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Wed Nov 7, 2012, 12:10 PM

U.S. election: How Nate Silver and two university profs went 50-0 in predictions

Last edited Wed Nov 7, 2012, 04:29 PM - Edit history (1)

Source: Bloomberg

Nate Silver was right. The Gallup Poll was wrong.



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 per cent of the popular vote as he called each of the 50 states, including all nine battlegrounds.

“Nate Silver, right,” said Bill Burton, who moved from the White House to the pro-Obama super-political action committee Priorities USA Action.

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.

“These polls are designed only to measure what is happening at the time of that poll in terms of the national popular vote” and are not “designed to be predictive,” Gallup editor-in-chief Frank Newport said.

With the count in Florida still to be finished, Obama was leading Romney nationwide by two percentage points, 50 per cent to 48 per cent, the Associated Press reported, and won a decisive Electoral College victory.

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.

Read more: http://www.thestar.com/news/world/uselection/article/1284100--u-s-election-nate-silver-and-two-university-profs-go-50-0-in-predictions

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Reply U.S. election: How Nate Silver and two university profs went 50-0 in predictions (Original post)
trailmonkee Nov 2012 OP
SoapBox Nov 2012 #1
Coyotl Nov 2012 #3
Hutzpa Nov 2012 #10
Coyotl Nov 2012 #18
Ligyron Nov 2012 #24
proverbialwisdom Nov 2012 #43
cprise Nov 2012 #44
samsingh Nov 2012 #2
ffr Nov 2012 #11
femrap Nov 2012 #39
1StrongBlackMan Nov 2012 #28
JenniferJuniper Nov 2012 #4
AngryAmish Nov 2012 #47
iandhr Nov 2012 #5
JenniferJuniper Nov 2012 #6
Raster Nov 2012 #7
iandhr Nov 2012 #9
Democrats4All Nov 2012 #8
caraher Nov 2012 #13
JackRiddler Nov 2012 #35
AllyCat Nov 2012 #12
tomm2thumbs Nov 2012 #14
Moostache Nov 2012 #15
TrogL Nov 2012 #21
adieu Nov 2012 #16
SomeGuyInEagan Nov 2012 #27
carolinayellowdog Nov 2012 #17
Bernardo de La Paz Nov 2012 #19
rusty fender Nov 2012 #20
AAO Nov 2012 #31
MuhkRahker Nov 2012 #22
XtopherXtopher Nov 2012 #29
imac567 Nov 2012 #23
Dawgs Nov 2012 #25
imac567 Nov 2012 #26
Jim Lane Nov 2012 #36
imac567 Nov 2012 #41
Cha Nov 2012 #30
XtopherXtopher Nov 2012 #34
imac567 Nov 2012 #42
jnew1021 Nov 2012 #32
KANTANA Nov 2012 #40
XtopherXtopher Nov 2012 #33
outsideworld Nov 2012 #37
tweeternik Nov 2012 #38
DCKit Nov 2012 #45
iandhr Nov 2012 #46
Glaisne Nov 2012 #48

Response to trailmonkee (Original post)

Wed Nov 7, 2012, 12:12 PM

1. Face it...

the guy is GOOD!

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Response to SoapBox (Reply #1)

Wed Nov 7, 2012, 12:16 PM

3. Face it also ...

Statistics is science. This is a huge victory, science over propaganda and delusion, spin and manipulation.

This is the triumph of reason over herding.

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Response to Coyotl (Reply #3)

Wed Nov 7, 2012, 12:48 PM

10. Face it....

a huge victory over super pac money. Fucking billionaires.

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Response to Hutzpa (Reply #10)

Wed Nov 7, 2012, 01:11 PM

18. Facebookit too

This is a victory for social media and the new media, for personal communication and rapid, reasoned discourse, for the quality of flotsam in an interactive world, a victory over the old top-down feeding of selected information with propagation of lies un-countered. The truth and the facts triumphed over the wish-washy white-washing with lies, untruths, and propaganda.

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Response to Coyotl (Reply #18)

Wed Nov 7, 2012, 02:18 PM

24. "... propagation of lies un-countered."

eloquently stated

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Response to Coyotl (Reply #18)

Wed Nov 7, 2012, 07:36 PM

43. Good one, yeah!

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Response to Hutzpa (Reply #10)

Wed Nov 7, 2012, 08:33 PM

44. But don't count on that happening ever again

Not with Citizens United.

Obama lost 3 percentage points with white voters this time around. It was because of the flood of neocon propaganda.

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Response to trailmonkee (Original post)

Wed Nov 7, 2012, 12:15 PM

2. gallup is a joke

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Response to samsingh (Reply #2)

Wed Nov 7, 2012, 12:50 PM

11. Yup. About all they did was keep both sides motivated to vote.

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Response to ffr (Reply #11)

Wed Nov 7, 2012, 05:17 PM

39. I think it's

 

more about keeping the 2 candidate's campaigns pocketbooks open and spending all they have.

The MSM portrays it as a horse race so they can get more $$$. The pollsters get more $$$.

Nate looked at State Polls...and none of these others did??? WTF?

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Response to samsingh (Reply #2)

Wed Nov 7, 2012, 03:08 PM

28. I wouldn't say Gallup is a joke, so much as ...

Gallup was fulfilling it's business mission, which is to provide contracted service to service its clients needs. In this case, as in previous years, Gallup's clients' needs were not so much the providing of accurate information, as to provide information that gave the appearance that this election was a horse-race; thereby, creating a sense of drama that drove ad buying from the clients.

In previous years, and until this election, it worked; but only because there was no recognized alternative source (not similarly serving Gallup's mission) by which to draw a comparison.

I suspect that in the near future, this business model ... "keep it close to drive ad buys" ... will change, as to do otherwise will serve to only make Gallup (and other polling outfits) look, at best incompetent, if not, silly.

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Response to trailmonkee (Original post)

Wed Nov 7, 2012, 12:22 PM

4. He blinded them with science

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Response to JenniferJuniper (Reply #4)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 02:59 PM

47. No he did not. His predictions are everything science is not supposed to be.

He may be right. He may be wrong. But his methodology, while somewhat known, has not been subject to independent peer review (because it is proprietary) and then subject to independent confirmation.

But he certainly made himself a buttload of money.

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Response to trailmonkee (Original post)

Wed Nov 7, 2012, 12:22 PM

5. IF FL goes for Obama I would go 49-1

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Response to iandhr (Reply #5)

Wed Nov 7, 2012, 12:25 PM

6. Didn't he flip Florida pale blue near the end?

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Response to JenniferJuniper (Reply #6)

Wed Nov 7, 2012, 12:35 PM

7. yes he did.

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Response to JenniferJuniper (Reply #6)

Wed Nov 7, 2012, 12:39 PM

9. Yeah

But I still had FL for Mitt.

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Response to trailmonkee (Original post)

Wed Nov 7, 2012, 12:38 PM

8. I got all 50 !

Man, how could a regular joe get all of them right and the paid pundits miss so bad. It really is basic math.

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Response to Democrats4All (Reply #8)

Wed Nov 7, 2012, 12:59 PM

13. Because the pundits are know-nothings

They're on TV to get ratings, not to speak the truth. What sells is always, always, always the clash and the "tight race"

Whereas you have the intelligence to use our best tools to sort out reality...

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Response to Democrats4All (Reply #8)

Wed Nov 7, 2012, 03:24 PM

35. Pundits are less than regular joes.

It's their job to be wrong if that's what they're paid for.

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Response to trailmonkee (Original post)

Wed Nov 7, 2012, 12:50 PM

12. This is what happens when we use SCIENCE, not ID or creationism

Better information brings better lives for all.

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Response to trailmonkee (Original post)

Wed Nov 7, 2012, 01:01 PM

14. Facts are stubborn things....


I think Nate, by actually reporting the facts, has on more than a dozen occasions salvaged DU's downward spiraling moods with the reintroduction of reality to discussions.

Perhaps this is a trend?

Thanks Nate -- for being real.

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Response to trailmonkee (Original post)

Wed Nov 7, 2012, 01:02 PM

15. Sadly, no one in the conserva-bubble will hear, read or understand this....

Silver was right because he can do the maths, something that 90% of Red State/Free Republic/Fox victims cannot do.

They are unmoved by facts and unfazed by cognitive dissonance. About the best thing I can say about the core republican voter is that they are getting older and heading for extinction whether they believe it or not.

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Response to Moostache (Reply #15)

Wed Nov 7, 2012, 02:09 PM

21. Can I quote you on that?

They are unmoved by facts and unfazed by cognitive dissonance.


Best one-sentence explanation of authoritarian thinking I've run across in ages.

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Response to trailmonkee (Original post)

Wed Nov 7, 2012, 01:02 PM

16. Nate Silver's statistics

I wonder if it took into account possible election fraud events. We already know of the voter suppression tactics, although some voters were more determined to out last the suppression (god bless them). I was really fearful that Ohio and PA might go to Romney because of voter suppression and other tactics.

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Response to adieu (Reply #16)

Wed Nov 7, 2012, 03:01 PM

27. Leading up to Tuesday, I wondered about that as well.

Tough to factor in election fraud (note that I did NOT write "voter" fraud) and voter suppression tactics into your algorithms.

Or, he's a witch (and I am fine with that).

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Response to trailmonkee (Original post)

Wed Nov 7, 2012, 01:06 PM

17. well earned respect after some undeserved disrespect

from the commentariat

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Response to trailmonkee (Original post)

Wed Nov 7, 2012, 01:16 PM

19. Nate beat not only Gallup but Rove, Rasmussen, Michael Barone & Dick Morris.

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Response to Bernardo de La Paz (Reply #19)

Wed Nov 7, 2012, 01:59 PM

20. A dead rat could beat Dick Morris

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Response to Bernardo de La Paz (Reply #19)

Wed Nov 7, 2012, 03:10 PM

31. I wish I could beat Dick Morris too!

 

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Response to trailmonkee (Original post)

Wed Nov 7, 2012, 02:11 PM

22. Didn't he have FL or Romney?

Regardless, I can't believe he was so close when he was including so many right leaning polls from Ras, Gravis, ARG, Purple Strat and Gallap.

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Response to MuhkRahker (Reply #22)

Wed Nov 7, 2012, 03:10 PM

29. no, he turned it light blue a couple of days before the election. nt

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Response to trailmonkee (Original post)

Wed Nov 7, 2012, 02:11 PM

23. Nate was right! But... so where 4 other nerds and Intrade. Check it out here!

http://votamatic.org/

http://frontloading.blogspot.com/p/2012-electoral-college-map.html

http://election.princeton.edu/

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AjAk1JUWDMyRdDQzLWJTdlppakNRNDlMakhhMGdGa0E#gid=3

http://electoralmap.net/2012/intrade.php

As soon as they call Florida, and they will, Votamatic and Frontloading will have nailed the EV right on the head! I haven't tallied who did best on the pop. vote as it hasn't finished yet, but it looks as though 2 of the models, (Nate included) will probably nail that too! ALSO, the amount of FB likes and twitter followers for both parties was in line with a study suggesting that candidates with the largest followings are more likely to win elections and guess who that was???
NERDS RULE!!! What an awesome age of technology we live in...

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Response to imac567 (Reply #23)

Wed Nov 7, 2012, 02:33 PM

25. So was the average of all recent polls.

They match Nate Silver's prediction perfectly, including a tied Florida.

It really isn't that hard. It's just math.

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Response to Dawgs (Reply #25)

Wed Nov 7, 2012, 02:58 PM

26. Sometimes it's just the simple things...

like...math

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Response to imac567 (Reply #23)

Wed Nov 7, 2012, 03:26 PM

36. As well as a few you missed

I was following electoral-vote.com, which, like Silver, took state polls and aggregated them to call each state (although using a somewhat different formula from Silver's). I think Larry Sabato did the same on his site.

Even a conservative site, RealClearPolitics, got the Obama win right when it looked to the polls.

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Response to Jim Lane (Reply #36)

Wed Nov 7, 2012, 06:16 PM

41. You're right! I did miss that one.

I couldn't keep up with all of them! Amazing isn't it? And Fox news wanted us to think (or not think) we could use information to suggest the outcome of an event that involves numbers...

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Response to trailmonkee (Original post)

Wed Nov 7, 2012, 03:10 PM

30. And Sam Wang didn't have to eat any Bugs..which he said he would

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Response to Cha (Reply #30)

Wed Nov 7, 2012, 03:21 PM

34. I'd buy that poster! nt

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Response to Cha (Reply #30)

Wed Nov 7, 2012, 06:18 PM

42. That's good!!!

...math lol

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Response to trailmonkee (Original post)

Wed Nov 7, 2012, 03:12 PM

32. Last Night

As whole (from the election to the vindication of Nate's predictions) represents the triumph of logic over ideology, moderates over extremists, data over "gut feeling", and FACTS over outright lies. I could not be happier, glad it's over.

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Response to jnew1021 (Reply #32)

Wed Nov 7, 2012, 05:56 PM

40. I am so happy too.

Love your take. You nailed the whole thing in a few words! Brilliant. I will add, the triumph of good over evil.
Nate Silver has won my respect and loyalty.

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Response to trailmonkee (Original post)

Wed Nov 7, 2012, 03:20 PM

33. Reality crushes illusion once again.

I feel like I woke up today in a brand new world. Nate is my hero of the moment.

I remember when amongst friends and family I predicted an unstoppable Obama win and eventually an Obama presidency, immediately after that Iowa caucus. No one believed me then. Hillary was still the favorite at the time.

This time, I had Nate's numbers on my side, and still, when I talked to anyone, the unwarranted pessimism among liberals and the blind optimism among conservatives was too thick to cut through.

Here's hoping this vindication of a data-based viewpoint helps move people's attitudes in the right direction.

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Response to trailmonkee (Original post)

Wed Nov 7, 2012, 04:04 PM

37. well deserved .

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Response to trailmonkee (Original post)

Wed Nov 7, 2012, 04:39 PM

38. Thank you, Nate!

I'm cashing in on some nice bets based on your analysis!

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Response to trailmonkee (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 12:23 PM

45. I knew he had it right the second they started calling him gay....

 

last resort. If I didn't already have the bestest husband in the world....

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Response to trailmonkee (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 01:29 PM

46. Silver went 50-0. I went 49-1

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Response to trailmonkee (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 08:29 PM

48. This pretty much sums up the whole Nate Silver thing:

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