Slatest PM: Nate Silver's "Simple" Case

Slatest PM: Nate Silver's "Simple" Case

Slatest PM: Nate Silver's "Simple" Case

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Nov. 2 2012 5:04 PM

Slatest PM: Nate Silver's "Simple" Case For an Obama Win


***We've revamped our afternoon Slatest newsletter to deliver a text-heavy recap of the day's top stories to our subscribers' inboxes. The most recent edition is below. Sign up here to receive The Slatest PM in your inbox daily before it is published online.***

Josh Voorhees Josh Voorhees

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City.

STATE OF THE RACE: Real Clear Politics national average: Obama up by 0.3 points, 47.5 percent to 47.2 percent. RCP Ohio average: Obama +2.6 points, 49.0 percent to 46.4 percent. RCP Electoral College with toss-ups excluded: Obama 201, Romney 191. With toss-ups assigned: Obama 290, Romney 247.


FIVETHIRTYEIGHT: Nate Silver's latest projections: Electoral College forecast: Obama 303.4, Romney 234.6 (Obama +9.3 since last week); EC now-cast: Obama 303.9, Romney 234.1 (Obama +10.1 since last week). Chance of winning forecast: Obama 80.9 percent, Romney 19.1 percent (Obama +7.8 since last week); Chance now-cast: Obama 82.9 percent; Romney 17.1 percent (Obama +7.0 since last week). Chance of winning Ohio forecast: Obama 80.5, Romney 19.5. Ohio now-cast: Obama 82.3, Romney 17.7; Ohio forecast:

MAKE IT SIMPLE, NATE: In his latest post, Silver takes on the the right-leaning pundits who have become increasingly vocal about their skepticism concerning his methodology. "[T]he argument we’re making is exceedingly simple. Here it is: Obama's ahead in Ohio. A somewhat-more-complicated version: Mr. Obama is leading in the polls of Ohio and other states that would suffice for him to win 270 electoral votes, and by a margin that has historically translated into victory a fairly high percentage of the time." You can read his full explanation here.

HOORAY, IT'S FRIDAY! You made it; we all did. Welcome to The Slatest PM. Follow @JoshVoorhees on Twitter or email him at


HOW HE WOULD HAVE PULLED OFF THE WIN: Slate's John Dickerson: "If Mitt Romney wins the election, it will be because he ignored conservatives. After he won the primaries, many of the most prominent voices in the movement plead with him to run loud and proud as a conservative and to campaign overtly on conservative ideas. He never did that, and he’s ending the campaign on a moderate note, a move his strategists believe will capture the disaffected Obama voters he needs to win the election."

IT'S AS THOUGH SOME PEOPLE WERE WITHOUT INTERNET OR SOMETHING: Slate's office Ken Jennings news quiz leader board: 1) Torie Bosch 347; 2) Josh Voorhees 343; 3) Dan Kois 286; 4) Seth Stevenson 283; 5) Laura Anderson 277; 6) Julia Turner 274; 7) Rachael Larimore 268; 8) David Plotz 248; 9) Jeremy Stahl 231; 10) June Thomas 221. See if you can beat us.

MORE IMPORTANT NUMBERS: The Washington Post: "Businesses picked up their pace of hiring in October and the unemployment rate rose as more people started looking for work, according to new government data that offer a glimmer of optimism for the long-ailing job market on the eve of the presidential election. Employers reported adding 171,000 jobs in October, beating both analysts’ expectations (125,000 jobs added) and September’s job creation (a revised 148,000). The unemployment rate rose to 7.9 percent, up from 7.8 percent, but the reason behind the uptick also points to an improved job market. Some 578,000 more Americans counted themselves as part of the labor force, and only 410,000 more people reported having a job."

THE REVISIONS: Slate's Matthew Yglesias: "The revisions are always really really important here. The initial read on August was dismal, but now that it's been revised twice it looks great at 192,000 extra jobs. Initial estimates of the employment level come with a 95 percent confidence interval of plus or minus 100,000 jobs which means that the initial estimate of the change in the employment level is incredibly fuzzy. Everyone would like a fantastic real time indicator of the labor market, but the BLS can't really give it to us. What we really know for sure today is that August saw huge employment growth. There are hints of more good news from September and October but it's hard to be sure."


THE MOOD IN SANDY'S WAKE: The New York Times: "Patience was wearing thin on Friday amid widespread gas shortages, chilly homes without electricity and long, snaking lines for everything from buses to food handouts as many parts of the New York City region struggled to recover from the devastation left by Hurricane Sandy. As more than one million New Yorkers continued to cope with power failures, even the planned New York City Marathon became a source of bitter derision when news emerged that generators being used by organizers could have served hundreds of residences on Staten Island, the borough that bore the brunt of the city’s casualties. Beyond irritation, some New Yorkers say the lack of power has made them fearful." [UPDATE 5:21 p.m.: NBC New York is reporting that the marathon has been canceled after all.]




AP: "Accompanied by astronauts and shuttle workers, Atlantis made a slow, solemn journey to retirement Friday, the last space shuttle to orbit the world and the last to leave NASA's nest."

Reuters: "Two weeks before a high-stakes trial pitting Google's Motorola Mobility unit against Microsoft, Google made what has become a common request for a technology company fighting for billions of dollars: A public court proceeding, conducted largely in secret."

WSJ: "Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Motors Corp. overstated the fuel economy for more than a third of the vehicles they sold in the U.S. in the last two years, an embarrassing concession by two of the fastest growing car makers in the U.S."

POST-NEWSLETTER READING: Once your afternoon host hits the send button, he's finally going to carve out time to read David Haglund's The Case of the Mormon Historian.

Enjoy the weekend. We plan to. See you back here Monday. But until then, tell your friends to subscribe, or simply forward the newsletter on and let them make up their own minds.