Nate Silver: Politico covers politics like sports ‘but not in an intelligent way’

Nate Silver on msnbc's Morning Joe
Nate Silver on msnbc's Morning Joe

Having nailed all 50 states for the second straight election, Nate Silver’s entitled to rub it in his critics’ faces a little. And guess what? He is.

In an interview with ESPN’s Bill Simmons, Silver, the New York Times blogger made his name as a baseball stats guru, took on Politico’s Jonathan Martin, who shortly before the election tweeted: ”Avert your gaze, liberals: Nate Silver admits he’s simply averaging public polls and there is no secret sauce.”

Responded Silver, according to Business Insider: “Well, yeah, and the fact that you can’t comprehend that very basic thing, that says more about you than it does about me, right?” (The liberal blogger Brad DeLong, a former Clinton administration Treasury official, was blunter at the time, calling Martin’s message ”the stupidest tweet in the history of all Twitter ever.”)

Simmons then referred to a notorious Politico article from around the same time, which, like Martin, appeared to misunderstand Silver’s method of averaging poll results and called him a “one-term celebrity.” Simmons called the piece “passive-aggressive.”

Silver replied: “Politico is a ‘who won the day’ kind of thing, right? They’re trying to cover [politics] like sports, but not in an intelligent way at all. They want to create noise, basically.”