More on the Nate Silver / PPP donnybrook.

Very interesting article here by Sean Davis about the Nate Silver / PPP Twitter fight and subsequent break up.  Executive summary: Silver’s 50-state success in 2012 apparently hinged on a last-minute Florida poll by PPP; and said poll apparently hinged on PPP’s Tom Jensen’s decision that Obama was going to win, so let’s make sure that the numbers come out that way. The flaws in relying on Jensen’s gut have become fairly clear since then*, and Silver’s not particularly happy about that… especially since the entire schtick of both men rely around the somewhat laughable statement that you can predict the future. Silver leaned a lot on PPP in the last election; he’s unlikely to do so in the next one. Unfortunately for both men, both their brands are, as Sean put it, codependent; hurt one, and the other suffers, too.

Not much else to say, except that I can’t wait to see how Silver handles an electoral environment that’s unfriendly to his side on the Presidential level.  I suspect that Sean can’t wait, either.

Moe Lane

*Everyone in this business knows: PPP can’t be trusted when it comes to special elections, North Carolina state elections, and/or races that are really, really important to the Democratic party base. It’s not so much that it’s crazy wrong, just that Jensen typically spots the Democrat five points or so. …So maybe it is crazy wrong, at that.

6 thoughts on “More on the Nate Silver / PPP donnybrook.”

  1. My people have a saying, “Garbage in, garbage out”.
    Lincoln had a different saying that also seems to apply, something about the percentage of people who can be fooled at a given time, but I never quite got the math behind it.

  2. I live in NC and I have no illusions about the extent to which PPP will manipulate data to fit a narrative. The first time I became aware of it was when we had the vote on same sex marriage here in NC. PPP

    1. (fat fingers today, sorry). PPP used every demographic gap they could think of to make it look like NC was going to support SSM. IMO, they have no credibility. Period.

    1. Pardon me, I have some salt to go rub in certain Nate Silver fanbois’ (not quite to rule 34 but still ewww) faces.

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