Jon Stewart names Nate Silver president of ‘The United States of Arithmetic’

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On the "Daily Show" the other night, Jon Stewart named Nate Silver the president of "The United States of Arithmetic."

"If your prediction model had been wrong, it would have been a defeat for arithmetic. and they would have, I think, seized upon that," Stewart said, adding, then "gravity would have been up for grabs."

Silver's meta-polling model became a subplot in the last days of the campaign, with liberals hanging onto his prediction that Obama would win, while some reporters questioned his "celebrity" status. Silver, whose model turned out to be pretty accurate, said his site became "a symbol for people who said, 'Hey, lets look at the polls, let's do some empirical research.'"

Stewart called him the "Chick-fil-A sandwich for reality," and asked if he wanted to brag. Silver laughed.

Stewart asked what would change of presidential elections were based solely on the popular vote, rather than the electoral college. Silver said that change, which some Republicans have favored, would actually help Democrats, since the non-Cuban Hispanic population in Florida is growing rapidly and voting solidly Democratic, moving that state from leaning Republican to more consistently being a toss-up between the parties.

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