Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Doug at DownwithTyranny! made an ass of himself yesterday with as dubious a prediction as I can recall in some time: Doug Goes Out On A Limb-- Predicts Coakley By 10 Points Tomorrow.

I wanted to post about it yesterday but I thought better of it. But today, Doug is getting his just rewards. Folks in the comments are letting him hear about it, some not so kindly; humorously but not kindly.

It's like he set himself up:

This is a good test of my thinking. Am I looking at politics and thinking about this election rationally, or am I just being an optimist, hoping that voters are still sensible people who won’t elect candidates from the Beavis and Batshit wing of the Republican Party? Okay, I’m going to take a deep breath, and say this: Coakley wins by 10%. The third party candidate gets 3%. Massachusetts is a Democratic state.

Really, no one who works in politics can predict an individual election with any degree of confidence, not an election where both candidates have wide recognition and have run credible campaigns, meaning they’ve reached most voters several times. I base this on a simple premise: anyone who actually could consistently predict these elections would be making their living betting on them, would be rich, and we wouldn’t be hearing from them on websites or on the news.

You can only know what usually happens, what is most likely to be true, what would be a practically unprecedented result. Don’t go searching through the evidence for secret portents or unique local factors. If you do, you’ll be a very smart person who ends up saying some very silly things.

UPDATE: It'll make his head explode but watching Frank Luntz's focus group might provide some insight for Doug on how he could be so magnificently wrong.

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