Nate Silver and that NY Times Election Prediction Liberals Love So Much

First of all, let me say that unlike almost every conservative on Earth right now, I don’t think Nate Silver is a hack.

I think he’s actually a really smart numbers geek.  He writes the blog FiveThirtyEight, which is now hosted by the New York Times (though I’ve been reading his stuff long before it was part of the Times.)  The reason he is controversial to conservatives right now and why liberals think he is a saint, is because he is predicting that Obama has a 78.4% chance of winning reelection.    To a lot of people, that sounds completely insane.

Two quick things before we delve into the accuracy of that claim:

1)     I would describe Nate Silver as an admitted liberal, with a soft spot for markets.  He is strangely libertarian on some things, which I like, even though I don’t usually agree with him on policy.

2)     He was one of the first people that I remember who predicted Republicans had a good chance at taking the House back after the ’08 election.  This is during the time when most liberals (and some conservatives) were saying the Republican Party was about to become a regional party with no hope of ever winning another election.  He also was recently yelled at by holier than thou ‘scientist’ Michael Mann about global warming.  So, he can’t be all bad.

So, what about Nate Silver’s model as it stands right now?  In my opinion, I think he is significantly overstating the chances of an Obama win, with a few caveats.

For example, his own model says that if he has predicted 0.8% of voters’ choices incorrectly, Romney would win the popular vote.  If that were to happen (again, by his own model) Romney would almost certainly win the electoral college as well.  (A Romney win in the popular vote and a loss in the electoral college has only a 5.1% chance of happening, according to Silver.)

Look, if you get 0.8% of voters wrong and your prediction falls apart—you probably aren’t 80% sure of it.

I don’t think Silver is intentionally making it look like Obama is a sure thing because he’s liberal.  I just think he’s a tad too cocky on this one.  That’s not the worst thing in the world.  Wall Street stat geeks were too sure of themselves with the algorithms that led to the financial collapse.

Global warming scientists are too sure of themselves with their models of the future.

Human beings do such things.

One of the features of Silver’s model is that when the race remains static, and the election gets closer, whoever is ahead becomes more of a sure thing.  That’s why his model seems to absurdly show Romney’s chances to be only slightly better than they were before the first debate.

Basically, to him, a 2 point lead that’s confirmed by numerous polls is incredibly convincing.  That’s about what’s happening in Ohio, and if Romney loses Ohio, it’s going to be pretty difficult for him to win.  I’d say Romney’s chances probably are about one in five if he loses Ohio, so it’s not completely ridiculous if you really trust the polls.

Many of the polls however, just look sketchy.  They show samples that are more optimistic for Democrats than the electorate was in 2008.  If more Democrats come out to vote than did in 2008, than yeah—Mitt Romney is losing.  But, does anyone actually believe that’s reality?   2008 was a historic election for Democrats.  Barack Obama is simply not going to repeat that enthusiasm again.  It is not happening.

On the other side, while a 78% win seems like a sure thing-- let’s put it in football terms.  Essentially, Silver is saying the Boston Romney’s have the football, down by a field goal to the Chicago Obama’s with 2 minutes left in the game.  First and ten from their own 31.  Romney could get a field goal to send it to overtime, or score a TD and grab a win.  Or they could go three and out and lose.  I can’t say that sounds THAT far off from what is happening in the election, yet, an NFL team in that situation has only a 22% chance of winning.

To me, the data says Romney’s chances are about twice as good as Silver says.  That still puts him as a slight underdog.  Beyond that, I’m depending on divine providence, hanging chads, or the Koch Brothers hacking electronic voting machines with the help of Grover Norquist or something.

The bottom line is that if Obama wins, everyone is going to think Silver is a genius.  If Romney wins, his credibility will be destroyed.  Neither is fair, but both are painfully unavoidable.

On Monday's episode of "The Glenn Beck Radio Program," Glenn opened up about the tragic death of his brother-in-law, Vincent Colonna Jr., who passed away unexpectedly on April 5. He also shared some of the important thoughts and insights he's learned through the grieving process.

"Last Monday, I was sitting in this chair ... the two-minute warning comes and Stu said to me, 'You ready for the show?'' ... And that's when my wife [Tania] came to the door of the studio here at our house and said, 'I...' and she held the phone up. And then she collapsed on the floor in tears," Glenn began. "Tania's brother had passed. To say this was a shock, is an understatement."

Glenn described his brother-in-law as having "a servant's spirit."

"He was always the guy who lit up the room. He was always the guy helping others. He would never stop, because he was always helping others," Glenn said of Vincent. "He was on the school board. He was a little league coach. He was the soccer coach. He helped build the church. He took care of the lawn of the church. He was constantly doing things, raising money for charity, working over here, helping to organize this. But he was never the guy in the spotlight. He was just the guy doing it, and you had no idea how much he had done because he never talked about it.

"We also didn't know how much mental anguish he was in because he never talked about it. And last Monday morning, after spending Easter with the family ... he killed himself. This is now the third family member of mine that has gone through this. And I keep seeing it play out over and over and over again, in exactly the same way."

Glenn described his thoughts as he, Tania, and her family struggled to come to grips with the devastating loss.

"I learned some really important things as I was watching this wake. I'm seeing these people from all walks of life ... the people that were there, were there because [Vince] made a difference in their life. He was a true servant. As I'm watching this, all that kept going through my mind was, 'by their fruits, ye shall know them.' The fruits of his labor were on display. He was a servant all the time. All the time ... he found a way to love everybody.

"There are two great commandments: Love God with all your heart and mind and soul. And love your neighbor. So those two great commandments boil down to: Love truth. Because that's what God is," Glenn said.

"Love thy neighbor. That's where joy comes from. The opposite of joy is despair, and that is the complete absence of hope ... and how do you find joy? You find joy by rooting yourself in the truth. Even if that's a truth you don't want to accept. Accept the truth," he added. "But we have to stop saying that there's nothing we can do. What are we going to do? Well, here's the first thing: stop living a lie."

Watch the video clip below to hear more from Glenn:


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After imprisoning a pastor for refusing to follow COVID-19 restrictions, Canadian officials barricaded his church. And when some church members retaliated by tearing down part of the fence, Canadian Mounties arrived in riot gear.

Rebel News Founder Ezra Levant joined Glenn Beck on the radio program to give his insight on the crazy situation. He described the new, armed police presence surrounding GraceLife Church in Edmonton, Alberta, and how it not only encouraged hundreds of protesters to stand with the church in support but forced congregation members underground to worship as well.

What's happening is eerily similar to what occurs everyday in China, Levant says, and it must stop. Who would have thought this type of tyranny would be so close to home?

Watch the video below to hear Ezra describe the religious persecution taking place in Canada.


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Enough prayers? Why is supposed Catholic Joe Biden suggesting that Congress ought to stop praying for after someone commits acts of gun violence?

On Friday, Stu Burguiere and Pat Gray filled in for Glenn and discussed President Joe Biden's remarks during his speech on gun control. "Enough prayers. Time for some action," Biden said. Stu and Pat were surprised how dismissive Biden appeared to be on the idea of prayer.

Watch the clip to hear more. Can't watch? Download the podcast here.

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Just days after Canadian pastor James Coates was released from prison for refusing to bow to COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, several police officers showed up at another church to ensure restrictions were being followed. But Polish pastor Artur Pawlowski of the Cave of Adullam Church in Alberta, Canada, knew his rights, telling the cops not to come back until they had a warrant in hand.

Filling in for Glenn Beck on the radio program this week, Pat Gray and Stu Burguiere played a video of the interaction.

"Please get out. Please get out of this property immediately. Get out!" Pawlowski can be heard yelling at the six officers who entered his church.

"Out! Out! Out! Get out of this property immediately until you come back with a warrant," he continued. "Go out and don't come back. I don't want to talk to you. You Nazis, Gestapo is not allowed here! ... Nazis are not welcome here! Do not come back you Nazi psychopaths. Unbelievable sick, evil people. Intimidating people in a church during the Passover! You Gestapo, Nazi, communist fascists! Don't you dare come back here!"

Watch this clip to see the heated exchange:

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