Patterico's Pontifications

11/2/2010

Election Night Live Chat

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:28 pm

Sorry it took so long to get up — trundling children to soccer practice and such.

I may not be able to monitor this all night, but at least you guys can start talking to each other in real time. Tell us about the local election results in your part of the country!

The usual instructions: You see the chat window below? Look at the bottom. Enter your name or pseudonym where it says “Your name.” Enter your comment in the second window just under that, and hit send. I will have to approve your comment before it appears, but I’m online right now, and will approve most comments within a minute. Usually within seconds.

IMPORTANT: Note the buttons at the bottom. You will probably want to turn off “autoscroll.” It bothers a lot of people.

A few notes before Election Night

Filed under: General — Karl @ 2:43 pm

[Posted by Karl]

All sorts have posted hour-by-hour guides to election night.  Nate Silver and Partick Ishmael are big on ranking races, but National Journal and the WaPo also have notes.  A Hulked-up Jay Cost has the competitive seats broken down by region.  Accordingly, I felt there really was little need for me to do that sort of post.  I have a few observations about the very start of the night, as that’s when people will be the most edgy about the results.

First, at 6 p.m. Eastern, analysts are going to be looking for the results in IN-9.  Silver’s take:

Baron Hill’s seat, the Indiana 9th, has long been one of the most competitive in the country. I don’t think you should get too swept up in the results of any one particular congressional district — not when there are 435 of them in every corner of the country. But Mr. Hill, a middle-of-the-road Democrat who ordinarily performs strongly in his fairly rural, somewhat Republican-leaning district, but who voted for the health care bill and the stimulus, is in a position that is fairly typical for Democratic incumbents around the country this year. Also, the district has a magic number of 41, which means that it’s right at the cusp of what Republicans would need to take over the House. If they fail to win it, that could be the first sign that they’re liable to do a hair worse than expected. If they win it by a margin in the high single digits or the double digits, however, it could suggest that a lot of Democratic incumbents, many of whom are less skilled than Mr. Hill at understanding how to run a strong campaign in their districts, are going to be in trouble.

Is that spin? Maybe not; Ishmael has IN-9 as the 22nd most likely seat to flip.  On the other hand, the WaPo’s Chris Cillizza calls IN-9 “a jump ball” — and the last poll I saw had Hill up a couple of points.  Maybe IN-9 is less revealing than its ranking suggests.

Jay Cost added this in an interview today at NRO:

Indiana comes in first tomorrow night, so my early race to watch (beyond the Indiana 2nd, 8th, and 9th districts) is IN-1. It’s a D+8 district that Pete Visclosky is not going to lose, but if it’s around 55 percent, that will be a sign that something is brewing.

Silver downplays a bit more for his NYT readership:

I’d be a little bit more cautious about reading too much into the two Kentucky districts on our chart, the 6th and the 3rd, just because Kentucky is a fairly idiosyncratic state to begin with, and both the polling and the Senate race have been strange there. Still, John Yarmuth’s 3rd district, which encompasses Louisville, reflects a strong potential upside case for the G.O.P. if they were to win it.

Silver doesn’t explain what he means by “idiosyncratic.”  I suspect he means that there were plenty of folks registered Dem who vote GOP, even before this cycle — but that really should be accounted for in the polling itself.  Silver calls the polling there “strange,” but again fails to elaborate.  Both he and Ishmael have KY-6 (held by Ben Chandler) rated as seat No. 62 and the most recent poll seems to show Chandler +4, so a GOP win here would point in the direction of those 50-60 seat projections that seem to be prevalent (Cillizza seems to see a Chander loss as an even bigger deal).  A GOP win in KY-3 would be a signal of a potential super-wave.

However, I would advise taking all of this with a grain of salt.  District-level data sets are so small (and include partisan polling) that Silver is absolutely correct to stress — as he has throughout — that there is an enormous amount of uncertainty in these sorts of analyses.  Treat those linked guides as guides — and rough guides at that.  As no less than Kos notes, there were 68 districts in which a poll was released (either public or partisan) since October 1st showing one candidate or the other leading by three points or less.    Historically, even the polls of likely voters have skewed ~2-3% Democratic in midterm elections. Libs will bitterly cling to hopes of cellphone bias until proven otherwise (maybe some will make it the core of their theory of how the GOP stole the House).  Maybe they’ll cancel each other out and the conventional wisdom predictions will carry the day.  We’ll know soon enough.

–Karl

Depressing/Infuriating Quote of the Day

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 11:48 am

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; send your tips here.]

In a follow up to a post yesterday, we learn that Salman Rushdie spoke to Jon  Stewart about including the unapologetic Islamofsacist Yusuf Islam in his Rally to Restore Sanity.  This is Rushdie’s characterization of the conversation:

I [Rushdie] spoke to Jon Stewart about Yusuf Islam’s appearance. He said he was sorry it upset me, but really, it was plain that he was fine with it. Depressing.

You know, Jon, the issue isn’t a matter of hurt feelings, you jackass.  It’s about whether you actually care about freedom of expression or not.  And if you can’t be bothered to give up a performance of Peace Train at your stupid little rally in the name of freedom, then you “just believe in free speech, but won’t defend it.

Note that the post that it this quote came from is down, but you can still see it on its cache.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

Get Your Election Predictions in Now!

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:50 am

Remember: they’re more impressive if you make them before they happen.

Me, I’m saying nothing more specific than this: we will crush them.

P.S. I will try to start a live chat sometime this evening, which I won’t be able to monitor closely or participate in much — but which should allow interested readers a chance to talk to each other in real time.

“It Ruined Me”: Schwarzenegger v. EMA

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 6:10 am

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; send your tips here.]

Today is a big day in the republic, not just because of the election, but because Schwarzenegger v. Entertainment Merchants Association will be heard in the Supreme Court.  It will decide whether the creation and manufacture of video games is a form of expression equally protected under the First Amendment.  That is right, this is a story about video games and the law.  I am so there.

Of course these days video games have more of what most people would consider expression than ever before.  For instance, there can be little doubt that these laws are motivated in significant part by the various games in the Grand Theft Auto series.  But ironically while it is feeding much of the hysteria, it is also the series of games that looks and sounds the most like speech, maybe even art.  We have come a long way from twitchy games about one blip blowing up another blip.  In the Grand Theft Auto games, there are full cut scenes, featuring talented voice actors, delivering lines that aren’t cool but are instead designed to give emotional impact.  Take for instance, this conversation in Grand Theft Auto IV between Michelle and the main character Niko Bellic, a Serbian immigrant:

Michelle: Tell me about yourself. Tell me about Niko Bellic.

Niko: There is not much to tell. I just moved here.

Michelle: I know – and you live with your cousin – but what do you guys do?

Niko: I don’t have regular work, yet.

Michelle: So, what did you do in Europe?

Niko: I worked, in tourism.  In travel industry.

Michelle: Did you fight in the war?

Niko: Sure.

Michelle:How was that?

Niko: How do you think it was? Seeing your friends die? Seeing men have their legs blown off? It was… it was… it ruined me.

Michelle: I’m so sorry.

Niko: Me too.

The game also includes tons of commentary on politics and social issues.  It is, put simply, a very expressive game.  I mean, yes, it is still possible to do the really depraved stuff that the series is famous for, but to reduce the game to just that is to ignore more than half of the experience.

(more…)


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