Let me say that if all the polling, and the analysis of people whose work I respect, like Nate Silver’s, turns out to be wrong on election night, I will be forced to re-evaluate what numbers I take seriously going forward. At a minimum, I will expect an explanation for what went wrong.
After all, evidence is evidence.
Having said that, I am astonished at the degree to which many who are rooting for Romney seem to be in total denial about the polling. For example, the following from Katrina Trinko at NRO:
But regardless of partisan breakdown, Republicans should be wary of taking any polls as completely accurate.
“Part of the reason the Democrats won in 2008 was that when it looked as if McCain was going to lose, some Republicans stayed home,” argues McLaughlin. “So if President Obama is in a dead-even race with Mitt Romney in so many swing states, if the Democrats can convince enough Republicans they’re going to lose, it could take a one-point loss for the Democrats to a one-point win.”
The thing that is remarkable about the above is that it not only in based in an approach that privileges preference over reality, it comes with a built-in fairy tale to explain any non-preferred results! Using the logic above the polling can be wrong whilst predicting the actual outcome and, better yet, the wrong polling (that was actually right) wasn’t just wrong, but it caused the wrong outcome to occur!
Life would be better for all of us if we were all, regardless of partisan preferences, a tad more grounded in empirics.