Latest Posts

Nate Silver
  • Michele Bachmann Performing Badly, Even by Michele Bachmann Standards

    Nate Silver makes a rather sad observation for Michele Bachmann

    Entrance polls and very easy voting tabulations don't always tell you much about who is winning — but they can tell you something about who has too steep a hill to climb. So far, that candidate appears to be Michele Bachmann.

    She has just 6 percent of the vote in the first 49 precincts that reported, even though other conservative candidates are performing well in these areas. And her entrance polls are no better: she was favored by only 8 percent of evangelical voters, for instance.

    Ugh, that awful news! What happened?! How could things have gone so wrong for her?

    If only there was one more conservative ideal she could have championed. One more controversy she could have hyperbolized. One more fact she could have invented. One more minority group she could have demonized.

    If there was just a little more time!

    Photo by Steve Pope/Getty Images News/Getty Images

    Tags: Iowa, Iowa Caucus, Michele Bachmann, Nate Silver
  • From the Pork Barrel: Numbers Game

    * Nate Silver and the New York Times have a super fun online toy you can play with to find out how bad Obama is going to lose next year. Totally bad or totally mega extreme bad?! You find out!

    * A kindly gentleman from the Tea Party was so kind recently as to inform Massachusetts senate candidate that she is "a socialist whore" before bidding her a hasty adieu.

    * The U.S. Senate has, once again, succeeded specularly well at failing miserably.

    * Does anybody know who does the taxes for these 30 corporations worth hundreds of billions of dollars? Do you think he's taking on any new clients?

    Tags: Barack Obama, Corporations, Elizabeth Warren, Herman Cain, Jon Huntsman, Massachusetts, Michele Bachmann, Mitt Romney, Nate Silver, New York Times, Pork Barrel, Primaries, Republicans, Rick Perry, Senate, Taxes, Tea Party
  • Quote Unquote: Senate Democrats' Secret Weapon

    Nate Silver — Master of Polls — explains why, according to his math, Democrats are likely to hold onto the Senate next week

    "The reason that Democrats are most likely to hold the Senate but not the House — the necessary and sufficient reason — is because only one-third of the Senate is up for re-election every two years. If the whole Senate were up for re-election next week, Democrats would lose it and lose it badly."

    Too inspirational for words, really.

    Tags: Democrats, Nate Silver, Polls, Quote Unquote, Senate
  • Things Continue to Look Really, Really Bad for Democrats

    There are a lot of polls out there saying a lot of different things about Democrats' chances next month. They generally range from predicting big losses to predicting huge losses. However, because I am a realist (which is to say, I am a pessimist), and because I usually defer to Nate Silver on these matters, I'm bracing myself for massive losses

    Gallup's weekly tracking of the generic ballot [gives] Republicans a 3-point edge among registered voters — well within the range that Gallup has shown in recent weeks. But Gallup also introduced its likely voter model this week, and there, Republicans' advantage was much larger: 13 points under one scenario — what Gallup calls a "higher turnout" scenario — and 18 points in another, "lower turnout" version of the model.

    Those are absolutely terrifying numbers for Democrats. Although it's not completely straightforward to translate the generic ballot into actual votes, were Democrats to lose the House popular vote by anything resembling that margin, their losses could be catastrophic. According to one formula that models turnover in the House based on the Gallup likely voter model specifically, a 13-point lead for the G.O.P. would translate into a gain of 71 (!) seats — and an 18-point, lead, a gain of 86 (!!) seats.

    Hmmmm… If only there were some sort of sweeping legislation that will improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans that the could point to as something for which the fought and won during this past congress. If only…

    Too bad they don't a whole pile of great ideas like the Republicans, huh?

    Tags: Democrats, Midterms, Nate Silver, Polls
  • Nate Silver & Karl Rove: What Are the Odds?

    A numerological statistical analysis of the numerical compatibility between number crunching geeks Nate Silver and Karl Rove

    While Rove is a Republican spin doctor and Silver a "rational progressive," there is substantial and surprising overlap between the two.

    Nate Silver Karl Rove
    100% match
    Capricorn Capricorn
    Nick Name
    75% match
    Poblano, Numbers Machine, genius, "the human abacus" and "the guy who taught numbers how to fuck" Boy Genius, Turdblossom
    Appearance 50 % match cute, blue eyes, wears hipster (50% nerdy) glasses 50% of the time fugly, blue eyes, wears 100% nerdy glasses 100% of the time
    60% match
    Baseball, counting, high school debate team MC rove-ing, high school debate team
    98.5% match
    "There's a 97.3% chance that Nate Silver is Totally My Boyfriend" said page.
    In order to win the high school senate race, Rove was driven into the school gym in a convertible, seated between two pretty girls.
    20% if consensual
    10% if paid
    -100% if forced
    Childhood Geek Level
    100% match
    According to his father, Silver "was a numbers fanatic…. When we took him to preschool one time, we dropped him off, and he announced, 'Today, I'm a numbers machine,' and started counting…. When we picked him up two and a half hours later, he was 'Two thousand one hundred and twenty-two, two thousand one hundred and twenty-three…' "
    = 100%
    Rove said "I was the complete nerd. I had the briefcase. I had the pocket protector. I wore Hush Puppies when they were not cool. I was the thin, scrawny little guy. I was definitely uncool."
    Current Geek Level
    100% match
    See above
    - at preschool
    + at home
    = 100%
    See above
    -"thin, scrawny little guy"
    + full figured
    = 100%
    2008 Election

    ??% match*
    ??% accuracy

    Obama: 349

    McCain: 189

    Obama: 338
    McCain: 200

    * Nate Silver, if you're reading this, could you please calculate these?

    Based on their surprisingly high commonality levels, I tested their compatibility and determined that, based on numerology, the two have a compatibility of between 25 and 79%. As a control, I used both the subjects' given full names as well as the names they go by…

    Read More »

    Tags: Karl Rove, Nate Silver