Dean “Unskewed Polls” Chambers: I Was Wrong, Nate Silver Was Right
I was wondering whether we’d hear from the guy behind UskewedPolls.com given last night’s results. His website hasn’t been updated since yesterday and he hasn’t posted anything at his Examiner.com site. However, he did give an interview to BBrett LoGiurato at Business Insider:
Dean Chambers, the man who garnered praise from the right and notoriety on the left for his “Unskewed Polling” site, admitted today that his method was flawed.
“Nate Silver was right, and I was wrong,” Chambers said in a phone interview.
Chambers’ method of “unskewing” polls involved re-weighting the sample to match what he believed the electorate would look like, in terms of party identification. He thought the electorate would lean more Republican when mainstream pollsters routinely found samples that leaned Democratic.
But as it turned out, the pollsters were right — self-identified Democrats outnumbered Republicans by 6% in election exit polls.
“I think it was much more in the Democratic direction than most people predicted,” Chambers said. “But those assumptions — my assumptions — were wrong.”
He actually thinks conservative-leaning pollsters like Scott Rasmussen have a lot more explaining to do.
“He has lost a lot of credibility, as far as I’m concerned,” Chambers said. “He did a lot of surveys. A lot of those surveys were wrong.”
I have to admit that I’ll give the guy some credit for admitting an error and not trying to paper it over, although it is worth noting that he made a major change in his Electoral College projection over the course of just four days. The comments about Rasmussen are also interesting. I wonder if others on the right will feel the same way. Rasmussen’s polling was way off, we’ll have to wait until Nate Silver does his Pollster Rankings to see how far off, but he was clearly didn’t reach the level of accuracy he achieved in 2008. But that what happens when you tailor the presumptions behind your polls to please your customers.