Perhaps a bit far-fetched, but Romney actually has a decent amount of leverage, if he and one of Collins, Murkowski, etc. threatened to become "Independent Republicans" or what have you who caucused with the Democrats.
That doesn't mean he'd ever in a million years vote with the Democrats on, say, taxes. But on basic good-governance stuff—letting Biden appoint a cabinet, protecting against future elections from being stolen—he would.
I don't *quite* get Democrats' cynicism on Romney, Collins and Murkowski. They're Republicans! They're often going to vote for conservative stuff! But Murk/Collins voted with Trump only ~1/2 the time in the last Congress. And Romney voted to impeach Trump!…

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More from @NateSilver538

17 Nov
So basically, Murkowski can live without fear of a Republican primary challenge.
There are actually some pretty interesting incentives here. If you had to guess, you'd think a Top 4 general election in Alaska would consist of Murkowski, a Democrat, a MAGA/Tea Party Republican, and a Libertarian.
Who wins that? IDK, but in theory Murkowski could get squeezed out if say the Democrat gets 30% of the vote, the Libertarian gets 5% and the MAGA R gets 35%, leaving her with 30%. Murkowski doesn't want there to be a strong Democratic nominee, in other words.
Read 4 tweets
11 Nov
So... I've got a take on the polls up, which I think is a lot more equivocal than what you're seeing elsewhere. Here's the nut of it but it's pretty nuanced so you'll probably want to read the whole thing.…
This is undoubtedly affected by my/538's vantage point, in that we're not pollsters but instead our job is to evaluate and forecast poll accuracy. From that standpoint, the "miss" this year of 3-4 points (for POTUS, maybe more for Congress) was fairly in line with expectations.
A rough analogy: If I were a pollster, I wouldn't consider the miss to be "acceptable", in the same way that you were a parent, you might not consider a C+ grade to be acceptable from your 10th grader. But if he usually got a mix of B's and C's, it also wouldn't be *surprising*.
Read 4 tweets
9 Nov
The reason Biden's win probability was ~90% is precisely because he could withstand a fairly large polling error when Clinton couldn't, which is exactly what happened. Indeed, our model assumes polls are fairly error-prone.…
We have years and years of well-calibrated forecasts. (If anything, underdogs have won a bit less than they're supposed to, although not to a degree that's statistically significant.) We know what we're doing with these probabilities.…
There is a LOT of work that goes into thinking about how to model out poll error and uncertainty. Thousands of hours of painstaking, detailed work. It's hard. Also a LOT of work that goes into how to describe it visually, and verbally, which is equally painstaking.
Read 4 tweets
7 Nov
Gonna preface this by again reminding you that I'm not a pollster and instead my job is to assess how accurate polls are and build models of what the errors look like. So as someone who spends a lot of time on this, I'd say media coverage on this topic has been crappy so far.
The main issue is "you should wait for all votes to be counted to judge the accuracy of polls" may sounds like lame excuse-making from pollsters, but actually that's pretty damn important as vote counts have changed dramatically and are still changing in many states.
We also know very little about the whys. Why was polling bad in the Midwest (except in Minnesota?) but pretty good in the Southwest? Why did it work in New England but there was a big miss in Florida? This will take a while to unpack, and a lot of initial takes won't age well.
Read 5 tweets
6 Nov
So, I am open-minded but not super persuaded by this. There are a handful of counties to have counted provisional ballots so far and those ballots indeed went for Trump, but they came from counties where the rest of the vote was *even stronger* for Trump.…
Maybe the provisionals—which should mostly reflect cases where the voter originally requested a mail ballot, then decided to vote in person—are slightly D leaning but not as D leaning as mail votes. Maybe they're about neutral. They'd have to be strongly R-leaning to help Trump.
Also, about 40K of the provisionals are in Philly County, which is a considerably higher proportion than Philly's share of the vote overall.

Read 10 tweets
6 Nov
One other thing—and being in a pandemic where there's less casual social interaction probably makes this worse—is that I've never had less idea what people outside the politico-journo bubble are thinking. Do they think it's anybody's race? Would a call for Biden be surprising?
Replies here suggest the average person (not my followers, but the friends/associates of my followers) thinks it's a toss-up. Makes sense, especially since the media has been exceptionally careful/pious about not wanting to get ahead of the story.
That does imply, however, that there could be a strong *reaction* if/when a call gets made. Not necessarily a negative reaction. Maybe there's a lot of celebrating in blue/liberal cities, for instance. But hard to know what to expect.
Read 4 tweets

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