Nate Silver: Still not trusted

A new survey reveals the public remains wary of America's best known poll guru, even after nailing the election

Published December 5, 2012 9:03PM (EST)


What do you have to predict to win the love of the American people?

New York Times statistics wizard Nate Silver became a kind of celebrity last month for calling every state correctly in the presidential election. Even so,  the public still doesn't know what to make of him. According to a new survey by liberal polling outfit Public Policy Polling, only 12 percent of responders had a favorable view of the bespectacled sage, and this in a group that went 51 percent for Barack Obama. PPP found that 10 percent had an unfavorable view of him and 77 percent weren't sure.

Meanwhile, beleaguered pollster Gallup, which predicted a 49-to-48 percent victory for Mitt Romney last month and subsequently had some tough words for Silver, still enjoys a higher favorability than he does. The PPP survey found that people trust Gallup over Silver by 31 to 14 percent with a notable 55 percent undecided. If that's the wisdom of crowds it's almost enough to make one question the value of polling in the first place.


By Alex Halperin

Alex Halperin is news editor at Salon. You can follow him on Twitter @alexhalperin.

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2012 Elections Gallup Nate Silver New York Times