Thursday, August 25, 2016

Nate Silver 538 New Math

I read a piece on 538 regarding the liberal angst of pollsters (such as LA Times) who have the audacity to show better results for Trump than some of the others. Nate Silver wrote the piece "Leave the LA Times Poll alone", where he appease these haters, by suggesting that you shouldn't discount the poll, you just adjust for it by adding four to six points to it for Clinton. Ahem. So I did a bit more checking. Apparently Nate Silver believes that around 70 percent of all pollsters are biased for Trump and require a pro-Clinton adjustment. About 20 percent are accurate. Only 10 percent or so actually require an adjustment in Trump's favor.

This is a portion of the Nate Silver National Polling spreadsheet. These are four of the most recent polls. As you can see the actual results show Clinton up 4,4,1, and one poll tied. This would instinctively suggest a polling average of (4+4+1+0)/4= 2.25

Click picture to enlarge

However, according to the Nate Silver adjusted polling numbers, if you calculate the average (6+4+5+3)/4=4.5 percent lead for Clinton. Of the four polls, none of them show her up by "more" than four points. But the overall average is 4.5.

I have to confess... this is really "new" math for me. As the old saying goes, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts. That simply doesn't exist in 21st century politics. People make up their own facts everyday. Nate Silver is currently making up his own poll results.

UPDATE: The Quinnipiac poll is the only poll in the past couple of weeks (unless you include something called the Google Consumer poll) that has come in at over 5 points in a three way race. At seven points it still wasn't good enough, so Nate Silver tacked on two more... meaning it's a 9 point four way poll in his world. How interesting.


opie' said...

Of course Nate is wrong, CH and you are very right. Seems to me the time poll has been an outlier all along, a term you are fond of and that poll will soon be out of the RCP average shortly which will have a great impact on the average polling numbers they produce. Oh well, opinions are just that, opinions and Nates is well founded while you exhibit terminal trumpitis' of the brain. Seems you argue with any poll that is out of your comfort zone. Use to be you worshiped polls, especially those that showed GW to be a hoax. Oh well.

C.H. Truth said...


I see you are still basically incapable of remedial reading comprehension skills.

Nate Silver is not citing different polls out of anyone's comfort zone... he is simply changing the results of them.

Let me make this clear for you:


So this is not a question of who is more "well founded"... me or Nate Silver. It's a question of whether or not Nate Silver knows more about every single pollster than the pollsters do themselves.

again because you are simpleton:

Silver disagrees with the results of YouGov
So he changes the released results

Silver disagrees with the results of Rasmussen
So he changes the released results

Silver disagrees with the results of CVoter International
So he changes the released results

All in all Silver believe he knows better than 80% of the pollsters out there, as to what their results actually "should be".

C.H. Truth said...

Oh, and the LATimes Tracking poll come out every day, Opie.

That is why it is called a "tracking poll".

Because it comes out everyday, it will never be "out of the RCP average".

Roger Amick said...

He still says that the odds are strongly in favor of Clinton.

Commonsense said...

Nate Silver is betting his reputation on it.

James said...

He still says Hillary has an 83.2% chance of election
as against Trump's 16.8% chance of election

(Looks even worse with the "now cast.")

Roger Amick said...

Hillary Clinton has opened up a 10-point national lead over Donald Trump in the Quinnipiac University poll of likely voters out Thursday.
Among those likely to vote in November, Clinton grabbed 51 percent in a head-to-head matchup, while Trump earned 41.

That is the second poll in two days CH.

C.H. Truth said...

Actually Roger - using the four way race Quinnipiac shows it as a Seven point race (45-38-9-4) - Still a good number for Clinton (the best release she has had since Monmouth on the 6th) and the only poll in the past two weeks over 5 points.

But it's not a "second poll"

Because as I have been stating all along.

The Ipsos release of the Ipsos/Reuters poll shows the race "closing" with Hillary only ahead by 3 points now in a four way race.

So while Reuters was reporting the raw numbers as a release, the pollster themselves shows the race much differently (and going in a different direction).

So do you understand now why nobody uses the Reuter's release?

KD, O'Hillary Dream Team of Lies said...

Obama and Clinton LIED, I know that is the Norm for these two, so this is not news, however the "Math" they do is so stupid.

Ransom for our guys that were being held in Iran, the lie was we had to pay them in cash and it had to be in non- USD. because as the O'Hillary team put it , we can not pay them in USD by wire or by check.

Cue the US Treasury,,,, the Judgement Fund and the pay out of multi- payments of $999,999.99 ,,,, so are we to believe the US Treasury paid that out in non-US Currency? And further are we to believe team O'Hillary that those payments were not done by wire transfer?

Better go to Lochte to get a more believable story, kuz that one sucks.

Indy Voter said...

The LA Times is using the same methodology that Zogby used in his "interactive polls" in 2004 and 2008, and those were highly unreliable polls. By repeatedly sampling the same 1,700 or so people you can get an idea of how that sample's views vary over time, but you are stuck with whatever inherent bias there was in the initial sample. I would not rely on it for assessing where the national race stands.

C.H. Truth said...

Indy - that's a fair assessment. If there is an inherent bias, that is stuck into it.

But the advantage is simple. These are pollsters that do not have the drastic changes in demographic makeup from poll to poll. If there is movement, it's because people are actually changing their minds.

You may or may not agree with the initial sample size. But these polls (in my humble opinion) are going to be much better at establishing actual polling trends or big movements.


Quinnipiac's poll released today was five points better for Clinton than their previous poll was. However, the actual cross tabs were almost identical to those from the previous poll (where it was a two point lead in the four way race). That suggests that rather than more Democrats, Republicans, or Independents voting for Clinton and less for Trump... it's more likely that the new sample just included a make up that included more Democrats and less Republicans/Independents. The fact is that many of these pollsters do not weigh the samples to keep them consistent.

I just don't happen to believe that our general demographic make up changes from week to week or month to month.

C.H. Truth said...

To be clear, the LA Times polling sample was designed to have a similar breakdown of who voted in 2012. It was supposed to contain the same percentage of Obama voters (as in 2012) and the same percentage of Romney voters (as in 2012) and the same amount of independent voters (as in 2012). So it would supposedly match the demographics of 2012.

Silver and others seem to think that people don't recall who they voted for or will otherwise not be honest. That may or may not be a valid point.

Others suggest that the Demographics will change... although in which direction is a pretty decent argument to have. The past three elections have shown no gain for the Democrats in demographic breakdown. In 2014 it was 37-36 for the GOP. Hard for me to imagine that Clinton will bring out a bigger slice that Obama did.

Indy Voter said...

Even for measuring change over time the use of the same sample is flawed, and for the same reason. Pollsters should be collecting a new randomly drawn sample each time they poll. Yes, there will be variation from poll to poll in demographics, but it's important to keep drawing random samples.

C.H. Truth said...

Indy - I would offer that having both random drawn samples and static samples cannot be a "bad thing"... especially when you are tracking nearly two dozen polls as I am.

I don't believe that it's "wrong" to use a static sample in a tracking poll, if your concept is to track movement. It quite literally requires people to change their minds...

It's simply a matter of eliminating several possible variations that could (in theory erroneously) account for random sample pollsters showing large gains one way or the other.

Basic laws of statistics is the more unknown variations you can eliminate, the more accurate your testing should be... wouldn't you agree?

wphamilton said...

You cannot "adjust" the results of a poll. If you think that the sample was skewed, then the poll is invalid and thrown out.

It would embarrass me to admit to doing something like that, even in private. For a statistician of any sort, let alone one purporting to analyze polls for public consumption, the damage to his reputation would be irreparable. Silver had already admitting to making WAG about Trump, and using those guesses to assign probabilities. He published a mea cuplpa about that - yet here it is again. There is an emergent realization that he simply writes opinionated editorials, merely couching them in the jargon of statistics, yet having no mathematical validity.

KD, When is a Clinton , not a Clinton, when caught in a new lie said...

Drudge Report using a real image of granny Clinton, shows her having a very hard time getting into her Black Security SUV, she has to have the Secret Service assist her to get into it, omg, funny, they put out a little portable step stool for her.

I mean really , is she so feeble as to be unable to get in and out of a auto?

Hillary, was talking with the very fawning Anderson Copper, he asked when she would be giving a press conference, LOL, her answer I shit you not was this " I’m talking to you now"

FBI director Comey comment on her lack of knowledge comes to mind, does she not know the difference between and "interview" and a press conference?

I have to give it to Cooper, he pressed her on this, her voice cracked, she giggled uncomfortable and avoided answering the question of when..... I can answer that , never , she sucks at answering questions on her feet, her mind is slow and jumbled.

Roger Amick said...

The RCP average is back up to 6&

I know the poll I posted was just a two person poll. But the reality is that the "New" Trump plan isn't working.

I watched Hillary call him out. She was effective, and it's not because I support her, it's an observation and watching politics for 50 years. Hiring from Breithbart gave Clinton a weapon and she was as effective as a nuclear bomb.

But very, calmly acted like a President not a hand waving. pursed lips rant.

The new thing that Trump has done. He's turning red states blue. And like Coulter said, his loss will mean the GOP won't win for a generation.

rrb said...

Blogger Commonsense said...

Nate Silver is betting his reputation on it.

silver was / is a member of journOlist.

there's his "reputation" in a nutshell.

C.H. Truth said...

Roger -

Candidates that are winning handily, do not engage in advertising campaigns that bring up charges of their opponents being associated with the KKK and White Supremacist groups.

Candidates drop those sorts of bombs when they are desperate to change the way the race is going (or to change the current narrative). Nobody in their right mind would take the chance that this will backfire (and these sorts of over the top attacks often times do) if they were comfortable with their position.

C.H. Truth said...

Your fifty years of experience which has never led you to believe any Democrat is capable of losing. Kerry in a landslide seem to sum up your fifty years of experience.

Roger Amick said...

You think pointing out the truth of the hard right, or alt right and the KKK types, and White Supremacists are supporting Trump? And that he is not calling them out. The headlines off Breitbpart, are outrageous. Google it and see what they support, and Trump hired the CEO. I can get them in a couple minutes. Would you allow them to get past the site sensor?

Look for the Jeb Bush quote on what he's saying. The Republicans need to separate themselves from the alt right, or they will be seen, correctly, the party of racism and misogyny. Sensor at your will. I will post it on the truthful and fair side.

rrb said...

Candidates that are winning handily, do not engage in advertising campaigns that bring up charges of their opponents being associated with the KKK and White Supremacist groups.

especially when there is video out there of hillary heaping praise on robert byrd who actually WAS a card carrying member and grand kleagle of the KKK and was stupid enough and or arrogant enough to use the term "white n*gger on tv.

care to bet when bannon will run THAT footage in response?

C.H. Truth said...

I think calling 50-60 million Trump supporters a bunch of racists... has consequences. Which at the end of the day is exactly what she is doing.

No different than suggesting 100 million gun owners are prone to be manipulated by "dog whistle" calls by Trump, and becomes irrational assassins.

They are insults to very very large portions of the population... and aimed at a very small amount of people who might be stupid enough to take the bait.

The fact that you want to call everyone who disagrees with you a name... and demand that there is some sort of "ism" that must explain all dissent from your chosen positions... plays right into the original theme that pushed Trump's candidacy in the first place.

I feel sorry for anyone as angry as you are, Roger. I don't know how it is to live with so much hatred and loathing all the time. It must just tear you up inside.

C.H. Truth said...

There is a distinct difference here Roger.

Nobody is voting for Clinton because they agree you should run a home brewed server and put classified information on it, or because they agree you should take money from foreign donors when you are Secretary of State. Nobody thinks the lying is okay. They are willing to vote for her "in spite" of these issues.

On the other hand, declaring that policies regarding illegals (which is very popular) building a wall (another popular measure) or voter ID laws (very very popular) or even the "extreme vetting of Muslims"... are all racist policies that are in line with the KKK is not just a specific insult to Trump.

It's an insult to the tens of millions of Americans who believe in these same policies.

Do you see the difference?

rrb said...

Blogger Roger Amick said...

You think pointing out the truth of the hard right, or alt right and the KKK types, and White Supremacists are supporting Trump? And that he is not calling them out. The headlines off Breitbpart, are outrageous.

hypocrisy - STILL the bedrock of liberalism.

i'm old enough to remember when guilt by association - obama's association with ayer's, dorn, rev. wright, et. al. - was dismissed by the left as at least irrelevant, and at most hateful, partisan hyperbolic rhetoric.

but now that the shoe is on the other cankle it's quite all right.

now then, at a minimum i'd like you to enlighten us as to why some idiot white supremacist should not be allowed to declare his support of his candidate of choice while you were fine with the father of the orlando jihadist killer supporting hillary at a recent campaign appearance.

explain the difference for us. you have 50 years of experience and all so it should be a breeze.

KD, Hillary in Black Face, why do it said...

Remember, Clinton is not Clinton, that is the case she made when attempting to say what happened at the State Department when she was the boss and what happens at the Clinton foundation and what happens at the Clinton Global Initiative are not her, nope they are not her, she laid out the case.

So today she goes to a new low , nothing new, we knew if she started to trail she would go batshit Progressive (that might be redundant) , she now pulled out the bottom of the deck black card, played it and is getting demolished for doing it.

Talk about your unforced error, omg, this is YUGE.

KD, Hillary's Unforced Error - YUGE said...

In 2010, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton fondly eulogized Sen. Robert Byrd, a former member and Exalted Cyclops of the Ku Klux Klan.

Clinton called Byrd “my friend and mentor” in a video message to commemorate his passing"

RRB,,, not that you need my help, but here she is.

Roger Amick said...

Breitbart is the John Birch society of 2016.

You better hope that a new William F. Buckley Jr comes along and convinces the Republican establishment to reject Trump and the alt-right. If you don't, the Republican party will become a semi-permanent minority party.

rrb said...

Blogger Roger Amick said...

Breitbart is the John Birch society of 2016.

nice dodge.

let's try this again:

now then, at a minimum i'd like you to enlighten us as to why some idiot white supremacist should not be allowed to declare his support of his candidate of choice while you were fine with the father of the orlando jihadist killer supporting hillary at a recent campaign appearance.

c'mon. don't let that 50 years of political punditry experience go to waste. clear this up for us.

Roger Amick said...

I was fine with the uninvited father of a murderer? Since when, asshole?

I didn't say anything about it. If I had, would have been against it. They should never have let him in if they even know who he is.

You are going to have to accept that Trump isn't going to load box cars and get rid of 11 million Beaners

You are pathetic.

C.H. Truth said...

Roger - you miss the point.

Why is Hillary Clinton and her supporters not tied to this person... the same way you want to tie Donald Trump and his supporters to David Duke?

There are bad people in this world. Some of them will agree with your political policies and some will disagree. Just because a bad person agrees with Hillary Clinton are you supposed to take responsibility for the actions of that person? If some home grown Islamic terrorist supports Hillary Clinton, does that make you a terrorist too?

Likewise, I am under no obligation to take responsibility for David Duke because he might vote for the same guy I might vote for. You suggesting that I must is nothing more than what Roger?

Yeah... Hypocrisy. The bedrock of your entire progressive movement.

KD said...

What a LIE, tell them often , but not here HB.

"I was fine with the uninvited father of a murderer?"

Really, you believe that you get to sit center stage just feet from the alt-Left candidate Hillary and not be "invited".

OMG, dumber every day.