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Nate Silver’s forecasting model: partisan hack-job or garbage



Nate Silvers forecasting model partisan hack-job or garbage

Nate Silver is the founder of FiveThirtyEight, a widely known data analysis website. And while the website has a widely reputable reputation for quality infographics, it may be time to question the credibility of its founder and data analysis. America’s top political research (gambling) website PredictIt sent this message to its members.

You all know Nate Silver, the famous prognosticator and founder of Great guy. Except that he just called you “dumb”.

Okay, not exactly, he said prices on PredictIt are dumb. And it’s true there are some markets where your expectations and his are a bit out of whack.

For example, you’ve got the GOP at 58% to win Arizona’s Senate race. Nate is at only 38%. You’re pricing Claire McCaskill at only 39% to keep her Missouri Senate seat. Nate is much more confident at 57%. And, the Democrats to win the House? He thinks it’s nearly a foregone conclusion at 88%. You’re hedging your bets at 72%.

So who’s right? We’ll know that later today. In the meantime, are you comfortable being called “dumb”? If not, get back on the site and vote with your money. Or maybe you want to take the advice of an expert and hedge your bets.

This was great motivation to check out the current prices the day of the election. If you are unaware, PredictIt operates a stock market model. The price of a pick is what the last person paid for it. It’s putting your money where your mouth is. Digging deeper, FiveThirtyEight has a unique algorithm applied to polls and even non-polling factors for its more premium models. In contrast, a free market betting system is the aggregate of how likely people think this event will take place. So here’s the question: is the free market of election betting more reliable than the data analysis of Nate Silver and his infrastructure?

The answer is unequivocally yes. Nate Silver’s predictions were aggressive and extremely bearish on Republican candidates. The midterm results were anything but the historic Blue Wave we’ve been hearing about for two years. In the two Senate examples from the email, we saw Josh Hawley unseat Claire McCaskill with greater ease compared to the far tighter expectations of the Senate race in Missouri. We also saw Martha McSally ahead in a tight Arizona race.

Here Nate Silver explains that his model gave the Democrats an 18% chance at gaining control of the Senate. In my previous analysis Mapping the Senate in the midst of midterms elections I explain what the Democrats would have to do in order to achieve majority.

At a glance, the GOP already secures 49 seats, two fewer seats than what they currently hold. A Democratic majority would require the Democrats to win all 9 toss up races along with securing the competitive races that aren’t tossup. The Democrats max out at 51, maybe 52 if they drum up some rape allegations on Ted Cruz; it’s approaching that time in the race if they are going to do that. In contrast the Republicans max out at 59, all of the tossups and a W in both New Jersey and Michigan.

Giving these events an 1% chance is preposterous. If you had parlayed those odds, you would have become rich. A $100 parlay on the Democrats winning the Senate races in Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Missouri, and Nevada would yield $2036.35 according to odds found on Newsweek. Throw in Beto and the Blue Wave would have paid off over $10000. These odds come with an implied probability of 4.68%. This isn’t even all that the Democrats would need to win. Somehow, FiveThirtyEight had 18%, which was within 1 standard deviation of his model’s prediction. My Bookie had either -700 or -800 line on the GOP maintaining the Senate, in the 88-89% probability that the GOP retains the Senate, placing the Democratic control outside of one standard deviation away from their average.

And while boasting his mediocre system, Silver then proceeds to make woeful partisan hot takes.

(Uses popular vote)

(Neglects fact that Beto had $60 million dollars that could have gone to more viable campaigns, major celebrity endorsements, media attention. Such high cost for such a low reward.)

And then Silver reposts his shameless defense of polling. There a two specific fallacies. the first being that national polling has weight on Congressional or Presidential elections. In fact his defense uses national polling, and the results from such to average out the more volatile state results, when the state results in 2016 were the second most deviant results in his data set, the first being the disastrously polled 1980 presidential election. Secondly, Nate Silver defends polling by saying that polls predict the outcomes of races overwhelming majority of time. This is true, however, most political races aren’t competitive. Incumbents generally get reelected. So getting it right majority of the time is an easy accomplishment. It was fairly obvious Corey Stewart was not going to win in Virginia. Saying that polls got this right is unproductive. The thrill in predicting elections is in the competitive races.

In Silver’s Classic and Deluxe forecasts, he employs non-polling method, which of course include generic ballot polling… But his ratings here were flawed. In Florida, he gave a 1.6 fundraising advantage to Bill Nelson in one of few races where the GOP senate candidate had a bigger warchest, data if evaluated properly would have accounted for outside spending as well. The generic Ballot entitle Nelson to a +7.2 advantage. The overall advantage for these non-polling factors was 7.2 in Nelson’s favor. The Deluxe Model also employs experts who were more aggressive in their Nelson picks. This model gave Nelson a 73% chance of victory. My Bookie had this race even (50%). PredictIt was more bullish towards Scott. No fancy algorithm, just a collective intuition and a fiduciary desire.

The Classic model showed Mike Braun with a 28.2% chance of winning, Joe Donnelly’s performance outside of a reasonable margin of error. The same classic model gave the greatest edge Claire McCaskill (56.9%) in a race most had much tighter. For people financially invested, Josh Hawley was likely to win, a more aggressive prediction than could be derived from only polls. My Bookie had Josh Hawley’s moneyline at -160, an implied probability of nearly 62%. This race was easier to predict than Florida, Nevada, or Arizona, and Nate Silver still got in wrong, though his Deluxe Model which factored outside experts had Hawley winning. Out of all the tossup Senate races, Silver got Nevada correct, Arizona still pending. Nevada, as I pointed out was the second easiest seat for Democrats to flip, though this was before Kyrsten Sinema’s comments surfaced. Admittedly, I had Dean Heller winning. Jackie Rosen’s victory is hardly a bracket buster in an election where I foresaw GOP Senate gains. In the DeSantis race, Gillum was projected to win more aggressively than warranted, given his overtly corrupt nature as a candidate, but to mitigate the damage towards Silver’s credibility, My Bookie had DeSantis at +150 (40%). Upsets happen. Sometimes the 40% happens, but My Bookie foresaw the upset happening at nearly double the rate that Silver.

It’s time to admit, as a society, that Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight and his forecasting model is either partisan hackery or well animated garbage. Or perhaps, it is both because why assume the two options presented are mutually exclusive. If Silver really believed PredictIt’s prices were dumb, then the Arizona and Missouri races were bargains and he should have bought. Perhaps if Nate Silver put his wallet where his mouth was, he would have created a better model. But without such incentive, due shaky ethical grounds, he can continue operating his below average model, being celebrated as an expert to a partisan leftist media because he aggressively and incorrectly forecasts their favorite candidates to win.




Sanders heading to Warren’s native state for Comanche event



Sanders heading to Warrens native state for Comanche event

LAWTON, Okla. (AP) — Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is focusing on reliably Republican Oklahoma with an appearance before the largest annual gathering of the Comanche Nation in the state where rival Elizabeth Warren was born.

Sanders’ visit may remind some of a sensitive subject for Warren, still criticized after her October release of a DNA test meant to bolster her claim to Native American heritage. That was supposed to rebut President Donald Trump’s mocking of the Massachusetts senator as “Pocahontas,” but only intensified it.

Last month, Warren offered a public apology to Native Americans, trying to show that the issue won’t be a political drag in her White House campaign.

The Comanches, who are holding their 28th annual Nation Fair Powwow, are a Plains Indian tribe of about 17,000 enrolled members, with headquarters just north of Lawton, in southwest Oklahoma. Powwows are important social events for many tribes, and typically feature traditional dance, songs, food, regalia and other customs.

Sanders, a Vermont senator, won Oklahoma’s 2016 Democratic primary over Hillary Clinton. The state votes next year as part of the earlier and expanded “Super Tuesday,” which comes on March 3 and includes neighboring Texas.

University of Oklahoma political science professor Keith Gaddie said Sanders’ powwow visit was unusual because the tribe, which well-known, is not a particularly large Native American nation.

“There’s no reason, in order to win the state, that you’d have to go down to that event,” Gaddie said.

Warren has made her family’s down-home, financial struggles after her father had a heart attack and couldn’t work — forcing her mother to get a minimum wage job — a central theme of her campaign. Sanders and Warren are friends who agree on many policy issues, including the “Medicare for All” universal health insurance plan.

Both also have refused to attack one another, ducking questions about whether they eventually will have to compete for the Democratic Party’s most liberal wing. But a Des Moines Register-CNN-Mediacom poll released Saturday showed Warren outpacing Sanders in Iowa, which launches the 2020 Democratic nominating contest on Feb. 3, and running about even with former Vice President Joe Biden, who had been the crowded field’s front runner.

Sanders planned a rally at the University of Oklahoma before speaking at the powwow.


Weissert reported from Washington.

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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Support term limits: Final push before we send the petition to DC



Support term limits Final push before we send the petition to DC

Two months ago, we hit 150,000 signatures in our petition to demand term limits on Capitol Hill. Things seem to have slowed since then; falling off the homepage and neglect on my part have stalled signatures to the point they’re at a crawl. My hope was to get 250,000 signatures before sending. Now, it seems the time has come to send what we can get.

This is the last call. The final push. We will give this petition five more days to collect as many more signatures as possible, then we will send it to every member of Congress, Senate, and the White House itself.

Unless… If we’re able to rejuvenate the campaign and get another large burst of signatures, we will ride that wave for longer than five days. Momentum builds more momentum when it comes to signatures, which is why it’s so important that those who support this initiative share it with as many people as possible. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, email, phone, fax – it doesn’t matter how you reach people. Please get this word spread as quickly as possible. The more signatures we’re able to secure, the more likely it is that Congress will take note.

The fight doesn’t end with the petition. Once we send it off to DC, we will continue to promote the concept and push lawmakers to make the hard choice. It doesn’t behoove them to have term limits, but it definitely behooves the people they represent. They have a choice coming in 2020 – support limits to their own power or risk losing all political power at the ballot box. While not everyone is up for election in 2020, the House and a third of the Senate is up. Let’s make sure they know this is an important issue to us.

The only way to slow the rampant corruption and apathy on Capitol Hill is to limit the time in which each of them spends there. This will eliminate perpetual campaigning and compel them to act in the time they’re given. Let’s send this message loudly.

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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AOC calls out her own party’s ‘refusal’ to impeach Trump



AOC calls out her own partys refusal to impeach Trump

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is rallying her base against the Democratic Party Establishment. Her Justice Democrats puppetmasters want an all-out war against the people they consider to be “moderates” despite that group seemingly encompassing anyone who isn’t a far-left radical progressive. Their targets are people who would be considered progressives on any scale that didn’t get tilted by the rising radical left.

Their opening strike against the Democratic Establishment comes in the form of having AOC go after the party for not impeaching President Trump. They won’t say what the President did that’s worthy of impeachment outside of general complaints about obstruction or abuse of power, but those are just details to be ignored by Ocasio-Cortez and the Justice Democrats. They aren’t interested in facts. They only care about the feelings associated with a Trump impeachment.

As our EIC noted, conservatives should hope AOC gets her way:

Fox & Friends tackled the issue today, noting how the brewing war between the left and the far left is threatening to make the Democratic Party cannibalize itself. Meanwhile, the President is safely planted in the Oval Office with no worries of real impeachment.

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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