The Billy Beane of Politics?
By Ryan Devine
Widener University American Government Student
As an individual who has read “Moneyball” 13 times, and counting, I am very familiar with the undeniable benefits that saber metrics provided over the traditional methods of scouting and forming a baseball team. Thankfully, sabermetrics and classical baseball evaluation seem to have merged in a harmonic balance that keeps the purity of the game with the advances in statistics. However, one man has decided to take what he learned from baseball and has become a force of nature in the world of political science.
Nate Silver, who started off working for Baseballprospectus.com, has taken his specially developed talents for looking beyond the face numbers to deliver two simply stellar performances in predicting the 2008 and 2012 elections. He began the 2008 campaign by predicting the number of super delegates within a dozen of President Obama’s actual count. He then followed up his early predictions by throwing a gem, correctly predicting 49 of the 50 states in the Electoral College and correctly predicted every senatorial seat that was up for grabs. However, Silver was not done there; he decided that he would follow up his 08 election with an even better performance. He did by throwing a perfect game in this election.
While Silver begun his career of political analyzing after just a year of focusing on politics, he has clearly brought a validity and popularity to the world of political science, registering 5 million web hits the day of the election alone. Nate has effectively taken the science of voter research and developed a method to predict the winner independent of the biases of the conventional media markets that are simply looking to spin polling information one way or another in order to fit their agenda.