Wang: My Model Has ‘Matched Or Outperformed’ Silver’s Since 2008

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October 6, 2014 10:02 a.m.
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Neither Nate Silver nor Princeton University’s Sam Wang is backing down in their ongoing feud over the veracity of their forecasting models.

Silver penned a lengthy critique for Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire last week, and Wang provided his own extensive rebuttal Monday on Political Wire.

“He has made a number of factual and conceptual errors,” Wang wrote in reference to Silver. “If an experienced analyst like him could make those misreadings, so could many people.”

Wang then lays out five points on which he believes Silver has misunderstood his model. He also, on more than one occasion, notes that his forecast has been often been “superior to” Silver’s Five Thirty Eight forecast, dating back to 2008 and particularly regarding Senate races.

“Of perhaps greatest interest is the fact that on Election Eve in 2012, PEC called every close Senate race correctly – 10 out of 10,” Wang wrote. “Silver is protesting against a model that has consistently matched or outperformed his own calls since he came onto the scene (see 2008, 2010, and 2012).”

For his part, Silver told TPM last week that he understands Wang’s model — he just doesn’t believe it works.

“I think he’s taking a model that is flawed in its design in some very profound ways,” Silver said, “and mistaking that as a feature.”

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