Nate Silver Our Favorite Gay Geek

10.29.2012

By Jerry Portwood

He uses Twitter to mock the accusation that he's too 'effeminate' to analyze polls

As The Advocate pointed out, in a Friday tweet, Nate Silver called out the founder of a conspiratorial Unskewed Polls website, Dean Chambers, who wrote an op-ed that attacked Silver as "a man of very small stature" and "a thin and effeminate man with a soft-sounding voice." Chambers's website recasts all mainstream polls with Republican-leaning survey samples so they are truly "unskewed" — or shall we say "fair and balanced?"

Silver is our favorite self-described gay geek (who we honored in the 2010 Out100 you may recall). He is also the founder of FiveThirtyEight, which is now part of the New York Times. He's often touted for having correctly predicted the popular vote in 2008 within one percentage point, correctly predicted the outcome in 49 out of 50 states (except Indiana), plus accurately forecast all of the Senate races. And he's taken that statistical cred and authored this year's most accessible wonk book, The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail-but Some Don't.

"This is pretty awesome," Silver wrote on Twitter. "Per http://unskwedpolls.com, I am 'a thin and effeminate man' & therefore not to be trusted." Silver summarized the attack this way: "Unskewedpolls argument: Nate Silver seems kinda gay + ??? = Romney landslide!"

Richard Lawson already wrote in an Out essay that Silver "sets many gay (and straight, probably) hearts aflutter with his eerie prescience and rumpled-yet-sharp geeky aesthetic." And we're thinking post-2012, it will be even truer than ever.

Oh, and he also has a "hunch" that Hilary Clinton will run for prez in 2016. But it's just a "hunch," not a prediction, he insists.

Tags: Popnography
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