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These days, Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight.com fame is  pretty much the acknowledged Master of the Political Punditry Universe, having nailed 49 of 50 states in his general election projection.

Kossacks, though, will probably remember him as Poblano, the dude who wrote mind-bendingly detailed primary analyses that kind of scrambled your brain, but usually ended up being wickedly prescient.

(Exhibit A: This immense pre-Super Tuesday diary that predicted, within 17 delegates, Obama's stunning Super Tuesday win.)

If you'd followed him during the primaries, you knew his projection of a general election blowout was pretty reassuring.  And now that he's pulled that off, he's about to get a lot richer.

From the New York Observer:

Earlier today Media Mob reported that political polling expert Nate Silver, the wunderkind statistician behind the Web site FiveThirtyEight.com, was out with a proposal for two books: one about the art of prediction and the other a Freakonomics-style guide to the mechanics of electoral politics. Mr. Silver's agent, Sydelle Kramer of the Susan Rabiner Agency, told publishers she wanted indications of interest by Tuesday, but evidently the indications came faster than expected (so much for the art of prediction) and Ms. Kramer decided to just hold an auction today.

According to several sources, that auction has ended, and Penguin Group USA has prevailed.

Which of Penguin's imprint will publish Mr. Silver has not yet been determined, however, as there are at least three within the company that are jockeying for the privilege. The pricetag, we hear, is above $600,000 but below $1 million—a healthy sum even though it's paying for two books rather than just one. Update, 5:00 p.m.: New intelligence says Mr. Silver's advance is in the neighborhood of $700,000, give or take a few grand.

Now Mr. Silver just has to choose which imprint he likes best, a process that is unlikely to be resolved before next week.

(Note that $700,000 is just the advance... with all of the attention Nate's getting these days, royalties will easily go into the seven figures before he's done.)

Takeaways:

  1. You, too, can make a lot of money from your DKos rantings -- provided you're actually right once in awhile.
  1. Perhaps you shouldn't have skipped out on those math electives in college.
  1. Everything really did change on November 4, as publishers are now falling all over themselves to give book deals to smart people again, instead of right-wing lunatics.  (Having said that, I will slit my wrists if Joe the Plumber's ghost-written crapfest ends up outselling Nate.)

So, congratulations to our latest DKos-minted millionaire!

I'm sure he won't mind that Obama tax hike one bit.

And if you're up for some pointless speculation -- who's going to be our next DKos millionaire?

Originally posted to That Anonymous Guy on Fri Nov 14, 2008 at 03:29 PM PST.

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