Silver on the Senate

Three months ago, Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight looked at the Senate races and projected that the GOP would gain 5.8 seats.  Rounding up, that’s six seats, which is what they need to take control.

Now he looks at those races and finds very little movement, projecting the GOP will gain 5.7 seats.

Some specifics:  he gives the Dems an 80% chance of keeping their seat in New Hampshire; says Alaska and North Carolina are 50-50; gives the GOP a slight 55% edge in Arkansas and Louisiana; sees the GOP favored 70-30 in Georgia, 80-20 in Kentucky, and 90-10 in Mississippi.

Silver explains that the 10% Dem chance in Mississippi is based on really no chance if Thad Cochran wins his runoff, and maybe 20% if Chris McDaniel wins.  At this point, it looks as if McDaniel might well win.  But that just translates into a smaller margin for the GOP by nominating the more extreme candidate, not a Dem win.

Nate Speaks

Nate Silver of says the GOP has a 60% chance of taking the Senate.

But he’s not bullish on our favorite empty barn jacket, former Massachusetts senator Scott Brown, who is now running in New Hampshire against Jeanne Shaheen.  Silver gives Shaheen a 75% chance of keeping her seat, leaving Brown to hop in his pickup truck and perhaps look for love (he is, after all, a former Cosmopolitan centerfold) in yet a third state.

Nate Silver Returns to His Roots

Our favorite election prognosticator, Nate Silver, is moving his FiveThirtyEight brand from the NYT to ESPN.  During election years, he’ll work for ABC.  Nate was a baseball statistician before he went into election analysis.

Nate is expected to be a regular on Keith Olbermann’s new show, which starts in late August.  Keith has been told that besides sports, he can talk about pop culture and current events on his show, but not politics.  Not sure how you talk about current events without talking about politics, not sure how you stop Keith from talking about politics, so his show may not be around very long.  But I will enjoy it while I can…



Morning Shmo

In the final run-up to the election, Joe Scarborough of “Morning Joe” said this about Nate Silver and his FiveThirtyEight blog showing an extremely high probability of an Obama victory:

Anybody that thinks that this race is anything but a tossup right now is such an ideologue, they should be kept away from typewriters, computers, laptops and microphones for the next 10 days, because they’re jokes.

Here’s Scarborough post-election, after Silver the “ideologue,” Silver the “joke” predicted not just the overall result correctly, but the  outcome in every single state:

I won’t apologize to Mr. Silver for predicting an outcome that I had also been predicting for a year.

Where’s Nate?

Nate is currently projecting that Obama will get 307 electoral votes and Mitt will get 231 tomorrow.

He gives the Prez an 86.3% chance of winning, and Mitt a 13.7% chance.

As for the Senate, he projects 52 or 53 seats for the Dems and 47 or 48 for the GOP.

He gives the Dems a 91.5% chance of keeping their majority and the GOP an 8.5% chance of taking it.

Tie Goes To Obama

Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight on what the national polls portend for the Electoral College:

On Sunday, Mr. Obama led by an average of about one percentage point among seven national surveys. That is not much of an edge, but better than had generally been the case for him just after the Denver debate.

What Mr. Romney will want to see are national polls showing him a point or so ahead in the race, as was the case just after Denver.

If the national polls show a tie on average, then Mr. Romney will be more of an underdog than you might think, since that is when Mr. Obama’s Electoral College advantages will tend to give him their greatest benefit. In the FiveThirtyEight simulation on Saturday, Mr. Obama won the Electoral College about 80 percent of the time when the national popular vote was tied.