Politics

New York Times' Nate Silver Says President Obama has 86% Chance of Winning

| by Michael Allen

The New York Times' Nate Silver, who correctly predicted 49 of 50 states in the 2008 presidential election, has given President Obama an 86% chance to win in 2012, per his latest calculation.

This is a big jump from only two weeks ago when President Obama had a 73% chance of winning.

Some Republicans are already suggesting that Hurricane Sandy and President Obama's fast action during the emergency is to blame for a potential Mitt Romney defeat.

As of November 5, Silver says that President Obama has an 86% chance of winning, while GOP challenger Mitt Romney has a 13% chance. Silver predicts 307 electoral votes for Obama, and 230 for Romney. The popular vote is much closer, with Obama at 50% and Romney at 48%.

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The only swing vote state that Silver has Romney leading in several polls is North Carolina. Other swing states are either tied or led by Obama in multiple polls.

Nate Silver writes in the New York Times:

Mr. Obama led in the vast majority of battleground-state polls over the weekend. And increasingly, it is hard to find leads for Mr. Romney in national surveys — although several of them show a tie...

When the hurricane made landfall in New Jersey on Oct. 29, Mr. Obama’s chances of winning re-election were 73 percent in the FiveThirtyEight forecast. Since then, his chances have risen to 86 percent, close to his highs on the year.
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Mr. Obama had already been rebounding in the polls, slowly but steadily, from his lows in early October — in contrast to a common narrative in the news media that contended, without much evidence, that Mr. Romney still had the momentum in the race...

If I had told you in January that Mr. Obama’s approval rating would have risen close to 50 percent by November, and that the unemployment rate would have dropped below 8 percent, you likely would have inferred that Mr. Obama was a favorite for re-election, with or without a hurricane and what was judged to be a strong response to it...