Nate Silver on Race Massachusetts Race: 25% isn’t 0%

Nate Silver urges some perspective on the Massachusetts vote:

People are acting, however, as though 25 percent is the same as zero

percent. And — as disappointing as it might be to be in this position

— obviously it is not. This is not some basketball game where the

score suddenly became Brown 75, Coakley 25; a 25 percent chance of

winning means, quite literally, 25 percent.


the 86 elections that we made calls on the morning of November 4th,

2008, only 6 (the Senate election in Minnesota, and the Presidential

elections in Florida, Indiana, Missouri, North Carolina and North

Dakota) featured contests in which the trailing candidate had a 25

percent or better chance of prevailing. The outcome of this election

remains more uncertain than that of at least 90 percent of other

elections, even if it’s less uncertain than it was 24 hours ago.

Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.