I arrived at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center a little before 10am, met Spork and Fester. Did you know Fester has a beard now? Neither did I.
Update: Maria was there, too.
I got to see an amazing panel - "How to Get The Most Out Of The Polling Data You Read About":
This panel will share insights and observations from some veteran pollsters and analysts that might help you interpret the next set of poll data you see. Charlie Cook (The Cook Political Report, www.cookpolitical.com), Mark Blumenthal and Charles Franklin (www.pollster.com), and Nate Silver (www.fivethirtyeight.com) will join moderator Greg Dworkin (Daily Kos) on a discussion about how to get the most out of poll watching.McNulty was there, too:
Charlie Cook of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report had bad news for the liberal Dems at Netroots Nation today -- political intensity has switched over to the Republican side and Dems are facing a bloodbath next year.And:
Democrats had a great run from 2006 through 2008, Cook said, running up a 54 seat advantage in the House alone. But "there's offense and there's defense -- right now you're going to be spending time on defense," he said at a polling panel today."Intensity matters a lot. Last time you had it, this time they have it."
Cook expects Democrats to lose about 20 seats in the 2010 midterm elections, cutting their majority in the House of Reps in half.
Superstar pollster Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight doesn't agree with Cook -- he thinks the Dems will do worse.There was a lot more stuff in the discussion. Lotsa stuff about how to place the numbers in context. Great talk.
Silver said Democrats commonly told him his Obama-friendly polls comforted them last fall. "I don't think you should feel at all comforted about 2010," he said to the liberal Dems at the conference today. He said he was 80% confident Democrats will lose between 20-50 House seats and up to six Senate seats.
Lunch time - a sandwich at Sammy's. Earlier in the day, I'd e-mailed my friend Fred (who's got a radio show on KDKA) to let him know I was at NetRoots. Not really sure why I did but I did. Right in the middle of my roast beef on wheat (with provolone and mustard) my phone rang. It was Fred's producer. He wanted to know if I wanted to be on the air at 1:30. It was 1:20. I said yea, sure.
The result can be found here.
After lunch there was a panel on comedy and then a panel on the newspaper business. The former was very funny. The latter, while just as important, was (forgive me) kinda boring. Maybe I was just hungry.
More tomorrow. And Saturday.