio since October 28th. Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania have similar enough polling histories (this year) that we can treat the entire region about the same (i.e. they’re not independent of each other, an outcome in one is likely to be indicative of all of them, which is why I haven’t been posting pWP numbers for those other states). It’s practically impossible for Obama to win without Ohio, so I would put Romney’s chances of winning the election right at 20%. In fact, you could probably cut that in half too, as Romney has to win Ohio and one other state, and that state is likely Colorado, where pWP numbers have the race as a coin flip. So let’s call it a ten percent chance Romney wins. Or, every poll done by all the major polling agencies are completely wrong, and Romney will win in a landslide. But I’d start selling those Romney Intrade contracts and buying Obama, if I were you.