The essential reasons for democracy why I very publicly predicted a Katie Hobbs win in AZ.

There are reasons why people want to claim their capital from a successful thumb-nose-to-the-experts. Most of these are selfish in nature. Punditry can make you a genius one day and Ralph Malph (Happy Days) the next. I missed several, including the house. I misjudged New York. But I paid special attention to AZ. First, we live here.

Second, Kari Lake tried to make her supporters believe that the only way she could lose was through fraud. But as I like to remind you, I keep receipts. It is true that an observer not deeply involved in politics would have taken Governor-elect Hobbs’ victory as a surprise. It really wasn’t. But before I get into that, let’s talk about some clear indications that Lake knew she was in trouble.

The week before the election, Lake ran across Arizona dusting off old playbooks like “Obamacare” and “elitism.” She deliberately offended John McCain supporters and played to the deepest darkest corners of her base. Any strategist will tell you that if you don’t support the middle at the end, you’re probably behind.

The truth is, barring partisan polls bordering on the ridiculous, Katie Hobbs has never been left behind. She was never ten points higher or eleven points lower. Both parties knew this. Both sides know full well that her victory was not only plausible, but if you paid attention to unbiased data, predictable.

As the count went on, Lake’s team kept tweeting that Hobbs had no mathematical path to victory. I will not comment on what they thought. I honestly don’t care. However, looking at the exit polls, we can see that there was a glaring mistake that might have given them hope.

Edison Research reported that Mark Kelly won Maricopa County 51-45. He did indeed win Maricopa by over six. Oddly Katie Hobbs lost Maricopa County 49-50 as seen below-

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Arizona Senate Exit Poll Fragment
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Arizona Governor Exit Poll excerpt

In the overall exit poll, Hobbs won by one lead. I knew one of these was impossible. There was no way Kelly could beat Hobbs by just four points statewide while winning Maricopa by seven points. Impossible. Something wouldn’t be right. It doesn’t mean the data itself was bad, it means it was insufficient to make a prediction. In not really I claim incompetence or misanthropy on Edison’s part.

Data is data. It happens. When I tried to contact them to suggest they re-evaluate Maricopa, I got this response:

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Nothing, not even that I identified myself as a member of the media. That’s how it will be. At the time of writing, the data has still not been recalculated to reflect the margin of just over 2 points in favor of Hobbs in Maricopa.

But there are two things that need to be discussed here. One is that, as I said before, the victory for Hobbs was predictable. And one pollster nailed it. Marist, the absolute golden pillar of 2022, came to this conclusion less than a week before the election. To their credit, they refused to herd, or join the conventional wisdom put forth by mostly right-wing pollsters. This is what they found:

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It will be hard to read, but in that data is this nugget: Katie Hobbs won Maricopa 51-46. The formula for a Democrat to win in Arizona is about 61 in Pima, 40 outstate, 51 Maricopa. If these details were correct, ballgame. I could see Hobbs winning more than double the crossover vote, which, as you political vets may remember, was where Ronald Reagan flourished politically, and Lake was basically an election toast. The toplines don’t always matter, in fact, this is one of the weak points of the 538 model.

They make adjustments based on bias, although that’s a tall order, and what they really should be doing is looking at the key elements of the internals. This is of course called unskewing. Sometimes it’s rude. But sometimes polls shouldn’t be skewed.

In 2020, a poll was released in Arizona that showed Joe Biden Maricopa winning by 12 percent, losing the state overall. That’s a bearing that needs a good unskewing. If a poll is skewed, say Maricopa County has 40 percent of the likely vote instead of the usual 60, that needs to be addressed. Topline data is only as good as the underlying accuracy.

But I digress. Marist was right in the middle. I knew it when I found the recalled vote: Joe Biden 46, Donald Trump 45. The 2020 electorate! It matched my tracking from the race, so I crunched some numbers. In order to fit in with some Republican base going home at the last minute, I found out that Hobbs had 50.68 percent of the vote. She would win 50.3. (My mistake, I’ll try to do better next time.)

As it turns out, I was off on my guess because Lake actually picked up an extra point with Republicans that I hadn’t counted on.

So, since Lake continued the campaign that made her election seem inevitable, I decided to make my claim. Some may have thought I was wishcasting, but that was never the case. (And for those questioning my miss in the House, we were about two percentage points away from realizing it.) I’ve spent weeks processing data, along with my other work, on specific races.

I used only unbiased data in final projections and was not a homer. For example, I correctly called Ted Budd’s win in NC. I did this for one reason: in case Lake of Hamadeh or Cowboy Finchem or Masters wanted to go to court. I had to put together a clear paper trail of data, projections and evidence to back them up to show the world that not only was Lake’s victory not inevitable, it was not even favored.

Of course, we knew all along that this was going to be a toss-up. But she wanted all of Arizona to believe she was going to win in a cakewalk when the reality was close by. It was always close by. And my advice to anyone defending frivolous claims against Maricopa County is to subpoena Lake’s internal records.

They know what it showed. I saw it in her rhetoric. Katie Hobbs was slightly favored throughout the campaign and that never changed. I’m sure the inside of Hobbs will show that too.

Kari Lake, like Mehmet Oz, had a literal army of partisan polls flooding the aggregators in recent weeks, skewing the final forecasts for those not paying attention. But I’ve been paying attention.

I kept receipts. Mark Kelly, Katie Hobbs, Adrian Fontes and Kris Mayes won fair and square in Arizona.

And yes, I want all my work, if necessary, to be used in court. I want this post, my previous predictions, my reasoning, the internals, the expected R/D/I voters as seen by a local Democratic strategist all taken into consideration when this woman tries to challenge fair elections. So this is why I went public and put my reputation as an expert on the line, and put my brand on the line, so that there would be a track record of someone doing it right.

So was I doing this to help my brand? Something. But what I was really trying to do was protect our democracy.

538 is only as accurate as the data it feeds in, and people point to it as a kind of proof that there was funny business in Arizona. This is wrong.

The elections here were fair, well organized and predictable.

Like the Republican response.

-ROC

Do you think I deserve some support? Share this post everywhere. Prove to the world that democracy is alive and well in Arizona and the United States. And would you like to join me and read unbiased progressive reporting with receipts? Then join The Claw News. I need to add something to my Claw Family and I promise to keep my promises.

And my receipts.

-ROC

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