Nov 14, 2012
[Harper Reed, CTO of Obama for America] compares the advanced modeling and analytic techniques of his comrades and guys like Nate Silver to MP3s, thus making traditional pollsters and political “experts” akin to the music industry. They both had been going about their business for decades without competition, and they both reacted violently when their worlds were disrupted. However, these are smart people, and Reed expects they’ll come around in the next election cycles.

The thing is, this was the lesson from 20081, not 2012, but like most disruptions, it took a while to go from being noticed to commonly held belief.

Analytics have changed just about everything, I expect they’ll change the news business very soon. I can’t imagine anyone will try to cover the next presidential race, let alone the next midterm election, without their own squads of Nate Silver wannabees churning out hyperactive collated poll aggregates. It’s a glorious time to be a news nerd.


  1. buy me a beer sometime and I’ll regale you with tales of futilely trying to convince a major national news organization of the value of Nate Silver way back in 2009, after he correctly predicted 49 of 50 states but before he was a household name. It might take two beers. 

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