By A. Phillip Charles
Aug. 5, 2016
Nate Silver is a celebrated American statistician and currently the editor-in-chief of ESPN’s FiveThirtyEight blog and a Special Correspondent for ABC News.
Silver successfully called the outcomes in 49 of the 50 states in the 2008 U.S. Presidential election and he was named one of The World’s 100 Most Influential People by Time in 2009.
In the 2012 election between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, Silver predicted the winner of all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
For the past 8 years, Silver has received media accolades as the most accurate predictor of election in our modern times. Unfortunately, this primary and election season exposed Silver’s ‘genius’ analytics as nothing more than deeply flawed logic that failed him badly this past year.
Silver on Donald Trump
In May, Blake Neff of The Daily Caller produced a damning archive of 7 times that Nate Silver was grossly incompetent in his analysis of Donald Trump’s chances of winning the GOP nomination.
Neff listed seven headlines Silver produced and I suggest clicking the link above to read the details of each headline
- June 16, 2015: Why Donald Trump Isn’t A Real Candidate, In One Chart
- July 16, 2015: Two Good Reasons Not To Take The Donald Trump ‘Surge’ Seriously
- July 20, 2015: Donald Trump Is The World’s Greatest Troll
- Aug. 6, 2015: Donald Trump’s Six Stages of Doom
- Aug. 11, 2015: Donald Trump Is Winning The Polls, And Losing The Nomination
- Nov. 23, 2015: Dear Media, Stop Freaking Out About Donald Trump’s Polls
- Donald Trump Comes Out Of Iowa Looking Like Pat Buchanan
Trump announced his candidacy in the summer of 2015. It took nearly a year before Silver knew he was wrong, and offered a Mea Culpa.
Now I have to ask a logical question: How can anyone that was so grossly incompetent in analyzing this election be considered an expert?
He proved one thing this cycle and one thing only. He proved that his statically analysis is deeply flawed and his facade as some miracle genius election predictor has evaporated to nothing.
He may have offered a mea culpa –of sorts. We humans like self-awareness and an admittance that one knows they are wrong. But a mea culpa is like an apology. The sincerity of the mea culpa is precisely the only thing that matters. Has Silver learned a lesson? Of course not. He’s right back to his same shtick today. His Mea Culpa was simply an insurance policy he offered in order to try and keep his credibility. He offered the same deeply flawed analysis of his poor predictions as the deeply flawed analysis that led to his poor predictions.
Silver was again exposed by Reuters
Silver’s FiveThirtyEight blog has an extension algorithm that produces his results. As part of that algorithm, he rates the polls by a letter grade and gives that poll more weight in his analysis.
He rates Reuters/Ipos as an “A-“ meaning it gets far more weight than most polls. He also rates that they have nearly zero bias. See ratings here: http://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/pollster-ratings/
The problem with his rating of Reuters/Ipsos, is that Reuters themselves just admitted that their entire methodology has been vastly off and needed an aggressive method makeover. Read Here: http://www.breitbart.com/big-journalism/2016/07/29/reuters-ipsos-poll-change-methodology/
As written by Brietbart:
The Reuters/Ipsos polling team announced Friday that they are dropping the “Neither” option from their presidential preference polls after their tracking polls showed a 17-point swing in favor of the Republican nominee Donald J. Trump, exposing the “Secret Trump Voters” Democrats fear
“In a presidential campaign notable for its negativity, the option of ‘Neither’ candidate appears to be an appealing alternative, at least to participants in the Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll,” wrote Maurice Tamman, the leader of the Reuters news service’s New York City-based data mining and investigative reporting team. “Many voters on both sides have been ambivalent in their support for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump, complicating the task of the pollsters trying to track the race.
Breitbart suggested something sinister with Reuters, and they may even be correct. But let’s forget that for a moment and keep it relevant to Silver for a moment.
Again, this Reuters change leads to a question for Nate Silver: If Reuters/Ipsos admits that their methodology was giving phony results, then how did you rate them with an “A-“ during the time of that flawed methodology and how does their new method still get an “A-“ without any scrutiny?
The answer is easy: It’s because his system is a joke.
In fact, it leads to reason that if Nate Silver was truly a statistical genius guru that could predict the future, he would be a billionaire many times over.