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On Eve of Election Nate Silver Flinches, Says GOP House Win "Extremely Possible"

Created: 05 November, 2018
Updated: 21 November, 2022
1 min read

Although his election forecasting website, FiveThirtyEight, still gives Democrats a 7 in 8 chance (87%) of winning control of the U.S. House of Representatives, and Republicans a paltry 1 in 8 chance (13%), statistician Nate Silver hedged rather significantly in an interview on ABC's This Week Sunday.

Silver– who rose to national prominence after accurately forecasting an impressive number of vote tallies in the 2008 elections, earning himself a spot in The World's 100 Most Influential People by Time Magazine in 2009, and a place for his election forecasting blog on the pages of the New York Times' website– is going into the 2018 elections humbled by the surprise win of Donald Trump in 2016.

(Although to be fair to Silver, his forecast giving Hillary Clinton a 71% chance of winning and Donald Trump a 29% chance was more accurate than other pollsters who gave the former Secretary of State anywhere from an 85% to a 99% probability of winning.)

Here are the three hedges Nate Silver made regarding his organization's projections for the 2018 midterm elections:

1. "Polls aren't always right."

2. "No one should be surprised" if Democrats don't take control of the House of Representatives after this election.

3. A Democratic and a Republican House majority "are both extremely possible, based on how accurate polls are in the real world."

We'll all know soon after the votes are counted Tuesday.

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