In the next few weeks the nation will watch raptly as baseball players and politicians both strive to reach their base. The most recent issue of New York has a fascinating profile of Nate Silver, a baseball statistics geek turned political pollster who has proved himself something of an oracle in both fields. As a writer for Baseball Prospectus, Silver showed a talent for upending the received wisdom. As a pollster he has outfoxed some venerable rivals, nailing the primaries in Indiana and North Carolina, and his website, fivethirtyeight.com, has become a must for those following the ebb and flow of the election. The article makes clear that Silver has a candidate—Obama all the way—but that his ultimate goal is refreshingly non-partisan: poll smarter.
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