Congrats on having gotten through another overly-long election. Notes from a spectator looking south from north of 49°.
If the outcome is anything but Obama-POTUS/Dem-Senate/GOP-House, we’re into major-news-story territory, as in how could the phalanx of statisticians led by Nate Silver have been wrong? Seriously, the polls were fairly steady and linear this time around, Bayesian mechanics should have worked.
Doubters in need of straws to grasp at, check out Colby Cosh, who points out flaws in Mr Silver’s track record. Notably, that his baseball stats-wrangling failed to predict the achievements of Ichiro Suzuki. However, I detect nothing in the current political landscape as anomalous as Ichiro has been in baseball.
It’s amazing how there’ve been two parallel incompatible elections, depending which media you follow: The low-information voters using CNN and my local traffic-and-weather AM station think it’s a too-close-to-call squeaker; students of the game who read blogs and appreciate statistics expect few surprises.
The worst thing that could happen isn’t if your candidate loses; it’s if it’s closer than the conventional wisdom thinks and America suffers a flurry of litigation.
Let’s assume the conventional wisdom is correct. At which point Mr Obama and the congressional Democrats become relatively boring; they will proceed in a predictable way.
But the Republicans will be fun to watch as their tea-party and big-biz and born-again and Wall-Street and old-skool-racist factions all lunge for the steering wheel.
I don’t think there’s any useful input to any statistical model as to how that plays out. Pass the popcorn.