Romney down a touchdown with 10 minutes to go
October 1, 2012 Leave a comment
Love that Nate Silver went to a football metaphor (as I love to do) to explain the state of the race. Rather than down and distance, though, he puts it in terms of lead and time left:
According to the win probability calculator at AdvancedNFLStats.com, an N.F.L. team down by field goal with 10 minutes left to play in the fourth quarter has a 34 percent probability of winning the game. A team down by a touchdown wins just 16 percent of the time.
(A technical note for sports geeks: these cases assume that the trailing team has possession of the football with first down and 10 yards to go at its own 20 yard line.)
If you look at our estimate of Mitt Romney’s chances of winning the Electoral College, which are about 15 percent right now in the FiveThirtyEight forecast, the touchdown analogy works best: Mr. Romney has about as much chance of winning as an N.F.L. team does when it trails by a touchdown early in the fourth quarter.
I was pretty curious to put this into a 3rd and XX yards frame, but somehow I absolutely cannot find the states on-line for 3rd down conversion success percentage by distance. I’m thinking 15% is around 3rd and 10, but that’s just a guess. If anybody knows where to find this…