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grantcart's Journal
grantcart's Journal
November 17, 2016

An Inconvenient Comparison and an unavoidable Concession

While endless PhD dissertations and internet autopsies will dissect this low point in American history we must accept certain bottom line assessments:

While there are many good and many intelligent people in this country the government's power and leadership does not inherently fall in the parameters of "good" or "intelligent".

I am struck how the theoretical visitor from another planet would see many comparisons between the US and Islamic Republic of Iran. Both have elections but neither have direct democratic elections. Both have extreme divisions between hyper religious rural areas and highly educated urban populations with hard working and stable middle class populations. Iran prevents direct elections by means of a cleric class that restricts but does not control democratic elections while the US has an electoral college and a Senate that gives extreme weight to rural areas where clerics "control the herd".

Both have elected unstable, irresponsible and dangerous populists (Ahmadinejad/Trump)

I am not anti Persian. I assisted 5,000 Iranians trapped outside of Iran at the time of the Revolution find new homes in the US and other countries in Thailand in the 1980s. If I am in an airport and see someone I think might be from Iran waiting for a plane I will try and engage them and have been rewarded with many interesting and vigorous discussions.

I have to agree however with those that have concluded that the Government of Iran doesn't have the maturity to control the immense lethal destruction of a nuclear bomb. There is simply too much extremism, volatility and instability to allow for the possibility.

I also don't want to diminish the horror that still exists in parts of the Iranian Revolutionary movement including the persecution of religious groups like the Baha'i or to over do the comparison between the two countries as we still have constitutional safeguards which have successfully prevented our religious extremists from going too far.

My point is simply that the election has brought the comparison between the two countries much closer, too close.

It is close enough that we must now accept that whatever the baseline level for an acceptable level of maturity, wisdom, restraint, intelligence, truthfulness or comity that must exist as a minimum requirement for a nuclear power that we have slipped way below that line.

When we all agreed that Mr. Trump did not have the disposition to hold the nuclear codes (even among many of his supporters) and he is still elected President we must now face that there are two variables in that premise and if Trump in fact gets the office then the only responsible alternative is that we remove the nuclear codes.

The United States should now undertake the necessary steps to remove its nuclear capability. With our advanced tactical "smart" weaponry we don't need them to land a bomb in a leader's bedroom or the command center for an army.

For the same reason that we object to Iran holding a nuclear arsenal the US must now accept that it no longer sits at the adult table and that those sitting at the kids table should not leave nuclear weapons for people with the temperament of 7th graders. The US must unilateral get rid of its nuclear arsenal with all deliberate speed.

November 6, 2016

The "How many states do you think 538 will get wrong?" poll

The famed 538 model evolved from baseball (and then football, etc) where a regular schedule uses a steady flow of information of equal quality. It suffers during primaries where quality and quantity are at odds. The quality of polls suffers as election day draws closer as Republicans flood results from Republican pollsters who have not been active previously and appear to be aimed at raising voter turnout among Republicans in key swing states.

The state polls simply are not in line with SOME of the national polls as discussed here


You can’t have state polls showing an aggregate huge margin (i.e. NY/CA up 20 and Texas down 10, etc) and a national poll at 3 points or less. To make the state polls come in line with the national Silver makes manual adjustments which have been running 2-3 points for Trump.

FiveThirtyEight has doubled down on their logic with this article just out that argues that the early voting in NV could be wrong and their polls right because there is large numbers of Democrats voting for Trump (even though the state polls that they prefer in fact don’t show that) I don’t know how they justify Nevada going blue for the Senate but Red for the Presidential election.


Being a registered Democrat doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to vote for Clinton. If Trump is winning more registered Democrats than Clinton is registered Republicans, the early vote data in Nevada may not mean what we think it means. Indeed, some Nevada polls (though not all) show Trump getting a higher percentage of self-identified Democrats than Clinton gets Republicans. It’s also possible that Republicans turnout in disproportionately strong numbers on Election Day, despite previous trends

With this logic, which is not based on supportable data, 538 shows Democrats winning the senate race in Nevada and Trump winning the Presidential election.

With 48 hours left 538 is showing the following states red: Florida, North Carolina, Nevada, Ohio, Iowa, Georgia and Arizona for the President

He is showing the following states going red for Senate:

Florida, North Carolina, Missouri, Indiana.

In these 11 states how many do you think he will get wrong?
November 5, 2016

The Fundamental Problem with Nate Silver's Model

The fundamental problem with Nate Silver’s model is that the state polls cannot be reconciled with the national trend. You cannot have states like NY, CA, WA up 20 points, another dozen states where Clinton is up 15 points and the most populous red states like TX, AZ and Florida where she is even or down just a little and then have the national polls where Clinton is only up 3%, it just doesn’t add up.


The Princeton consortium never uses the national polls as the state polls are much more accurate and they don’t have to adjust to make them fit

Silver’s model is based on his sports models where there is a constant stream of games being played on schedule with a set data stream. One of the problems with the last 2 weeks of the election season is that Republicans launch a barrage of polls from RW pollsters (who ever heard of Remington?) that lean heavy Republican that are used to help with their GOTV.

Silver’s top down approach that gives preeminence to national polls is not as stable as the bottom up approach that other sites use that work on a larger and more accurate base of state polls. If you accept that Clinton is currently 6% ahead nationally then you can reconcile all of the state polls without major adjustment.

November 5, 2016


ConsigLIEre. The good, the funny and the ridiculous.

November 3, 2016

Warmed up Turkey, Clinton Must be + 6-7 Points Nationally

Warmed up Turkey, Clinton Must be + 6-7 Points Nationally.

A couple of years ago I received a sobering message from my doctor, the stubborn increase in my blood pressure was aggravating my well controlled diabetes and the unpredictable Meniere's that had became my constant partner with "railroad in my brain" or more often called “ringing in the ears”. A drastic reduction in stress was ordered immediately and I was unable to get rid of the idiot who was dating my daughter immediately so I would have to step away from DU. I have a certain obsession with seeing misstated facts and when I saw one famous poster purposely misstate facts about Afghanistan so that he could promote his income producing blog I was unable to sleep that night and triggered a Meniere’s vertigo attack.

Attempts to be a moderate self controlled DU member failed. I also knew that Secretary Clinton was going to be the nominee and that there was going to be a lot of attacks on her because even in the best of times the Clintons can complicate the record even when they are doing a good job, and even when they are doing a miracle, and I have personally seen Sec. Clinton work a political miracle

So I went frozen turkey on DU. My health improved. Like George Costanza, I invented the “its not you, its me”. It wasn’t DU it was me, I couldn’t disengage rationally or moderate. Six months ago I started “lurking” and noticed that all of the people who were driving me crazy had left DU and there was talk of yet another anti DU site. I took the turkey out of the freezer. Its been defrosting and now I will try a little warmed up Turkey by posting a single post a day if I think of something that might be useful. To the many friends who I left here without a word, I apologize. It wasn’t you, it was me. Of course it really was those idiots who took every opportunity to tear down the most decent family to enter into public life in my lifetime or live in the White house ever. (People who say “its not you, its me” of course never actually mean that its “me”).


I noticed that there is more nervousness at DU than is consistent with the known facts in the polls. Clearly Secretary Clinton is at or above + 6 nationally. There really cannot be any rational argument with this even if all of the national polls show that she is even, plus 2 or whatever.

Look at all of the state polls. It is simply not possible for Sec. Clinton to be

CA +23
NY +20
WA, IL, MA, NJ + 13
FL/NC Even
TX, AZ, GA – 4

and only +2 nationally. Either all of the hundreds of state polls are way off or a few of the national polls are a little bit off.

This thing has been baked since the 3rd debate and then put into petrified wood with Access Hollywood clip. Across the country there are exactly 156 people who are really undecided. Gallup tried to find out what psychological condition might exist that was common among these 156 people but suspended their testing when administering the “over or under” test which asked participants to replace a new roll of toilet paper. People who are still undecided at this point were found to take over an hour and a half to try and figure out if they should have the toilet paper going over the spindle or under.


The so called tightening is usually an error of predicting turnouts based on past elections. While AA turnout is slightly down, the combined AA and Hispanic vote is up, but most national polls don’t account for that.

The poll showing 28% of Republicans voting Democrat in Florida was a small sample and probably exaggerated, but not by much. In any case the key metric is not how many Republicans vote Democratic but the disparity between the two. Usually it is a wash with 90% of each party voting the ticket that they are registered for. If however it is 85% Republican (a pretty safe figure) and 95% Democratic (equally safe) voters then that alone would account for a 3-4% under value in the polls. Trump cannot win the popular vote with that disparity.

Based on all of the above and the fact that there are no undecided voters in the actual election it is logical to conclude that today Clinton is around 53% to Trump 45% and it is unlikely to change much. There is one more point that confirms this: Trump has a hard ceiling around 43% with undecideds, (45% with). Steve Kornacki mentioned yesterday that in looking at almost 40 different polls Trump only went over 45 once.

Having said that we are probably ahead by 7% we are in a good position but we could definitely lose the Electoral College. That is simply because a lot of that 7% vote is “wasted” by giving us redundant winning votes in states like CA. If we lose both Florida and North Carolina it will become very close because Trump probably is going to take Ohio, in part due to the terrible performance of Ted Strickland.

Then there is this: There are no polls for “registered voters” for North Carolina. Registration and one stop voting continues there until Saturday. A win in either FL or NC seals the results and saves the country form 4 years of constitutional anarchy.

The reference to Republican “crapola” is this; In order to boost funding or turnout the Republicans will finance a whole bunch of one off state polls from right wing pollsters with questionable ethics and dump them at the same time. Four years ago we caught Gravis doing this at a time when Romney had a money raising crises. This year the previously unheard of Remington is dumping dozens of polls in swing states showing remarkable Trump bounce. One off polls like this are worthless because it doesn’t give us a reference point to compare with their earlier work, it is for this reason that these polls are really only for trying to generate Republican turn out in swing states and fodder for the really, really, really concern troll.

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