Thought Provoking Article: Nate Silver and the Rise of Political Data Science

My favorite element of this years federal election was the rise of numerical data analysis thanks in large part to Nate Silver. As a political science major numbers were always connected with history - but Nate Silver was able to take baseball saber-metrics to the political world and create analysis that was accurate and number informed. 

FiveThirtyEight - Nate Silver\'s Political CalculusAs the Forbes article begins: "For the last few months, the political pundit class has been at war withNYT/FiveThirtyEight blogger Nate Silver.  Joe Scarborough of MSNBC called him a “joke,” while an op-ed in the LA Times accused him of running a “numbers racket.”  The Examiner dismissed him as a “thin and effeminate man with a soft-sounding voice.”  Even the legendary David Brooks claimed that his work was “getting into silly land.”
His crime?  Standing by the projections of his proprietary statistical model that have predicted the results of the last two elections with stunning accuracy.
A former baseball statistician, Silver has made his name by aggregating state level polling data, and predicting the likelihood of victory by adjusting for different factors that have historically influenced electoral performance. He consistently rejected the conventional wisdom that the race was tied, and for that, he was cast as a left-wing nut peddling bad science.
But last night, Silver triumphed: every one of his state-level presidential predictions proved true."
I highly recommend reading the entire article "Nate Silver and the Rise of Political Data Science" here - and check out FiveThirtyEight by Nate Silver

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