Defining a “Very Slight Favorite”

Today, on his New York Times blog, Nate Silver published the first of what will be a regular series of updates on the forecast for the November election. Silver makes no secret of his liberal leanings, but his statistical work (forged in his beginnings as an outstanding baseball analyst) is straightforward and generally reliable. In his first 2012 presidential forecast, he establishes President Obama as a “very slight favorite” as of the moment. That means he gives the president roughly a 60 percent chance to win re-election but, as he notes, his current estimate of 290 electoral votes for Obama is flexible with “outcomes ranging everywhere from about 160 to 390 electoral votes are plausible, given the long lead time until the election and the amount of news that could occur between now and then.” That sounds about right as does the criteria by which he seeks to judge trends via an economic index that will decline in importance, as we get closer to election day and an average of polls taken.

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Defining a “Very Slight Favorite”

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A Familiar Paranoia

Donald Trump sees disloyalty even in his closest supporters.

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Salaita, Out

Sympathy deferred.

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Has Washington given up on Syria?

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