NUMBERS GAME

Nate Silver Might Quit Predicting If He Starts To “Influence the Democratic Process”

nate_silverNate Silver, the It Boy of Election Night 2012, is saying he’ll stop prognosticating about political races if he thinks he’s unduly affecting the democratic process.

Politico reports the “sexually gay”statistician told an audience at Washington University he wants to be an observer not a deciderer:

“I hope people don’t take the forecasts too seriously. You’d rather have an experiment where you record it off from the actual voters, in a sense, but we’ll see.

If it gets really weird in 2014, in 2016, then maybe I’ll stop doing it. I don’t want to influence the democratic process in a negative way.”

What exactly Silver means by a “negative way” is open to interpretation: Does he mean if people stay home because they feel the election has been decided? Or does he mean if Republicans manage to use his predictions to their advantage?

In either case, isn’t it a little late for such talk? Silver was all over the media last year, talking up his predictions. Did he think we just stayed glued to his appearances because we thought he was cute? (Well, that too.)

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7 Comments

  • hyhybt

    It wouldn’t have to be either of those. It wouldn’t even necessarily be influence that favors the Republicans: many people vote for the person they believe will WIN whether they want them to win or not.

    That’s partly why certain organizations were so insistent that polling showed Romney was going to win.

  • Kevin B

    Honesty, does it matter? His models are out there, if he’s not the one doing the predicting someone else will be.

  • Fidelio

    I would so fuck Nate Silver if it wasn’t for Jonah Hill.

  • Cam

    Ok, So FOX News actually lied about poll numbers in states like Mi, OH, and PA to try to influence the election. And Silver might stop because he’s been right every time?

  • 2eo

    @Cam: Fox also have a billion dollar team of legal eagles who can cripple individuals through litigation without actually ever charging or asserting anything.

    Am I saying that he’s protecting himself from accusations that will arise by the right wing in future?, yes I am.

  • Freddie27

    Love how bitter the Politico article is about Nate Silver. He whooped their ass over the election.

  • AxelDC

    Silver is not partisan, even though people think of him as a liberal because he is gay and because he predicted (accurately) big wins for Democrats in 2008 and 2012.

    Anyone who followed him in 2010 knows that he will throw cold water on Democrats as quickly as he does on Republicans. Just because he may vote for Democrats does not mean he alters his predictions for them. His 2010 numbers were dead on, and not pretty for Democrats.

    In fact, his two biggest “failings” have been in Republican’s favors. He predicted Florida for Romney and North Carolina for McCain. If anything, he seems to not want to be too enthusiastic for Democrats for fear of disappointing himself.

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