You are here

Statistics-Based Blog Debuts in NY Times

September 21, 2010

FiveThirtyEight: Nate Silver's Political Calculus, a blog devoted to political forecasting and statistical analysis, debuted in The New York Times in August, 2010.

Silver compiles and computes data based on his knowledge of sabermetrics and experience with baseball statistics. He balances polling data against demographic data, and weights the merits of polls based on their track records, sample sizes, and recent polling.

Silver, a 25-year-old statistician whose numbers and data have been deemed objective and nonpartisan, started more than two years ago. Its name refers to the number of electors in the Electoral College.

His methods proved accurate during the 2008 primaries and general election when  he predicted the presidential winner in 49 states—and the winner of every Senate race.

Silver and Andrew Gelman (Columbia University) offer a sampling of "conditional probability calculations" by a matrix representing 10,000 simulated outcomes in "What Do We Know at 7 PM on Election Night? (Mathematics Magazine, October, 2010).

Mathematics Magazine Editor Walter Stromquist has issued a challenge. Applying Silver's and Gelman's numerical methods, readers are asked to name the party that has gained control of each house on November 2, 2010.

Post results ahead of the news networks—and you just might win fame and fortune!

Source: The New York Times (September 14, 2010)

Start Date: 
Tuesday, September 21, 2010