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Statistics > Pundits

"This is a map of the United States, with the spatial distortion reflecting the population sizes of different counties and the relative contribution of electoral college votes."

Along with President Obama, statistician Nate Silver emerged triumphant on election night, after calculating a 90% chance of victory for Obama and correctly predicting the outcome of every state.  Chad Orzel allays suspicions of witchcraft on Uncertain Principles, writing that “statisticians have been refining the process of public opinion polling for something like a hundred years.”  Silver’s projections for Obama reached a low point in the weeks after the first debate, dipping to nearly 60%.  Still, Silver’s odds offered some refreshing realism in a mediasphere dedicated to hyping the closeness and uncertainty of the race.  Orzel concludes that Silver’s work is “a reminder that the vast majority of what you see on political blogs and cable chat shows is ultimately pretty unimportant.”  Meanwhile, on Built on Facts, Matt Springer wants “to be the guy who sounds the sad trombone and pours just a little cold water on his well-deserved celebration.”