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November 2, 2008 8:41 PM   Subscribe

This f*cking election. A babble tower.
posted by digaman (100 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite

 
If there was ever an election zeitgeist drinking game, this site is alcohol poisoning.

Also, it's angry.
posted by phyrewerx at 8:49 PM on November 2, 2008


Ah, such wonderful memories.
posted by delmoi at 8:49 PM on November 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


LANDSLIDE
posted by empath at 8:51 PM on November 2, 2008 [18 favorites]


Can I get this printed on some footie pajamas?
posted by Balisong at 8:54 PM on November 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


This makes me want to scream. Must mean its doing its job. Oh God I can't wait until Wednesday. And if there are shenanigans... I'm going in my cave for four years no matter who wins and will not come out until I can see my shadow government.
posted by cimbrog at 8:55 PM on November 2, 2008 [7 favorites]


that was stressful.
posted by afu at 8:58 PM on November 2, 2008


It would have been interesting seeing this whole thing in, say, June, and trying to piece together, out of these leftover crumbs of memes gone bye, what the future might be like.
posted by decagon at 9:00 PM on November 2, 2008 [4 favorites]


This site seems to belong to one Jason Meinzer, but I suspect the first Google hit is not him. Nice typography.
posted by digaman at 9:06 PM on November 2, 2008


(I am not implying a connection between Jason Meinzer and I Love Typography.)
posted by digaman at 9:09 PM on November 2, 2008


What is "I Will Hate Them As Long As Long As I Live" a reference to. The closest thing that comes to mind is McCain's comments about Vietnamese people.
posted by PostIronyIsNotaMyth at 9:11 PM on November 2, 2008


Is that an Obama flag. I forgot that one.

Good times. Good times.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 9:12 PM on November 2, 2008


It would have been interesting seeing this whole thing in, say, June, and trying to piece together, out of these leftover crumbs of memes gone bye, what the future might be like.

Brilliant.
posted by digaman at 9:19 PM on November 2, 2008


What is "I Will Hate Them As Long As Long As I Live" a reference to?

On his campaign bus recently, Sen. John McCain told reporters, "I hated the gooks. I will hate them as long as I live."
posted by 0xFCAF at 9:24 PM on November 2, 2008


Google Ron Paul. Christ, has this really been going on this long?
posted by aaronetc at 9:28 PM on November 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


You know, I think typography is interesting, but I guess I just don't get babble towers. A bunch of context-less phrases in bold Helvetica* of eye-burningly varying font sizes in a narrow column just doesn't do it for me. Surely web typographers can get more creative.

*I'm pretty sure that is in fact Helvetica, but not positive, since I'm worthless at identifying fonts without the help of In-Design or Linotype Font Explorer.
posted by Caduceus at 9:31 PM on November 2, 2008


Google Ron Paul
That bright red R[LOVE]UTION thing really stands out, huh?
posted by grobstein at 9:31 PM on November 2, 2008


Google Ron Paul. Christ, has this really been going on this long?

The sad part is that even though its feels like politics is going to end with us being victorious on election day, is that there's no finish line in politics. The GOP and Fox are going to set about destroying him the minute he's declared the winner.
posted by empath at 9:37 PM on November 2, 2008 [4 favorites]


Caduceus, your post is, you know, not wrong -- someone has to make it -- but these words are not context-less, and the value of the site is precisely a queasy-making over-the-head torrent of contexts. But soon enough, the phrases will lose their original contexts and seem like an arc of inevitability.
posted by digaman at 9:38 PM on November 2, 2008


"him" being Obama not Ron Paul, obviously.
posted by empath at 9:38 PM on November 2, 2008


empath: My only hope is that the GOP will be too busy imploding and stabbing each other in the back after this election. Palin Supporters vs. Traditional GOP.
posted by amuseDetachment at 9:39 PM on November 2, 2008


You know what? I'm with Bill Maher. This was a great election and I'm gonna be a little sad to see it go. This shit was crazy yo! All that shit on that list up there spawned rage, hope, terror, bewilderment and a million laffs. I got to read about the daughter of a slave voting for a black man for president of the United States. A woman had a serious shot at capturing that same office. For all the hatred, invective, ignorance and other bullshit this was a historic-ass few years wasn't it? When they write about what went down this year in the books the word "clusterfuck" will not appear once. But those of us that actually sat down and watched this fucking thing unfold before our eyes will know better, and that's great!

As a wise man has been saying let's bring it on home. Thanks for the memories, America. You're a crazy fucking place and you drive me up the wall most of the time, but god love 'ya you're a fun place to live.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 9:41 PM on November 2, 2008 [21 favorites]


Wasn't there something almost exactly like this, only poster-sized, maybe six months ago?
posted by unmake at 9:45 PM on November 2, 2008


Caduceus, it's actually Impact.
posted by teraflop at 9:47 PM on November 2, 2008


Pretty sure the word "clusterfuck" can be applied to every year, ever, when you're living through it.
posted by Caduceus at 9:48 PM on November 2, 2008


Ah yes: almost identical to Posterizing the Modern GOP.
posted by unmake at 9:50 PM on November 2, 2008


(Belatedly: argh, gone by. Although "bye" works too. Memes gone bye-bye.)
posted by decagon at 9:50 PM on November 2, 2008


Sure enough, teraflop. Thanks.

No wonder it makes my head hurt.
posted by Caduceus at 9:50 PM on November 2, 2008


Pretty sure the word "clusterfuck" can be applied to every year, ever, when you're living through it.

Fair enough. I'm just saying that this particular clusterfuck is of particular note and it was fun to watch it happen.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 10:01 PM on November 2, 2008


I'm in the "What? What? What's so horrible?" group.

This is an awesome time. Hope doesn't have to come with white knuckles.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 10:06 PM on November 2, 2008


digaman: The site may belong to Jason Meinzer (Novo), but the images themselves are the work of one Brigadier Sockface, whoever he may be.
posted by nmiell at 10:08 PM on November 2, 2008


What amazed me reading this awesome visual poem, pean, yowl, whatever it is, is the bizarre vocabulary we've all learned during this election, all kinds of strange names and phrases. It reads like gibberish and yet each line triggers recollection of the events and all their complexities. Man, this has been a long haul.

MeFite Jaltcoh, cooked up a neat project, related, The 120 greatest moments on the path to the White House.
posted by nickyskye at 10:13 PM on November 2, 2008 [10 favorites]


Great info, thanks nmiell.
posted by digaman at 10:14 PM on November 2, 2008


Nicky, Jaltcoh's project is amazing!
posted by digaman at 10:17 PM on November 2, 2008


Sing this to the tune of Billy Joel's "We Didn't Start The Fire" and you got yourself a meme.
posted by disillusioned at 10:28 PM on November 2, 2008 [4 favorites]


I love this. I love the idea of this. Maybe my capacity for emotional reasoning has been frittered down to nothing over the course of this campaign, but this whole thing, angry as it is, just gives me the warm fuzzies inside. It's like receiving your yearbook at the end of senior year, only instead of candid photos and "Have a great summer!"s you get DRILL BABY DRILL and YES WE CAN in Impact Bold.

Something about the format gets me too. It's much like old newsprint. I want to print this out in columns on broadside and store it in a safe, dry place, so one day when I'm old and grey (and not too dependent on hi-def virtual reality brain implants) I can pull out this cryptic free-association timeline and plumb the depths of my memory. How much of that yellowed paper will still be important then? What phrases will resonate across decades, which memes will go down in the history books?

>36 hours to go.
posted by Rhaomi at 10:29 PM on November 2, 2008 [3 favorites]


I don't know what I'm going to do on Wednesday, other than be hung over. I mean, this endless circuit of Pollster-538-Princeton Election Consortium-Huffington-Politico-Pollster-etc. eats up much of my day.

I mean, I may actually have to do work.
posted by dw at 10:29 PM on November 2, 2008 [13 favorites]


digaman, he'll be pleased you think so. *waves to you from NYC and blows a kiss, you wonderful digaman you
posted by nickyskye at 10:30 PM on November 2, 2008


Less 36 hours until the election starts. It'll be another twelve hours until we know the results, though. Unless I've totally lost all math skills in my tiredness.

I don't know what I'm going to do on Wednesday, other than be hung over. I mean, this endless circuit of Pollster-538-Princeton Election Consortium-Huffington-Politico-Pollster-etc. eats up much of my day.

I know exactly what you mean. It's going to be amazing how much free time I'm going to have once it's all over.
posted by Caduceus at 10:44 PM on November 2, 2008


And just so we're clear (and this is an election thread, after all), this is what Obama needs to win:

Kerry states
Iowa
Virginia

That's it.

If you want to make it simpler:
PA + VA OR OH OR FL = CHILL CHAMPAGNE

OH and FL are required for a McCain win. He can't win without them both.

For you super nervous nellies out there, follow above, then wait until one of Iowa, New Mexico, or Colorado is called.

The odds of a McCain win right now are longer than Truman's odds in '48. Truman ended up winning thanks to massive support among blacks that went under the radar of the pollsters. This time around, McCain needs a similar group to fly below the radar. I'm having trouble finding that group hiding from the pollsters, and really, it's Obama supporters that seem to be hidden from the polls (undercounting the African-American vote and the cell phone vote). Even if McCain has all the undecideds break his way, he still needs to take out about a tenth of Obama's support to get to 270.

He could still win. We could all be missing something. But I can't figure out what we're missing or even the direction it could be coming from.
posted by dw at 10:50 PM on November 2, 2008 [4 favorites]


thefuckingelectionof1789.com:

SO.
WASHINGTON, HUH?
YEP
ALL RIGHT
DEFINITELY
CAST YOUR OTHER VOTE
JOHN ADAMS I GUESS
VICE PRESIDENT ADAMS
OKAY THEN
COOL.
posted by decagon at 10:53 PM on November 2, 2008 [24 favorites]


OH and FL are required for a McCain win. He can't win without them both... The odds of a McCain win right now are longer than Truman's odds in '48.

There's will be the Diebold Effect and illegal voter suppression and intimidation to contend with.

How life imitated art:

• The Personal is Political
• 'Our Long National Nightmare Of Peace And Prosperity Is Finally Over'

Kerry was predicted a victory from numerous polls in his favor, and there are still two days left for the Republicans to steal a third election.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:57 PM on November 2, 2008


He could still win. We could all be missing something. But I can't figure out what we're missing or even the direction it could be coming from.

538 has this broken down pretty neatly, with the conditions for an Obama victory being:
1. Win Pennsylvania and ANY ONE of Colorado, Virginia, Ohio, or Nevada*
2. Win Ohio and EITHER Colorado OR Virginia.
3. Win Colorado AND Virginia AND Nevada.

(* Nevada produces a 269-269 tie, which would probably be resolved for Obama in the House of Represenatives.)

Now, suppose you think that Colorado is already in the bag for Obama because of his large edge in early voting there. We can then simplify the victory conditions as follows:

1. Win Pennsylvania
2. Win Ohio
3. Win Virginia AND Nevada

That's basically what it comes down to, although I'm sure each campaign would claim that there are a larger number of states in play.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:58 PM on November 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


Kerry was predicted a victory from numerous polls in his favor, and there are still two days left for the Republicans to steal a third election.

To be fair, at this day in 2004 the difference between Bush and Kerry was much narrower.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:00 PM on November 2, 2008


Kerry was predicted a victory from numerous polls in his favor, and there are still two days left for the Republicans to steal a third election.

To be fair, at this day in 2004 the difference between Bush and Kerry was much narrower.


Or from another perspective, here's the final electoral-vote.com poll snapshot for the 2004 election. And here's the snapshot right now.

If the Republicans really did steal 2004, it was easy -- Kerry had to win Ohio, period. This time around, Obama can lose OH AND FL and STILL win the election. He is spoilt for choice when it comes to paths to victory.

There will be reports of vote-flipping, repression, problematic voters' lists, and other problems. They will be isolated. Really. They will be.
posted by dw at 11:17 PM on November 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


I kept trying to drag irrelevant and faulty words out of the stack, identifying the false comparisons and the convoluted logic, just to see how stable the remainder would be...

Then it dawned on me that this wasn't "Jenga," so I gave up and had a drink.
posted by Graygorey at 12:17 AM on November 3, 2008


>36 hours to go.

I wanna be sedated.
posted by trondant at 1:09 AM on November 3, 2008 [16 favorites]


Sing this to the tune of Billy Joel's "We Didn't Start The Fire" and you got yourself a meme.

Not that I didn't try but "Ron Paul Re-vo-lu-tion" makes a really lousy chorus. Have some obamalicious video instead.
posted by starzero at 2:04 AM on November 3, 2008


Are we there yet?
Are we there yet?
Are we there yet?
posted by louche mustachio at 2:04 AM on November 3, 2008 [3 favorites]


I grok most of this, except for "mittens." Um, what?
posted by grapefruitmoon at 3:32 AM on November 3, 2008


What does the big PIES refer to? I recall nothing this election being about pie, yet PIES is in a bigger font that Ayers, 7 houses or Tina Fey.

I could go for a piece of strawberry-rhubarb, pecan or cherry. Yum.
posted by Stewriffic at 3:37 AM on November 3, 2008


(That was a serious question, btw)
posted by Stewriffic at 3:37 AM on November 3, 2008


'I grok most of this, except for "mittens." Um, what?'

Mittens refers to Mitt Romney. You may already be finding this quite an irritating thing, yes.
posted by jaduncan at 3:57 AM on November 3, 2008


Stewriffic, “Pie-in-the-sky rhetoric" And "I'm thinking of having a sweet potato pie contest", piece of the election pie, pie charts. Pies.
posted by nickyskye at 4:41 AM on November 3, 2008


Did I miss the "walnuts" in there?
posted by drezdn at 4:43 AM on November 3, 2008


The GOP and Fox are going to set about destroying him the minute he's declared the winner.

The Commander in Chief? During a time of war?!
posted by DU at 4:52 AM on November 3, 2008 [5 favorites]


Kerry was predicted a victory from numerous polls in his favor, and there are still two days left for the Republicans to steal a third election.

Here is a nice graph showing this year's polling vs. 2000 and 2004. The idea that Kerry was winning before the election is a memory of wishful thinking at the time, the actual data showed him losing.
posted by octothorpe at 4:59 AM on November 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


Pie? Election? Weebl and Bob meet Mr Obama!
posted by soundofsuburbia at 5:06 AM on November 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


There's two things that inspire confidence for a possible Obama victory. In many polls, he's getting over 50%, meaning that even if every undecided broke for McCain, Obama would still win. Secondly, as it did for Bush in 2004, Intrade is creeping closer and closer to 100 for Obama (as is the Iowa electronic market). People betting real money think Obama is going to win.
posted by drezdn at 5:09 AM on November 3, 2008


Or from another perspective, here's the final electoral-vote.com poll snapshot for the 2004 election. And here's the snapshot right now.

I'm surprised they let the new Mexican states of Alaska and Hawaii vote.
posted by gman at 5:13 AM on November 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


Happy Barackalypse Eve, everyone!
posted by the_bone at 6:36 AM on November 3, 2008 [5 favorites]


Here's a confidence-inspiring cartoon: this, from K Chronicles.

It's based on a true story, and if it's in any way representative, it's a very interesting development: it seems even some of the folks we might have written off as "dumb white racists, locked in for McCain/Palin no matter what" ... maybe they aren't locked in after all.

I dare hope even Diebold might see the writing on the wall. Attempting to throw the election to the Republicans surely must, at this stage, be a deeply risky move.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 6:48 AM on November 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


octothorpe: that graph appears to be of the popular vote, which doesn't matter. In 2004, I compulsively refreshed electoral-vote.com for current polling and predictions based on the electoral college. Here is what it said on November 1st, 2004, the day before the election. Kerry 298, Bush 231. A dose of optimism and wishful thinking blinded us to how it all hung on a few tight states... like in the cartoons, when a car is balanced on the edge of a cliff. In 2004, a bird shit on Ohio and Florida and everything came crashing down.

But that was real data, reflective of state polls and their impact on electoral votes. This year I've been using fivethirtyeight.com, which seems to have a much more robust polling aggregation system, but I definitely feel like I'm "trusting the experts" just as much today as I did on November 1st, 2004. Yesterday he posted a helpful summary of McCain's best case scenarios, and while I believe him when he says they're very improbable, I wonder how much birdshit is unaccounted-for in the models.

What if the Bradley effect is real and widespread? Or, similarly, what if fraud is real and widespread and "The Bradley Effect" serves as a convenient cover? If my adult life has taught me anything, it's that "win at all costs" is institutionalized in the Republican Party, and this election has not divorced me of that perception. Thus, I am remaining very cautiously optimistic... and assuming that the predictions are only reliable until they aren't.
posted by Riki tiki at 6:58 AM on November 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


In 2004, both Ds and Rs thought they had it in the bag. In 2008, both Ds and Rs think the Ds have it in the bag.
posted by DU at 7:11 AM on November 3, 2008


What does the big PIES refer to? I recall nothing this election being about pie, yet PIES is in a bigger font that Ayers, 7 houses or Tina Fey.

Obama has recently been riffing on pie at rallies.
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:18 AM on November 3, 2008


Way too much Ron Paul
posted by rottytooth at 7:28 AM on November 3, 2008


Another thing that gives me hope for this election is that it's very different from 2004. Most dems weren't very excited about Kerry, and were focused more on voting against Bush. With Obama, there have been so many people getting involved that the dems have had a staggering ground game.

Meanwhile, for some Republicans, the only exciting thing about the McCain campaign is Palin.

While it's easy to see the vocal McCain supporters on the Internet, they just haven't been putting much other effort behind it. They've needed to hire temps as canvassers (sometimes hiring Obama supporters). They need to use robocalls to run their phone campaign. They just don't have as much human capital behind their campaign.

Keep in mind that the Limbaughs and others on the conservative right came out strongly against McCain in the primary. They're just not huge McCain fans.

While I'm sure the republicans have had some successful vote suppression, their attempts aren't getting the same traction as they had in 2004. Doing anything illegal risks the wrath of a very blue congress (and possibly a blue white house/justice department) in a few months.

This doesn't mean McCain can't win, it just means it'll be very tough and it'll be tough to see any McCain win as more than the will of Diebold.
posted by drezdn at 7:30 AM on November 3, 2008


Riki tiki: "What if the Bradley effect is real and widespread?"

Read up on what else Nate Silver has written about it, particularly this and this. The latter article points to this article, authored by the chief pollster to George Deukmejian, the victor over Tom Bradley in the 1982 California gubernatorial election. Short answer: it was a myth from the beginning, more an artifact of erroneous poll methodology and interpretation.

"Or, similarly, what if fraud is real and widespread and "The Bradley Effect" serves as a convenient cover?"

Now we're talking. Or the other way - an Obama victory of any magnitude gets spun by the noise machine as evidence of ACORN's malfeasance.
posted by hangashore at 7:54 AM on November 3, 2008


Convicted felon endorses McCain.

I particularly like the headline: "Conrad Black: Ignorance and upheaval"
posted by hangashore at 8:01 AM on November 3, 2008


To be fair, at this day in 2004 the difference between Bush and Kerry was much narrower.

Bah, that was the old Diebold 2.0 software. The 3.0 Pro version is much better at closing up those pesky gaps.
posted by rokusan at 8:06 AM on November 3, 2008


Wasn't there something almost exactly like this, only poster-sized, maybe six months ago?

Check out this previous MeFi FPP: The Politics of Posters.
posted by ericb at 8:19 AM on November 3, 2008


octothorpe: that graph appears to be of the popular vote, which doesn't matter.

Here's the full Chris Bowers post. Read it and understand what the graph is actually saying -- Obama has a 7 point margin on Kerry.

Here is what it said on November 1st, 2004, the day before the election. Kerry 298, Bush 231.

Here's what it said November 2, 2004. That 298-231 margin looks like it was mostly governed by outliers, and if you recall there was a lot of sentiment at the time that this was going to be another round of winning the electoral vote, losing the popular vote.

And it was a much closer election than this one. Obama hasn't been below 350 on electoral-vote now since October 23 (for one day). The last time Obama was at or below Kerry's 298? October 1.

This year I've been using fivethirtyeight.com, which seems to have a much more robust polling aggregation system, but I definitely feel like I'm "trusting the experts" just as much today as I did on November 1st, 2004.

Well, yes, you are. Nate Silver is attempting to do PECOTA with polls. He's trying to take the data and forecast outcomes by comparing states and their demographics to each other. As someone who uses PECOTA every year, I can tell you it's more accurate than other systems, but it's still a predictive system.

There are other predictive systems out there -- Sam Wang's single-shot methods and David Shor's Stochastic Democracy (he's 17! And going to grad school!). But the three of them are all starting from one thing: data. Data you can find at Pollster.

And that's the key thing about 2008 vs. 2004: We have more data than we've ever had about a single election, ever. Everyone and their dog is polling. Polls aren't being accepted for what they are; they're being disassembled, scrutinized, and aggregated. If a McCain aide says, "Oh, we're close in Iowa, our poll says so," one look at Pollster tells you that either the aide is hitting the mini-bar too early in the morning or the pollster is.

The statistical data all points one way. To paraphrase Death Cab, we have the facts and we're voting Obama.

What if the Bradley effect is real and widespread?

It's not. Even Deukmejian's pollster says so. Multiple studies have concluded that if it did exist, it barely exists now, and in fact one study suggests there may actually be a "reverse Bradley effect" in effect for Obama?

Or, similarly, what if fraud is real and widespread and "The Bradley Effect" serves as a convenient cover?

There are way, way, way too many vectors to conduct widespread fraud in this election. The Dems control elections now in Ohio (as they do in PA). People have been running from the Diebold touchscreens, e.g. Maryland junking theirs. Voter intimidation is going to be tough with the sheer number of people coming in. Voter roll purges are being challenged, and the most likely to be challenged (minorities) have been voting early.

Could the GOP steal this election? Yes. But they're in disarray, and they don't control all the machines they need to control to pull this off even if they weren't in disarray. Truth is, stealing this election does nothing for them -- they get McCain in office, but they'll lose Congress and the Dems will be only a senator or two away from cloture. McCain has never toed the GOP line, so the Congressional GOP will fight him tooth and nail. And with Palin effectively running her 2012 campaign out of the Naval Observatory, the interior squabbles will just get worse.

If McCain wins tomorrow, the GOP risks political obliteration in 2012.

The only people who think McCain is going to win tomorrow are McCain, Palin, the McCain campaign, and Fred Barnes. Maybe this will be an upset for the ages (and we've seen a lot of those lately in sports), but Obama is now +13 among registered voters and +11 among likely voters, which means McCain would effectively have to get 10% of the electorate to shift his way to win. And it's probably higher than that, since 1/3 of the electorate has already voted.

So, PA + VA = CHAMPAGNE. OH + VA = CHAMPAGNE. 193 EVs in the tank for Obama before 11pm EST = CHAMPAGNE. And if it doesn't, there's always Canada.
posted by dw at 8:26 AM on November 3, 2008 [5 favorites]


The giant YES WE CAN gave me goosebumps.

Metafilter flashback.

Ok, that "I'm in tears" is a little embarassing in retrospect, but it's still a good video.
posted by empath at 8:36 AM on November 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


Jus' checkin' in to say wassup Metafilter.

Also, crazy Eva Anderson (the 19 year old Palin impersonator from Iowa) has a new Sarah Palin Rap.
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:43 AM on November 3, 2008


thefuckingelectionof1789.com

It would actually be really interesting to see this done for previous elections. All we remember from 1840, say, is "Tippecanoe and Tyler too," but every election is preceded by a series of slogans, quotes, memes, &c., most of which are soon forgotten but which loomed large at the time, if only for a few weeks. A babble tower would give a very different perspective than the summary of issues we see in retrospect.
posted by languagehat at 9:12 AM on November 3, 2008 [4 favorites]


Just to paint with an absurdly large brush, 2004 was about an incumbent in a time of war. 2008 is about the greatest economic crisis since yadda yadda. In view of that, Sarah Palin was but one in a series of hailmary (hee hee) passes from a team that has all along been facing an extremely uphill battle. It's possible that the fact that the polls are so closer is the Bradley effect that people are looking for.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 9:44 AM on November 3, 2008


METAFILTER: YES WE CAN HAS
posted by mippy at 9:49 AM on November 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


I'm excited even though I'll be most likely asleep when the results come in - I'll be waking up to a new US president. It's making me think that the best elections over here can do is the Deputy Prime Minister punching someone and some dodgy posters.
posted by mippy at 9:56 AM on November 3, 2008


Obama robots and an eleventh-hour defection.
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 9:57 AM on November 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


In regards to comparisons with 2004: As drezdn pointed out, the gambling community the people at InTrade have been pretty spot on about their predictions, as they put actual money on outcomes. In 2004, InTrade was spot on in their predictions of the outcome of the results in every state, including Florida. They had in fact concluded well in advance that Bush would win. This year? They've got Obama slated as having a 91% chance of victory. You can take that for what it's worth, but keep in mind that these guys are waging money to win money. They're going to put their money where it's likely to make them money. That's their motivation.

But apart from that, I think it's important to keep in mind that 2004 had a lackluster, uninspiring Democrat up against an incumbent president in wartime. Kerry more or less lost his lead on Bush in late August and never got it back. If you want to focus on a state-by-state level, you need only compare the two maps that dw posted.

So yes, there's plenty of reasons to feel confident, electro-shenanigans not withstanding. That said, I'll be pounding antacid on an hourly basis for the next 36 hours.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:27 AM on November 3, 2008


OBAMALANCHE
posted by Burhanistan at 10:29 AM on November 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


You can take that for what it's worth, but keep in mind that these guys are waging money to win money. They're going to put their money where it's likely to make them money. That's their motivation.

There's great profit in a fixed fight, if you know which side to bet.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:31 AM on November 3, 2008


Okay, I think I didn't make myself clear enough.

I'm not analyzing the past reality of the Bradley effect, or saying it's necessarily likely in this election. But if there was even a slight chance of it, I hope you'll agree that the McCain campaign has devoted a sizable effort towards nurturing that chance. Not the strict black/white Bradley effect of legend, but the "he seems like a good person but what if he's a Muslim?" variant. In other words, what is the chance that a hockey mom wouldn't want to seem racist to a pollster, but thanks to all the misinformation out there she secretly wonders if Obama actually has terrorist connections through his ethnicity?

But more to the point... that's just one possibility. My concerns are not limited to it. My larger point is that of Rumsfeld's unknown unknowns -- the things we weren't prepared for either because we couldn't have predicted them or because we didn't want to see them.

No matter how reliable we think the numbers are, nothing is going to settle my stomach until McCain officially concedes. That's the lesson I took from 2004.

And dw, I love ya, but I read and understood that blog post and it doesn't counter my point that national polls have no inherent meaning. A candidate can gain five points in New York and lose five points in Florida, and that graph won't know the difference but the electoral collage sure will. Electoral-vote.com's model was flawed as hell but at least it was modeling the right thing.
posted by Riki tiki at 10:33 AM on November 3, 2008


but keep in mind that these guys are waging money to win money

One possible use of the intrade market would be to hedge. I had actually thought of dropping $100 on McCain contracts, so in case the worst happens, I'd at least have won a shitload of money.
posted by empath at 10:38 AM on November 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


Seeing YOU HAVEN'T HEARD OF ME I'M CHRIS DODD was bittersweet, because I actually was a Dodd supporter at first.

Poor Chris. He really kind of didn't have a chance, despite the fact that he would have been great. (I love his voting record, but the man does not know how to campaign.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:38 AM on November 3, 2008


I'm not analyzing the past reality of the Bradley effect, or saying it's necessarily likely in this election. But if there was even a slight chance of it, I hope you'll agree that the McCain campaign has devoted a sizable effort towards nurturing that chance.

Oh, certainly. McCain's race-baiting has made the Willie Horton ads seem fair and substance-oriented in comparison. But without being able to gauge any degree of a Bradley effect, all we have to go on is the available data. And the available data looks mighty good.

There's great profit in a fixed fight, if you know which side to bet.

That would certainly make for a great movie - a group of rogue gamblers try to fix the election in order to win longshot bets. I see Joe Mantegna, Martin Sheen, and Mira Sorvino. And maybe Chris Tucker for a walk-on as a Justice Department attorney.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:41 AM on November 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


I see Joe Mantegna, Martin Sheen, and Mira Sorvino. And maybe Chris Tucker for a walk-on as a Justice Department attorney.

Heh. :)
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:43 AM on November 3, 2008


Stewriffic: PIES
posted by nmiell at 12:02 PM on November 3, 2008


In other words, what is the chance that a hockey mom wouldn't want to seem racist to a pollster, but thanks to all the misinformation out there she secretly wonders if Obama actually has terrorist connections through his ethnicity?

Very low. The big reason is that the McCain camp has given these folks plenty of cover to not have to look like racists. Obama will raise your taxes. Obama is a socialist. And so on.

But more to the point... that's just one possibility. My concerns are not limited to it. My larger point is that of Rumsfeld's unknown unknowns -- the things we weren't prepared for either because we couldn't have predicted them or because we didn't want to see them.

Look, if this is going to get you through the next 36 hours, here's some things to chew on.

The youth vote: Will it turn out? Will it even match Kerry in 2004? Will Obama's +25 support among 18-25 hold?

The Gen X vote:: 35-44 is McCain's biggest group of supporters. Are polls undercounting them? Is McCain's negative campaign validating Gen X cynicism?

The senior vote: Are Obama's recent gains with them real? Will undecided seniors vote for the old guy out of old person principle? Will that swing Florida and keep Arizona red?

The women's vote: Where are the PUMAs? Are they big enough that their "lying to the polls" campaign worked? Will they put NH into play and hurt Obama in the Rust Belt states?

The African-American vote: Have they all already voted in GA and NC? Are the polls really undercounting them? Will they clear 90% in favor of Obama?

White men: Are they really staying home, or will they all show up in droves in the swing states to vote McCain? If there's a Bradley Effect (again, highly unlikely), it'll show up here.

Catholics: Suddenly rushing over to Obama the last few weeks; will that vote hold in PA?

Evangelicals: Pollsters are split over whether Obama has gained ground among them in swing states. Could McCain outdo Dubya in 2004 among them thanks to negative campaigning and the "Muslim" gambit? Are they really going to stay home, or did Palin just pull more in, especially in conservative FL, south OH, central PA, and Colorado Springs and the south Denver suburbs?

The Cell Phone Effect: Is it grossly overstated, given that the people who are cell only are mostly in that flighty 18-25 group?

Nevada: God help us if it gets to Nevada, ground zero of the ACORN bad registration fiasco.

That enough to worry about?

Now that you have, consider that Pollster has Obama at +7 in PA, +6 in VA, and +13 in IA. And in all those states, he's above 50%. Intrade has Obama futures in those states trading at 88 or higher. There's roughly a 1 in 10 chance something could go wrong with all three of these states. If they told you "10% chance of rain today," would you wear your raincoat?

And dw, I love ya, but I read and understood that blog post and it doesn't counter my point that national polls have no inherent meaning. A candidate can gain five points in New York and lose five points in Florida, and that graph won't know the difference but the electoral collage sure will. Electoral-vote.com's model was flawed as hell but at least it was modeling the right thing.

Really, you should be looking at Pollster, which is a better aggregator than electoral-vote. Here's a Mark Blumenthal post today talking about your issues.
posted by dw at 1:26 PM on November 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


CNN reporting now that Obama's grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, has passed away from cancer.

My lord, this thing is like a Russian novel.
posted by Bobby Bittman at 1:49 PM on November 3, 2008


.
posted by drezdn at 1:56 PM on November 3, 2008


.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:58 PM on November 3, 2008


CNN reporting now that Obama's grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, has passed away from cancer.

This probably deserves its own FPP.

Very sad.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:59 PM on November 3, 2008


Between the Wright ad on Sunday night and the new claims about coal, it seems like McCain/Palin have been holding some attacks back for the last moment so the Obama campaign can't respond.

Ideally, there's a good chance that the McCain/Palin campaign has already cried wolf too many times to have any credibility.
posted by drezdn at 2:04 PM on November 3, 2008


Damn. At least Obama chose to do the right thing and visited her before the campaign ended. More panicky people might have called that a mistake, but in the end family really is the most important thing.

.
posted by Rhaomi at 2:20 PM on November 3, 2008


The eleventh-hour tragedy doesn't stop, apparently: Obama Nevada campaign director, Terence Tolbert, suffers a fatal heart attack
posted by Rhaomi at 2:29 PM on November 3, 2008


The geniuses over at RedState demonstrate the kind of reasoning that's gotten the Republicans where they are in this election.
posted by Bobby Bittman at 2:57 PM on November 3, 2008


Between the Wright ad on Sunday night and the new claims about coal, it seems like McCain/Palin have been holding some attacks back for the last moment so the Obama campaign can't respond.

Ideally, there's a good chance that the McCain/Palin campaign has already cried wolf too many times to have any credibility.


Sunday night's Wright ad was the first attack ad of ANY kind I saw (I live in New York, and I just figure McCain gave us up for lost long ago), and my only response was to blink and think, "Reverend Wright? Didn't we....do that already?"
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:44 PM on November 3, 2008


The African-American vote: ... Will they clear 90% in favor of Obama?

Sorry, that's not "something to chew on" -- there is no question that Obama will get at least 90% of the black vote. Democrats normally get about 90% of the black vote, and it makes no sense to suggest that Obama will get less than the average Democratic presidential candidate.
posted by Jaltcoh at 3:56 PM on November 3, 2008


Go Bama Go by Sandman the Rapping Cowboy (from Wyoming)

Make sure to watch in high quality.
posted by schyler523 at 4:14 PM on November 3, 2008


"Reverend Wright? Didn't we....do that already?"

That's how I look at it too, but I'm guessing the people responsible for the ad think there are people who don't know that Obama responded to it months ago.
posted by drezdn at 4:58 PM on November 3, 2008


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