Basically, Glenn called this objection by Nate Silver with regard to Vox’s habit of stealing stuff ‘When nerds call out nerds.’ Look, I have had my differences with Nate Silver – but he’s the only nerd in this fight. Ezra Klein doesn’t deserve that honorable and venerable title. You need to care about something, to be a nerd. You need to care about something so much that an attack on it is an attack on you. And that your sense of integrity will keep you from allowing that thing to be abused.
I believe that Nate Silver has those things. I do not believe that of Ezra Klein. And yes, I’m making a moral judgment, here.
Ed Morrissey over at Hot Air is wondering why there was no money allocated for Mary Landrieu’s runoff:
This runoff was a flat-out certainty for months, which is why the GOP and its allies planned for big spending in Louisiana past Election Day. They put money aside even while aggressively spending against Democratic incumbents — like Landrieu herself, Mark Pryor, Mark Begich, Kay Hagan, and Jeanne Shaheen and Mark Warner in narrow losses. …Yet no one in Democratic circles prepared for the four-week campaign to save Landrieu from Barack Obama and herself.
Well, perhaps it’s due to a bad call on the DSCC’s part. Let us pretend, for a moment, that the results in 538’s last Senate ranking were correct, and reflected election night results. Well, in that scenario the GOP is not at 53 Senate seats and counting: we’re at 50. That’s because in that scenario we lost North Carolina and effectively Kansas (we will no longer pretend that Greg Orman was anything but a Democrat), and Georgia is on its way to a runoff election. As is Louisiana, of course; but in that situation a Democratic strategist could legitimately conclude that it would be simple enough to fund an emergency drive to take/flip the seats and retain the Senate. It would not be a hard sale, given the knife’s-edge nature of the scenario – which was, mind you, also the Democrats’ public worse-case scenario. Continue reading The DSCC listened to Nate Silver*, and now they must face the consequences in LA-SEN.
When a partisan writes something like this: “The past 14 years have featured a number of exceptionally exciting elections with control of the federal government at stake. This year, it probably isn’t” …then you know that things look grim for the party that the partisan is a partisan for. If you can’t spin for the win, spin away the loss: it’s a trick as old as Aesop. In this case, Nate Silver’s argument is that since the GOP already has veto power over everything (except for non-Supreme Court nominations, now that Harry Reid killed the filibuster for them*), then what difference does it make if the GOP does well this year? And sure, it makes no difference…
- Except for judicial nominations, of course. Which Nate Silver mentions.
- And treaties. Silver mentions that, too.
- Not to mention that of course the better we do this year, the more margin we have in 2016. Silver’s aware of that, as well.
- And then there’s the prospect of another hammer-blow to state Democrats, which will keep them in useful disarray for the rest of the decade, probably. Still something that Silver notes; why does he think that this election isn’t a big deal, again?
Continue reading Nate Silver (translated): Yeah, the GOP is going to take the Senate back.
Because this was, I think, needlessly cruel to Harry Reid’s own party base:
Reid then spoke of FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver, the well-known political (and sports) writer whose grim forecast for the Senate Democrats recently created a small furor in Washington. Reid — echoing a Democratic Senate Campaign Committee memo — said Silver has consistently predicted Senate Democrats would perform worse than they have in recent campaign cycles.
“He gave me a 16 percent chance of being reelected, he gave Heidi Heitkamp an 8 percent chance of being reelected, he gave Jon Tester a  percent chance of being reelected,” Reid said, referring to Silver’s final 2012 forecast for the New York Times. “So all polls are about like Nate Silver’s predictions: good sometimes, bad most of the time.”
Continue reading Quote of the Day, Maybe Harry Reid Is Simply A Sadist edition.
I so totally knew that they would use this argument.
Democrats aren’t taking Nate Silver’s latest Senate prediction lying down.
In an unusual step, the executive director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee on Monday issued a rebuttal the famed statistician’s prediction – made a day earlier – that Republicans were a “slight favorite” to retake the Senate. Silver was wrong in 2012, the political committee’s Guy Cecil wrote in a memo, and he’ll be wrong again in 2014.
“In fact, in August of 2012 Silver forecasted a 61 percent likelihood that Republicans would pick up enough seats to claim the majority,” Cecil said. “Three months later Democrats went on to win 55 seats.”
Continue reading The DSCC’s sudden, yet inevitable betrayal of Nate Silver.
…but I know damned well that his devotees will care, so here you go:
Nate Silver, the former New York Times analyst who rose to prominence after correctly predicted every state that voted for Barack Obama in 2012, gave the Republican Party a 60 percent chance of retaking the Senate in November — a chilling prospect for Democrats who once found Silver’s predictions comforting.
Be sure to write those checks out to your party anyway, Democrats! Sure, that money will just be thrown away, but that’s what Democratic donors are there for. Continue reading *I* don’t care that Nate Silver is giving a 60% chance to a Senate flip…
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.
Continue reading More on the Nate Silver / PPP donnybrook.
OK, OK: ‘skirmish.’ Still, of all the joys that come from winning a tough race, there’s few entertainments that compare to watching folks from the losing side take out their frustrations on each other.
I’ll summarize the issue: PPP’s Tom Jensen buried a poll from last week that, if it had been published, would have maybe warned Colorado Democrats that they were going to get destroyed in the Angela Giron recall. Nate Silver – who relies heavily on PPP in his polling fortunetelling – got shirty about that. Hi-jinks ensued.
Our own Neil Stevens storified the exchange (and also wrote about why PPP’s action was a bigger deal than they care to admit). Storify after the fold, but let me note this: Nate Silver’s got a point. However, Silver may not be getting the larger point, which is that all the polling is like that. I understand that the guy has hit the target for two Presidential races running; but I don’t know how Silver’s going to react when he’s in Jensen’s position of having the numbers tell him that an absolutely vital election is not going the way that he likes. Because Jensen’s got a point, too when he notes that Silver can miss results that Silver doesn’t want to see.
Continue reading The @ppppolls / @fivethirtyeight Colorado Recall Poll War.
…in his latest performance of his shtick (using pretty numbers and graphs to tell people things that they already knew). In this case, Silver’s explaining that no, Waukesha County didn’t create 14,000 votes out of nowhere. Which you already knew, because you saw the press conference where this was already explained, complete with the Democratic canvassing board representative who signed off on it.
But it’s still a waste of time, because Silver’s usual customer base doesn’t want to hear it. They’ll much prefer to be told that their pretty shiny Quest Object was stolen away from them by the nasty Republicans, oh yes; that way they can still be right. Not being right is bad. And actually losing that election after they too-hastily declared victory makes them look foolish, which is worse.
So… no sale, Silver, I’m betting.
…”I don’t dare tell you how bad it’s going to be in the House this year.”
Sorry: it’s just that this shtick of his gets annoying sometimes, you know [two paragraphs of peevish mutterings deleted*.]?
*Essentially, I was addressing the perennial problem with Silver – which is that he never tells you anything that you didn’t already know. It was a pretty boring rant, really.