In the 2008 election, Nate Silver "predicted the popular vote within one percentage point, predicted 49 of 50 states’ results correctly, and predicted all of the resolved Senate races correctly." And that was after predicting an Obama primary win over Hillary in which Silver came within an eyelash of predicting the exact number of SuperTuesday delegates for Obama.
Accuracy like that is the reason why Nate Silver has come under attack by many conservative hacks this election cycle. You see....Mr. Silver has predicted an Obama win today. And not a "too close to call" Obama win like Villager, Charles Babington, says in today's AB Journal front page article.
It is in the self-interest of media companies to have a close presidential election. A close contest means that subscribers and audiences will tune in more often to hear about the latest information on the election. A blowout election, or one that is not going to be that close, means just the opposite.
And what is the job of all corporate media? To produce and maintain an audience for their advertising sponsors. If you thought corporate-sponsored "news" was all about presenting factual and unbiased "content" pertaining to people, places and things viewers should know about.....then you've been thinking wrongly. Media....radio, print, teevee.....is about creating an audience for advertising sponsors.
So, yes, it's in the self-interest of our media to have a "too close to call" presidential election. But today's presidential election has never really been too close to call.
Perhaps Nate Silver just got extremely lucky in 2008...you know, even blind pigs find the occasional acorn. Maybe. Then again....maybe not. So, just for the helluva-it...let's look at Silver's final prediction numbers for this year....piping hot out of the 538.com ovens.
Mr. Silver has Obama's chance of winning today at 91.6% with Romney at an 8.4% chance. Obama is at 314.6 electoral college votes to Romney's 223.4 with 270 necessary to win. Silver's popular vote prediction is Obama 50.9% of the vote (down about 2% from the 2008 win) and Romney at 48.3%.
What's more, Silver has Obama winning every "swing state" except for North Carolina. This morning Silver moved Florida over to Obama's column by a hair....52% chance Obama wins Florida, 48% chance Romney wins Florida.
In other words.....Nate Silver is not predicting a "close" election, let alone one that's "too close to call."
Furthermore, Silver has Democrats at a 95.3% chance of holding the Senate. The election geek predicts a split of 52.5 Democratic Senators and 47.5 Republican Senators. Yes, I know, there are no half senators....though a solid argument could be made in the cases of Rand Paul (R-KY). Mike Lee (R-UT) and Jim DeMint (R-SC).
Silver doesn't predict House races, but from everything I've seen it looks like Republicans will still hold control of the House after today, although their majority margin may shrink somewhat. More hopeful progressive predictors think it's possible for Democrats to retake the House by a one or two seat margin. The Reverend is not quite that optimistic.
Currently, Republicans hold 241 seats in the House, Democrats 191 with three seats vacant. After today, I'm looking for a split of Republicans 225, Democrats 207, or thereabouts. But what would I know?
The one thing I do know, however.....after today's election we'll still be facing the same problems and difficulties we were facing before the election. If Nate Silver's predictions prove out, we'll also be facing two, or perhaps four more years of total gridlock in D.C.
$2 billion raised and spent in order to return us to the status quo......America, hell yeah.
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