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Confused by the polling superstorm? Confounded by contradictory pundits? Then get a dose of Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight blog. a deep, dense statistical analysis of the presidential race.
This week he plumbed the national and battleground-state polls. His conclusion: “Obama remains the favorite in the Electoral College.”
“Mr. Obama is not a sure thing, by any means. It is a close race. His chances of holding onto his Electoral College lead and converting it into another term are equivalent to the chances of an N.F.L. team winning when it leads by a field goal with three minutes left to play in the fourth quarter. There are plenty of things that could go wrong, and sometimes they will.
“But it turns out that an NFL team that leads by a field goal with three minutes left to go winds up winning the game 79 percent of the time. Those were Mr. Obama’s chances in the FiveThirtyEight forecast as of Wednesday: 79 percent.”
Most political discussion is dominated by hunches, guesses and speculation. The best antidote is good data and good analysis of the data. Since I’m not paying a good pollster for that, I find Silver to be the next best thing.


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7 comments on “Obama Up by a Field Goal With Three to Go

  1. dap916 says:

    I’ve seen just so many presentations about what the chances are that Romney could achieve the electoral college 270 needed to win. And, in almost every case, regardless of whether the site I was reading was democratic-leaning or republican-leaning, the prognosis for Romney was not all that good. And, even on some of the democratic sites, the pundits there made the point that this wasn’t because a majority of the people think another 4 years of Obama would be better than 4 years under Romney…but in the dynamics that make up how the electoral college works.

    I have to say that this is by far the most interesting election I’ve ever seen or read about with the exception of Truman winning over Dewey. Will this be that kind of outcome? Well, yes, of course most folks here know I hope so…but do I think so? I don’t know at this point, and in that I agree with just SOOOOOO many true pundits these days in just so many publications and on so many blogsites and Internet news pages……this one is so damn close it’s honestly “too close to call”. Me? I think it will come down to one state….Ohio. Whichever candidate wins that state wins the election. But, hey, what do I know?

  2. clarence swinney says:

    My list is 82 long– google– clarence swinney + 82 Democrat
    A Few:
    1. Social Security Act
    2. Medicare
    3. GI Bill Of Rights
    4. National Industrial Recovery Act
    5. National Housing Act
    6. Savings and Loan Banking
    7. Commercial Banks separate from Investment Banks
    8. Federal Communications Act
    9. TVA
    10. Permanent school lunch program
    11. Marshall Plan
    12. Peace Corps
    13. Aid to dependent Children Program
    14. Small Business Investment Act SBA
    15. Equal Pay Act
    16. Clean Air Act
    17. Head Start
    18. Permanent Food Stamp Program
    19. Freedom Of Information Act
    20. Clean Water Act
    21. Americans With Disabilities Act
    22. Minimum Wage
    23. Ameri-Corps
    24. Veterans Administration
    25. Earned Income Tax Credit
    26. Health Care Reform (Obamacare)
    Name ten created by Republicans

  3. clarence swinney says:

    Ruined our great Savings and Loan Industry
    Closed Fairness Doctrine that has allowed Mush Dimbaugh types on our public airwaves
    Closed Revenue Sharing
    Since 1980, initiated our involvement in 10 foreign conflicts
    Repealed Glass Steagall—took deposits in 7000 banks and put 80% in (10) Too Big To Fail
    Modernization of Commodities Market—from Investment to Casino Derivative Of America
    Stock market crashed six times
    2 very dumb invasions of two of most poor -most unarmed nations on earth=OIL OIL OIL
    Ruined our International Reputation as a Do Good Christian nation to Big Bully Devil.
    Stood by as Freak Marketeers ruined our Housing Industry.
    Stood by as Casino Derivative of America ruined the World Financial Industry.
    Impeached a Great President for petty political gains that created long term animosity between two parties.
    Attempted to destroy Safety Nets that make America great middle class
    Implemented Tax Codes that permitted redistribution of Wealth to top (10%) who now own (73%) of all Net Wealth and (83%) of all Financial Wealth and take home (50%) of all individual income.
    Today, they have taken America to ranking in oecd nations as (# 3) as Least Taxed—(# 2) as least taxed corporations and horror horror (# 4) on Inequality from bottom 5 in 1980.
    Since 1980, their Spend — Borrow—Cut Taxes policies are, mainly, responsible for adding 14,000 Billion to a 1000 Billion debt
    Fought the great GI Bill.
    Fought the WWII Draft
    Installed strict laws which created 57 % of prison inmates on Marijuana use charges which make us lead the world in prison population.
    Refuse to control the drug Beer.
    There are many many more baddies.
    REPUBLICAN CONSERVATIVES AS WAS DONE IN 2001-2002-2003-2004-2005-2006.

  4. clarence swinney says:

    Wealthy—Engineer–used $$ in Middle East building projects
    that endeared him to many.

    This videotape shown in Arab nations will never be repeated in America.
    He said:”I have had nightmares since watching Tall buildings fall from American shellings.
    I have dreamed since that I would watch Tall buildings fall in America”.

    9-11-01 was a Revenge by OBL. Saddam H. had nothing to do with it.

    The Iraqi people had nothing to do with it.
    The Taliban government in Afghan had nothing to do with it.
    OBL had a small group training in Afghan mountain to remove dictators.
    A senior FBI official said :”There were no more than 100 hard core Al Queda
    members worldwide on 9-11-01

    9-11-01 was used by the Cheney Neo-Cons around Bush to invade two innocent, unarmed, destitute nations. The world depicted a Big Bully. The Muslim world grew a hatred for us from it.

  5. clarence swinney says:

    People are hurting like Great Depression
    8 million kicked out of new homes
    un–under employd sky high
    min wage stagnated
    Personal Debt gone off the charts
    Education Debt the same
    10% own most of wealth
    CEOs huge salaries and bonuses instead of pay raises for workers
    Medical Costs on Zoom Trend
    A few get very very rich.
    Entire industries shipped overseas.
    General Electic has more employees overseas than in America
    Over ten years paid 3.2% tax rate.
    Got tax refunds on Billion in profit while sending our jobs away
    Large local plant empty sad sad sad
    Since 1980 we piled up debt by borrowing not taxing Wealth
    In 2008, top 50% paid 12.5% Tax Rate. Got 86% individual inocme.

  6. dap916 says:

    Swinney…..Obama has been in office for 4 years. Promised us much of what you’re presenting would be history. Many things you’re pointing out are worse or at least the same today than they were back in the failed days of Bush….and yep, I know Bush was a horrible prez. Obama is no better…and you know it. Hope and Change? Give me a break.

  7. clarence swinney says:

    May it survive Corpocracy and go back to Democracy
    My Solutions—-
    A. People repeal Corp is a man

    B. Fed Fund Election-Stop two yr campaigns waste of money/ time
    6 months–3 for Primary Campaign–3 For General Campaign
    free equal tv time-provided by “our” tv airwaves
    One Debate a week. That is 12 And is adequate to evaluate candidates,
    This stops need to raise campaign funds. Congress and White House can stay on the job instead of constant traveling to raise funds. Restrict outside campaign funds.

    C. Since there is no need for campaign funds BAN members of the government from receiving anything with a financial value current or future promises. Stop the bribing by Lobbyists.

    D. Progressive Flat Tax By Group-we have a $14,000 income a 3800B budget yet rank #2 in oecd nations as lowest taxed. We refuse to tax wealth enough to pay our way. They have the money.
    Top 50% get 87% (agi) of Income and pay 13.5% Tax Rate.
    Bottom 50% or 70,000,000 workers get 13% not enough to pay much in taxes.
    They pay a greater percent of that Income in payroll- state-local taxes than many top incomes.
    It has been a disgrace that top ceos can get enormous increases in pay and many of 70,000,000 cannot get an increase in the minimum wage to better their standard of living.
    In A Christian nation I often wonder what Jesus Christ would say to us?

    E. Tax Book–burn that sucker. start anew. Any request for an exemption be televised so the public can watch attempts at bribery. It is so sad that in 2011 corporations with record profits paid 12.1% Tax Rate for second lowest in oecd nations. It is sad when we borrow $1300B with $14,000B income.
    because we tax only $2300B or 16.4% Tax Rate yet top incomes had huge pay increases.
    Job Creators=lowest since Hoover =while rich got ultra rich and masses borrowed from those rich to keep a decent standard of living. While top 10% gained to 73% of Net Wealth–to 83% of Financial Wealth and got 50% of individual income. While 70,000,000 got 13% of income.

    F. Tight audits and cut spending on Defense and Medicare the too biggies on unnecessary spending.
    Example—In San Francisco, colon exam is $7500 and $1500 in southern calif. hospitals.
    This per Head of public employee health care for calif. Example:elevated blood pressure. Two tests. Nitro patch on chest in bed nine hours. $6,000. Yes! $6,000.

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