Skip to comments.Democrats to Nate Silver: You're Wrong (Mad at him for Predicting GOP Senate Takeover)
Posted on 03/24/2014 8:58:40 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
Democrats aren't taking Nate Silver's latest Senate prediction lying down.
In an unusual step, the executive director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee on Monday issued a rebuttal the famed statistician's predictionmade a day earlierthat Republicans were a "slight favorite" to retake the Senate. Silver was wrong in 2012, the political committee's Guy Cecil wrote in a memo, and he'll be wrong again in 2014.
"In fact, in August of 2012 Silver forecast a 61 percent likelihood that Republicans would pick up enough seats to claim the majority," Cecil said. "Three months later, Democrats went on to win 55 seats."
The DSCC memo took pains to compliment Silver, saying his work at newly launched FiveThirtyEight was "groundbreaking." And the group's main critiquethat Silver's model relies on a smattering of haphazard early polling in battleground statesis one that he himself acknowledges is a limitation.
But the comprehensive pushback from Cecil, the powerful committee's key staffer, is a testament both to the influence Silver wields and the sensitivity of Senate Democrats to the perception they're losing their grip on the upper chamber. Other outlets have suggested similar odds on the Senate, but none have earned this kind of rebuttal.
Silver earned fame and fortune after he correctly predicted the outcome of the last presidential election despite the skepticism of many pundits, a result that also earned him a great deal of credibility with many voters. (In fundraising pitches this cycle, Democrats regularly invoke his earlier prediction that the battle for Senate control was a "toss-up.")
But in the memo, Cecil argues that Silver's track record is less than stellar. It cites four races in which Democrats won despite Silver once predicting otherwise: Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota and John Tester in Montana in 2012, and Harry Reid in Nevada and Michael Bennet in Colorado in 2010.
"All four are senators today because they were superior candidates running superior campaign organizations who made their elections a choice between the two candidates on the ballot," said the executive director. "Only three Democratic incumbent senators have lost reelection in the last 10 years, and our incumbents are once again prepared and ready."
The nearly 1,000-word missive goes on to cite the effectiveness of the party's attacks against conservative third-party spending, its $60 million field and voter-contact program known as the "Bannock Street Project," and the opportunity Democrats have in GOP-held seats in Kentucky and Georgia. "We don't minimize the challenges ahead," he said. "Rather, we view the latest projection as a reminder that we have a challenging map and important work still to do in order to preserve our majority."
In truth, Silver's suggestions that Republicans are favorites to win the Senate matched the assessment of most analysts in Washington. A map that has Democrats defending seven red states (Republicans would need to win six to reclaim the majority), President Obama's sliding approval ratings, and the multimillions of dollars spent by outside groups led by the Koch brothers-backed Americans for Prosperity have combined to give the GOP a clear opportunity at the majority. Even before Obamacare's politically disastrous rollout, Democratic strategists privately acknowledged that control of the Senate was far from guaranteed in 2015.
When will the 2014 Democratic versions of Unskew the Polls start to appear? I remember back in 2012 lots of Freepers who did not like Silver’s and other predictions was pushing these sites. Unfortunately Silver went I believe 50-for-50.
They’re scared to death that this will dry up their donations!
This means Republicans need to really ramp it up to beat the cheating, lying, and conniving liberal opponents who will be doing just that to keep their incumbents in office.
Nate Silver was right in 2012.
I have respect for him and I’ll never dismiss him again.
The Democrats today are the mirror image of the Freepers who dismissed bad news like a plague in 2012 because we didn’t want to hear it.
That Obama would be - and in fact was - comfortably re-elected. Its now the Democrats’ turn to whistle past the graveyard in 2014.
This is very true.
People point to that "50 for 50" prediction in 2012 in the presidential race, but so what? A monkey could have predicted 40 states (Utah for Romney, Illinois for Obama...) Silver has always seemed overrated to me.
He predicted Obama’s re-election. And a lot of people who said he got his math wrong got left with egg all over their faces.
Its human nature not to want to face bad news. But the Democrats are operating in denial now just as the Republicans were in 2012.
-—YEP—they to remember to not about counting the chickens before they hatch-—
Ol’ Nate is guilty of an incorrect thought crime. What is the punishment for that these days?
Exactly. 50 for 50. When Nate Silver talks, you better listen.
Yeah that unskew the polls dude was a moron. I’m sure Dims too can come up with their own moron.
Been saying for awhile now GOP 60-40 to take back Senate by 1 seat. BUT ... it’s still very early.
The "dim-bulb" Democrats are a laugh a minute.
> “In fact, in August of 2012 Silver forecast a 61 percent likelihood that Republicans would pick up enough seats to claim the majority,” Cecil said. “Three months later, Democrats went on to win 55 seats.”
The Demagogic Party continues to lie — they didn’t win 55 seats in the Senate in 2012, and didn’t gain a majority in the House. See? That’s how ya do that.
My analysis posted here at FreeRepublic mirrored Silver's, predicting both the President and the Senate.
The take-away from this article is that Silver has gone from darling to goat, simply for predicting that Republicans have the lead.
Silver essentially provides the “middle case” estimate as an aggregator of polls. He’s as right or as wrong as the models used for input, but generally can be more consistent assuming the other models are basically sound because he attenuates random “noise”.
Now, if the general trend among pollsters is to get the turnout model wrong, Silver will be just as wrong as they are. There’s nothing magical here either way. In 2012, we had lost of reason to suspect the turnout model was skewed, but Team Obama did a far better job turning out the young skulls full of mush than many of us had expected.
It could be true that the turnout model for 2014 is wrong - across the board with a majority of the polling agencies. It’s probably more likely in a mid-term election than in a Presidential year. That said, I’ve always said the trend was more important than the absolute numbers, and regardless of any skew, the trend is killing Democrats right now.
It was said that Nate Silver was given internal poll information from the Dems that the other pollsters did not receive, which made him look like a genius.
Well he is wrong, he’s got just a basic take over at 60%, the reality is the odds of the Republicans taking control of the Senate is easily in the 80-90% range.
How many more seats beyond 51 is the real questions...
With so many Quisling RINOs in their ranks, will a simple GOP Senate majority matter?
Which is exactly what he intended to do...
When we find out which conservative Pubs are the candidate and which rino's I think we will get a better idea of what's going to happen. I don't think Tea Partiers are going to show up at the polls the way the Pubs think they will if the candidate doesn't represent them.
This conservatives won’t show up is silly, off year election and the independents have completely abandoned Obama and Obamacare has made the entire democratic brand Toxic...
Republicans will gain seats in the house and take the Senate... by how much is the only question.
There’s a word for this: schadenfreude.