FiveThirtyEight.com, the popular political blog founded by statistical wunderkind Nate Silver, was folded into NYTimes.com and moved to the Times Web site in August.
Silver and FiveThirtyEight.com gained considerable attention during the 2008 presidential campaign for prescient analyses of public opinion and poll dynamics. Silver’s projections performed admirably in the 2008 general election overall; FiveThirtyEight’s forecasts accurately predicted outcomes in 49 of 50 states in the presidential election as well as the results of all 35 U.S. Senate races.
Silver, a statistician and graduate of the University of Chicago, first gained public recognition for developing a statistical forecasting model to predict the performance and career development of Major League Baseball players. In 2007, Silver started applying these techniques to elections and posted his reflections under a pseudonym on Daily Kos. Silver launched FiveThirtyEight.com in March 2008. In April 2009, Silver was named one of “The World’s 100 Most Influential People” by Time magazine.
The Times reported Silver has agreed to a three-year licensing agreement and that the politics section of its website would feature content incorporated daily from FiveThirtyEight. Additionally, Silver will write for the newspaper and for the New
York Times Magazine and work with journalists and developers to create interactive
Silver has been explicit about his political views (he supported Obama in 2008 and has indicated he votes mostly for Democratic candidates), but he argues his blog presents balanced analysis. In the first blog post on the Times website that appeared on August 25, 2010, Silver noted, “I’ve always seen FiveThirtyEight’s mission as being parallel to journalism: objectivity and accuracy have been core values of the blog.” Silver will retain all rights to the blog and continue to operate it himself.