Skip to main content

View Diary: Nervous conservatives attack Nate Silver for predicting Obama win (33 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  Comment (0+ / 0-)

    Nate Silver never said that "Obama will win."

    What he's stating is that there is a 70% or so probability that Obama will win; this is because when he ran 50,000 or whatever simulations, Obama came out ahead 70% of the time.  Similarly, his lead for Obama in the popular vote is simply the mean of what came up in those simulations.

    And that's based on the assumption that nothing really changes between now and election day.

    I don't regard that 70% as an over-optimistic number that says, "don't try" because there is a 30% probability that Romney will win.  It's hardly biased toward Obama.  Incidentally, of the probabilistic models, Silver's is the least favorable to Obama.  And it reflects the state of the race (Obama still has the upper hand but has not closed down Romney yet.)

    His model isn't perfect, by his own admission he can't get enough historical data to build a better model.

    I suspect this is another manifestation of the conservative belief in a deterministic world.  There is no concept of quantifying an uncertain outcome in their view of the world.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site