Politics

10.31.12

Nate Silver as Resentment Symbol

Nate Silver should take pride in these dumb attacks, because all they mean is that the wingers fear deep down that he's right. He's not a liberal, or if he is or is not, I don't really know, but it's totally irrelevant. He's a numbers guy who wants more than anything to get it right. If his models told him Romney had a 75 percent chance of winning, that's what he'd publish. Anyone who thinks otherwise is the actual ideologue, as well as pretty much an idiot.

Sure, liberals have taken comfort in his findings, but what does that have to do with him? He's a bookmaker, in essence. If the bookies in Vegas keeping giving the Falcons better odds at winning the NFC than the Bears, do Bears fans go ballistic on the bookies and try to blame them if it turns out that Atlanta does win the NFC? Of course not. That would be totally preposterous, just as this Silver-bashing is totally preposterous now.

What Silver has become is a handy resentment symbol for the right. They need a few every election. Last time it was Acorn and Bll Ayers. Now it's Silver. Someone to blame if and when things don't go their way on Election Day. I don't know how they're going to blame Silver; by insistently calling Obama the favorite, he somehow willed it to be so, I suppose. They always come up with something. They might blame it on Sandy this time around, too, of course. And pollsters generally.

Unskewedpolls.com, the right-wing site that sprang up a few weeks ago to "correct" liberal "bias" in the polls, right now has Romney at 321 electoral votes, including Ohio, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania (what, no Minnesota?!). Silver has Obama at 299. I know which one seems more plausible to me. But you see how this works--predicting Romney at 321 instead of a more realistic 275 or 280-ish number gives them that much more to be pissed off about next Wednesday. They must be kept in a state of sustained outrage.