Nate Silver Predicts Republicans Will Take The Senate, And The Democratic Response Is Just A Bit Passive-Aggressive
Nate Silver won the hearts of Democrats back in 2012 when he predicted that President Barack Obama would win re-election — with nearly 100 percent precision in Silver's breakdown of which states Obama and Mitt Romney would win. But now the Democratic Party's love affair with him has come to a screeching halt, after Silver predicted the Republican party would probably take the Senate by at least six seats in the November 2014 midterms.
Here's Silver's analysis, published on his recently-launched FiveThirtyEight website.
The Democrats’ position has deteriorated somewhat since last summer, with President Obama’s approval ratings down to 42 or 43 percent from an average of about 45 percent before. Furthermore, as compared with 2010 or 2012, the GOP has done a better job of recruiting credible candidates, with some exceptions.
As always, we encourage you to read this analysis with some caution. Republicans have great opportunities in a number of states, but only in West Virginia, South Dakota, Montana and Arkansas do we rate the races as clearly leaning their way...
Even though Silver urged everybody to practice caution, Obama and co are far from happy. Here's the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee's response, as written in a memo by executive director Guy Cecil.
Nate Silver and the staff at FiveThirtyEight are doing groundbreaking work, but, as they have noted, they have to base their forecasts on a scarce supply of public polls. In some cases more than half of these polls come from GOP polling outfits. This was one reason why FiveThirtyEight forecasts in North Dakota and Montana were so far off in 2012. In fact, in August of 2012 Silver forecasted a 61% likelihood that Republicans would pick up enough seats to claim the majority. Three months later Democrats went on to win 55 seats.
It doesn't take an analyst to guess that the DSCC's response seems like an attempt to undermine Silver's predictions out of fear.
To get an idea of how seriously the DSCC takes Silver's predications, Silver's name has been in the subject line of over 11 DSCC fundraising emails in the past four months.
But there may be a silver lining for the Democrats: Silver's predictions might be for the good of the party. After all, fear is a huge motivating factor in elections. Just ask Harry Reid (D.-NV.)