Sad Pundits: Why Won’t Insiders Tell Us Who Will Win The Election?

  everyone is dumb

Six more days of this bullshitTHIS ELECTION, YOU GUYS! It is … confusing? Like, some people say that Barack Obama will win re-election, while others say that his opponent, Mitt Romney, will prevail! WHO ARE WE TO TRUST? Normally, of course, we’d turn to the literally of hundreds of people who are employed full-time by various old- and new-media outlets to report on and offer opinions about politics, because they know things. But as a survey of these sages in the Politico reveals, they’re completely at sea as well! You must click the “MORE” clicky in order to read the single greatest quote in a Politico article of all time, which reveals the utter bankruptcy of the pundit class. Then you can spend the next six days doing something productive and rewarding with your life!

Here it is, ABC News’s highly compensated reporter Jon Karl, offering an extremely clear explanation of why his job should not exist:

I think more than any other race I’ve covered this is one where both sides genuinely seem to believe they’re going to win. That’s different … Given that, it’s hard for somebody covering the race to make a call. I’m completely confused. I have no idea who’s going to win. And I usually have a sense of who’s going to win.

Oh no, reporters aren’t getting “inside scoops” from triumphalist and/or fatalist campaign staffers. There’s literally no other way to tell! Like if only there were people … surveying Americans on how they plan to vote? And those surveys could be aggregated and analyzed, somehow? In totally unrelated news, this Politico article was brought to our attention by your math and numbers boyfriend Nate Silver, whose Twitter feed is growing increasingly catty:

STAY STRONG NATE

Anyway, allow us here at Wonkette to tell you that we have zero “insider information” but we are reasonably sure Barry will win anyway. Now, go, shoo, read a novel or watch a movie or something and then read a newspaper next Wednesday to find out who won! (Just kidding, refresh Wonkette dot com constantly for election updates, THE OUTCOME OF THE ELECTION DEPENDS ENTIRELY ON YOU PAYING ATTENTION TO EVERY DETAIL AT ALL TIMES.) [Politico]

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About the author

Josh was born and raised in Buffalo, New York, leaving him with a love of chicken wings and a tendency to say “pop”. He taught ancient Greek and Roman history to undergraduates before fleeing from academia in terror; worked for a failed San Francisco dot-com that neglected to supply him with stock options or an Aeron chair; lived in Berlin, where he mostly ate Indian and Ethiopian food; finished in third place on his sole Jeopardy! appearance (the correct answer was “Golda Meir”); and was named 2007 Blogger of the Year by The Week, for obvious reasons. Josh is the creator/editor of COMICS CURMUDGEON (which you should read) and does geeky editing and writing about geeky things such as "the Java programming industry for JavaWorld." He lives in Baltimore with his wife Amber and his cat Hoagie.

View all articles by Josh Fruhlinger

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204 comments

  1. Barbara_

    Nate Silver is my imaginary really smart boyfriend. I like when he tells me that less than 17% of people I meet today will think my ass looks fat in these jeans.

      1. Tundra Grifter

        CK:

        You can move on this game like it's already been played!

        FIVE STAR pick of the year! Every week…

    1. HistoriCat

      less than 17% of people I meet today will think my ass looks fat in these jeans

      This is 100% an example of a situation which calls for pics.

        1. MosesInvests

          Right back atcha, Barb. I want those Wonkette personals to get up and running, so I can advertise that I'm looking for a Jewish version of you.

    2. Callyson

      Nate Silver is the only thing between me and utter insanity. I have been so on edge since the disaster in Denver, and he is the only person who has kept me from losing it entirely. To wit:

      Oct. 31: Obama’s Electoral College ‘Firewall’ Holding in Polls

      http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/

      (please God please God please God…)

        1. Callyson

          You'd have to ask the good folks at the mental institution, to which I would be committed after I started running down the street screamingobscenities.More so.

  2. Not_So_Much

    Joe Scarborough said his gut is saying that Nate Silver is a totally inept douchebag, because of 'math'. You can't escape that kind of science.

      1. Lascauxcaveman

        Yeah, those skinny, effeminate guys never seem to be good with math and numbers and stuff. I mean, do any of them even own a computer?

    1. Gleem McShineys

      "Gut math" is a pretty good description of Scarborough's work: "I consume a bunch of facts and then I shit out some stinky useless turd later."

    2. lulzmonger

      I heard that The Internonator has actually made a $1000 bet with Silver that Willard will win.

      At +70% odds? Only a fool WOULD'NT take the man's money.

    1. BoatOfVelociraptors

      Did you see them doing the mean girls bit to Mika over the binders thing? The sheer dickitude was palpable. You could smell the smegma through the screen.

          1. Terry

            I have no problem with one or more of my secret boyfriends being gay. The whole secret boyfriend thing is different than, say, stalking in that I never actually expect to meet or date him.

          2. BaldarTFlagass

            It's kind of like having an empty 55-gallon drum as your best friend. You know it's never going to betray you, fuck around on you, or stab you in the back.

          3. Lascauxcaveman

            I call bullshit. Gay? No possible way.

            I mean, look at all the time he spends talking about sports.

          4. BoroPrimorac

            Why do you think he switched to politics? I bet he gets laid a hell of a lot more now than he did when he was covering baseball.

      1. Callyson

        His latest on the NYT website:

        Oct. 31: Obama’s Electoral College ‘Firewall’ Holding in Polls

        (as I said above, please God please God please God…)

        1. Noisette76

          I'm feeling hopeful (word choice deliberate). Intrade has Bamz at 67.5% which is significantly better than where we were a week ago. Now that Christie has decided to throw his weight (ha! I'm here all week, ladies and gents!) behind Barry, which Barry completely deserves, because BF has been HANDLING this hurricane business, I think we're good. Unless the unemployment rate ticks back up above 8% tomorrow, in which case, oh god…

      1. tessiee

        If the stupid shit he's said and done so far hasn't turned them against him, I can't imagine anything else would.

        1. Terry

          Romney isn't near the top of the stupid list for the GOP. Remember what other frickin brain surgeons they have in that party, including but not limited to Michele Bachmann and Alan West.

    1. widestanceromance

      Do you need someone to reach out and leverage a paradigm to inform the synergy of the low-hanging fruit at the end of the day?

      1. eggsacklywright

        I hate it most when my low-hanging fruit gets wrapped around the axle.
        A former boss once cracked me up with, "Here we go down the rabbit hole, only to find a can of worms."

        1. BaldarTFlagass

          I can never reach the low-hanging fruit because the long pole in the tent forever keeps it out of reach.

      1. zumpie

        We need to be proactive instead of reactive and completely maximize our resources. Even if we do have a lot on our plate right now, we need to increase our deliverables during this cycle.

        Oh, I'm sorry you feel that way.

  3. noodlesalad

    This shit almost drives me as crazy as "Some people believe in science-based explanations concerning climate change, some people don't believe in science. I guess we'll never know who is right!"

    When one party has a history of being grounded (for the most part) in science and reality, and the other has a history of catering to people who believe cavemen rode dinosaurs and that God sees rape as a blessing, which do you think has the better ability to make predictions about the very-near future?

      1. noodlesalad

        If I did opinion polls, the questions would be:

        "Are you an undecided voter?"

        (if yes) "What the fuck is wrong with you?"

  4. Allmighty_Manos

    Watching pundits make election predictions is like watching the Superfans make predictions about the next Bears' game.

    1. hagajim

      I'll make a prediction about the next Bears game – the defense will have to win it for them…..again.

    2. poperatzo

      The Bears are so going to dominate Tennessee on Sunday, and anyone who says different is slightly-built and effeminate.

    1. teebob2000

      Well, NOT counting the recounts.

      Oh wait — I forgot we fucking CAN'T fucking recount fucking elec-fucking-tronic votes!!!

    2. SayItWithWookies

      Haha — if you think the lefties are worried about voter fraud, imagine the reaction when millions of FOX viewers, who have heard nothing over the past month other than that Romney is gaining in every state and in every demographic everywhere, find out that (the people willing, of course) their candidate has been completely refudiated. Glenn Beck is already warning is dwindling, increasingly crazy audience that this one's gonna be stolen.

      1. Jon_the_Red

        Ha ha, it's funny because not only is voter fraud an extremely rare occurrence (I mean, just think about risk vs. reward for the individual, and then ask if they'd still go for it or not), but the laws we've put in place to stop them disadvantage over 21 million Americans while being able to stop the schemes of 10. Not 10 million. Just 10.

    3. JustPixelz

      WRONG! A very nice Repubican email told me it will be on Wednesday, November 7 this year. So who ya gonna believe: the lamestream media or the internet?

    4. JustPixelz

      They had one of those very accurate polls back in 2000. Turned out to be not so accurate* after all. But Dubya was appointed anyway.
      ___________________________________________
      * I'd like to point out that Gore won the popular vote. He also won Florida if you consider butterfly ballot confusion and intent. he also won Florida if you count the actual fucking votes. My point is: The American people got it right in 2000. Five members of the Supreme Court got it wrong.

      1. Trannysurprise

        Actually a very kind man called me to take my vote over the phone but he said I could also vote on Wednesday.

        People are so helpful these days.

      1. StillGoinGreen

        His avatar is a recent photo of the highest IQ inmate executed by the State of Texas this year.

      2. Arkoday

        Actually saw that avatar in a movie – The Mad (Billy Zane's zombie flick); the picture on the restaurant menu cover.

        Just you wait till I post in the new classifieds and scoop up all the hotties with this avatar…

  5. weejee

    What we need is to have BoatOfVelociraptors digging for nefarious do wah ditty do-loops buried in the vote counting code – one for Bamz, 19 for Willard.

      1. doloras

        Remember that Anonymous is like the Jolly Roger – one boatload of pirates is watching Rove, clearly, while others are downloading porn or trying to take over Bahrain or something else.

    1. BoatOfVelociraptors

      A consistency audit of the registration logs vs the tallies would expose blatant anomalies. If one precinct or machine consistently under votes for an office, that should stick out like a sore thumb.

    2. not that Dewey

      Plus, Benford's Law. When people fudge numbers, they tend to assign a uniform distribution to the first digits of multidigit numbers, whereas Benford's Law tells us that the first digits of random multidigit numbers follow a power-law distribution. It's as obvious as Mitt Romney's spray tan.

  6. widestanceromance

    Pundits spend huge amounts of time huffing each other's farts, only to come to the same conclusion: "It's looking like we're going to have to wait for the election to see how this all ends up."

    1. BerkeleyBear

      Translation – if I call this early and wrong, I never get to be in the "octagon of morons" again, and daddy needs his sweet, sweet coin.

  7. EatsBabyDingos

    Seems the pundit class has more "inside scoops" than a proctologist during Chris Christie's colonoscopy.

  8. actor212

    Oh please! Obama in a landslide! This is all just desperation to make it look like they're being fair to the kindergarteners of the right, buncha candyasses…

    YOU"RE LOSING! GET THE FUCK OVER IT!

    1. oenspiek

      <dumbass punditry>
      We need a bipartisan solution, to break up the logjam in Washington.
      <\dumbass punditry>

  9. SorosBot

    Sure, Nate Silver may say he can figure who is likely to win using polling data and numbers, but that's not very accurate compared to the traditional pundit's method of figuring out who will win the elections, what their gut tells them.

        1. SorosBot

          Besides, if you want truly accurate predictions you need to go back to the original Druid tradition and examine the entrails of a human sacrificed under a sacred oak.

    1. Rotundo_

      Most of the time the gut gives them a low rumbling gurgle and then they hit the toilet and that would be the end of it. So it comes down to reading the tea leaves (or in this case, intestinal gas), as to the best guess at the outcome. Somehow it seems fitting considering the really awful coverage of this campaign. Between trying to cover all "sides" of the issues and adding drama and ad sales for political spots the so called journalists really have done great work for their employers. Pity they didn't actually do anything for the fucking audience.

  10. Loch_Nessosaur

    Karl Rove says Romney gets at least 279 electoral college votes. At least, that's what he's paid for.

  11. Oblios_Cap

    The whole lot of "pundits" will some of the first to be up against the wall come the revolution. Only CEOs and Bankers form more useless and overpaid groups of "people".

  12. SorosBot

    One nice thing about now living on the West Coast is that we probably won't have the traditional wait until midnight to find out who won. Though I guess that means the local bars don't get the same election-night profits they do back East.

    1. BoatOfVelociraptors

      That's really kind of weird, sick and twisted when you think about it. Most of the country is EST or PST, but the swing states are all central. The political media is all east coast, so the "narrative" is written by those politico fucks at 3 am, and the pundits play he said she said I'm outraged for the next 12 hours.

        1. SorosBot

          As is all of Ohio; I think the only central time swing state is Wisconsin. And Colorado and Nevada are the only other non-EST swingers.

          1. BerkeleyBear

            Wisconsin ain't swinging – not really. Neither is Iowa at this point. Only races worth watching in the CST will be McCaskill (I don't trust Missourians not to vote in rapey boy), Tammy Duckworth's stomping of Joe Walsh (for the lulz of his non-concession speech) and whether we get a miracle (Kerrey somehow winning Neb Sen or Bachmann/Ryan losing House races).

            But the all important Mountain time zone, with ever so vital Colorado and Nevada (not really, but the media is foaming at the mouth in the search for something to talk about) is even an hour later than Central!

    2. BerkeleyBear

      It is a strange reality – by the time polls close out here, you pretty much know what will happen, but until they call California at 8:01 PST it won't be officially "over". At least the more politically wired in types won't start the heavy drinking/stop working the polls until they close locally (always something to work on) so at least some of the bars do just fine.

      Especially where you are – lots of local political movers working on stuff like referendums/bond issues and shit up in the Bay Area, which translates to lots of binge tension build up and release drinking from my limited personal experience. This can be extensive since the referendum counts are often really close and not called until late or even the next day. But as a casual sports watching equivalent, yeah, not so much.

        1. Noisette76

          Is there ANYTHING worse than Prop 32? Deliberately misleading cynical evil BS. The direct democracy/referendum system at its finest. Oh wait- Prop 8 was worse. We have a winner.

  13. freakishlywrong

    Keeping it close allows for the much needed tampering of the machines. It's the only way the oily, lying Plutocrat gets it.

  14. Terry

    I voted last night at an early voting polling place. A bit of a wait, but not too bad. The thing that annoyed the heck out of me, however, was the collective brain fart of the people with me in line. Along the wall were taped printouts, one for each voting machine, showing that they'd been calibrated at the start of voting. A mixed group of folks around me in line freaked out that the sheets all showed that no votes had been recorded yet. They took these calibration printouts to me that all the votes for the previous days of early voting had been erased. I tried to explain, but a slew of people left the polling place worried that the Koch brothers and Diebold had been up to shenanigans in a poll in the Maryland suburbs of DC.

    1. LibertyLover

      I am working at the polls on Tuesday… we were trained on the handicapped machine (AZ still uses paper ballots thankfully!) … It's been a very enlightening experience. I urge everyone to work at the polls, you will learn a lot.

      1. Terry

        My Mom worked the polls during most of my childhood. There would be a kids table set up over in the corner of the elementary school lunchroom that was the polling place and we'd color and draw while Mom worked. I still miss the big old mechanical voting machines. I loved the way the curtains swished behind you when you pulled the arm into position, then a big CHUNK sound when your votes were finalized as you pulled the arm back. There was a bit of drama to it. Now, I vote on a portable computer with a touch screen. Easy, but no grand noises.

    1. pdiddycornchips

      The job of political pundit is risk free. If they're wrong (they are almost all the time), they will still be on the TV the next day. If Nate is wrong, they'll gloat and dance on his grave.
      I'll go with the guy who has something to lose if he's wrong.

  15. elviouslyqueer

    I predict that nearly 100% of these pundits are probably full of shit. STATISTICS DON'T LIE, SON.

    1. delaney_blom

      Statistics don't lie.
      Guns don't kill people.
      People with statistics and guns lie and kill people.

  16. tessiee

    "I have no idea who’s going to win. And I usually have a sense of who’s going to win."

    Translation: We have to keep perpetuating the meme that the race is really close, so that when Mitt and his voting machine owning friends steal the election, it looks believable.

  17. widestanceromance

    In my book, nothing is worse than a pundit talking about "pundants." Makes me feel murderous every time.

  18. pdiddycornchips

    This election comes down to this simple choice. Who would you rather have as leader of the free world? A lying corporate douchebag or a black guy?

  19. Indiepalin

    The only true predictor of electoral results is the ratio of Romney to Obama yard signs in your neighborhood.

    1. banana_bread

      In that case the only winner is the lady running for state senate, because those are the only yard signs in my neighborhood. (We like her.)

      Nah, who am I kidding, I live in Chicagoland. Nobody's gonna bother putting up a Romney sign.

  20. neiltheblaze

    You know – it ain't like these clowns go to pundit school and graduate with a degree in Punditry. It's the one "profession" where you can be completely wrong just about all the time, but the Sunday squawk show bookers will still have you on their speed-dials.

  21. notreelyhelping

    But what worries me is the polling gap neglecting auto mechanics who ride choppers but also can recite T.S. Eliot's "Four Quartets" from memory. Why aren't we hearing about these people? Which way will they trend? Until those questions can be answered, we're all one-eyed blind men wandering in pea-soup fog, trying to describe an elephant and donkey by touch alone.

  22. Dr. Nick Riviera

    The Conservatives tell me noted genius Karl Rove who correctly predicted an Obama win has declared Romney our new president. So pack it in, Nate what with your phony baloney numbers.

  23. thefrontpage

    There is an adage in journalism–a very simple one–that is just as important–if not more important–today than it's ever been: Just report the news. That's it: Just report the news. This applies to newspapers, magazines, radio stations, television stations, websites, newsletters, whatever. Just report the news. News is simply the who, what, where, when, why and how of something that happens. We literally don't need–that's right, we don't need–crazy blowhards and talking heads cluttering up journalism on radio, television and the internets and in newspapers, magazines and newsletters. That's right–we don't need them. It'd be great to see about 90 percent of opinion-writers, talking heads and columnists just disappear. That's right—90 percent of them. Journalism–and news–would be better off. We can start the housecleaning with cable television, Fox News and Politico.

  24. UW8316154

    In other words, Mittens bought the election, but Barry is refusing to play by the traditional rules and making a run for it anyway.

  25. Detesticle

    These pundits are going to flop-vomit when the first polls come in giving Florida and Virginia to Obama and Election Night ends immediately.

  26. Nostrildamus

    Curiously, the Right didn't call Nate Silver all biased when he forecast a big win for the GOP in 2010.

  27. DrunkIrishman

    I am so fucking tired with this "it's a toss-up" line the media keeps tossing out. No, you dumb fucking pieces of shit. It's only a toss-up if you can find a viable path to 270 for Romney … and I don't mean by moving around states in a pretend way. Is Romney winning in Ohio? No? Then it's not a goddamn toss-up.

  28. fuflans

    i remind myself that even in '08 they were all saying it was still a contest.

    seriously, i feel like i'm living in a parallel universe. EVERY story – EVERY GODDAMN STORY – left and right says it's too close to call (this AM on bbc: 'romney campaign smells victory' and being given serious attention).

    and yet we've got nate and sandy's political fallout (non stop positive coverage for bamz and the anti-FEMA comments from romney / ryan) AND chris christie and, you know, polls.

    also egg is still speaking in public.

    perhaps we are at the late 2008 moment when everyone was trying to hide palin's clothes grifting and meltdowns?

  29. ttommyunger

    I am seeing looooooooong lines for early voting here in Dumfukistan (GA,). NEVER seen anything like it before in my 42 years of residence. My thought: ever notice how you really don't value something too much until someone threatens to take it away from you? I'm thinking the R's fucked up big-time trying to play fast and loose with voting rights. Trying to deprive the blah's and brownz of their right to vote may have just been the impetus needed to get them off their asses to show whitey and thing or three. That would be so sweeeeet.

  30. Negropolis

    The whole "Mitt positioned himself to be competitive after the first debate" was an entire invention of the Romney campaign that became a self-fulfilling prophecy when the media bought the narrative from them. Truth be told, this thing was never really close where it counted, and it's nowhere near as close at this moment as the media wants it to be.

    It's completely possible and more and more likely by the day that Obama will largely replicate his electoral college win (maybe only losing one or two states he held last time) with the only real difference being that Romney may run up the score in the Deep South making the popular vote margin closer than in 2008, but still with Obama winning both the popular vote and the electoral college.

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