Nate Silver baffles me with his brilliance. In 2003, he came up with a new statistical measure for baseball that was bought out by Baseball Prospectus because it was so good. With his new free time, he turned his mind toward poker, where he figured out a method, much like the World Series of Poker gives percentages to each players hand, that made him $400,000 richer, where then, he put his money on forecasting politics. His method is complex, but he weighs all the major polls, gives them a value based upon their historical correctness, adds in the population voting history, and a few other factors to give him his formula for political forecasting. To give you an idea of how right on this guy is, in the 2008 presidential election, he correctly predicted every state but one. For the 2008 senate races, he predicted all of them.
On his current blog, fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com , he has a mine of data with very pretty charts for both the presidency and the senate races by state. For our Montana race, Tester better kick it up a notch and his supporters need to speak with everyone they know, because the race is tight, and according to Silver, “leaning Republican”. Use this as motivation, because I hope Montana can prove him wrong.