Unless you were living under a rock for the past year or so, had absolutely no interest whatsoever in the race for the White House, or somehow missed Cliff’s Honeymoonlighting post from a couple of days ago, you undoubtedly came into contact with Nate Silver and his election projection site www.fivethirtyeight.com.
Nate’s statistical acumen, part of the driving force behind Baseball Prospectus, is unquestioned. Nate took that knowledge base, and applied it to predicting the outcomes of various political races. His projections for this recent election cycle were quite amazingly on the money.
Today’s New York Times has a very nice piece on our friend Nate. In a quote similar to what we typically find on the cover of the BP annual, we read:
FiveThirtyEight is “among the very first things I look at when I get up in the morning,” said Allan McCutcheon, who holds the Clifton chair in survey science at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. “He helped make sense of some of the things that didn’t seem sensible.”
Nate even got a pat on the back from the analysis-disdaining Murray Chass:
Using his obvious brilliance with statistical analysis, Silver has expanded his numbers game to Presidential politics and has become an instant superstar in his first time at bat. He correctly forecast the outcome of the Obama-McCain race in 49 of the 50 states, called the total popular vote within a percentage point and was closer on the electoral college voting than anyone else.
That’s a performance that is more impressive and more worthwhile than anything he has done with VORP and WHIP.
Congrats to Nate on his work in both realms.