If you don’t know who Nate Silver is, then you’re probably not serious about following politics.
Nate Silver burst on the scene with a stunning track record in 2008, getting pretty much everything right.
He was watched carefully in 2010…could he do it twice? Was his model really that good?
It turns out, it was, and there wasn’t any sugar coating it for the Democrats in 2010, either. He laid it out, by the numbers, and his work was widely cited on both sides of the political aisle.
This guy was the real deal.
Now comes 2012, and the conservative view of the man has shifted.
It’s not that his model isn’t accurate…we know it is. Two cycles of election predictions bear that out.
No…the thing that’s changed is this: In 2010, when conservatives really started paying attention to the guy, they liked the numbers he was giving them.
Those numbers aligned with what the conservatives already believed, and as such, they were duly incorporated into the various lines of attack.
Flash forward to 2012, where Nate’s latest numbers give the Republican candidate a 25.6% chance at the win, and conservatives are notably cooler.
No…that’s not right.
They’re downright hostile.
Suddenly, Nate’s gone from “the cool geek who does our math homework for us,” to “that evil librul shill who’s spreading slander and lies,” in the Conservaverse.
Again, let’s be clear about why.
The model works.
We know that.
And…the model hasn’t changed at the core (sure, sure, continuous, ongoing tweaks and refinements…that’s expected).
What HAS changed tho, is that the model used to spit out numbers the conservatives liked.
Numbers that lined up nicely with conclusions they had already reached.
These days…not so much, and if there’s one thing we know, it’s that conservatives will (must!) wholesale reject any data that does not neatly align with their worldview and the conclusions they’ve already reached.
If it deviates from the narrative, it must be discarded.
The current narrative is that Romney is winning.
It’s no mystery then, why Nate Silver is suddenly out of favor.
** Nate Silver’s blog can be found here.
Update #1: Wanted to add the following links to this article. This is the sort of pseudo-refutation of Nate Silver that the right has been engaging in, examples here, here, here, and here. As ever, the right concludes that if it can’t formulate an actual argument, then the next best option is to bludgeon us to death with blatant stupidity. Jesus.