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Nate Silver 538 Blog: Silver Projections are Right, So Get Over It

Nate Silver of the New York Times’ FiveThirtyEight blog has been getting a lot of flak from pundits lately for its quantitative approach to election prediction. Granted, there is an over reliance on daily polls by most journalists, but what the back and forth between pro-Silver and anti-Silver pundits leave out is that political journalism is changing either way. Even if Silver’s by the numbers election projection political writing is substantiated by an Obama win, this does not mean that narrative based journalism is doomed. In fact it may just give narrative political journalism just the push in the right direction it needs.

Silver’s numbers are essentially a combination of national polls averaged together after being aggregated to how correct they were in the 2008 election. Him being correct in 49 out of 50 states last election gives him a certain amount of credibility as does the fact that he works for the Times. He has garnered some notoriety for consistently having good predictions for Obama, with him currently giving Obama an 80.9% chance of winning. MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough got involved basically saying Silver’s certainty was unfounded, even though technically every percentage less than 100 is a point towards uncertainty. There was then a series of tweets that ended with Scarborough and Silver betting $2,000 dollars on who wins the election, and Dylan Byers of Politico saying Silver could be a one-term celebrity if Obama loses.

Source: Policymic

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