Nate Silver Profile picture
Founder, EIC @FiveThirtyEight. Author, The Signal and the Noise ( Sports/politics/food geek. Not a virologist.
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Apr 28 5 tweets 2 min read
Folks, it's not that hard, the left has moved to the left in the US *and* the right has moved to the right. You can, of course, complicate the story as much as you want, including by noting that the *Democratic Party* is not synonymous with the left and the Republican Party is not synonymous with the right and the *GOP* has probably radicalized more than the Democratic Party.
Apr 9 4 tweets 2 min read
Very very bad when the range of final polls is this tight. Almost certainly a sign of herding (pollsters trying to avoid standing out rather than reporting what their data actually shows). Tweet I was responding to got revised (@Taniel is an excellent follow BTW) but this is still a very tight range of results that likely reflects herding.
Apr 9 11 tweets 3 min read
Inspired by the recent @Herring_NBA @ZachLowe_NBA All-Defense podcast, a 🧵 on why advanced NBA metrics (and in particular 538's RAPTOR) like Nikola Jokic's *defense* quite a bit. First, rebounding. Defensive rebounding is an important part of defense. Jokic is second in the league in defensive rebounding %.
Jan 21 4 tweets 1 min read
It seems to me like the "right" way to frame the critique of Biden's legislative agenda is not that it's too ambitious or too left-wing per se but that voters want him to address *acute* problems whereas something like BBB tends to address *chronic* ones. "Theats to democracy" is a more complicated case in that there are both chronic and (extremely!) acute problems. But the legislation proposed to date has also tended to be geared toward addressing the chronic ones.
Jan 18 4 tweets 2 min read
This is basically wrong, as a blanket statement. Some ideas championed by progressives are fairly popular in nonpartisan polling (voting rights is one example). Some ideas (such as on educational policy) are fairly unpopular. Some are a mixed bag. Biden's signature policy priority, Build Back Better, is in the "mixed bag" category. Its popularity is lukewarm, both for the package as a whole and for the child tax credit in particular.……
Jan 3 4 tweets 1 min read
It's probably foolish to think a NYC mayor will successfully translate into being a national political figure, but I still think Eric Adams would be in my top 5 for "who will be the next Democratic presidential nominee after Joe Biden?". He's going to be good at getting media attention and he has a chance of carving out a niche that's different from what other Democrats are offering. That's a potentially powerful combination given how primaries are conducted nowadays. Also, the competition isn't great.
Dec 30, 2021 4 tweets 2 min read
You can squint and see the makings of cases leveling off in Manhattan (left-hand chart) but not really the rest of NYC (right-hand chart). Hard to know too much because of testing delays, though.… And this is probably best source for hospitalization data in NYC.

Good and bad news.

Bad news: they're growing fast, will keep growing.

Good news: *relative to the number of cases* lagged by a week, hospitalizations about 5-6x lower than last winter.…
Dec 27, 2021 5 tweets 2 min read
So, these results suggest that people who responded to this poll are taking something like 1.2 at-home COVID tests per 30 days, and 0.7 out-of-home COVID tests per 30 days. Not a representative group, but still interesting that at-home tests are the predominant method! By comparison, the average American is taking something like 0.1-0.2 out-of-home tests per 30 days. So, yeah, my followers like getting tested.

But we don't have a firm grip on how many *at-home* tests Americans are taking, which are largely going unrecorded.
Dec 19, 2021 4 tweets 1 min read
Certainly, progressives were right that decoupling BBB and the infrastructure bill made it more likely that infrastructure would pass without BBB.

However, the alternative wasn't necessarily both passing. Perhaps more likely, neither would have passed. Lumping bills together tends to work better when you *have votes to spare* and can do some logrolling, i.e. Senator A doesn’t love Bill Z and Senator B doesn’t love Bill Y, but they’ll agree to vote for them in exchange for the other senator’s vote on the other bill.
Dec 15, 2021 4 tweets 2 min read
Interesting that Republicans (64%) and Democrats (63%) are about equally likely to say they're "worn out" by lifestyle changes because of the pandemic (though Republicans are more likely to say that they're a *lot* warn out).… Needless to say, Democrats tend to be more supportive of restrictions, but also tend to face more restrictions in and/or are more likely to abide by them, which is why there's a lot of fatigue on both sides.
Dec 8, 2021 4 tweets 1 min read
Not great that surveys are overestimating vaccine uptake (though, I'd note that the CDC's data has some issues too).

Both on vaccines and other COVID precautions, there are likely some fairly big biases in surveys toward people who are more conscientious/careful about COVID. Why?

1) People who are staying home b/c of COVID easier to reach
2) COVID concern tends to be higher among high-edu, high-news consuming, high-social-trust Americans, who are more likely to respond to polls
3) Maybe some social desirability bias (people exaggerate their caution)
Dec 6, 2021 8 tweets 3 min read
To this good thread explaining why the "sentiment analysis" cited in the @milbank WaPo article this weekend is complete crap—the analysis was used to make the claim that the press is just negative toward Biden as Trump—I'll also add a couple of comments based on their data. 1/ These are the articles the algorithm found, out of more than 40K stories, were the most favorable toward Biden. It's just totally random. Lots of stories about the stock market. Many have nothing to do with Biden at all ("Haiti President Assassinated At Home, Wife Wounded"). 2/
Nov 3, 2021 4 tweets 1 min read
I don't think this follows. In most recent elections, Democrats lost ground in rural areas but gained in the suburbs. Last night, they lost ground in the suburbs too. That's different and it's worth asking why (and, yes, the answers are probably complicated and multi-causal). This differs, by the way, from the California recall, where red areas got redder and blue areas got bluer or at least didn't shift much from 2018/2020. Of note, Elder was a Trumpist candidate while Youngkin and Ciattarelli were not exactly.
Sep 13, 2021 4 tweets 1 min read
What I find frustrating about this (in agreement with Dr. Topol) is that it's *very* easy to move the bar for what constitutes "robust evidence". And there's been a lot of inconsistency about this, with respect to boosters. There is *not* robust evidence that vaccine boosters trade off with first doses elsewhere. It is a plausible theory, lacking evidence.

The data on waning immunity may not be as robust as we'd like, but it's no less robust than the anti-booster arguments.

Sep 8, 2021 4 tweets 2 min read
OK, but why are Americans fearful of breakthroughs? I'd suggest it's largely because of the mixed messages they're hearing from public health officials and the media, which often imply that vaccinated people should behave with a *lot* of caution rather than "returning to normal". If two-thirds of vaccinated infectious disease experts won't eat indoors at a restaurant, and almost half won't attend an *outdoor* sporting event, then of course people reading that are going to think breakthroughs are a big deal and of course they'll want boosters.
Aug 23, 2021 5 tweets 1 min read
It's self-destructive more than self-interested. Pretty decent chance Newsom gets recalled. Democrats could potentially keep the seat if they urged their voters to consolidate behind an alternative Democrat but instead they're telling them not to vote on the replacement! Pretty much always, if someone tells you not to vote, they are giving you bad advice. If you live in California and leave the recall line blank, you are partly disenfranchising yourself and are making a mistake.
Aug 20, 2021 4 tweets 2 min read
If nearly half of *vaccinated* people are "avoiding other people as much as possible" then public health and media messaging about the risks COVID poses to vaccinated people has been badly miscalibrated.… Image I'm a little skeptical of this result, since it doesn't match all sorts of observational data (e.g. restaurant reservations or air traffic numbers) showing people's social activities back to maybe 80-90% of pre-pandemic levels. So maybe some social desirability bias. But still.
Aug 18, 2021 4 tweets 2 min read
Of all the critiques of boosters, this seems like the worst/weirdest one.

Boosters would help us get back to normal—see family and friends more, pursue a wider range of social activities—but for some reason we don't want that?… Also, empirically, most people *have* resumed their social lives. Even with Delta concerns, restaurant reservations are ~90-95% of what they were pre-pandemic, for instance. Air travel is back to ~80% of pre-pandemic norms.……
Aug 13, 2021 4 tweets 1 min read
Seeing arguments that claim there is a trade-off between giving people 1st/2nd doses and giving people a booster shot.

That is EXTREMELY dubious in the US where we are awash in vaccines and have already ordered enough additional vax to cover boosters + kids <12 + some left over. Is there a trade off with vaccines for other counties? I don't know, but as a matter of theory, basic economics would suggest that increased demand will increase supply. And as a matter of practice, elected officials are going to look to protect their own citizens first.
Aug 3, 2021 9 tweets 3 min read
The sample size is this non peer reviewed study is 79 vaccinated people (corrected, misread as 83 before) and completely lacks the statistical power to differentiate between vaccinated and unvaccinanted people. Also as in the Provincetown study it's a convenience sample, meaning people who chose to be tested, and not a random sample of all infections. That likely biases the sample toward more severe infections since people with more severe symptoms are more likely to seek out testing.
Jul 30, 2021 8 tweets 3 min read
The news is *not* that "vaccinated people easily spread the Delta variant". That reflects a gross misunderstanding of the CDC's evidence, abetted by imprecise and innumerate media coverage. See this thread below.

Vaccinated people are much less likely to become infected with COVID. *Conditional upon becoming infected*, there is some evidence to suggest they carry similar viral loads, but this evidence is quite uncertain, and viral loads do not necessarily equate 1:1 to transmission.