In the weeks leading up to the 2012 Presidential election it was nearly impossible to not hear the name Nate Silver. His projections of the election came to dominate the news cycle and he himself became the subject of the media zeitgeist. Silver was either lambasted as a charlatan by those who disagreed with his lean towards an Obama win; or he was heralded as a genius by liberals whose fear of a Romney victory he assuaged. This backdrop was the perfect setting to be reading Silver’s first book The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail-but Some Don’t. The narrative in the book described a far different world of projection and probabilistic thinking then what was occurring in the media in the lead up to the election. Read more
As many might remember in July of this year we released the results of our presidential electoral model to predict the results of the 2012 election. As opposed to many predictive models out there (Nate Silver's 538 blog being the best known) that rely on publicly available data up to the day of the election, our model is based mainly on past results and demographic changes in the country. We do not use any polling or factor in who the candidates are.
The model not only performed exceptionally well in predicting the national support Obama would receive (only 1/10 of a point off), but we also predicted the state that would put Obama over the 270 threshold (Colorado). Additionally, when looking at the state by state results, the model was only off by an average of 2.3 percent across all 50 states. However, in the 10 swing states it was only off by .8 percent. 538 was off by .7 percent in the same 10 states. Additionally we were closer to predicting the results in 5 of the 10 states, while 538 was closer on 4 and we tied on one. Read more
Four days before the 2012 Presidential election one enduring mantra from both candidates has been “jobs, jobs, jobs.” With unemployment in the U.S. hovering around 8%, the big question is how to get people back to work. Ro Khanna, a former Deputy Assistant to the U.S. Department of Commerce under the Obama administration, argues that U.S. manufacturing is integral to putting Americans to work and for the general welfare of the nation. His new book, Entrepreneurial Nation: Why Manufacturing is Still Key to America’s Future, delves into the state of manufacturing in the U.S. today, why manufacturing is crucial to the U.S. future, and what policies the country should aim for to strengthen the manufacturing sector. Khanna elucidates his points by using real world manufacturing case examples from his time as a Deputy Assistant. Read more
As a gay man and one of America’s many minorities, I have seen what popular opinion has done to our nation, as far as allowing racism and bigotry in our laws and in our hearts. I also know that if it were not for the judicial system in this country, many of civil rights would not exist for many minorities.
Three justices from the Iowa Supreme Court were ousted in the Election of 2010 because they interpreted a violation to the state’s constitution, restricting marriage to just one man and one woman. It did not matter that it was a 7-0 ruling; just that it angered some conservative groups who went on a crusade to bring them down. Read more
Abraham Lincoln once said, “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Well, in November of 2002 the people of Massachusetts gave a businessman named Mitt Romney political power. And, of course, Mr. Romney is now seeking even greater political power, truly awesome power, power that provides, as Abraham Lincoln found out, an awesome test of a man’s (or possibly someday a woman’s) character. (Indeed, by many accounts Mr. Romney began his quest for the presidency about halfway through his term as governor of Massachusetts, or 8 years ago.) Read more
America has become such a divided nation. Is it because we have unresolvable differences or is it because we have allowed the voices of unreason and prejudice, to overpower the voices of wisdom and truth?
President Barack Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney are two very different men and they have two very different plans for America. One wants to continue on the same path that has led us down a road of slow but steady growth, and the other wants to cut all our taxes by 20 percent but gives no real details on how he would pay for it, or who would pay for it. Read more
The Obama campaign has its third variation of campaign spots about Mitt Romney's 47 percent comments, in a spot that wasn't announced but uses the entire audio from the fundraiser. And that's all for the words spoken.
With public relations of any kind, words can carry great weight to influence positive or negative reactions out of people; presidential campaigns are no different. Putting the right “spin” on whatever a presidential candidate’s position is, can be very critical in winning the majority’s approval or disapproval.
Any election rides on what I call a “war of words” between any two rival candidates, though those words are expressed through political ads or by speeches on the campaign trail. The winner of any “war on words” wins the election. Read more
We all have a good idea of what a second term for President Barack Obama would be like; Possibilities of overturning the Defense of Marriage Act and a new look at the Dream Act that he attempted to get passed earlier in his term. I have faith that not only will those things get passed through his second term but before he leaves office in 2017 this country will be on the road to prosperity for decades to come. Read more
After the midterm 2010 election when Republicans gained control of several state houses and governor seats, they began working on legislation; not to create jobs for the unemployed as many of their campaigns promised, but to introduce new abortion restriction laws and contraception laws, pass legislation to limit the power of unions, passed legislation to take bargaining rights away from public workers, and to restrict voting rights of poor people by passing Voter ID laws and putting more restrictions on voter registration and early voting, and legislation to give more tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires. Read more