The battle over Nate Silver continues today. Joe Scarborough, who attacked Silver during the election, is back with a semi-apology, acknowledging that Silver did get it right. Andrew Sullivan excoriates Scarborough as part of a discredited political commentariat that missed Obama’s structural advantage and has now been proven irrelevant.
Along these lines, I believe people are seriously misstating what Silver achieved. It isn’t that he predicted the election right where others botched it. It’s that he popularized a way of thinking about polling, a way to navigate through conflicting numbers and speculation, that would still have remained invaluable even if he’d predicted the outcome wrong.
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