Predictions-are-dangerous-especially-about-the-future Dep’t

It is a wise saying of that wily bureaucrat Samuel Pepys that “we should be most slow to believe what we most wish should be true.”

Consequently, I’m not putting much stock in the theory that the under-sampling of cellphone-only users (who tend to skew young, and therefore Democratic) will pull our chestnuts out of the fire on Tuesday. It seems to me that, in the House at least, the most likely outcome is a pretty bad stomping. Still, the cellphone bias is there. Moreover, we don’t actually know that the younger voters who flocked to the polls in ’08 will stay home in droves this year, but most of them are excluded by “likely voter” models. And it looks as if the Dems kept some powder dry for a last-minute push, whose effects even current polling misses.
So a half-decent outcome would be a surprise, but not a complete shock. With InTrade offering an effective 12:1 for anyone willing to bet on the Dems holding the House, a small flutter wouldn’t be utterly imprudent.

But of course guessing outcomes is purely recreational activity; the work between now and Tuesday is turning out the vote. If – as likely – the Republicans win, it will be because Democrats don’t vote. So it’s really up to us.

Comments

  1. yoyo says

    I can't agree that keeping the same quisling bastards in office is 'what I most wish to be true'

  2. Bux says

    Don't forget too that telephone polling is more likely to reach Democrats because they're disproportionately the kind of lazy bas#$rds intentionally not working and thus reachable by phone, while the rest of us are too busy to answer the phone. Of course those same disproportionately Democrat lazy bas#$rds (wow, what a claim to fame) will probably not get off their butts and vote anyways and thus shouldn't show up in "likely voter" polls.

  3. Joe S. says

    Betting against the Republicans in InTrade is as close to a mortal lock as we can get on this mortal coil. For some reason, its markets always seem to be biased R. Not that I'm sayiing that the D's will keep control of the House. But 12:1 odds are pretty tasty.

  4. says

    Yes, there are too many Qusilings–wow, what an archaic phrase I've not heard in a long time! Still, we are potentially in a dangerous moment, as the likes of Sharon Angle in the Senate among others (Pat Toomey, Mark Rubio, that Johnson fellow running against Feingold, etc.) is going to make us miss Harry Reid if he goes down. I'm with Mark. Sensible people must vote for the sensible guy, even if he is weak. The wacko jackals are out and about, and while that is not a great rallying cry, it's enough to vote for the Democrat in most instances.

  5. CharleyCarp says

    There are a series of tells I use to eliminate clutter from my life: eg I pay no attention to pundits/others who thought, after March 1, 2003, that there were significant WMDs in Iraq, none to anyone who thought after 1970 (or their 18th birthday) that the Soviet Union might invade Western Europe, and now I have a new one: application of the term "quisling" to Nancy Pelosi. Unfortunately, in contrast to the first two, holders of the last view are going to get what they deserve.

  6. says

    The "wacko jackals" are out and about, precisely because the "sensible" people are weak and untrustworthy. Obama promises more bipartisanship, and seems intent on delivering pretty much the Bush program of perpetual war, tax cuts for billionaires, rampant business corruption and legal authoritarianism, for another two years, regardless of the election outcome.

    The dangerous moment was ten years ago. It could be worse, and now it is.

  7. Sebastian H says

    I find poll watching at this point to be a mostly losing proposition. We'll know for sure in a few days. Agonizing over it can't be good for you.

  8. Benny Lava says

    Bux,

    Don’t forget too that telephone polling is more likely to reach Republicans because they’re disproportionately the kind of lazy bas#$rds intentionally not working and thus reachable by phone, while the rest of us are too busy to answer the phone. Of course those same disproportionately Republican lazy bas#$rds (wow, what a claim to fame) will probably not get off their butts and vote anyways and thus shouldn’t show up in “likely voter” polls.

    Fixed it for you.

    Republicans are more likely to receive welfare benefits and have land lines. See: social security recipients. But go ahead and create your own reality. Hence the blog.

  9. dave schutz says

    Vidkun Quisling never had more than about 2% backing from Norwegians, and was wholly ineffectual in running the government he was given. The Nazis sidelined him right quick once they figured out what a fool he was. Not a good simile.

  10. Jamie says

    I look forward to Thomas chiming in and pointing out that Mark is a thug for suggesting that the Dems are in for a "stomping".

  11. Brett Bellmore says

    Sebastian has it right; The actual election is in two days. Three days, tops, you'll know what happened. Why bother obsessing about polls today?

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