Modern politics has never seen the likes of Herman Cain, writes Nate Silver at the New York Times. He has few "fundamentals"—key GOP endorsements, big fundraising, etc.—and yet he's been at or near the top of polls for a while now. He is, in short, "an outlier" of huge proportions. "Has there ever been a candidate with such strong polling but such weak fundamentals?" asks Silver. "Almost certainly not, at least not at this relatively advanced stage of the race."
It's enough to flummox any stats analyst, and Silver admits he has no idea even how to go about measuring Cain's chances. Lots of other experts, though, have confidently written him off, prompting Silver to issue a challenge: Are there any pundits willing to stop writing about politics forever if Cain wins the GOP nod? So far, he's gotten two takers. (Click to read about some ex-Cain staffers grousing about the candidate.)