NYT and FiveThirtyEight Differ on Senate Prospects


By Patrick Tutwiler Comment

The New York Times unveiled their new post-FiveThirtyEight, data-driven journalism project today, dubbed The Upshot. The site, edited by NYT Washington bureau chief David Leonhardt (aka Not Nate Silver) is supposed to fill the void left by Silver when he teamed up with ESPN to relaunch his own standalone site. And right off the bat, Leonhardt and Co. are diverging from Silver on the biggest prediction made yet this election season -who will control the Senate.

While Silver says that Republicans are a slight favorite to win, The Upshot has that Democrats are more likely than not to keep the upper chamber. The main difference between the two forecasts seems to be that The Upshot considers Colorado and Michigan to be more likely Democratic wins than FiveThirtyEight does.

Of course, Silver will continue to update his model as the cycle progresses -as will The Upshot. It’ll be interesting to see whether the two methodologies start producing more similar results over time. If they do, it may be that Silver starts to loose some of his prestige as the One True Oracle of Politics. If not, and if Silver hews to his sterling track record and calls most of the races correctly, then it would be a big validation for the beleaguered quant -and a big rebuff to his detractors.

(Photo Credit: The Upshot)