Nate Silver Says Obama Has 92% Chance Of Winning. Is The Out Pollster Helping Or Hurting?

It Boy polling analyst Nate Silver has been all over this campaign season, most recently touting his prediction on his FiveThirtyEight blog that President Obama has a 91.6% chance of winning his bid for re-election today.

In order for Mr. Romney to win the Electoral College, a large number of polls, across these states and others, would have to be in error, perhaps because they overestimated Democratic turnout. It’s this possibility, more than the chance of a successful hail-mary in a state like Pennsylvania, that accounts for most of Mr. Romney’s remaining chances of winning the Electoral College.

There is also the chance that Mr. Obama could finish toward the higher end of the polling range in most states. If Mr. Obama has gained a point or two nationally because of Hurricane Sandy or other factors, then polls taken before it may underestimate his standing in the individual states as well.

The FiveThirtyEight forecast accounts for this possibility through its trendline adjustment, which is why our forecasts now are slightly more optimistic for Mr. Obama in some states than a simple average of polls. Had there been evidence of late movement toward Mr. Romney, the trendline adjustment would instead have worked in his favor.

But Mr. Romney’s chances of winning the Electoral College have slipped, and are now only about 8 percent according to the forecast model — down from about 30 percent 10 days ago.

Of course Silver isn’t saying Obama will win by 92%, or even that it won’t be close. But such optimistic predictions can actually change the outcome of an election if Democratic voters think its in the bag and stay home.  Plus, we’re kind of big believers in jinxes.

So what say you, Queerty readers? Do Nate Silver’s rosy numbers put a spring in your step on Election Day—or fill you with dread?

Photo: Randy Stewart

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  • Cam

    You can tell Silver’s polling model is accurate (Not only because he correctly predicted 50 out of 51 elections last time) but because the GOP has been attacking him non-stop this time. HOWEVER, they never say he is wrong, they just comment that he is efeminient, or stupid or try to say that he is biased.

    If you go to the conservative sites, they will ignore huge numbers of polls to try to say that Romney is winning. They will claim that PA and Michigan are leaning Romney because one Rassmusen Poll from two months ago said that.

    Anytime the right wing targets somebody as thouroughly as they have recently done to Silver you know it’s usually because that person is effective at their job.

    Silver works with all the polls and the right wing loses the ability to put out biased researched or ignore polls. Now if they go too far off on the numbers people will say “But Nate Silver’s numbers say……” And they don’t want that. So they have to try to demonize him so the viewers of FOX news will refuse to listen if anybody says his name.

  • Joetx

    Didn’t Silver also predict that anti-gay ballot measures in Cali & Maine wouldn’t pass either?

  • Scribe38

    Every one should get off their butt and freaking vote. I voted absentee a few weeks ago because things can happen (rain, snow, really long lines etc.) There is no way romney should even be close in Michigan after how he screwed us over on the auto bail out. This state was sinking during Bush, at least now we have a fighting chance. Obama saved this state while the other party was willing to let it fail except for Bush who floated the big three money long enough for Barack to do something.

  • buffy123

    Go vote ladies and gents. Let’s prove Nate right and win this thing. Bring your friends!

  • 2eo

    @buffy123: The whole world is rooting for you.

    Don’t listen to the Daily Heil and Sky News pro Romney hype, 99% of the UK, Europe and the world is hoping for an Obama victory.

  • SkeeterVT

    In fact, a new round of post-Sandy polls strongly suggest a late surge for President Obama across the country. That does not surprise me, since in the eyes of almost everyone — not the least New Jersey’s Republican Gov. Chris Christie — the Obama administration’s response to Sandy stands in marked contrast to the Bush administration’s response to Hurricane Katrina.

  • BJ McFrisky

    Unless Nate Silver’s predictions prove true, his credibility will take a nosedive that will never recover. Remember the reporters who predicted that Kerry would beat Bush in ’04? Yeah, neither does anyone else, because they all pulled a Nate Silver.

  • Niall

    @BJ McFrisky: Hindsight is a bitch.

Comments are closed.