Prior to my postmortem this morning, I’ve been relatively quiet this week. The main reason for that is that all of my attempts to write about baseball have come out looking something like this.
Still, baseball is never far from my mind, and that was all the more true this week as the election results proved something I’ve known for a long time: Nate Silver knows a thing or two about statistics and projections. By using the sort of corrections and adjustments Baseball Prospectus has long used to normalize baseball stats, Nate normalized the polls and predicted Obama’s popular vote win down to within a tenth of a percentage point based on the votes counted thus far. As for the electoral college, out of the 50 states, the only one he projected incorrectly was Indiana, which he had as a slim red state and wound up just going blue by less than a percentage point, backing the Democratic candidate for the first time since 1964. It seems he also will have missed the one electoral vote for the Omaha area of Nebraska, but that vote was so close, it still hasn’t been called one way or the other. Still, that’s all he missed.
If you need further proof that the BP statisticians know what they’re doing, check out my last post and note how VORP, SNLVAR, and WXLR explain the difference between the 2007 and 2008 Yankees down to the win. Some who know that I’ve edited and contributed to several Baseball Prospectus books might accuse me of being a shill for the group, but those who know me well know I wouldn’t have participated in those projects if I didn’t believe in the quality of the work they do. I just hope they’re smart enough to cash in on Nate’s newfound fame.