This good. The only state their model got wrong was Indiana, where they expected a narrow Obama loss. He won the state by a hair. Nate Silver owned this election on the polling front: one young guy with a background in baseball stats beat out the mainstream media in a couple of months. And he beat out the old web: I mean if you consider the total joke of Drudge’s recent coverage and compare it with Silver’s, you realize that the web is a brutal competitive medium where only the best survive – and they are only as good as their last few posts.
Now, here’s the problem with this: 538, excellent as it is, did not commission a single poll. The “mainstream media” commissioned all the polls. 538 did a great job analysing data which was paid for by someone else. In other words, the seeds of 538’s destruction are sowed within 538’s success: by taking attention away from the media which commissioned the polls it analyses, it speeds up the demise of said media, thus leading to its own demise. We should probably call this the “Craigslist effect,” wherein value gets ripped out of media so quickly that the environments which spring up around said media actually begin to expire, as if oxygen was being sucked out of the room.