12:00 pm Nov. 20, 2012
Among the Republicans who publicly doubted Nate Silver's projections in the weeks before the election was Joe Scarborough, the host of MSNBC's "Morning Joe," who wagered $2,000 that Silver's forecast of President Obama's chances was overly rosy.
"I think when we turned sideways, was like a week and a half out, when you were putting it at about 74 percent," said Scarborough, who hosted Silver on this show this morning, to say he had paid on the bet (to charity) and to discuss the results. "And the politician in me was saying you never know what's going to happen."
Silver was gracious in victory and said that was reasonable, citing his own failed projection in the North Dakota Senate race, where he gave the Democratic candidate an eight-percent chance of winning, and she won.
"Fortunately that's a low-profile race," Silver said.
He also praised Mitt Romney's pollsters, who have taken something of a beating for assuming that Democratic turnout would be much lower than it turned out to be, a forecast that had Romney planning some early fireworks over Boston Harbor.
"When I talked to the Romney campaign, I always thought they had a pretty realistic view of where they stood," Silver said.
He said Neil Newhouse, Romney's chief pollster, and his team were "pretty smart guys," who took a "B-minus, or C-plus candidate" and made it "a pretty close campaign."
"I think their campaign was adequate, it was fine," Silver said. "It's tough to beat an incumbent, as we found out this year."