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Election 2012: Has Nate Silver destroyed punditry?

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(Read caption) Monitor correspondent Liz Marlantes looks at what the future might hold for the president and Congress on four major issues.
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Has Nate Silver destroyed punditry? This question arises due to New York Times poll analyst Mr. Silver’s accuracy in predicting the 2012 election results and the media context in which that occurred.

For weeks now, some in the traditional punditocracy – the folks who look at a poll, call a campaign official, then consult their gut feelings over lunch – have hammered Silver for his statistics-heavy approach. He gave a false appearance of certainty, they said. He was way too bullish on President Obama’s chances, they said. His numbers were skewed, they said.

The classic exposition of these views was “Nate Silver: One-term celebrity?” a piece by Politico’s Dylan Byers published on October 29.

Then came the actual voting. Silver got all 50 states right, down to his last-minute prediction that Florida would be a virtual tie.

Traditional pundit George Will of The Washington Post opinion section? He forecast that Mitt Romney would win with 321 electoral votes. Wrong!

New York Post pundit Dick Morris? He said Romney would win with 325 electoral votes. Wrong again!

CNBC pundit/host Jim Cramer? He thought Obama would roll up 440 electoral votes. We’ve gone over the states several times and we don’t see how that’s even mathematically possible.

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