This week Anything Can Happen Day will fall on a Tuesday. Yesterday I heard pollsters and operatives making their predictions. The predictions included an Obama electoral landslide, a Romney electoral landslide, and all points in between. It saddens me to see so many intelligent people forming an opinion and backing a justification into it but that is, indeed, frequently the nature of models. It’s astounding to me how much confidence they assign to their predictions.
I put my own half-baked prediction in this post at OTB. I’m predicting, as I have for some time, a narrow Obama victory. As I wrote in the linked post, those of us predicting an Obama victory are predicting several events highly unusual in American politics right along with it. We are predicting that a president will be re-elected with an unemployment rate above 7% and not trending downwards and we are predicting that a president will be re-elected with fewer electoral votes than he secured to win the highest office in the land in the first place. Virtually no one is predicting that President Obama will secure more than 365 electoral votes.
How so many pollsters and pundits can make predictions of highly unusual events with the level of confidence with which they are doing so baffles me. I don’t believe, as they appear to, that all these factors are isolated and I don’t believe that voters behave like particles suspended in a solution which also appears to me to be an underlying assumption of so many predictions.
I honestly have very little idea of what will happen. I barely have an instinct.