Nate Silver offers $1,000 bet on Obama

 

For weeks, critics — MSNBC's Joe Scarborough among them — have argued that New York Times' polling analyst Nate Silver gives President Obama too high a chance at winning the election. Today, Silver fires back, asking Scarborough to make a $1,000 bet on the race. 

Scarborough hasn't accepted or ruled out the idea. He suggested instead that both donate $1,000 to the Red Cross right now. Silver responded that they should bet $2,000. 

Scarborough also received a message from Obama senior strategist David Axelrod asking, "All they bet was MONEY????" On Wednesday, Axelrod agreed on Scarborough's "Morning Joe" to shave his mustache if Mitt Romney wins Pennsylvania, Michigan or Minnesota. Scarborough promised to grow a 'stache if Obama takes all three states. 

Silver skeptics will likely take the bet as another sign that the statistician's credibility is riding on an Obama victory. But Silver's argument is that if Obama and Romney had an equal chance of winning, more people would be betting on the Republican. 

Rachel Weiner covers local politics for The Washington Post.

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