Nate Silver acknowledged that he was doing something a little unusual in a Sept. 17 blog post when he called out fellow forecaster Sam Wang of Princeton University. But it also appears to have been the culmination of a long-simmering -- if largely under-the-radar -- feud.
"I don’t like to call out other forecasters by name unless I have something positive to say about them -- and we think most of the other models out there are pretty great," Silver wrote. But he then labeled Wang's model "wrong" and provided a detailed argument (with footnotes) to explain why he thought so.
And it didn't stop there. Periodically over the last week or so, Silver has continued to take shots on Twitter at Wang's forecasting model, which has consistently been more optimistic about Democratic odds of keeping the Senate than Silver's (or any other forecaster).
That led to a lot of buzz in the tiny world of poll nerds and a series of pained responses on Twitter from Wang. In separate interviews with TPM, Silver declined to say what exactly provoked him but said Wang had been "deceptive" in characterizing their disagreement while, for his part, Wang continued to chide Silver, particularly for refusing to engage with him directly.
Here's a sampling of some recent Silver tweets knocking Wang:
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