Green Room

Service with a smile …

posted at 1:43 pm on November 7, 2012 by

For those who are reading the comment threads today, there have been a number of calls for AP and me to apologize for “misleading” people about polling and the electorate.  I appended an apology to my earlier explanation, for basing my analysis of the polls on my assumption that 2008 was an anomaly and not a realignment, which formed the basis of all my poll analysis.  (I spent 20 years in customer service; apologies do not frighten me.)  However, as I said in the update, I had no intention of misleading anyone; I wrote what I truly thought to be correct.

Why was I convinced that the electorate had remained center-right even after 2008’s big Democratic wave?  Certainly, I didn’t like the outcome in 2008, but we had some data points between then and now that, while incomplete, pointed to solid movement to the right:

  • 2009 gubernatorial elections in New Jersey and Virginia
  • 2010 special election for the US Senate seat in Massachusetts
  • 2010 midterm elections with a 72-year record shift in the House to the GOP
  • 2011-12 recall elections in Wisconsin

My analysis certainly proved to be wrong, while the polls turned out to get the nature of the electorate correct. I do apologize for missing this by as much as I did, without hesitation.  However it turned out last night, though, those assumptions were not irrational considering the elections that took place between November 2008 and November 2012, and my erroneous assumptions were not intended to deceive.

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Comment pages: 1 2

Appreciate the apology, Ed. Learn from this next go around in terms of addressing polls. I noticed that Rasmussen polls were generally well received by you and AP.

Rasmussen did really poorly this election. They were out there showing Romney with a big lead in Florida, Romney with leads in Colorado, Iowa and Virginia, tied in Wisconsin, etc. In short, they were well off the mark in key battleground states.

Sad to say it, but PPP was more accurate in the state polls than Rasmussen.

AngusMc on November 7, 2012 at 3:06 PM

red_herring on November 7, 2012 at 3:04 PM

Dude, really? Then discount Ed’s analysis in the future and move on. It’s that simple.

change is for suckers on November 7, 2012 at 3:45 PM

red_herring on November 7, 2012 at 3:04 PM

Talk about cherry picking, two election cycles ago?

Cindy Munford on November 7, 2012 at 3:58 PM

Ed, no apologies needed. This is (so far) still a free country, and just as you have the right to free speech, we have the right (and responsibility) to listen to various viewpoints and draw our own conclusions.

As for myself, I’m thrilled to have run across people like we find on this site. For the longest time, I thought *I* must be the CrAzY one because it certainly felt like I was swimming against the tide.

I think many people were surprised by the results – I know I went into yesterday with more optimism than I’ve felt in quite some time. Now, all I can muster is a combination of – “I guess it is supposed to be this way” and my favorite quote – “It’s seldom as good as we hope, nor as bad as we fear.”

Look at the bright side, at the rate things are going, pretty soon, we’ll all get to line up for some g’ment cheese to go with our whine 😛

Lucky Pierre on November 7, 2012 at 4:20 PM

Ed, I appreciate the apology, but I do not feel that you “mislead” me. I am sorry that you happened to be wrong. I felt that the data you were using as your basis for the arguments was reasonable. What surprised me is how much of the left’s base must have been sitting out the election events of 2009-2011. Why would they have been doing that? Clearly they were, but it makes no sense to me why.

DrUrchin on November 7, 2012 at 4:25 PM

e, really? Then discount Ed’s analysis in the future and move on. It’s that simple.
change is for suckers on November 7, 2012 at 3:45 PM

I realize that I’ve become a bit obsessive (perhaps that’s an understatement but its in my personality) but I honestly can’t comprehend that Ed doesn’t see just how flawed his style of Poll analysis is. He’s been doin this for a long time now, and I would have thought that after yesterday he would have finally concluded that unskewing is not a valid form of poll analysis.

red_herring on November 7, 2012 at 4:26 PM

well Ed…if it helps you any from a Wisconsite that seems to be voting for something about every month now…

we were “suckered” (a bright blue neighbor alluded to that after too many cocktails during the Walker recall election).

when I voted yesterday at my VERY small town, I saw a ton of “natives” showing up to vote…they all had to re-register since they had not voted for so long and had been purged from the active list…

obviously a call went out to get them there…the Dem strategy seems to involve a high level of secrecy when it comes to revealing voting intentions. I left the polling place with a very bad feeling about the outcome.

teejk on November 7, 2012 at 5:11 PM

We have no stones to throw, Ed. No apologies needed on my part. I personally have really appreciated your coverage this year. I don’t depend on someone else’s opinion to form my own. There were a dizzying array of polls at any time. And I looked forward to digesting as many as I could, along with you all’s input, but in the end, we all form our own opinions. One thing a Conservative mind should always be, is a thinker, not a follower. So, people blaming you, might want to consider that. Thanks again.

Minorcan Maven on November 7, 2012 at 6:07 PM

Some of you readers out there are embarrassing. So disappointed to see what a bunch of tantrum-throwing, despairing “doom patrol” babies so many of you can be. You are getting mad at pundits for making incorrect predictions? I’m sorry, but no one had a crystal ball. They gave their best educated guess.

Some readers are acting like little girls, stomping their feet, pouting, “but, mommy, you promised me a pony! You promised!! You got my hopes up and I’ll never listen to you again!”

Seriously, we are all disappointed. We called it wrong. Unfortunately, the Republican ground game didn’t deliver when we needed it to.

But we had access to the same information as these pundits, and they explained their reasoning. Whether or not you agreed with that reasoning was your own decision. Don’t blame the pundits for your disappointment now.

A lot of you sound exactly like the liberals did, threatening to move to Canada, after Bush won.

Let’s grow up, act like adults, regroup and come back stronger next time.

bluegill on November 7, 2012 at 6:11 PM

red_herring on November 7, 2012 at 4:26 PM

Grow up. Are you just going to repeat the same thing over and over? It looks like you just want someone to blame and dump on.

bluegill on November 7, 2012 at 6:15 PM

OOOH, Fish fight!!!

red_herring vs. bluegill!!

Tonight on 237 Pay-per-view!!!!

(hey, gotta laugh about something today!)

Lonevoice on November 7, 2012 at 6:28 PM

.OOOH, Fish fight!!!
red_herring vs. bluegill!!
Tonight on 237 Pay-per-view!!!!
(hey, gotta laugh about something today!)
Lonevoice on November 7, 2012 at 6:28 PM

I’ve been in a generally pissy mood all day (as you may have been able to tell) but this put a smile on my face. Thanks!

red_herring on November 7, 2012 at 6:32 PM

bluegill on November 7, 2012 at 6:11 PM

ground-game? I don’t think it works for the GOP (I spent more than a few hours doing that phone thing and would rather have gotten a root canal without pain-killers).

let’s face it…Romney was not a favorite of the GOP until he got the nomination. although I think his character is beyond anybody we have seen in my life-time, that “taking the high road” didn’t seem to work (sad I think). the GOP should have joined in the “Chicago pool” game (sad I think and for those not around here, Chicago pool is not a term of endearment). Hate to say it but nice guys do in fact finish last.

as a final note…that illegally obtained clip of him with the “47%” thing should have been explained (he was talking about campaign strategy…I’m sure Obama had similar conversations about forgetting middle-aged middle class white males).

teejk on November 7, 2012 at 6:52 PM

Ed, thanks for an apology you didn’t need to give. Tomorrow would you please apologize for me to my mother for those times years ago in high school when I said I had a single beer and actually had more?

eforhan on November 7, 2012 at 7:14 PM

I’m sure I’ll be accused of repeating myself again, but I’ve been thinking about why Ed’s poll analysis (and his defense of it today) upsets me so much, and I think I can articulate it better now. My main problem is that Ed presents himself as being some sort of authoritative figure on polling analysis, when he pretty clearly is not. Just look at this post he wrote when pollster were critical of his methods: 

In order to be predictive, the sample has to hew closely to the turnout model of the actual election. The best way to calculate that is to check the trends from the most recent election cycles.

How in the world does Ed know the best way to calculate an election turnout?

I appreciate that non-experts voice their opinions on lots of subjects, and I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing.  But I don’t think they should present themselves as knowing more about a subject than they actually do.

red_herring on November 7, 2012 at 7:26 PM

there have been a number of calls for AP and me to apologize for “misleading” people about polling and the electorate.

Well there were a lot of calls to change the front page layout back and complaints about the new green room lobbed at you too. Everyone’s a critic. I for one don’t doubt your intentions nor your integrity so keep on keeping on.

At the risk of wrinkling my tinfoil hat, I do think something doesn’t add up with the results of this election. Something just don’t smell right to me, and I don’t think it’s AP’s litter box.

Lost in Jersey on November 7, 2012 at 8:31 PM

Ed, you don’t owe us an apology. We learned a lot about our country yesterday and now we need to take the time to digest what it means.

Mr. D on November 7, 2012 at 8:50 PM

No apology necessary, none at all. Now, please get back to work with your saber-like mind and stiletto key strokes. One would’ve had to be subhuman not to have sensed a heavier R turnout, the anecdotal and empirical evidence everywhere. Got to give it to Team Obama, or perhaps something we haven’t uncovered quite yet, for the stealth voting.

TXUS on November 7, 2012 at 9:33 PM

Ed, no apology necessary… I believed in a Romney victory based on my own analysis.

By the way, unfortunately I don’t have time to participate in the chat because of increased demands at work. But I listen to the show most days.

theCork on November 7, 2012 at 11:21 PM

How in the hell did Mit underperform Mccain???

rik on November 7, 2012 at 11:48 PM

“Obama THANKS YOU, for your help, Ed!…..”

williamg on November 8, 2012 at 12:13 AM

I just wanted to add my voice to the people who didn’t feel mislead. Polls really bore me so I didn’t pay much attention to all the analysis anyway!

Night Owl on November 8, 2012 at 9:29 AM

Ed, I appreciate the apology, but I do not feel that you “mislead” me. I am sorry that you happened to be wrong. I felt that the data you were using as your basis for the arguments was reasonable. What surprised me is how much of the left’s base must have been sitting out the election events of 2009-2011. Why would they have been doing that? Clearly they were, but it makes no sense to me why.

DrUrchin on November 7, 2012 at 4:25 PM

Agreed.

Ed is a good writer, and I too thought his arguments and assumptions were reasonable. Many out there, both left and right spheres, thought that 2008 was an anomaly. But, in fact, 2008, is now a working assumption.

America is a center-left country.

ColtsFan on November 8, 2012 at 10:04 AM

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