Can Cain Win The Nomination?

Posted by | October 28, 2011 14:05 | Filed under: Top Stories

by Stuart Shapiro

My answer to that question has always been a resounding “no.”  I figured that the lack of funding and a campaign organization and his inability to answer any policy question that requires more than one sentence would catch up with him.  One of my heroes, Nate Silver, (while acknowledging that he doesn’t think Cain will win) says that pundits have been too quick to dismiss Cain:

In short, while I think the conventional wisdom is probably right about Mr. Cain, it is irresponsible not to account for the distinct and practical possibility (not the mere one-in-a-thousand or one-in-a-million chance) that it might be wrong. The data we have on presidential primaries is not very rich, but there is abundant evidence from other fields on the limitations of expert judgment.

In May, George F. Will said it was certain that either Tim Pawlenty or Mitch Daniels would win the Republican nomination. Mr. Will has gotten enough right over the years to have earned a mulligan or two. But experts who use terms like “never” and “certain” too often are playing Russian roulette with their reputations.

Cain has inserted himself into the presidential conversation in a way that more experienced politicians like Gingrich and Santorum have been unable to.  I still think we will look back at this and marvel that anyone thought Cain had a chance but Silver has given me reason to pause.

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Copyright 2011 Liberaland
By: Stuart Shapiro

Stuart is a professor and the Director of the Public Policy
program at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers
University. He teaches economics and cost-benefit analysis and studies
regulation in the United States at both the federal and state levels.
Prior to coming to Rutgers, Stuart worked for five years at the Office
of Management and Budget in Washington under Presidents Clinton and
George W. Bush.

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