Nate Silver's polling analysis has been both manna for political junkies and a lightning rod for criticism from conservatives during the 2012 campaign. A report Tuesday indicates it has also been a major driver of the New York Times' web traffic.
According to The New Republic, 20 percent of visitors to the Times’ website made a stop at Silver's blog "FiveThirtyEight."
The Times does not release traffic figures, but a spokesperson said yesterday that Silver’s blog provided a significant—and significantly growing, over the past year—percentage of Times pageviews. This fall, visits to the Times’ political coverage (including FiveThirtyEight) have increased, both absolutely and as a percentage of site visits. But FiveThirtyEight’s growth is staggering: where earlier this year, somewhere between 10 and 20 percent of politics visits included a stop at FiveThirtyEight, last week that figure was 71 percent.
More from TNR:
According to Alexa, a Web information company, “538” is the eighth-most searched-for term that led visitors to the Times last month. And over the previous month, it grew more than any other referral term; other increasingly relevant terms were “nate silver” and “538.com.” Notably, no other Times staffers or brands appear on Alexa's lists of top referral terms or rising referral terms.
Correction: The post has been changed to indicate that 20 percent of Monday's visitors to the New York Times' website also visited FiveThirtyEight.