Score one for the scientists
With all the talk about FiveThirtyEight's Nate Silver's amazing predictive powers about the presidential election, there are other, equally amazing statistical efforts that should be acknowledged now that the vote is in.
Specifically, consider Yahoo!'s The Signal bloggers, David Rothschild and Chris Wilson, who boldly claimed "Obama poised to win 2012 election with 303 electoral votes: The Signal Forecast" on Feb. 16.
If Florida goes for Romney, and he's just 50,000 votes shy of winning it as of this writing, then Rothschild and Wilson's nine-month old forecast will be spot on, calling 50 states and one district (D.C.) exactly as they voted, for 303 electoral votes. Silver's constantly changing poll prediction, which was locked in only hours before the voting booths opened, predicted Obama would receive 313 electoral votes.
"Anyone can average a bunch of polls and call the election a week before it happens," wrote The Signal's pair. "In the end, it's the models that tell us something about what forces influence an election."
Lost in the noise of Silver's admirable work is a Signal, capital 's,' that has apparently been visible since last winter.
It's worth reading their analysis again.