Monday, August 18, 2008

538 Things I Love About You

If you haven't already discovered fivethirtyeight.com, you're missing out. The Common Man has long been a junky of two substances (three, if you count beer, which The Common Man does. So, um, three substances then), baseball and politics. And finally he has the best of both worlds. Fivethirtyeight (a reference to the number of electoral votes up for grabs in the November election) is the brainchild of Nate Silver, one of the founders of Baseball Prospectus and the driving force behind PECOTA, an incredibly complicated predictive modeling program that has become the best source for predicting player and team performance in major league baseball.

Silver's new project applies his impressive skills in predictive modeling to the presidential race, weighting polls based on their reliability, accuracy, size, and recentness to give a more complete picture of the race between Barak Obama and John McCain. In true democratic tradition, it is upfront about its political leanings and its methodology. It hides nothing, and reveals much.

At this point, Silver is projecting an Obama victory, putting his chances at approximately 56%. If you're at all interested in politics (or are a statistician with time to kill), The Common Man demands that you check it out. It may be the last and best hope for this country's fragile Dewmocracy.

3 comments:

Rainster said...

When The Common Man demands something be checked out, it merits checking out --- AWESOME site! And now I have a new toy to fiddle with on this, my state's primary election day....

Kevin (ReturnToManliness) said...

great lead..thanks

keep up the good posting...

The Common Man said...

@ Rainster

Thank you. The Common Man does not demand lightly. He only does so when the demand is so clearly for your benefit. The analysis is so detailed and is so informative (and has such a strong track record) that he can't understand how more people aren't plugged in.