Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Who will be right...

...about the makeup of the U. S. Senate come November, Nate Silver (top) or Sam Wang (bottom)?

Yesterday, Mr. Wang, a professor at Princeton University and founder of the Princeton Election Consortium, wrote "Democrats Now Have a Seventy-Per-Cent Chance of Retaining Control of the Senate."

From his piece in The New Yorker (my emphasis):

In 2012, on Election Eve, for example, the Princeton Election Consortium relied on polls alone to predict every single Senate race correctly, while Silver, who used a polls-plus-fundamentals approach, called two races incorrectly, missing Heidi Heitkamp’s victory, in North Dakota, and Jon Tester’s, in Montana.

Take that, Mr. Silver!

If the elections were held today, based on Professor Wang's calculations:

Democrats and Independents would control the chamber with an eighty-per-cent probability.  

Nate Silver's FiveThirtyEight, however:

...favors Republicans with sixty-five-per-cent probability.

In a recent interview:

Silver said that he would like to place a large wager with me on whose projections turn out to be right. I’m flattered, but it seems rash to make such a bet on such slim differences. He, and all pundits, this one included, should wait until more certainty emerges.

Right now, I'd have to say it's 50/50 (gutsy!) with a possible edge to the Republicans. But we'll see; maybe Professor Wang is right.

P. S. For what it's worth, Paddy Power has the Republicans at 1/3 odds and the Democrats at 2/1.


Ed Crotty said...

If Silver is right, then the filibuster will be gone. Then Obama's veto pen will protect us until the Democratic Landslide in 2014. The damage will be contained and democracy will be served by getting rid of the idiotic 60 vote margin needed for everything.

Ed Crotty said...

That said, I hope Professor Wang is right, only because I hate to think that a majority of the country ( even gerrymandered ) agrees with the loathsome Republicans.