Stanford “Election 2012” Course Draws to Close with a Post Mortem and Predictions

Worth a quick mention: Stanford’s Election 2012 course (previously mentioned here) wrapped up with a post-mortem. It starts with Steve Schmidt, a former John McCain and George W Bush advisor, giving a fairly blunt assessment of where the Republican Party stands right now. (The video above starts with his assessment.) Then Tom Steyer, an asset manager, philanthropist and environmentalist active in Democrat politics, explains why Obama’s victory is the product of trends (not necessarily healthy ones) already seen in California politics for the past decade. And Simon Jackman, a Stanford prof immersed in polling, shows why data matters and Nate Silver (538 blog) got things right.

The rolling conversation is moderated by David Kennedy (Pulitzer Prize-winning historian), Rob Reich, and Jim Steyer. We’ve provided YouTube links to the remaining lectures below. You can also find them on iTunes. Plus we’ve  catalogued Election 2012 in our collection of 550 Free Online Courses.


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  1. Schneb says . . . | November 20, 2012 / 7:25 pm

    I’d welcome the pollsters’ views on Ohio 2004. If the data is still available, can we go back and see how it is that GWB polled in Ohio and how Kerry polled, and what the election results were (officially, GWB won, but…) and how those should be reconciled?

    IIRC, Kerry was polling to win by 4 points, but somehow ended up losing–thus GWB’s second term.

    It may be purely academic to some, but if in fact that election was stolen (see RFK Jr.’s Rolling Stone article, below) AND if the same type of machines are in use now, we don’t really have a democracy. . .maybe. Another article looks at other suspicious races/outcomes: “To The American Media: Time To Face The Reality Of Election Rigging”
    http://www.opednews.com/articles/To-The-American-Media-Tim-by-Jonathan-Simon-110408-959.html

    re RFK Jr.’s article:

    “Was the 2004 Election Stolen?”
    Very well documented account for the theft of the 2004 presidential election—focused on events in Ohio, written by RFK jr.
    I copied/pasted into a Word doc and the footnotes start at the bottom of pg. 15 and run through pg. 24, in 9 point font. At 208 of them, that’s almost 14 per page. He’s not just making stuff up.
    (2 links for same thing in case one doesn’t work)
    http://www.commondreams.org/views06/0601-34.htm
    http://www.blueguitar.org/new/misc/political/rs_2004_election.pdf

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