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New York Times polling guru Nate Silver took aim at Politico’s brand of reporting on Friday, saying the Washington-based news outlet covers politics like sports but “not in an intelligent way at all.”
Reflecting on Politico’s pre-election criticism of his FiveThirtyEight model, Silver told Grantland’s Bill Simmons on his “B.S. Report” podcast:
What was remarkable to me is that you had some, like, journalist for, um, Politico, or something … who, like, tweeted … ‘All Nate’s doing is averaging polls and counting electoral votes?’ … ‘That’s the secret sauce?’ It’s like, well, yeah, and the fact that you can’t comprehend that very basic thing … that says more about you than, than about me, right?”
The tweet Silver is referring to came from Politico’s Jonathan Martin, and actually reads: “Avert your gaze, liberals: Nate Silver admits he’s simply averaging public polls and there is no secret sauce.” Martin linked to a piece by his Politico colleague Dylan Byers, who wrote the definitive piece of Silver skepticism during the 2012 cycle. In the piece — headlined “Nate Silver: One-term celebrity?” — Byers considered the possibility of Silver’s star power dimming if Mitt Romney became president.