Statistical analysis: Nearly 95% chance of Scott Walker victory tomorrow? Update: Obama sends message of support for Barrett -- via tweet

I know, I know: “Don’t jinx it.” I have so few moments of unbridled optimism, though. Let me enjoy this one.

I added a question mark in the headline because Nate Silver’s not quite throwing his full weight behind the numbers. He’s using his 2010 gubernatorial model, but the dynamics of a standard gubernatorial election two years ago aren’t quite the same as they are in a recall election today. So there’s your caveat.

But it’s a small one:

Although the contest is fairly close, polls of gubernatorial races are ordinarily quite reliable in the late stages of a race. We have not officially released a forecast for the race, but Mr. Walker’s lead of about six points would translate into almost a 95 percent chance of victory if we used the same formula we did to evaluate gubernatorial races in 2010, which derives its estimates from the historical accuracy of gubernatorial polls over the past 15 years…

It could be that Mr. Barrett does overperform his polls, but not by enough to win. A benchmark for a superior turnout operation is that it might typically be worth an additional two or three points – fewer than the six points by which he now trails Mr. Walker in the average of surveys.

Nor do the polls seem to be suggesting that Mr. Walker will win because of lopsided turnout. Instead, the same polls that show Mr. Walker with a six-point lead also show President Obama ahead by about the same margin in his matchup against Mitt Romney.

This suggests that it would be dubious to come to too many conclusions about what Tuesday’s outcome could mean for November.

Yeah, I’m also skeptical that The One is doomed if Wisconsin comes through for Walker tomorrow night. In fact, watch his interview with Cavuto from this afternoon below and you’ll see that Neil puts a question to him about precisely that subject. How come the polls show Walker poised for a momentous victory, and yet the same polls show Obama leading Romney in Wisconsin? His answer: Wisconsinites tend to vote for the person, not the party. Whether that’s true or not, Walker evidently takes the data showing a preference for O seriously. Doesn’t mean Mitt can’t win there in November. Just means, I think, that it’s still a longshot, albeit maybe not quite as long as it used to be.

Don’t hold me to what I just said tomorrow night if Walker wins, though, as I want to dance in the end zone and speculate about a big red national wave as much as you do. Exit quotation: “To me, this victory tomorrow would be a victory for everyone across the country, in a local government, in a state government, and even those people like my friend [Rep.] Paul Ryan in Washington, who’s trying to do equally as courageous things. It would be a victory to say that voters really do mean it when they say that they want us to take on the tough issues.”

Update: If this is the closest The One wants to get to Wisconsin, I’m thinking the odds of Walker winning are probably closer to 100 percent.

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David Strom 6:01 PM on February 01, 2023