Dylan Byers, taking on the role of a villain from Moneyball:
Nate Silver: One-term celebrity?: The New York Times's resident political predictor says President Barack Obama currently has a 74.6 percent chance of winning reelection. It's a prediction that liberals… want to take solace in, but somehow can't…. Prediction is the name of Silver's game, the basis for his celebrity. So should Mitt Romney win on Nov. 6, it's difficult to see how people can continue to put faith in the predictions of someone who has never given that candidate anything higher than a 41 percent chance of winning… [and now] gives him a one-in-four chance… as the polls have him almost neck-and-neck with the incumbent….
For all the confidence Silver puts in his predictions, he often gives the impression of hedging. Which, given all the variables involved in a presidential election, isn't surprising…. [T]his may shock the coffee-drinking NPR types of Seattle, San Francisco and Madison, Wis… more than a few political pundits and reporters, including some of his own colleagues, believe Silver is highly overrated.
If you tell me you think you can quantify an event that is about to happen that you don
t expect, like the 47 percent comment or a debate performance, I think you think you are a wizard. Thats not possible…
Times columnist David Brooks, a moderate conservative, said on PBS earlier this month.
The pollsters tell us what
s happening now. When they start projecting, theyre getting into silly land.
Brooks doubled-down on this charge in a column last week:
I should treat polls as a fuzzy snapshot of a moment in time. I should not read them, and think I understand the future. If there’s one thing we know, it’s that even experts with fancy computer models are terrible at predicting human behavior.
On MSNBC's "Morning Joe" today, Joe Scarborough took a more direct shot, effectively calling Silver an ideologue and "a joke."
Nate Silver says this is a 73.6 percent chance that the president is going to win? Nobody in that campaign thinks they have a 73 percent chance — they think they have a 50.1 percent chance of winning. And you talk to the Romney people, it's the same thing. Both sides understand that it is close, and it could go either way. And anybody that thinks that this race is anything but a toss-up 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…