Sunday, August 10, 2008

Take Me Out To The Electoral College

There was a good, interesting segment on Countdown with Keith Olbermann on Friday evening.

Baseball statistician turned political pollster Nate Silver, founder of the website FiveThirtyEight (named for the count of the Electoral College) was on and, no doubt, the Stumblin' Bumblin' John McCain campaign must want to do a Juan Marichal to Silver.

Crunching the numbers, Silver prognosticates that Barack Obama will beat Stumblin' Bumblin' McCain, 294.7 to 243.3.

Essentially, a blowout.

And, least you think Olbermann was just promoting one of his Fantasy Baseball buddies, you'd be benched, for the man who has been on-the-money more than anyone during this election season, Al Giordano, weighs in;

Nate Silver - whose statistical approach to forecasting the primary results this spring hung bad pollsters out to dry and has sent good pollsters into a long overdue stampede to reexamine the technical bases of how they do their work - was on Countdown with Keith Olbermann last night. It's a sign of the times that the new rising star of political analysis doesn't come from inside a campaign staff (a la Pat Caddell in '76, Roger Ailes in '80, James Carville in '92 or Karl Rove in '00) but from the outside.

In a few short months Nate has gone from being one of thousands of bloggers on Daily Kos (he used the pseud Poblano there) to launching his own website, which in addition to the addictive numbers-crunching, charts and graphs, features excellent commentary (and really good writing).

"At this point there’s a pretty big margin of error. Once we have the conventions, especially the first debate, Obama will be vetted by voters… The movement comes after labor day and after the conventions…."

Here's the 411

Baseball stats star gets in the politics game

Aug. 8: Nate Silver's Web site,, applies his widely admired statistical prediction technique to political polling to generate electoral map forecasts that have captured the attention of political strategists. Silver joins Keith Olbermann to explain how his process applies to both baseball and politics.

Go visit (and bookmark) FiveThirtyEight.Com

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