Skip to comments.Who Scares Democrats More Than the Koch Brothers? Nate Silver.
Posted on 03/14/2014 9:11:07 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
For the last few months, FiveThirtyEight editor-in-chief Nate Silver has been largely absent from the political forecasting scene he owned in the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections.
But that hasn't stopped the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee from sending at least 11 fundraising emails featuring Silver in the subject line over the past four months, even as Silver was building the foundation for his new website that's launching Monday and was not writing regularly.
It's all part of a digital fundraising game that will increase in intensity as the election draws nearer, as candidates, political parties, and other groups bombard their email lists with messages designed to draw contributions.
One of most widely used tools is fear. Many of the emails seek to convince supporters that the political situation is dire enough that it requires action, and that's where Silver comes in.
The last time he wrote about the Senate landscape, all the way back in July 2013, Silver said Republicans "might now be close to even-money to win control of the chamber" in 2014. He also cited North Carolina as "the closest thing to the tipping-point state in the Senate battle," and called Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu's seat in Louisiana "a true toss-up."
That's scary stuff if you're a Democratic supporter, especially coming from an analyst whose accuracy made him a household name in the past few years. And the repeated name-dropping has probably opened some wallets for Senate Democrats.
"There's a lot of testing, particularly for subject lines, to see what has the best open rates," said Taryn Rosenkranz, a Democratic digital fundraising consultant unaffiliated with the DSCC. "Using that name over and over suggests it's successful, and people are opening and giving."
The DSCC declined a request for comment.
Indeed, email fundraising is akin to a science in politics, in which campaigns and party committees test subject lines, messaging, layouts, the time that email is sent, the number of links, how many messages are sentanything to increase the amount of money collected. Just a small percentage increase can lead to big money when soliciting a large list.
There are plenty of other themes in the past few months of DSCC emails, including alarming one-word subject lines such as "catastrophic," "disastrous," and "doomed." A few other individuals (besides Senate candidates) have been featured frequently, too. For example, one of the nonprofits affiliated with the conservative billionaire Koch brothers, Americans for Prosperity, has already spent about $30 million on advertising against Senate Democrats, and the Kochs appear prominently in email solicitations.
The DSCC has referenced the Kochs to shake money out of donors in no fewer than 77 fundraising emails in the past four months. But Silver has the conservative moneymen beat in one important metric. Only one DSCC email in that time features the Kochs in the subject lineperhaps the most critical part of the message because it must induce supporters to open the email before they can actually give money. Silver was cited far more often.
Silver rose to prominence by projecting the 2008 election results, and he then joined The New York Times, where he gained a bigger platform and enjoyed another successful year of political forecasting in 2012, correctly predicting the winner in all 50 states in the presidential election. He has since moved to ESPN, where he is relaunching FiveThirtyEight as a quantitative news site covering not only politics but also sports, economics, and other subjects.
Rosenkranz said she wasn't aware of any other Democratic campaigns or committees leveraging Silver's renown in the same way as the DSCC. But with Silver's new site launching on Monday, a new Senate forecast may be in the near futureand perhaps more emails, too.
"He's a trusted source of information," Rosenkranz said. "People don't have a lot of time to read email ... so you've got to capture their attention in some way."
“Nate Silver” was demonized here(I was one of the ones who “Demonized” Him(boy was I STUPID)) on Free Republic when he said Mittens Rommney would lose in 2012.
Nate Silver is the ONLY one out there to listen to on what is likely to happen in an election and why it happened. No one else is close to his track record.
Regardless of what you think of him personally, ignore his analysis at your peril.
Indeed. I googled him yesterday in hopes of getting his views on the Jolly election, but no luck.
He's probably keeping low until his new website debuts.
Well, he is cashing in...could be spreading himself thin....we will see.
I recall when Gallup was the be all, end all of polling. Then Zogby. Then Rasmussen.
I know what you mean. I went with Michael Barone (”Mitt will win.”)
He’s a hack. He does no real analysis. He runs the same scam that other “prophets” do and trumpets his victories and downplays his failures. That’s why he’s not been saying anything recently because there’s A> no decent statistical guessing he can proclaim and B> all of it makes the democrats look bad which he will never pronounce because they’re his bread and butter.
If anything he’s the guy giving “rational” justification for DNC election thefts.
RE: He runs the same scam that other prophets do and trumpets his victories and downplays his failures.
Can you please show us where his election prediction failures are?
RE: I recall when Gallup was the be all, end all of polling. Then Zogby. Then Rasmussen.
The most accurate polls of 2012
3. PPP (D)
3. Daily Kos/SEIU/PPP
6. Pew Research*
6. Hartford Courant/UConn*
7. Purple Strategies
11. Democracy Corps (D)*
12. FOX News
12. Washington Times/JZ Analytics
12. Newsmax/JZ Analytics
12. American Research Group
12. Gravis Marketing
13. National Journal*
Don't blame yourself. Anyone who understood Mittens Romney and what he stood for, or didn't, or did again, or didn't again, knew he didn't have a chance.
I was one of the “I Hate Mittens” type and was SUCKED in by Ryan. Once again BOY WAS I STUPID!!!
Don’t beat yourself up! Thanks for your service and let’s work hard for a conservative nominee in 2016. :)
We should ask him where the Malaysian craft is.
I am kinda “likin” Mike Pence.
I don’t blame you. I’m a Cruz man myself but I’d like to see conservatives find someone early in the process so we don’t run the risk of another Mittens.
but the ladies love Duke Silver.....
He completely missed the 2010 republican sweep in his oh so awesome predictions.
But you remembered that while singing his propaganda... Right?
RE: But you remembered that while singing his propaganda... Right?
No, I have to admit I don;t remember that.
Did he predict a Democratic victory in 2010?
Well, I did a little research of mine.
The GENERAL PREDICTION of Silver’s model for 2010 was STILL CORRECT -— Republican pickup of congress.
His 2010 congressional mid-term predictions were not as accurate as those made in 2008. Silver predicted a Republican pickup of 52 seats in the House of Representatives. The GOP won 63 seats.
Not exactly the most accurate, but correct in the general sense nonetheless.
Crap drives me crazy. It's DEMOCRAT, not Democratic!