If you haven’t been paying attention to the political pundit class lately (and really, seriously, who on earth couldn’t blame you if you haven’t), you might not have heard about the weird jihad against Nate Silver, the math whiz behind the FiveThirtyEight blog, who has been predicting a better than 60% probability of an Obama win since early summer. (He currently has Obama’s chances of reelection at 85%.) Over the past couple of weeks, many pundits — most of them, unsurprisingly, Republican — have insisted that Mr. Silver is biased, that his model is skewed, that his projection of a big Obama win runs contrary to their impression that the race is a “toss-up.” (Some actually point to the 50-50 national polls as proof, as though the popular vote and the electoral college aren’t different beasts entirely, but I digress.)
The whole thing is mighty silly; as David Roher so eloquently puts it over at Deadspin, “[W]e’ve reached the point in our screwed-up political media culture where the polling companies and forecasters — not the pundits, not the spokespeople, and certainly not the candidates — are the only people being evaluated rigorously on the substance of their arguments.” But here’s what we’ll do for you anti-Silverites: let’s throw out all that complicated averaging and math and science and stuff. That’s for four-eyed eggheads like Nate Silver, amIright? We’re gonna predict the outcome of the election based on something a lot easier to wrap your big meat heads around: movies! Political elections have been a popular film topic for years, so we decided to take a look at what these fictional elections could tell us about how things are going to go tomorrow. The answers may surprise you! (Warning: spoilers after the jump.)
Head of State
THE ELECTION: Mays Gilliam (Chris Rock), a likable African-American alderman from Washington DC, takes on Vice-President Brian Lewis (Nick Searcy) for the presidency.
THE OUTCOME: Gilliam takes on the nomination after the Democratic nominees for President and VP are killed in a plane crash, and is intended only to be a symbolic candidate, sure to lose. But once he starts speaking his mind and connecting with the American people on economic issues, he takes down noxious, entitled Lewis and wins the White House.
WHAT IT MEANS: Obama’s incumbent status aside, this may be the film that most closely mirrors this year’s race — the Lewis campaign’s “God bless America, and no place else” slogan could’ve made it into a Romney spot without much stretching. Chalk this one up for Obama.