Monday, November 7, 2016

If Nate Silver's model is correct, he should get a few states wrong

On Wednesday, there will be articles written trying to decide which pollster got the most right.  They will add up all the states Silver and 538 are called correctly and come up with a final score, and then use this score to decide whether or not Silver's model works.

This is wrong.

Silver and the 538 forecast have a number of states very close, between 50-50 and 60-40 for a number.  If his model is correct, that means that the odds are that he will get at least a few states wrong.  In fact, if he were to clean sweep, that would mean that he either got very lucky or his model was actually wrong and was overly cautious.  Especially considering his 50/50 call in 2012, it is almost certain that Silver missing a few states would be considered a failure, but now you know better.


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