Silver, the computer expert who gave Obama a 90 percent chance of winning re-election, predicted on his blog, FiveThirtyEight (for the number of seats in the Electoral College), that the president would receive 51 percent of the popular vote as he called each of the 50 states, including all nine battlegrounds…

Gallup’s daily national tracking poll put Republican nominee Mitt Romney ahead by five points until it was suspended for Hurricane Sandy, and a final national survey released Nov. 5 gave the Republican a one-point advantage…

Two university-based pollsters joined Silver in correctly predicting Obama’s win, and one of them will be dead-on about the electoral vote tally.

Drew Linzer, an assistant professor of political science at Emory University in Atlanta and a former pollster based in California, predicted yesterday morning on the website votamatic.org that Obama would end the race with 332 electoral votes and Romney 206.

Of Silver, Linzer wrote in that post, “his most likely outcome is still Obama 332, followed by 303 and 347, just like me.” Linzer also wrote that his model for votamatic.org had been predicting since June the Obama win with 332 electoral votes.

Sam Wang, a Princeton University professor of neuroscience, posted his final prediction — that Obama would likely receive 303 electoral votes to Romney’s 235 — on the school’s election blog at 2 p.m. yesterday. He reduced Obama’s total from 332 based on late polls yesterday…

The Republican-leaning Rasmussen Reports poll also had Romney winning the popular vote by one point. It missed on six of its nine swing-state polls. Rasmussen is an automated poll, meaning that it cannot call mobile phones and relies instead on an online polling tool to reach those without landlines. Rasmussen also adjusts data to reflect political party identification, which other pollsters say can change from survey to survey.

Rasmussen Reports had Obama winning Nevada and New Hampshire, tying Romney in Ohio and Wisconsin, and losing in the other five, including North Carolina…

Silver infuriated conservatives with his model, which uses a number of measurements and calculations, including attention to state polls.

I don’t pretend to understand all the maths that Silver obviously excels in. Insisting on accuracy instead of a slant bought-and-paid-for by the client automatically puts his work beyond the pale of Republican research.

If you click through to the article – please watch the video. Mike McKee is one of the best economists in the country.



  1. Yankinwaoz says:

    A broken clock is right twice a day. Lets see how he does over a long period.

    • Captain Obvious says:

      I guess 4 years isn’t enough?

    • Gwad his own self says:

      I hear people saying that all the time and it’s wrong.

      “A stopped clock is right twice a day”.

      A broken clock will likely never be right. You could say it’s really cuckoo.

      (cue “Won’t get fooled again” by the Who)

      YYYEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH

    • natefrog says:

      Thanks for proving his methods.

      A broken clock is right 0.14% of the time and wrong 99.86% of the time.

      If you had to place a bet on if the clock was right or wrong, I know what the smart bet is.

      Kind of like saying “Obama has a 90% likelihood of winning.” It’s the smart bet; doesn’t mean the model is broken if the low probability wins.

  2. Joe Pocolardee says:

    Oooooo! A computer expert.

    • Gwad his own self says:

      I am a computer expert. What’s your point? Derision of those of us who know how to calculate the Big Oh of a red/black tree?

      What are you an expert on, by the way? Slow lard?

  3. CrankyGeeksFan says:

    I think that polling data should not be released by news organizations or blogs for 10 days to 2 weeks before an election.

    If campaign want to conduct their own polling, that’s fine.

    Let everybody crunch numbers after the election after making sure the votes were counted properly.

    • Captain Obvious says:

      I’m sure the campaigns wouldn’t leak their internal biased polling in the absence of public polling. Oh wait a minute, they do that now don’t they?

    • Gwad his own self says:

      The reason the Republicans are so afraid of last-minute polling and, even MORE SCARY, exit polling, is because it tends to illuminate their shenanigans. If it hadn’t been so sickening how corrupt they were, the 2008 election would have been hilarious.

      Hopefully they’ve more or less given up on trying to hack electronic voting machines, although by all appearances they tried in Ohio, and got caught.

  4. dittmv says:

    So what… last time his blog was completely wrong.

    That blog last time said picks like IN, NC, the one in Nebraska were complete longshots not worthy of consideration for Obama, the voters said otherwise.

    No one is going to have a poll in Nebraska because everybody already knows the result. The reason polls are done is to sell advertisements. With that basic understanding one can look at 538s methodology and realize that it is only as good as the data going in.

    Garbage In Garbage Out.

    • Captain Obvious says:

      You’re cracking me up Ralph Wiggins. Me fail English? That’s unpossible!

    • AC_in_Mich says:

      Yeah, right. In 2008 he picked all Senate races and every state in the Presidential election but Indiana which went to Obama by under 30,000 votes out of almost three million votes cast.

      Why don’t you check out the facts?

      • Gwad his own self says:

        He heard that on Fox News, and it sounded truthy to him.

        Not to mention Fare Unbalanced.

    • Jess Hurchist says:

      I’d like to know any methodologies that are better than the data going in.
      That’s a field I could specialize in.

  5. Alex says:

    Nate Silver made a brilliant work. Selective and smart averaging over all pollsters eliminate biases and reveal the “wisdom of the crowd”. But the most important point is that the “to close to call” is a big lie from the media and political pundits (mainly from the losing party) which make profit from the campaign up to the very last hour.

  6. bobbo, are we Men of Science, or Devo says:

    Newt Gingrich: “Rmoney will win based on my years of experience.”

    Morris: “Rmoney will win because any poll that says otherwise is biased.”

    Hannity: “Rmoney will win because I am an asshole.”

    Rove: “Rmoney will win because I need to leech a few more buck out of the Criminally RICH who have more money than brains.”

    Linbarf: “Rmoney will win because I make money by pimping my special little group of retards.”

    ……. and then everyone who “thinks” or votes RED follows the other advice and analysis of these pundits.

    HOW STUPID CAN YOU CONTINUE TO BE?….. Seriously===keep on keeping on. Its just this obvious to anyone who doesn’t drink kool aide.

    You know what they all say UNIFORMLY about Global Warming, Tax Reform, Immigration, Right to Choose, Invading Syria, ….. and on and on.

    Just look.

    • bobbo, are we Men of Science, or Devo says:

      I watched two videos and have not found the link to McKee. He could not be worse than what I did watch.

      • moss says:

        McKee didn’t talk economics – but, I loved him taking Republican-butt-kissing pollsters all the way back to Gallup calling a victory for Dewey over Truman.

        Economists talking politics always more interesting than politicians talking economics.

        • Gwad his own self says:

          “Economists talking politics always more interesting than politicians talking economics.”

          I am stealing that.

  7. Stack says:

    Isn’t this how Asimov’s “Foundation” starts?

  8. Hyph3n says:

    Wait a minute! You can use math and measurements to accurately predict the future, instead of opinions or assurances that God would never let it happen? Next thing you’ll be telling me is climate change is real.

    We have to stop this math stuff before it gets out of hand.

    • The Monster's Lawyer says:

      here! here!
      I agree. This Math religion is getting way out of hand.
      We need to round up all Mathegists and tie them to a perpendicular axis from the horizontal and throw pi’s in their ovate forward facing surfaces.

      • Hyph3n says:

        You sound like one of them with your axis and pi talk. The only pi I know of is the pie of God… I think it’s rubbard.

        I held my nose and voted for a Mormon this year. I ain’t gonna vote for no Mathegists.

        • The Monster's Lawyer says:

          I believe the only acceptable pi is apple. And it should only be served by Mom. Preferably at a baseball game on the fourth of July.

          • Gwad his own self says:

            Apple Pi is INEDIBLE

            without vanilla ice cream.

            Just the thought…..

          • Hyph3n says:

            The bible clearly states that if God makes an apple pie, He makes it from the Tree of Knowledge. (Genesis 3:6) So when at the God’s Thanksgiving Day dinner, eat the rhubarb pie.

          • The Monster's Lawyer says:

            While I must agree that vanilla ice cream improves our god-given apple pi, it is not a sin to go without. We can probably check with orchidcup and his command of scripture on this, but i do believe that it was the man himself that said “Go forth and multiply”. This is considered by the Matheists as a mandate to spread Mathology to the masses. E=mc^2, let us pray.

          • Hyph3n says:

            “Go forth and multiply” is a misinterpretation of the scriptures, much like “What you do to the least on me, you do to me” or “He without sin, throw the first stone.” It’s just liberal claptrap.

      • So what says:

        Would you guys cut it out. Trying to deer hunt and I keep laughing your making me scare the deer.

        • The Monster's Lawyer says:

          OK, I’ll keep it down. It’s just that I get so mad at those Mathees hanging out at the airport handing out protractors and telling me to “Do it by the numbers.”

  9. Uncle Patso says:

    Wow, Billions and Billions $$$ spent by private money on attack ads, etc.

    I think of it as a sort of private sector Stimulus Package.

    Ad agencies and TV stations & networks should be in really good shape for a while, and the Christmas advertising season is upon us as well.

    Buy TV stocks!

  10. MikeN says:

    Nate Silver has access to more expensive polling from the Obama campaign. He is still only as accurate as the polls, which is why he missed on some key races in 2010. RealClearPolitics average of polls showed roughly the same results. I think they gave Florida to Romney instead of Obama.

    • Joe says:

      Florida is the only state I missed.

    • Captain Obvious says:

      I like how you implied that Democratic polling is better. So what you’re really arguing is that he was only 98% right? And what were you predicting last week?

      • MikeN says:

        Of course there polling is better. They a lot more for their polls. The Republican polling is better too, but they didn’t give this to Nate Silver. Based on their polling the Democrats decided to spend the last week in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin and Ohio. They largely didn’t try in North Carolina or Florida or Virginia.

        • Captain Obvious says:

          Where’s the bullshit meter?

          • MikeN says:

            Just take a look at the campaign schedules. They sent Bill Clinton to 4 stops in Pennsylvania. We didn’t see Obama return to North Carolina. They were in Wisconsin and even Minnesota.

          • MikeN says:

            PLus an ad buy in Michigan, in expensive Detroit market.

  11. Dallas says:

    My computer models also were accurate. I even factored in that Willard’s family owned and tampered with the polling machines and that God sent Sandy to the Northeast to give Obama a boost.

    It was pretty straight forward after that.

  12. vdeane says:

    Any pundit who said the election was “razor close” was ignoring the existence of this thing called the “electoral college”.

  13. Joe says:

    If you looked at the closing polls you would have come to the same conclusion as Nate Silver.

    • Captain Obvious says:

      Then how come all the pundits were saying he was wrong? Monday morning quarterbacking is easy.

  14. Farmer Don says:

    A day before the election Nate Silver had Obama at 90%. You could still buy Obama at 65% on intrade. Easy Money!! How often do you get free expert advice in a market driven by emotions rather than facts?
    Hope people don’t wise up in four years and I can cleanup next election again.

  15. Howard Beale says:

    That’s the funny thing about math “it works if you bother to do it)

    I love that Romney and the GOP with all their bluster got 2 million fewer votes than McCain had in 08 and he was saddled with the Bush legacy and Palin.

    • MikeN says:

      Palin would have gotten more votes than Romney.

      • Howard Beale says:

        I’d take that bet!
        Moving to the Right will not gain you any votes from the Left or the Middle, what’s left of the GOP base already showed up because haters are the most motivated of all.

        I live in Alaska I have met Palin more than once and I doubt she could even win up here and this is a very Red place.

  16. sargasso_c says:

    A very smart guy. His book just went #2 on Amazon’s best seller’s list. Hope this link works…

    http://amazon.com/The-Signal-Noise-Predictions-Fail-but/dp/159420411X/ref=zg_bs_books_2

  17. dcphill says:

    The problem with Pi is that it goes on adnausium just like politikers.

  18. brm says:

    A possible scenario is that Republican statisticians came to similar conclusions but decided not to release the information because – duh – it would work against them.

  19. Cap'nKangaroo says:

    I would have loved to listen in on Karl Rove’s conference call to his super rich contributors, trying to explain away his pitiful performance this cycle.

  20. noname says:

    As Romney so eloquently demonstrated Retardicans don’t do math, facts or science.

    If God wanted a Republican in the White house, he would have given them brains.

  21. Captain Obvious says:

    Nate Silver on which polls performed best and worst.

    Overall Republican bias. Gallup, Rasmussen, Mason-Dixon, and American Research most biased. Google is kicking butt surprisingly. No Democratic or Republican polls (sorry MikeN).