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FiveThirtyEight Editor-in-Chief Nate Silver on Friday published an analysis of the “liberal media bubble” that led to people underestimating President Donald Trump’s chances of winning the 2016 election.
The post, headlined “There Really Was A Liberal Media Bubble,” concluded that “groupthink produced a failure of the ‘wisdom of crowds’ and an underestimate of Trump’s chances.”
“Much of The New York Times’s coverage, for instance, implied that Clinton’s odds were close to 100 percent,” Silver wrote. “In an article on Oct. 17 – more than three weeks before Election Day – they portrayed the race as being effectively over, the only question being whether Clinton should seek a landslide or instead assist down-ballot Democrats.”
He contended that the failure in predicting the outcome of the 2016 presidential election was “not so much with the polls but with the people who were analyzing them.”
Silver has made a name for himself by predicting elections using data analysis. He had predicted that Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee for president, would win, but he had put Trump’s chances higher than other outlets did.
Silver discussed the “unthinkability bias” that seemed to have been present in the predictions for the 2016 election.
“Political experts aren’t a very diverse group and tend to place a lot of faith in the opinions of other experts and other members of the political establishment,” Silver wrote. “Once a consensus view is established, it tends to reinforce itself until and unless there’s very compelling evidence for the contrary position. Social media, especially Twitter, can amplify the groupthink further. It can be an echo chamber.”