Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sports Illustrated Article on

The Oct 13, 2008 issue of Sports Illustrated has a brief piece titled "The Sports-politics Connection" on

The article describes the website as using a statistics-based approach to predicting the winners of political contests. The sports connection (and why this would appear in SI) is that the economics grad creator of the site also has a background in sabermetrics.

This statistical approach to predicting player performance in baseball was begun by Bill James and became more well known as a result of the Michael Lewis book "Moneyball" which was previously reviewed on this blog.

Back to FiveThirtyEight... it's a fascinating site and given that it's about politics and predicting winners, it's probably worthwhile to note that on the FAQ section of the site, the author, Nate Silver, describes himself as someone who votes Democratic the "majority of the time", but attempts to not have his own convictions reflected in any of the statistical predictions.

Really interesting stuff.