Nate Silver

November 10, 2008

Nate Silver got a big write-up in the New York Times:

“In an election season of unlikely outcomes, Mr. Silver, 30, is perhaps the most unlikely media star to emerge. A baseball statistician who began analyzing political polls only last year, he introduced his site, FiveThirtyEight.com, in March, where he used his own formula to predict federal and state results and run Election Day possibilities based on a host of factors.
Other sites combine polls, notably RealClearPolitics and Pollster, but FiveThirtyEight, which drew almost five million page views on Election Day, has become one of the breakout online stars of the year. Mr. Silver recognized that people wanted to play politics like they played fantasy baseball, and pick apart poll numbers for themselves instead of waiting for an evening news anchor to interpret polls for them.”

I didn’t realize he was only 30 – I thought he was closer to 40. We’ve cited Silver a number of times on this blog, and we agree that fivethirtyeight.com was the best website out there (at least that we came across) for poll numbers and interpretations. It’s not just that Nate was right on the money, though, with the polls. It’s also that his site used a system of number-crunching that was 100% transparent. He didn’t just give you the results, he walked you through the process and used impeccable logic in doing so, and that’s what made the site great. Definitely check it out.

Oh, and not surprisingly, he cut his teeth on baseball stats.

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