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Who Is Nate Silver and How Does He Know Everything?

In the wake of the election, one of the more interesting developments has been the sudden rise to stardom of The New York Times' young political future predictor, Nate Silver. His FiveThirtyEight blog at nytimes.com, which was accounting for 20% of the Times' traffic by election day, forecasted the election with Nostradamus-like pointedness, going 50-for-50 in calling which state would vote for whom. Using his brain-spinningly complex algorithm, Silver predicted Obama would take 313 electoral votes and would win the popular vote by a 2.5% margin. Although Florida has yet to be sorted out, it's looking like Obama will finish with 323 electoral votes and win the popular vote with a 2.2% margin. It's an impressive feat, particularly considering how lonely he was in predicting Obama's comfortable victory. Gallup and Rassumussen were both predicting Romney wins, and Dean Chambers of UnSkewedPolls.com was calling it for Romney by a landslide ...

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Anonymous commented…

This is all incredibly interesting, but I would contend that the data-fication of elections is just one more reason we should get rid of the Electoral College.

It's not really a national election if the system has consolidated power (unintentional as it may be) into a handful of states. The technology exists for the popular vote to be the one and only vote that matters. Couple this with making Election Day a national holiday, and you'll see both renewed trust and involvement in the process.

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