2nd November 2012: Nate Silver’s 2012 Political Predictions

Nate Silver


Nate Silver‘s new book The Signal and the Noise is on my ‘to read’ pile (Reading the Markets review). In a New York Times blog entry on 30th October, Silver predicted that Obama was well positioned to win the 2012 US Presidential election:


Mr. Obama’s lead in the Electoral College is modest, but also quite consistent across the different methods. The states in which every site has Mr. Obama leading make up 271 electoral votes — one more than the president needs to clinch victory. The states in which everyone has Mr. Romney ahead represent 206 electoral votes. That leaves five states, and 61 electoral votes, unaccounted for — but Mr. Obama would not need them if he prevails in the states where he is leading in the polls.


Silver predicted a 73.6 % chance that Obama would win the 2012 US Presidential election. Conservative bloggers then attacked Silver’s credibility. Robert Schlesinger of the US News & World Report notes that Silver’s predictions are in line with other political forecasters and prediction markets. Despite the partisan noise of the past few days, the future of baseball-derived sabermetrics in political campaigns looks sound.


Photo: jdlasica/Flickr.