The Washington Post

Nate Silver and the forecasting consensus, in one chart

Brendan Nyhan/CJR

I'll let Brendan Nyhan describe his chart:

"These charts below, for instance, present the estimated probabilities of an Obama victory and current Electoral College forecasts (where available) from the political scientists Jay DeSart and Tom HolbrookStanford’s Simon JackmanEmory’s Drew LinzerSilverPrinceton’s Sam Wang, the British sports book Betfair, and the Intrade futures market (here and here).

What you're seeing is that Silver's forecast isn't an outlier. In fact, it's actually quite a bit friendlier to Romney's chances than the other models, and only a little more bullish on Obama than the betting markets.

In this way, the laughable work being done at is actually on the right track. If you don't like the results the models are spitting out, you need to come up with some reason that the polls those models are using have it wrong. Otherwise, any model you develop is going to show some kind of Obama victory, because right now, the polls show an Obama victory in a critical mass of swing states.

That's why there's no credible conservative alternative to Silver's model. Indeed, there's been some talk of whether there will be a conservative Nate Silver in 2016. But as Silver has said, if the data shows the Republican ticket is ahead in 2016, Nate Silver will be the conservative Nate Silver of 2016, and so will all these other forecasters who, in the final weeks of the election, mainly rely on polling data.

Related: The Nate Silver backlash.



Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read



Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Videos curated for you.
Play Videos
Be a man and cry
Deaf banjo player teaches thousands
Sleep advice you won't find in baby books
Play Videos
Drawing as an act of defiance
A flood of refugees from Syria but only a trickle to America
Chicago's tacos, four ways
Play Videos
What you need to know about filming the police
What you need to know about trans fats
Syrian refugee: 'I’m committed to the power of music'
Play Videos
Riding the X2 with D.C.'s most famous rapper
Full disclosure: 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1 ghoul
Europe's migrant crisis, explained
Next Story
Dylan Matthews · October 31, 2012

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.