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Nate Silver is awesome


By CL   Follow   Fri, 2 Nov 2012, 4:36am PDT   1,595 views   19 comments
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http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/robert-schlesinger/2012/10/31/mitt-romneys-electoral-problem-and-the-war-on-nate-silver

"But let's be clear on something: Conservatives might dislike and disagree with the numbers Silver is pushing, he is not alone in pushing them. There are in fact several Web sites and/or scholars who push statistical models aimed at making similar estimates about who will be the next president, and they all give an edge to President Obama. The Princeton Election Consortium, run by Professor Sam Wang, projects Obama pulling in 303 electoral votes, for example; Votamatic, which is run by Drew Linzer, a professor at Emory and Stanford, predicts 332 electoral votes for Obama; Real Clear Politics's "No Toss Up States" map gives Obama 281 electoral votes. (Huffington Post's Pollster.com gives Obama a base of 253 electoral votes and leads in five of toss-up states as compared with 206 electoral votes and a single toss-up state lead for Romney.) And the major online betting markets all give Obama pretty good odds of re-election (Intrade puts it at 63.3 percent chance, and Betfair says 68 percent)."

Romney campaign ad, then perhaps a Crossroads GPS ad. ("Liberal stat nerd Nate Silver says Pennsylvania is 94.2 percent likely to vote for President Barack Obama's foreign agenda—show Silver he's wrong by voting for Mitt Romney.

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rooemoore   Fri, 2 Nov 2012, 4:41am PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (3)   Dislike     Comment 1

War on Nate Silver is a war on facts. If the situation is reversed Silver would be honest. The dude is a statistics junkie and is only interest is being accurate. If he got the election wrong, how do you think that would effect his new book sales?

edvard2   Fri, 2 Nov 2012, 4:42am PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike     Comment 2

Yep. I followed Nate's stats all during the last election and he was remarkably accurate. So much so that I don't bother reading any other poll. Unless something drastic happens in the next 3 days I suspect Obama has won the election.

bdrasin   Fri, 2 Nov 2012, 4:50am PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike     Comment 3

Slightly off-topic, but I liked 538 more in 2008. Silver & co did a whole series of on-the-ground reports from McCain and Obama's field offices around the country; the number of staffers at each office, the differences in approach, etc. That was very interesting and just as informative as the day-to-day number crunching. I'm not sure why they didn't repeat that this time around because I would really be interested in what they would have found.

rooemoore   Fri, 2 Nov 2012, 4:55am PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike     Comment 4

For our right leaning friends who can't handle visiting Nate's blog, here is the latest:

There is some hopeful news as Nate has Romney's chances improving by Tuesday.

edvard2   Fri, 2 Nov 2012, 5:00am PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike     Comment 5

bdrasin says

Slightly off-topic, but I liked 538 more in 2008. Silver & co did a whole series of on-the-ground reports from McCain and Obama's field offices around the country; the number of staffers at each office, the differences in approach, etc. That was very interesting and just as informative as the day-to-day number crunching. I'm not sure why they didn't repeat that this time around because I would really be interested in what they would have found.

I sort of liked that better as well. That said ( its been a long time) but to me it seems like the amount of raw data, stats, and scenarios for the 2012 version of the site seems far more extensive than in 2008. I imagine it takes a huge amount of time having to compute all of those numbers and outcomes.

rooemoore   Sat, 3 Nov 2012, 2:38am PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike     Comment 6

Nate Silver addresses pundits who say he is biased and wrong:

Nevertheless, these arguments are potentially more intellectually coherent than the ones that propose that the race is “too close to call.” It isn’t. If the state polls are right, then Mr. Obama will win the Electoral College. If you can’t acknowledge that after a day when Mr. Obama leads 19 out of 20 swing-state polls, then you should abandon the pretense that your goal is to inform rather than entertain the public.

But the state polls may not be right. They could be biased. Based on the historical reliability of polls, we put the chance that they will be biased enough to elect Mr. Romney at 16 percent.

Romney's slipping further.

thunderlips11   Mon, 5 Nov 2012, 1:12am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike     Comment 7

Most of the criticism I heard about Nate Silver is that he's a skinny guy, so he's probably effeminate, and therefore he hates real manly Romney. Although I suspect that Romney is the type of "manly man" who asks his butler to cut off the crust of his sandwich, even though he's a mature adult.

Typically over-the-top ultraconservative emotion-laden arguments. Ironically, they accuse liberals of being driven by emotion.

bdrasin   Mon, 5 Nov 2012, 1:15am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike     Comment 8

thunderlips11 says

Most of the criticism I heard about Nate Silver is that he's a skinny guy, so he's probably effeminate, and therefore he hates real manly Romney.

It is my understanding that Nate Silver happens to be gay, which makes him an easy target for this abuse. But he isn't saying anything different than other poll watchers.

CL   Mon, 5 Nov 2012, 1:24am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike     Comment 9

bdrasin says

It is my understanding that Nate Silver happens to be gay, which makes him an easy target for this abuse.

I think you'd find a sudden end to rightwing homophobic attacks on Silver if his respected analysis portended a Romney victory. :)

saroya   Mon, 5 Nov 2012, 1:37am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 10

To our good friend Captain Shuddup (with apologies to actor Ben Stein on Ferris Buellers Day Off)

"Bueller, Bueller, Bueller...?"

CL   Mon, 5 Nov 2012, 1:59am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike     Comment 11

thunderlips11 says

Typically over-the-top ultraconservative emotion-laden arguments. Ironically, they accuse liberals of being driven by emotion.

I think about this a lot. When you watch Fox's hyperbole, and ID-driven passion for all things Republican, and you compare it to Maddow, Silver, or the Last Word, there is emotion on both. But the "liberals" seem to rely on facts, and analysis, even when it doesn't boost their preferred candidate.

It's a lot more like an ESPN dissection of a contest than the douches on Fox.

lostand confused   Mon, 5 Nov 2012, 3:55am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 12

Well, on the other side of the spectrum is Dick Morris. One time Clinton loyalist turned hater is now predicting Romney will win by a landslide and get 325 electoral votes. What is his story-did he make a pass at Hillary and she shot him down? Even Rasmussen is moving towards Obama and this guy seems strange. I saw an interview of his and somebody said somethinbg about David Axelrod and this guy was saying David Axelrod was my employee and was a good one and gave a hideous smile- lost in the wilderness and living off past glories??

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2012/11/05/dick_morris_stands_by_prediction_romney_will_win_325_electoral_votes.html

uomo_senza_nome   Mon, 5 Nov 2012, 4:03am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike     Comment 13

thunderlips11 says

Although I suspect that Romney is the type of "manly man"

CL   Mon, 5 Nov 2012, 5:55am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 14

lostand confused says

Well, on the other side of the spectrum is Dick Morris. One time Clinton loyalist turned hater is now predicting Romney will win by a landslide and get 325 electoral votes. What is his story-did he make a pass at Hillary and she shot him down?

Dick Morris? He's exactly what he appears to be...a fat troll with a penchant for whores and toes. He's your creepy drunken uncle.

He's also really a creepy Republican who pretended to have Democratic leanings but succeeded in injecting some conservatism into Billy's tenure.

CL   Mon, 5 Nov 2012, 7:27am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike     Comment 15

Melmakian says

Nate Silver also gave Sharon Angle a 75% chance of winning in the election of 2010:

He probably factored in too many Rasmussen polls.

msilenus   Mon, 5 Nov 2012, 8:21am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike     Comment 16

No. Reid looked like a gonner in 2010. His win was a major upset. It was probably because of his political machine in and around Vegas. As I understand it, he helped build a union for kitchen workers (overwhelmingly staffed by Hispanics who vote overwhelmingly Democratic) and organizes huge get out the vote campaigns around it. In 2010, it distorted turnout enough to break pollster LV models.

Reid 2010 is a lesson in how local factors and ground game can skew the results away from the polls. That assuredly happens less than 25% of the time when polling is as consistent as Angle's was.

Silver's confidence interval for the Presidential election is tuned to how far off the polls have been historically. A decent way to read his result today is that "historically, only 14% of the time have polls missed their mark by enough for Romney to win."

CL   Mon, 5 Nov 2012, 8:47am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 17

msilenus says

It was probably because of his political machine in and around Vegas.

Could be. I seem to recall Angle doing plenty of things to irritate the Hispanics, even without any machine. I think they were undersampled, and the pollsters were shocked that they came out in such large numbers.

Look out Colorado! That's why its going blue again this year, despite the polls.

thunderlips11   Tue, 6 Nov 2012, 11:13pm PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 18

Vindication for Nate Silver:

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13510_3-57546161-21/obamas-win-a-big-vindication-for-nate-silver-king-of-the-quants/

CL   Thu, 8 Nov 2012, 2:10am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike     Comment 19

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