What We’re Reading: 538 (fivethirtyeight)

Poblano is one of the reasons I get up in the morning. He originally rose to a degree of prominence as one of the best posters on Daily Kos, and he has developed his own site over the past few months. (Note: 538 is the number of electors in the Electoral College)

Simply put, he has an amazing knack for analyzing data and interpreting what it means to the candidates and the General Election as a whole. What makes his site so impressive to me is that he has an absolute arsenal of graphs and charts which make the site accessible (and pretty) for a more cursory political person coupled with an absolutely astonishing level of detail for those of us who always need more to sustain our political fix.

What’s more, his site is actually starting to get a little pub from reputable outlets, which is 100% deserved.

The National Journal’s Mark Blumenthal writes:

Over the last week, an anonymous blogger who writes under the pseudonym Poblano did something bold on his blog, FiveThirtyEight.com. He posted predictions for the upcoming primaries based not on polling data, but on a statistical model driven mostly by demographic and past vote data. His model predicted a 17-point victory for Barack Obama in North Carolina and a 2-point edge for Hillary Rodham Clinton in Indiana.

Critics scoffed. Most of the public polls pointed to a close race in North Carolina. Looking back at Poblano’s efforts in Pennsylvania, pollster Dick Bennett decried the models as “stepwise regression run amok.” Slate’s Mickey Kaus predicted failure for “a sophisticated model that ignores… what’s been happening in the campaign. Like Rev. [Jeremiah] Wright.”

But a funny thing happened. The model got it right. …

Moreover, the predictions were more accurate than any of the pollsters’ results, as indicated by the graphic below (modified from a chart created by Brian Schaffner of the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies).

Straight accuracy, homey

His predictions without the use of polling numbers have been doing fantastically- if memory serves, his combined error in PA, IN, and NC was better than any other pollster, which is out of this world, especially since he runs the site in his spare time.

Do yourself a favor and check out Five Thirty Eight- you’ll be glad you did.

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1 Comment

Filed under Danny, news, Politics

One response to “What We’re Reading: 538 (fivethirtyeight)

  1. Pingback: Dan Walters: “blame Prop. 8 on the darkie” « the controlled release of diamonds

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