Monday, August 31, 2015

The new(ish) 538 still sucks

Last year I complained that the "new" 538 site just isn't as good since Silver founded his current site as it was in its previous incarnations.

Want another example? It's not quite a presidential election year yet, but the presidential primary is still getting a lot of attention. So, for the first time since I started paying attention to the primary shenanigans, I googled up Nate's site to see what poll-crunching he was doing over there. The front page, barely mentioned the presidential primary, so I clicked over to the "politics" tab to see what he had there.

Not much, it turns out. The top article is relevant ("Most of the Biden Speculation is Malarkey"--a goof headline by the way). But there were no comprehensive analysis of the polling of the Republican or Democratic primary races, certainly not the state-by-state polling averages I was looking for. The politics page did have 538's Senate Forecast for 2014, which probably was once nice, but it's 2015. Forecasts stop being interesting after-the-fact. The main politics page also featured a forecast for the 2015 General Election in the UK. That happened almost four months ago, so again, not a forecast anymore.

It is really too bad. By this time in the 2012 race and the 2008 race, Silver's site was my go-to spot when I wanted to know what was actually going on with the race (beyond campaign bluster and the vapid coverage of most political reporting). I keep trying to check back, hoping to find another indispensable site, but instead it just isn't doing what made Silver so famous.