New York Times Blogger Calls GA8 a Tight Race

From the Macon Telegraph’s POLITICAL NOTEBOOK:

Some forecasters had moved Georgia’s 8th Congressional District from likely Democratic to toss-up.

Now Nate Silver, who runs the FiveThirtyEight blog for The New York Times, gives Austin Scott a better-than-even chance of beating Jim Marshall for the 8th District, which runs through major parts of Middle Georgia. Marshall is said to have a 62-percent chance of losing.

The blog also gave Sanford Bishop a 23-percent chance of losing the 2nd Congressional District seat, though those numbers apparently predate news that Bishop arranged scholarships for family members and people he knew.

Silver correctly predicted the 2008 presidential election results in 49 of 50 states, missing only Indiana.

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  1. ricstewart says:

    Maybe for the sake of de-cluttering the front page, there could just be one post that with the title “everyone in the universe calls GA-8 a toss-up”

    • John Konop says:

      In fairness agree or not with Nate Silver on politics he is considered the best in the game now with polls. That is why I am sure the Marshall team is not happy with this poll.

    • polisavvy says:

      Actually, it said “. . . Marshall is said to have a 62-percent chance of losing.” Appears as though it is no longer considered a “toss-up.”

  2. Mike Stucka says:

    For the record, when I typed that on Friday, it was 62%. By Sunday afternoon, it had changed back to tossup. It’s listed at the moment at 55 percent.

    And GA-2 is no longer listed at all.

    • polisavvy says:

      Would you mind, and if you can, please explain how polls change so dramatically up and down like they do? For the life of me, I have a hard time following them and for that reason don’t always put a whole lot of stock in polls. Thanks in advance.

        • polisavvy says:

          Thanks, Rural. I read it; but, boy is this stuff complicated to me. I wish someone could explain it in simple layman’s terms. I think my eyes crossed trying to process and disseminate it all in my brain. 😉

          • RuralDem says:

            Basically he plugs in all these numbers and runs a simulation thousands of times, that’s about as good as I can explain it, sorry :/

            (If someone has a better explanation, please post so polisavvy and I can understand. We’re in the same boat!)

            • polisavvy says:

              I think that our boat is sinking in this regard. I have asked someone to review the link and see if they could explain it in a more simplified fashion. Once they respond to me, I’ll post for you.

          • Mike Stucka says:

            There’s a book from a few years back called “Super Crunchers” that talks about some of the techniques without, er, actually talking about the techniques. It’s not real technical, so it may be too dry for you to get the general gist but not dry enough to help you grasp the details. =) Wish I could help on that one. That book is by Ian Ayres.

            The original “Freakonomics” is a better read, but really doesn’t involve regression at all, from what I remember.

            Andrew Carnegie would appreciate it if you went to your library. =)

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