Saturday, October 20, 2012

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

So, pretty damn good stretch of time for ol' Mitt from Oct. 12 to today, Oct 20th, wouldn't you say? 


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, — 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?  


  1. Nate Silver is a Democrat hack.

    1. Had people known during that 2008 race where he established his amazing credentials as an 'independent blogger with his own unique system' that he was getting hundreds of OFA internal polls handed to him to look at, he never would have developed that huge following that led to his being hired to be the NTY's poll blogger.

      It wasn't until AFTER the election was over someone pulled back the curtain and revealed he was a Democratic insider.

  2. Everybody on God's green earth knows this race is over except @natesilver. Even Axlerod knows it's over. Axe is just going through the motions and collecting a paycheck.

  3. Nate Silver is, after all, an extreme Left hemmorhoid with all the attending crazy misguided political and social beliefs. Periodically glancing at the roach's nest (daily kos) has provided some rich entertainment as the kossucks have bitterly clung to Nate's silver and gold election nuggets. PTSD seems to be setting in with the realization that the Left's mountain of lies are unraveling and forming a landslide of falsity.

    What also isn't surprising is that while they're shaking in their fur-lined boots, they remain resolute in defending what is now accepted as the most toxic, corrupt, dishonest and immoral Administration in U.S. history.

    To suggest that Romney has LOST ground since Oct. 12th is pure delusional thinking and posturing. For their sake I hope the replacement for Obamacare covers their chronic conditions, for the coming repudiation of everything liberal will last a generation.

  4. If you look at this objectively, Obama clearly has the upper hand in electoral college math. On RCP, Virginia is a tie. Well, Obama can lose Virginia. He can lose Florida, too. Heck, he can even lose Ohio, but if he wins Ohio, he's pretty much guaranteed the election. And RCP has Obama ahead in Ohio.

    1. While I believe Romney's going to win, I was mostly focusing on what Silver's claiming for the past week - an almost 7 pt drop in Romney's chance of winning.

      Suffolk quit polling NC, FL and VA a week ago because Romney is going to win them. He's within a point in Ohio right now with 19 days to go. He's got a 2-1 money advantage over Obama, who just had to borrow 15 million from the Bank of America.

      Which he'll probably blow on more useless Bain attack ads.

  5. Nate Silver correctly predicted the outcome of 49 of the 50 states plus DC in '08, and all 35 Senate races. The only one he got wrong was Indiana (which he predicted in McCain's favor), a race no one thought Obama would win.

    In 2010, he predicted 34 of the 37 Senate races. One he missed by only two points (in favor of the Republican candidate), the second was a result of only polling voters in English (again, in favor of a Republican), and the third was disputed post election day. In the House, he was only 1.8% off of the partisan make up. At the state level, he predicted 36 of the 37 gubernatorial races. The one he got wrong? Wait for it... wait for it... called in favor of the Republican, who lost by half a percentage point. Over the last 4 years he's been more accurate than Gallup has been at predicting elections.

    But you're totally right. He's just a secret Democrat in some giant conspiracy with the Obama Administration to change the polls, as if inaccurate predictions are going to change who people actually vote for. There's clearly some benefit to him risking his career and his reputation so he can try and elect some Democrats. That makes total sense.

    Wake up. Shit like this is the reason why so many people look down on conservative bloggers. Try and have some integrity. Bashing Nate Silver is not how you legitimize yourself, it's how you look like some activist right wing blogger on a mission.

    1. Nate Silver is a hack and a fraud. He had no 'system'. He was getting looks at thousands of Obama For America internal polls. There's a reason these campaign spend millions of dollars on polling. They hire the best pollsters they can find and they pay them top dollar to get the most accurate results.

      Nate Silver didn't 'predict' anything. Those pollsters being paid millions by OFA did the groundwork, then Silver wants you to believe he 'checked' his own results with theirs for 'verification'.


      Sure he did.

      And the fact he's glomming all over these Obama internal polls during the '08 election doesn't come out until it's all over.

      Just how f**king gullible are you, anyway?

    2. And while we're on this subject, I can hardly wait to see how many points back Silver's going to claim Romney has slid in his chances to win this race after this last debate is over.

      He's now claiming Romney slid backwards 4 points from Oct. 14-21. When he's closed all the gaps in the swings and leading in most of the polls the past week.

      But hey it's Nate Silver and apparently he's got this awesome predictive system. Best of luck with that.

  6. I thought you didn't believe in polls anyway. You're getting served over something you said you lend no credence to. You're coming unhinged and it shows in the tone of your posts and comments. Maybe you should take several chill pills until after the election and in the meantime practice your gloating for Romney's landslide win.

    1. Your ability to intentionally distort what I actually say is remarkable.

      I've been clear for months: polls that use D+9 samples that also undercount Republicans and independents are fantasy. As the election draws closer, many of the pollsters will start adjusting their partisan splits to reflect actual reality.

      This is going to be somewhere between a R+1 and a R+3 turnout election. The pollsters are slowly.......oh so slowly.....moving exactly to that. And as they do, Obama sinks 'neath the waves.

      Exactly like I was telling you 3 months ago. The last polls taken will be the most accurate. This isn't because most voters are MOVING to Romney; it's because many of the pollsters are giving up the fantasy and starting to show the real numbers they've known all along. Obama has ALWAYS been behind - and moving further back.

      They tried for over 6 months to sell the idea Obama had the race in the bag, that this wasn't a contest. They gave him all the help they could with their fantasy partisan splits. It didn't work out. Romney was supposed to be over 10 points back by now. Obama was to have sealed the deal in the 1st debate. He was supposed to cruise to an easy victory.

      Nothings worked out like they had it planned. And that's a beautiful thing.

    2. Ask yourself what's better for ratings - "in the bag" or "too close to call?"

      The American voter, ever played like a violin. - PR

  7. Can't wait to see what douchebaggery comes out 11/7 after Romney eats it

  8. This race was over long ago. You just didn't know it.

  9. Thanks Brian...just added this blog to my list of sites to visit on Nov 7th to count the # of Silverites who have the guts to show back up.

  10. Wow - this site is literally an alternate reality - even more so after the election. On top of it your pre-election smug, condescending posting style sure makes you look like a giant clown.