Pundit accountability

Love this interactive Slate graphic on how pundits predictions worked out.  George Will, Dick Morris, and the unskewed polls guy are way out there.

I lied

Just wanted to check out the Post before shutting down.  Seeing this really did make me feel warm and fuzzy:

Really, the last one

I’m going to turn the computer off now.  Seriously.  But, the freak-out on Fox News (which I learned about via Twitter) is truly something to behold.  Amazing to watch them try to come to grips with America re-electing the inept socialist.

Last one

Really, I should try and get some sleep tonight.

Great Chait:

You remember the scene in Game Change, when John McCain’s adviser tells him that selecting Sarah Palin is “high risk, reward”? And McCain (or Ed Harris as McCain, or whatever) starts grinning uncontrollably? That is the  approach the entire Republican Party has taken in almost every situation it has found itself since 2008. Republicans greeted Barack Obama’s presidency with a calculated wave of total opposition. They would not cut a deal on health care or on the federal budget, each time accepting the risk of total defeat rather than settle for half-measures, like giving Democrats some kind of token health care reform or small tax increase.

The gamble was that by denying Obama any support, they would render his presidency wholly partisan at best, and a dysfunctional failure at worst. They would increase their own chances of denying him a second term, and that their return to power would allow them to claim a full and absolute break with the past. They shoved all their chips onto tonight’s election.  When the networks called it at 11:15 pm, the totality of the right’s  failure was clear. And because they bid up the stakes as high as they could, their loss was unusually devastating.

The gamble was not totally crazy, I have argued, because 2012 may have been the last chance to enact an undiluted conservative agenda. The electorate is driving steadily leftward, with the oldest voters representing the GOP’s strongest constituency, and the youngest voters its weakest. Every four years, a new 18-22 year old cohort arrives that is more liberal than the one that has died off in the interim. The Republicans face a double peril with the youth vote. A far lower proportion of young voters are white, and those who are white are far less likely than their parents or grandparents to vote Republican. White voters over the age of 65 selected Romney by a 20-point margin. White voters under 30 split evenly…

Democrats will not keep winning forever. (In particular, their heavy reliance on young and non-white voters, who vote more sporadically, will subject the party to regular drubbings in midterm elections, when only the hardiest voters turn out.) Eventually, the Republican Party will recast and reform itself, and the Democratic Party’s disparate constituencies will eat each other alive, as they tend to do when they lack the binding force of imminent peril. But conservatives have lost their best chance to strike down the Obama legacy and mold the government in the Paul Ryan image. “There is nothing more exhilarating,” Churchill once said, “than to be shot at without result.”

And Ezra on what it means:

President Obama’s reelection, ironically, isn’t about hope and change. The hope is largely gone, but the changes are already happening.

The Affordable Care Act — the single most significant bill of Obama’s first term — is law. It’s law that mostly won’t go into effect until 2014, but it’s law nevertheless. Mitt Romney’s key campaign promise was that, on day one, he’d begin working to pass a new law that would repeal it. But Obama doesn’t have to do anything to make health reform happen. He doesn’t need 60 votes in the Senate. He doesn’t need 218 votes in the House. It’s already happening. Obama’s reelection is all that was required to for the United States of America to join every other industrialized country in having a universal — or at least very near-to-universal — health-care system.

The Dodd-Frank financial reforms are law. Again, Mitt Romney’s promise was to pass a new law that would repeal it. If Obama is reelected, however, he doesn’t need to ask Congress to work with him on Wall Street reform. They already did. Rather, the new regulations will continue to be hammered out and implemented. Wall Street will simply need to learn to live with them.

Tax increases are law. The Bush tax cuts are expiring at the end of the year, as is the AMT patch, as is the payroll tax cut, as are a host of smaller business tax cuts and stimulus tax cuts. Mitt Romney’s promise was that he’d pass a law making sure taxes didn’t go up (though he left open the possibility of permitting the stimulus cuts to expire). Obama’s promise is that he won’t sign a law that extends all the tax cuts. And if he holds to that promise, then taxes are going up, either through a negotiated compromise or simply letting current law take effect.

On their own, passing and implementing any of these laws would be a huge achievement for a presidency. The three of them together are a record and pace of domestic change unmatched by any recent administration. But they were an odd sort of change: Change that wouldn’t happen until — and arguably unless — Obama secured a second term. Tonight, he did that.

The skewed polls!

Social science win!

Among my main take-aways, big win for social science.  Fortunately, John Sides has already written the post for me (cause it’s getting damn late and I do need to go to bed at some point– plus the dishes and the trash still await me):

Barack Obama’s victory tonight is also a victory for the Moneyball approach to politics.  It shows us that we can use systematic data—economic data, polling data—to separate momentum from no-mentum, to dispense with the gaseous emanations of pundits’ “guts,” and ultimately toforecast the winner.  The means and methods of political science, social science, and statistics, including polls, are not perfect, and Nate Silver is not our “algorithmic overlord” (a point I don’t think he would disagree with).

But 2012 has showed how useful and necessary these tools are for understanding how politics and elections work. Let’s hope that these tools become even more prominent in political journalism and punditry.

Wooo-hooo (it’s the demographics, stupid)

More in a bit.  So, so much to take in tonight.  For now, Nate Cohn just wrote:

The exit polls show the white share of the electorate declining to just 72 percent, 2 points lower than 2008. African American turnout held at 13 percent, while the Hispanic share of the electorate reached 10 percent–up from 8 percent in 2008. The exit polls also show Obama winning Latino voters by an even larger margin than he did in 2008, 69-29.

There you go.  72% white electorate pretty much guarantees an Obama win.  That’s definitely higher non-white than many were predicting.

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