MSNBC host Joe Scarborough apologized to polling expert Nate Silver for leaning on him pretty hard during election season and throwing him in the path of his mockery like any other pollster.
The New York Times pollster was arguably the biggest winner of the election, using a simple and streamlined mathematical process which allowed him to accurately predict the outcome of the 2012 election, but it wasn’t that he predicted the outcome that was as amazing so much as how he predicted it.
On his show Morning Joe, Scarborough dismissed Silver ahead of the election as no different from the many pollsters who attempt to make sense of trends and sentiment before Election Day. Scarborough admitted that he “mocked both liberals and conservatives for cherry-picking polls to prove their candidate was all but assured victory.”
Scarborough regarded polling as a completely imperfect pseudoscience before Silver’s alarmingly accurate election prediction and took to Politico to offer him an apology for underestimating him:
“Since the president’s reelection, liberals have been cluttering my Twitter feed with demands that I apologize to Nate for dismissing his 74.8374629% prediction in October that Barack Obama would win. I have ignored those requests because as is usually the case for ideologues on Twitter, their rage is unfocused and based in ignorance. These critics conveniently forget that I consistently predicted an Obama win throughout the year and even said on Election Day that the president’s stubborn lead in swing state polls would doom Romney.
“I 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 with pollsters whose methodology is as rigorous as the Simpsons’ strip mall physician, Dr. Nick. For those sins (and a multitude of others that I’m sure I don’t even know about), I am sorry.”
Do you think that Scarborough’s apology to Nate Silver was warranted? Was it satisfying? Also, here’s a video of Silver appearing on Morning Joe just yesterday to explain poll bias, via Mediaite: