U.S. pollster comes out the victor over election predictions
U.S. pollster Nate Silver is shown in this screenshot from a YouTube video.
Published Wednesday, November 7, 2012 2:45PM EST
His uncanny accuracy in predicting the outcome of the U.S. presidential election has got the Internet asking: is Nate Silver a witch?
The New York Times polling guru who runs the blog fivethirtyeight.com correctly predicted victories in the 49 states called by U.S. networks and estimated that Florida would be essentially tied, with President Barack Obama keeping a slight edge.
As his bang-on predictions played out state after state, sales his book “The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predications Fail – But Some Don’t” shot up 800 per cent on Amazon.com.
Thousands quickly took to Twitter to congratulate Silver after Obama was declared the victor, while others mocked his eerie accuracy.
Soon the spoofs sprung up, including the website IsNateSilverAWitch.com, which determined that Silver is “probably a witch.”
“Mr. Silver’s performance has been uncanny enough to raise small but significant doubts as to whether his methodology is entirely of this world,” reads the site. “We are following the situation closely.”
Actor Rainn Wilson tweeted: “I’m hiring Nate Silver to run my fantasy football team next season.”
Twitter user @chsrdn wrote: “In the future we won’t elect presidents. We’ll have a primary, then Nate Silver will go into a spice trance and pick the winner.”
The statistician also predicted 49 out of 50 states four years ago, only missing Obama’s narrow win in Indiana.
In his last poll prior to the election, Silver gave Obama a 91.6 per cent chance of securing a second term, which attracted backlash from many who said the election was too close to predict a winner.
At the time, MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough called Silver’s predictions a “joke.”
“Anybody that thinks that this race is anything but a toss-up right now is such an ideologue (that) they should be kept away from typewriters, computers, laptops, and microphones for the next 10 days, because they’re jokes," he said last week.
Shortly following the election results Twitter user @thekeenanwire wrote: “When is Nate Silver making his victory speech? Or does Joe Scarborough have to concede first?”
However, Silver remained modest about the victory, tweeting: “This is probably a good time to link to my book.”