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.”