FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver ‘pretty annoyed’ folks keep ‘lumping’ his poll together with RealClearPolitics

FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver lambasted RealClearPolitics polling predictions, saying they don’t follow a “rigorous, non-arbitrary process.”

Amid predictions from forecasters and pundits alike of a red wave that didn’t come to fruition, FiveThirtyEight founder Nate Silver, took to Twitter to defend his company’s predictions of the 2022 midterm elections.

Unlike RealClearPolitics, which predicted a rousing 53 – 49 Democrat defeat at the hands of Republicans in the Senate, FiveThirtyEight was much more conservative in its estimates. Silver tweeted in an effort to set the record straight, trying to ensure his company did not get lumped in with their peers.

“I don’t feel like getting into a big argument this morning re: RCP, but I’m also pretty annoyed with people lumping 538 together with RCP. Polling websites and forecasts that followed a rigorous, non-arbitrary process (i.e. not RCP) did pretty darn well last night,” Silver’s tweet read.

In late October, FiveThirtyEight gave Democrats a 58% chance of retaining their majority in the Senate, but Silver’s personal beliefs may have been slightly more on the nose.

“In politics, the similar term ‘toss-up’ is often applied, although the definition is fuzzy. We’re even inconsistent in how we use it ourselves. But let’s get real. If a friend asked me to characterize the Senate race, I’d say ‘it’s pretty f***ing close,’ and emphasize that neither party has much of an advantage,” he wrote. “But I’m not entirely confident, so my mental model is slightly more favorable to the GOP than the FiveThirtyEight forecast itself. It’s worth noting, though, that some of the states where people had been most concerned about the polls being wrong, such as Wisconsin and Ohio, have shown a shift toward the GOP in recent weeks.”

As the election loomed closer, however, FiveThirtyEight became increasingly bullish on Republican prospects in flipping the Senate. Earlier this month, FiveThirtyEight gave Republicans a 51% chance of gaining the majority in the Senate. In their last prediction effort, the website gave the GOP a 59% chance of winning the majority in the upper chamber of congress with 51 seats being the likeliest of outcomes – by a slim margin – and much more accurate than RCP’s predictions of a rout at the ballot box.

Silver continued to preserve his company’s reputation by claiming that the “polls correctly showed Democrats having a relatitvely (sic) good midterm and came very close the correct margin in most key races” and blamed journalists for going “with the vibes instead.”

Silver, manning the helm, insisted that this year was one the “most accurate years for polling ever.”

The race for the Senate remains incredibly close as the majority comes down to the results of four remaining seats and 2022 could be the second Senate election running where the control of the chamber comes down to a run-off election in Georgia.

Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock and Republican candidate Herschel Walker will face head-to-head on December 6th to determine the winner of what could be the all-important determining Senate seat.


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