Scarborough to Nate Silver: I'm Sorry, Sorta

Admits Silver was right, but still calls early predictions a 'fool's errand'

By Liam Carnahan,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 21, 2012 9:38 AM CST

(Newser) – Joe Scarborough is ready to give what he calls a "(semi) apology" to pollster Nate Silver. The two tussled over whether Silver's ultimately accurate early election predictions were appropriate in a race that Scarborough felt was "in flux" at the time. But after talking with Silver on his show yesterday, Scarborough, who himself said early in the game that Obama would win, issued a sort of mea culpa by way of Politico. While "predicting an outcome to the nearest thousandth of a decimal point several weeks out seemed like a fools' errand (and still does)," he's willing to admit Silver was right.

That's largely because Silver was smart enough to build his model around the "right" state polls (Gallup and Rasmussen, for instance, got it wrong). Scarborough says he "won't apologize to Mr. Silver for predicting an outcome that I had also been predicting for a year. But I do need to tell Nate I'm sorry for leaning in too hard and lumping him in with pollsters whose methodology is as rigorous as the Simpsons' strip mall physician, Dr. Nick." He closes by declaring that he was "too tough" on Silver ... and that "there's a 84.398264% chance I will be less dismissive of his good work in the future." Click for his full piece.

This photo of MSNBC on air personality Joe Scarborough was released in New York, Wednesday, March 30, 2006.
This photo of MSNBC on air personality Joe Scarborough was released in New York, Wednesday, March 30, 2006.   (AP Photo/MSNBC, Craig Blankenhorn)
FILE - In this April 3, 2009 file photo originally released by NBC, shows Joe Scarborough, host of MSNBC's Morning Joe.
FILE - In this April 3, 2009 file photo originally released by NBC, shows Joe Scarborough, host of MSNBC's "Morning Joe."   (AP Photo/NBC, William B. Plowman, file)
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