Why You Can't Take
Nate Silver Seriously
"Mitt Romney's bad, terrible, rotten, no good week.
That's what my awesome system says."
So how's Romney been doing the past week? He surged to a 7 pt lead in Gallup and North Carolina and Florida have been moved from tossup into his column. He leads in swing state polling as Obama struggles to find a firewall that will hold. He moved into the lead over Obama in RCP's Electoral College Map for the first time:
Real Clear Politic's Electoral Map on Oct. 12
Real Clear Politic's Electoral Map on Oct. 17
NOT ACCORDING TO NATE SILVER.
Here's the charts on Nate's webpage at FiveThirty-Eight where he's supposedly keeping his finger firmly applied to the pulse of this Presidential race:
[You can see Silver updated these charts on Oct. 19]
Only in an alternate universe could you calculate what happened to this race from Oct. 12 to Oct. 19 and end up with the conclusion Romney LOST ground.
But this EXACTLY what Silver does.
-4.7 in the electoral vote, contrasted with a commensurable gain for Obama.
A big DROP in Romney's chances of winning the race of of -6.8, while Obama's chances of winning INCREASED by that same number.
And a tiny drop in the Popular Vote of 0.2 in the past week.
Oh hey, what's the headline of Silver's column today at Five Thirty Eight, anyway? After Romney lost all this ground and Obama had this great week?
How about this?
WTF??!!! Romney GAINS?! What f**king Romney gains are you talking about here, Nate? The ones from 2 weeks ago? Because I just looked at your handy charts over here on the right side of your site. I thought Romney had a bad week? Doesn't your handy chart tell me his chances of winning actually DROPPED by a whopping 6.8 points? What's up with that?
Concede Florida? Why should Obama do that? According to you, Romney sunk further back from Oct. 12 to the 19th. What's wrong with this picture?
It's becoming increasingly obvious that Silver can't be taken seriously. He had to admit his 2008 projections were so accurate because he was getting a look at internal polling from Team Obama.
His work also, it turns out, drew the attention of the Obama campaign. Sasha Issenberg's new book on the science of politics, The Victory Lab reports that Silver's data-centric approach and skepticism of other media's — as the Obama campaign saw it — unsophisticated take on state polls won him an "obsessive following" in Obama's Chicago headquarters.
Obama's polling analysts, Issenberg writes, wanted to test their internal polls against Silver's model. And so — in an unusual step for the closely-held campaign, and for the analyst, who was then running his own website, FiveThirtyEight.com — the Obama campaign offered Silver access to thousands of its own internal polls, on the condition Silver sign a confidentiality agreement, which he did. (Silver, who now writes a widely-read blog for the New York Times declined to comment on the arrangement.)
"We wanted a little external validation that what we were seeing is what was actually going on," Michael Simon, a former Obama aide, told Issenberg.In 2010 he was virtually the last holdout trying to claim a big Republican wave wasn't coming. And now he's gone full-blown moonbat trying to reassure Progressives that read him that everything is peachy keen - hey look, Mitt slid BACKWARDS this past week! Don't believe a thing those wingnutz tell you!
Keep up the awesome job, Nate. Don't change a thing.
UPDATE: Silver lets the cat out of the bag:
There remains an outside chance that the race will break clearly toward one or the other candidate, after the third debate on Monday or because of some intervening news event, but the odds are strong that we will wake up on Nov. 6 with a reasonable degree of doubt about the winner. For that matter, we may wake up on Nov. 7 still uncertain about who won.
Nonetheless, stipulating that the race is clearly very close is not an adequate substitute for placing any kinds of odds on it at all. And the central premise behind why we see Mr. Obama as the modest favorite is very simple: he seems to hold a slight advantage right now in enough states to carry 270 electoral votes.Now writing 'we may not know who won on election day' columns at the same time his awesome predictive model is telling him Obama's chances of winning right now is.....67.6% to Mitt's 32.4%.
So. Try to square this circle. "We might not know who won on election day" with "Mitt would have to gain over 30 points just to make this a contest. "
Any of the trolls want to give this a try?