Some pundits were woefully inaccurate in their Election 2012 predictions, but those who relied on data – like Nate Silver's FiveThirtyEight blog – did well. 'Moneyball' has come to punditry.
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.
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