Obama’s big win does not mean Nate Silver is a towering electoral genius

But all these stats triumphalists have it wrong. Nate Silver didn’t nail it; the pollsters did. The vaunted Silver “picks”—the ones that scored a perfect record on Election Day—were derived from averaged state-wide data. According to the final tallies from FiveThirtyEight, Obama led by 1.3 points in Virginia, 3.6 in Ohio, 3.6 in Nevada, and 1.9 in Colorado. He won all those states, just like he won every other state in which he’d led in averaged, state-wide polls. That doesn’t mean that Silver’s magic model works. It means that polling works, assuming that its methodology is sound, and that it’s done repeatedly. –Daniel Engber on Slate

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Posted on November 7, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Sure, good polls are important, but in my opinion the most compelling elements on Silver’s site are the results of simulation, such as the Electoral College distribution, and the expected number of seats to win in the Senate. These are Silver’s Stages 3, 6, and 7, and are not something any individual poll can provide.

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