Posted by: mutantpoodle | October 29, 2012

Dumb stuff Cokie Roberts says

Election edition:

[Hurricane Sandy] is a huge story, affecting millions and millions of people. And, you know, we’re more concerned about whether we’re going to have electricity than whether, you know, Mitt Romney or Barack Obama say something new today.

So I think that the person it’s more likely to affect is Governor Romney, because we’ve seen – for the last couple of weeks, since the first debate – enthusiasm building around his campaign, particularly among those all-important Washington insiders independent voters, and particularly in that all-important state of Ohio, where President Obama had been running ahead, and the latest poll is dead-even with Governor Romney.

If this just sort of wipes his message off for a few days, I think that works to the president’s advantage, because, again, as I said earlier, not only does he look presidential, but the momentum behind Romney, such as it is – and I think it is real – could be at least temporarily halted. [Emphasis and snarky redlines mine.]

Of course, what Cokie Roberts thinks is probably less important than actual, you know, statistical measurements of the Presidential race. But whatever.

Juan Williams is gone, which means that Roberts is number one on my list of NPR analysts who are having a good day if all they do is repeat stale pundit wisdom. Here, of course, she is uttering an impression garnered from whatever cocktail parties she’s been attending over the past few weeks. (Plus, of course, her proclamation that Romney looks “Presidential.” Oy. )

I outsource (on the first point) to Sam Wang, responding here to David Brooks‘ similar assertion:

I am having a sad. All of that effort, and his two conclusions still have two major errors. Evidently he does not read the Princeton Election Consortium. Let us dissect this.

1. President Obama would be a bit more likely to win. This is false – he’s a lot more likely to win.


2. There seems to be a whiff of momentum toward Mitt Romney. Ah, yes…Ro-mentum! Bobo has taken the bait. He is probably looking at other aggregators, where for various reasons (q: do you want me to write about that sometime?) the real trends are harder to see. Let’s roll the instant replay.

As you can see, Ro-mentum ended around October 11th, the date of the VP Biden-Ryan debate and reversed around October 16th, Debate #2. Now the median EV expectation is at a plateau around Obama 293 EV, Romney 245 EV. Viewed through the all-important Electoral College, Obama has a Popular Vote Meta-Margin lead of 1.5%. This measure is precise to within <0.5%, far better than any single poll. If anything, the race is starting to look a bit static.

Now, that wasn’t so hard, was it?

I’ve been listening to Morning Edition on NPR for decades now, and I honestly can’t remember a time in the last ten years that Cokie Roberts said something that made me look at an issue in a different way, or provided me with any insight not available to someone with an internet connection and a mild case of curiosity.

On the other hand, if I wanted to know what the cool kids in Washington, DC are saying, Cokie is one-stop shopping.

[Image above from the brilliant]


  1. She’s incredibly annoying. Would prefer someone who would share thoughtful commentary

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: