That's the sly game Lieberman is playing here. He knows that if it's 49-49-2, the Repubs and Dems will both be courting him with plush committee assignments. It's a win-win situation for him unless Lamont can knock him off.
The oft-used sports phrase "you gotta take it one game at a time" is appropriate here. The DCCC needs to focus on getting control this year, and it likely believes that to topple incumbents (or win open seats) in redder districts will take more cash than those in Democratic-leaning districts.
But whatever the rationale, changing spending patterns should be based upon the current year, because you never know what will happen in the future. Perhaps some of the marginally red districts you cite will move to neutral or better in the next 2-4 years. And some of the blue seats may move in the opposite direction. Perhaps the newly installed Dem representative in a red district will be a fundraising king or queen once in office, and will be able to fend off challenges better than a fundraising lightweight in what is a marginally blue district this time around. Trying to plan around complete uncertainties years in advance is like game-planning for a football game 5 games down the road when there's tough game on the schedule next Sunday. There's too much that can change between now and then.
If the DCCC is spending big money on races in which the Dem seems to be coasting, then yes, they should be criticized for their over-spending. But criticizing them for not shifting things around for 2008 or later when the big battle (winning control THIS year, which will turn on the money spigots, etc.) doesn't make much sense to me.
Look, nobody arguing for Chris' theory here has answered the question about what's the better predictor than the market. Is it polls and surveys? I can't get a clear answer.
But once I do, I really want to know why, if polls are so much better than the market, they or others are not making money on this basis. And the "I just don't care about making big bucks" answer is not acceptable -- after all, you could simply donate all proceeds to charity.
Come to think of it -- what a great idea for fundraising! All we have to do is invest in Tradesports, etc. on the basis of polls alone, and it's like guaranteed cash over the long run! It wouldn't even take skill -- just look at the polls or the experts (or your own gut -- whatever you think is a better predictor) and take advantage of the market being way off.
I figure political candidates could fundraise big-time with this idea! I wonder why nobody's doing it.
So if the easy money is out there, why aren't you taking it? Or at least surely somebody else has figured out the magically "reality-based" odds you speak of and is making a killing in the markets in the past and as we speak.
One question that really needs to be answered by anyone arguing for your and Chris' point of view: if markets are not the best predictive measure of future events, then what is the best measure of future events?
And that answer spawns at least two more: 1) where is the data to back up the claim, and 2) why isn't anyone using this magic measure to make easy money in the market?
Reading the original diary and the comments on this thread, I remain astounded at the apparently willful ignorance in much of this discussion.
The entire point of markets such as Tradesports is to reflect probabilities based upon all available information. Sometimes the information will be wrong (i.e. faulty exit polls), and as a result the percentages will not reflect reality. Sometimes the markets are small enough to be potentially manipulated (the Iowa market in particular suffers from this problem). But even with these issues, I fail to see how anyone can say with confidence that any other predictive model (or individual) offers better predictions.
This is because the markets, and not these other predictors, take into account all available information in making the predictions. It very well may be that some information is more valuable that the others -- but this fact will be incorporated into the market price. To take a sports example, consider the information available for a Twins vs. Royals baseball game. The available information may include that 1) Johan Santana is pitching against the Royals, and 2) the Twins have lost two consective games played on Sundays, and this game is played on a Sunday.
The market will take into consideration both pieces of information, but will give the first piece of information far more weight, because it is a more accurate predictor of the final outcome (the quality of the pitcher affects the game far more than the day of the week the game is played on).
Likewise, for politics, if poll numbers turn out to be a better predictor of final results than (say) collective expert opinion, then the markets will weight poll numbers more heavily than collective expert opinion. If poll numbers are just so darn accurate that they are THE ONLY information that matters (which is not true, but assume it for the sake of argument), then guess what? The markets will exclusively take into account poll numbers in setting odds.
If Chris is to convince anyone that his diary is correct here, he needs to answer this question: if the market is not the best indicator of political (or any other) results, then what do you think IS the best indicator?
Then show me some data to support your conclusion that indeed, your indicator has, in fact, been more accurate in the past than the market indicator. Good luck with that.