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Thursday, November 8, 2012
WIll MRC Apologize to Nate Silver?
Topic: Media Research Center

New York Times poll analyst Nate Silver got a lot of grief from the Media Research Center during the runup to the election for his Democratic-friendly election predictions.

  • TimesWatch blogger Clay Waters wrote on Oct. 19: "However objective Silver attempts to be, the psychological boost he's given Democrats of late is clear."
  • Waters wrote on Oct. 26: "The closer Election Day looms, the more often New York Times golden-boy Nate Silver is thrust from his Five-Thirty-Eight blog into the print edition with another poll analysis rallying the troops for Obama." Waters added that Silver "boasted" that "Obama’s odds of re-election as being about two chances out of three."
  • On Oct. 31, NewsBusters' Bob Krumm complained that Silver "currently projects Barack Obama winning the popular vote by 1.7%" and that Obama would receive 50.4% of the vote, which "would place him well on the left side of most current polling."
  • Also on Oct. 31, the MRC's Geoffrey Dickens pointed out that Silver "has been roundly criticized for his overly-optimistic Barack Obama polling."
  • On Nov. 2, Waters made sure to note that Silver is "a former poster at the left-wing Daily Kos."
  • By Nov. 5, however, Waters seemed a little panicked by Silver's confidence, writing: "As Election Day draws closer, the New York Times's young star poll analyst Nate Silver becomes more and more confident of an Obama win. As of Monday morning, his blog fixed Obama as having a 86.3% chance of winning re-election."
  • On Nov. 6, Matt Hadro grumbled that "Former Daily Kos blogger Nate Silver turned heads with his Obama-friendly election predictions in the New York Times, but CNN's Soledad O'Brien thinks his conclusions show no bias. Of course, the liberal CNN anchor just might have a blind spot for poll numbers favoring Obama."

We all know how this turned out: As of this writing, Obama did indeed get 50 percent of the popular vote towin re-election. Silver's predictions were correct.

Will Waters, Krumm and the rest of the MRC apologize to Silver for denigrating his predictions as being biased to Obama? Don't count on it.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:50 PM EST

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