The Washington Post

Who cares if Nate Silver is ‘right’?

(Tony Dejak/AP)

Everyone has been talking about Nate Silver, the quantitative master who runs the FiveThirtyEight blog at the New York Times. He has created a forecasting model that has consistently ID’d President Obama as the favorite over Mitt Romney; he has angered conservatives; and he has made a controversial bet with MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough about the election, drawing the scorn of the New York Times public editor.

Whatever criticism Silver has sustained, it’ll all go away if his modeling proves “right” on Nov. 6. In this Post Outlook piece, I say who cares whether his forecasting proves prescient. If only Silver’s writings and the spirit behind them — that is, using data to analyze politics, instead of lazy impressions — could elbow out the role of pundits in our political discourse, we’d all be better off.

Erik Wemple writes the Erik Wemple blog, where he reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts.


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