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News: Cast your Ballot in the 2016 Mock Election

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1  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Demographics and the Electorate on: Today at 06:52:56 am
Question - is there any analysis on what the polls projected turnout is? Obviously a single poll is unreliable, but if you aggregate some you should get a picture of what pollsters are predicting.

This is Reuters (who I can only praise for their willingness to share data)

That data makes no sense at all... I mean, wouldn't that suggest that turnout was largely stable 08-10-12? When it wasn't at all. I mean 2014 makes sense in relation to the data, considering 2010 turnout was only slightly better than 2014... Unless I'm completely misreading this.

Is it just me or is this an assumed projection...

The graph is RCP. They haven't used midterm data at all so that's misleading. It's been extended from 2012 to 2016 using Reuters turnout model.

Do you have the link to the article with the graph?

Midterm turnout data doesn't correlate that well with presidential year turnout, so I can see why they would only use the presidential years.
2  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Demographics and the Electorate on: September 25, 2016, 11:01:59 pm
Well that is the conundrum with the data. The interest level is at a record high, but the dissatisfaction is only surpassed by 1992 when Perot had a big showing as an independent. Without the big vote for Perot the turnout in 1992 would have been abysmal. Indeed in 1996 when Perot's vote dropped from 19% to 8% turnout dropped from 58% to 52%. This is consistent with half of the Perot voters from 92 staying home in 96.

Consider the correlations of the other factors in the table with turnout. Of the first three columns, the second column seems to correlate best with turnout. If you subtract Perot's vote from the turnout, then the last column also correlates well with the remaining two-party turnout. Based on correlations, column 2 predicts a turnout higher than 2008, but column 5 predicts a low two-party turnout between '92 and '96. The only way the are both right is if Johnson/Stein together get in excess of 25% of the PV. Otherwise the election result will break one of those two correlations.

So for 2016 my sense of turnout hinges on whether Johnson/Stein can rise to pick up those disaffected voters as Perot did in 92. If not, do they stay home as they did in 96? Either way those voters would not factor much into the two-party turnout. Right now I see the third parties closer to 96 than to 92.
3  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Demographics and the Electorate on: September 25, 2016, 07:00:50 pm
To add to my post above, I would expect the black vote will converge to the white vote, if adjusted for socioeconomics. That is I would expect the college educated black vote to mirror the college educated white vote, and similarly for the non-college educated population.
4  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Demographics and the Electorate on: September 25, 2016, 06:31:53 pm
Black turnout was about 10% higher in 2008 and 2012 with Obama running compared to 2004. I don't see why they wouldn't return to voting patterns that match 2004.

Do you have the data for this? Articles/other resources seem to give varying numbers for turnout, but the one I believe I've seen most frequently is the federal data's version:

Which is essentially a total of 6.2% increase since 2004. The trend here is pretty obvious: Black turnout was already increasing prior to 2008, and I do obviously believe Obama had an effect, but who is to say black turnout wouldn't have increased more (if modestly) even if it was Clinton on the ballot? Previous trends certainly suggested it would have been possible.

Further, studies do show that people who vote once have a reasonably good chance of voting again, with the habit strengthening every time they vote thereafter. Why would all these African Americans just buck that trend because Obama isn't on the ballot?

I would have to ask - is there any precedent for one demographic's turnout to plunge so significantly while other demographics experience comparatively little, if any, drop?

I frequently see this 'disappearing black voter' theory, and I just don't understand why the default assumption after so many consecutive cycles of increasing turnout would be that these voters are not actually engaged in the process more than before, and will suddenly suffer a dramatic collapse in turnout.

I can't find my source, but I suspect they were quoting the increase in absolute turnout. 60% to 66% is a ten percent increase in the underlying numbers.

My feeling is that all demographics will drop. Blacks may drop slightly more to reflect their higher engagement during Obama's run. Since they are such a heavily Dem group, small changes in their turnout rates have a disproportionate effect on the overall Dem share.
5  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Demographics and the Electorate on: September 25, 2016, 05:32:31 pm
I live in flyover country, so if there's a regional difference in turnout models, I'll stand corrected. What I see around me are voters turned off, or if they are regular voters they are voting as soon as they reasonably can. They have learned that by voting early the calls and mail pieces largely stop and that part of the negative campaign stops with them.

Moving more predictably reliable voters to take early ballots is not a sign of higher turnout, but it is good for campaigns to lock down their base so they concentrate on that aspect. The question is what the fair-weather voters are doing, and can they be motivated to vote this year?
6  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: The liberal hysteria over Trump is nearly unprecedented on: September 25, 2016, 05:18:06 pm
Looking back in American history, I can only think of 2 presidential elections where one of the major party nominees was this reviled and feared.

1. 1860:  obvious choice. Lincoln was not even on the ballot in the Southern states because not enough electors would publicly pledge themselves to Lincoln. His election was the catalyst for secession.

2. 1896: less obvious but a highly underrated election. The 36 year old William Jennings Bryan seized the Democratic Party nomination with his electric oratory and populist stance on free silver, trade, agragrian policies, anti-wall street. The incumbent Democratic President, Grover Cleveland, was a strong free-market proponent who supported the gold standard. He was so repulsed by Bryan that he refused to even endorse him. The east coast business establishment was so terrified of Bryan that adjusted for inflation, more money was spent to defeat him than any other nominee in history. Banks and other employers openly told their workers that if Bryan wins the election, there will be no job to come to. The northeast was so terrified of Bryan that McKinley even won NYC (one of only 3 republicans to do so). If Bryan had won, the United States would be a very different country now.

You totally forgot the obvious: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_zTN4BXvYI

Thank you. The 1800's were full of campaigns where negativity, fear, and distrust were the order of the day. How about 1824 where the "corrupt bargain" kept Jackson from the WH. Then there's the incivility of the opponents of "Rutherfraud" Hayes after the "stolen" election of 1876. My thesis is that today's fragmented niche media has fostered a return to what was once commonplace in the US when information was fragmented before the broadcast networks dominated news.
7  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Demographics and the Electorate on: September 25, 2016, 04:41:38 pm
Turnout, turnout, turnout. The most important ingredient in a successful campaign.

I have posted for months now that the turnout in 2016 will be lower than 2012. I think it may be perhaps as low as 1996. Negative campaigns drive down turnout, that's one reason they are employed. This campaign is as negative as any in recent memory and neither campaign is running a parallel positive message to counter the negativity. That negative messaging depresses educated voters that are not the "civic duty" types who automatically vote every cycle.

Black turnout was about 10% higher in 2008 and 2012 with Obama running compared to 2004. I don't see why they wouldn't return to voting patterns that match 2004.

Polling for likely voters suffered in 2012 since many screens were calibrated to 2008. There was less enthusiasm in 2012 compared to 2008 so polls mistook that for lower turnout. Polls recalibrated again after 2012 to insure that low interest responses weren't missed from the likely voter pool as happened in 2012. But maybe the low interest means what they thought it meant going into 2012. If so, then the likely voter pool is being overestimated this time, just as it was underestimated last time.
8  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: 538 Model Megathread on: September 25, 2016, 12:42:17 pm
Discussions like these are why I wish Nate would actually release the 538 model (or just the results of the simulations) for us to play around with.  We could then actually get a sense of whether the firewall really exists within his model.

The results of the EC simulation are on the main page at the bottom. The chart doesn't have much detail, but one can see the peaks for the most likely combinations out of the simulation. The highest peak generally corresponds to the combination if all the states follow their current most likely candidate. The way I read it today, one can pull out that the most likely occurrence is a Clinton win with 272 EV. That is the current Clinton states on his map plus ME-2.
9  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Favorite poster who joined in 2003 on: September 25, 2016, 11:44:18 am
I am very fond of many of these people, so as a tiebreak I voted for the three I've met in person: NUMY, Guaffie-poo, and afleitch! Grin Cheesy Grin *hughughug* Grin Cheesy Grin

Ah, you have me beat there. I have only met in person two on the list - Nym and BRTD. I think you were too young for us to meet when I frequently came to Mpls in those early Atlas years. I may be in DC later this year, so perhaps that can be remedied now.
10  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Which Airport? DC area on: September 25, 2016, 07:13:20 am
I've used all three and they each have pluses and minuses. Overall I've found BWI the best by a hair with Reagan a close second. I usually reserve Dulles for transfers.
11  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: The liberal hysteria over Trump is nearly unprecedented on: September 24, 2016, 09:06:02 pm
Is it so different from 1964? Goldwater wasn't considered vulgar or a con man, but people thought he'd start World War III.

So did many, including some in the media, in 1980 with Reagan. He even picked up the nickname "the mad bomber" by some of his detractors.
12  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of this telescope on: September 24, 2016, 01:38:11 pm
The opinion depends on what your primary uses will be. Are you more interested in planets or deep sky objects? Are you planning on doing a lot of astrophotography or just visual observation? Do you expect to move it much to go to different locations?
13  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Game: Invent a name for US regions. on: September 23, 2016, 10:01:35 pm
Nobody has successfully done this as described in the OP.

I was just going to say the same thing. One person is supposed to draw a map and the next person names it and then names the regions. So, perhaps we can start again. Here's a map.

14  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Steady Staten on: September 23, 2016, 08:56:28 pm
The same is true for the collar counties of Cook in IL. DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, and Will have all grown in every Census since 1840. McHenry is down by 0.5% since 2010, so the string might be broken this decade.

Do you think that's really true though?  McHenry grew by almost 20% in the 2000s.  It's hard to believe it's lost population, especially with the economy picking back up.

The loss of the suburban tax base is the unspoken cause of much of the impasse in IL. Kendall's growth rate is one tenth of what it was in the last decade. McHenry lost about 600 people from 2010 to 2015. The collars are where the tax base lives, without its growth the state cannot sustain the growth of its schools, roads, and social safety net.
15  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: "Never wrong pundit" Allan Lichtman predicts Clinton win. on: September 23, 2016, 09:19:33 am
Wow, I never realized this guy was such a show boater.  His criteria is so vague you can put yourself on either side of it an most of his "keys".  He just wants to hedge his bets and make his sterling record, which was broken in 2000 look somewhat clean.

The model may have problems but 2000 was not one of them. When he developed the model in the 1980's he clearly said this was only to predict the popular vote winner since 1860. He used 1876 and 1888 as examples where his model would have called the popular vote winner, not the EC winner.
16  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Should laws be passed without intent to enforce them? on: September 23, 2016, 09:03:40 am
Many laws are enforceable, but due to limited resources can't be aggressively enforced. There's a grey area due to this that may make it seem that the laws are not being enforced.

To use an example, consider a municipal noise ordinance. Suppose the law says that if you are creating sound in excess of 60 dB at the property line you are subject to a fine. A person sees the police drive by a loud party and do nothing, so they ask why does the city have a noise ordinance if it is not enforced?

This is probably a case of selective enforcement due to procedure. It is a waste of police to have them continuously checking sound levels throughout the city when there are more serious threats that require active policing. So the police will wait until a neighbor complains and then check the situation for a violation. Even when there is a complaint the police would have the discretion to issue a warning and not a ticket.
17  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: "Never wrong pundit" Allan Lichtman predicts Clinton win. on: September 23, 2016, 08:49:55 am
Lichtman moves the goalposts again...


He seems to be following opinion now, not predicting it.

He was actually stuck following opinion earlier, as I posted before. His system clearly has predicted a Trump win for months now, but Lichtman just couldn't accept that. He has now committed on foreign policy success against the Dems. Even so, he's still hedging a little in his comments. He still won't credit Bernie's primary performance, so that way if Johnson stays below 5% and Clinton wins he can claim victory.

So basically he's fudging his model into the direction of what he expects to happen. Key 2 is actually true by his standard (Sanders won over a third of delegates) but he's finding excuses otherwise because he doesn't think Trump can win.

Both key 2 and key 4 are false for the incumbent by Lichtman's traditional standards. That would make six keys against Clinton and point to a Trump popular vote win (he doesn't predict EC wins).

Can't find the link, but about six months ago Lichtman was arguing that the only ambiguous key was 'major foreign policy success'. He was unsure how major the deal with Iran was going to be. If that had been False, he would have been forced to predict a Trump victory (at the time, he seemed quite sure Key 2 counted as False). Obviously he figured predicting a Trump win, in the face of all other evidence, would open him up to humiliation.

I agree with many of the above comments, the '13 Keys' model is ridiculously subjective and suffers from the same flaw as many fundamentals-based models: just because you can find a set of factors common to all past elections does not mean the same factors will be valid for all future elections. Those familiar with the xkcd 'Electoral Precedent' cartoon will already know this...

He also had the contest key as ambiguous then. He was fudging his traditional standards in that article to say that if Bernie was supportive at the convention his delegate total wouldn't count against the Dems holding the WH.

At that time he didn't see any traction for Johnson, so he had the third party key as True for Clinton. I don't see how he could make that call without some serious fudging of that key, too.

As noted he was ambiguous about the foreign policy success. In the article he even said that the best strategy for Clinton was to have Obama sell the Iran deal to the public at large. Clearly that hasn't happened, so if he were consistent he should be calling that key False for Clinton raising the False total to 7.

Here was his interview a year ago. In that one he thought the Climate Change agreement would turn the foreign policy success key. By May of this year he had discarded Climate Change as the vehicle and moved to Iran.

The real difference you can see is that he was toying with adding a new key. This one is for a challenging party fracture. In this election it would turn True, and if Johnson is interpreted as a challenger fracture instead of a true third party then Hillary gets 8 keys True even if contest and foreign policy success are ruled False.
18  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2000 U.S. Presidential Election Results / Re: 2000 Bush and Algore : Why Al Gore has refused to check the votes again ? on: September 23, 2016, 08:16:50 am
In 2001 a sample of about 175K FL ballots were recounted by researchers at the U of Chicago sponsored by a coalition of media outlets. The researchers considered a number of different ways to count questionable ballots. Depending on the counting standard applied either candidate could have prevailed by about 100 votes. Gore didn't need to check the votes again, the race was for all intents and purposes a statistical tie. SCOTUS became the tie breaker, little different than drawing lots as candidates would in a strict numerical tie.
19  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: "Trump's election to lose" on: September 23, 2016, 08:02:21 am
The data is not polling, but it is still worth noting IMO.

Polls reflect a snapshot of the electorate as it reacts to the candidates and the events around them. Part of that reaction is to media mentions of the candidates - broadcast, cable, print, and online. Anyone tracking media mentions of candidates a year ago as a guide to the outcome would have put money on Trump to win the nomination. It was an accurate leading indicator of where polls would go, and eventually how the primary would turn out.

Correlations between online occurrences of a candidate and the election itself is a similar measure. Like media mentions a year ago these correlations can show what the electorate will be reacting to in advance of the polls. That makes it a potential leading indicator.

I claim no knowledge of how they count "signals" for the candidates and the election, so I can't say how much weight to put on their correlations. I would say that it would be silly to put no weight on these correlations. They are based on real data that influences the election.
20  General Politics / Economics / Re: Opinion of Universal Basic Income on: September 23, 2016, 07:41:47 am
To Gustaf's post, if the entire US federal government shut down and used all of its revenue to create a UBI it wouldn't be much. $3.25 trillion divided by 319 million people is $10,188/year. That corresponds to a full-time wage of about $5.00/hour, so that is consistent with Gustaf's claim of starvation wages.

By comparison the maximum social security benefit at age 65 is $29,424/year almost three times as much. In other words the US would have to triple its tax income to provide a UBI equal to social security and it would still be shut down and provide no services. Tripling the rates wouldn't work since the top bracket is already 39.6% and that would result in tax rates greater than 100%. So arguably this matches Gustaf's other claim that the alternative would bankrupt the budget and be unsustainable even with higher taxes.
21  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Steady Staten on: September 23, 2016, 06:53:29 am
The same is true for the collar counties of Cook in IL. DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, and Will have all grown in every Census since 1840. McHenry is down by 0.5% since 2010, so the string might be broken this decade.
22  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Post the Introduction of Your Most Recent Paper on: September 22, 2016, 04:04:52 pm
My most recent as a coauthor was submitted Aug 2016 to Physical Review D:

Measurement of the direct CP violating charge asymmetry in B±→μ±νμD0 decays

Direct CP violation (CPV) in the semileptonic decay B+ → µ+νµD0 does not occur in the standard model (SM). Charge conjugate states are assumed in this paper. Any CPV in this decay would indicate the existence of non-SM physics. The anomalously large CP-violating effects in the like-sign dimuon asymmetry measured by the D0 Collaboration [1] could be explained by the presence of direct CPV in semileptonic decays. This article presents the first measurement of the direct CP-violating charge asymmetry using the full Run II integrated luminosity of 10.4 fb−1 of proton-antiproton collisions collected with the D0 detector at the Fermilab Tevatron Collider.
23  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Car thread on: September 22, 2016, 03:49:33 pm
2011 Ford Fusion Hybrid - silver w/ black interior
24  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of the Previous Poster's Signature: The Wrath of Khan on: September 22, 2016, 11:53:22 am
I can't help but hear the melody in my head.
25  About this Site / The Atlas / Re: Recent bans on: September 22, 2016, 10:25:42 am
The user wasn't banned, it was the IP address he was using that was banned.  Same thing happened to me once when I was posting from the wifi at LAX airport; clearly somebody had been using that same wifi when they were banned.

That's how I interpreted Gustaf's post, anyway.

I had the same thought, but cMac sent me a screenshot confirming that it is his account, and not just his IP, that has been banned.

Would really appreciate a confirmation with regard to whether using the same proxy server as known spammers is typically (or has ever previously) served as grounds for banning someone who appeared to be a promising and valuable contributor to the forum.

I understand that it's not practical or advisable to simply mass-ban a gigantic number of these IPs as a prophylactic measure, but I can't understand what purpose this serves. Did the moderators believe that there was an intolerable risk of this poster suddenly posting hundreds of advertisements for penis pumps, or something?

But did he say, why he used a proxy server?

People have plenty of reasons for using proxies and there is no reason to assume malfeasance without other cause.

I share Averroes' concern.  Having a "questionable" public IP should not be grounds alone for banning if a new poster would not otherwise be subject to this sort of scrutiny.

My interactions with this poster were cordial; certainly he was an improvement over the general discourse in the 2016 board.  If we are to ban posters for using public WiFi or proxy servers it is imperative that we at least judge them on their contributions first, no?

Could we please get an answer on A) what is the official policy with regard to proxy servers, B) whether cMac was banned, and C) if so, why?

It's a bit frustrating to have a question left unanswered or partially answered days after two people have asked it multiple times, while another question is answered within hours. (If you charitably choose to describe Torie's barely coherent word salad of quasi-legalese an answer, at least.)

Can anyone answer this, or will I need to ask again in another couple of days?

To be clear, I wasn't involved in the decision and wasn't even aware of it until I searched for it on the Mod Board after seeing your post here. So I'm not the best person to answer your questions (I'm not very internet savvy so I don't trust my own judgment when it comes to assessing this sort of thing).

He was banned, I'm sorry that wasn't clear from my response. I think using proxy servers have been used as sufficient grounds to be banned in the past but for the reasons in my above paragraph I can't say I'm sure about it.

As I said before, I appreciate that you are the only moderator who is even bothering to attempt answering, and I certainly can't blame you for not knowing when there are clearly severe internal communication problems. Can you forward my questions to someone who can answer them? Nym, Dave, TPTB, Klamm, God, or whomever.

cMac36 was banned for appearing to be a sock. There was an ip match to at least three other banned accounts. The use of proxies was just one factor, and not the major one from what I can tell.
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