Nate Silver, January 5, 2010, Wicked Awesome Thoughts on Massachusetts Special Election:

Rasmussen is supposed to have a poll out tomorrow (Tuesday) on the Massachusetts Senate Special Election, which will take place on the 19th. There’s been some speculation, mostly from Republican blogs but also from some Democratic analysts, that the Republican candidate, Scott Brown, might have a chance, which would potentially wreck the Democrats’ chances to pass health care reform.

I’ll be curious to see what Rasmussen and the other pollsters (PPP? Suffolk?) have to say, and bears remembering that special elections are highly unpredictable affairs. But I’d be somewhat surprised if the election turns out to be especially competitive.

Nate Silver, January 14, 2010, OK, It’s a Toss-Up:

Earlier today I tweeted about how there wasn’t enough evidence to describe the Massachusetts special election as a “toss-up”, as some other forecasters have done, based on the information available to us at that time.

Well, now there’s some new evidence. And it isn’t good for Martha Coakley.In particular, the evidence is a Suffolk University poll that shows the Republican, Scott Brown, ahead by 4 points, 50-46.

Nate Silver, January 17, 2010, 538 Still Rates Massachusetts as Toss-up:

Please don’t be too enthralled with/scared by the specific numbers below. They’re based a number of assumptions which may not be valid. However, I agree with the characterization that the model comes to, which is that the Massachusetts special election should continue to be regarded as a toss-up.

Nate Silver, January 19, 2010, Defying Odds, Republican Brown Becomes Next Senator from Massachusetts:

In an outcome that would have been unthinkable just weeks ago, Republican Scott Brown has become the Senator-elect from Massachusetts.

Nate Silver, February 8, 2010, Sarah Palin Needs Help:

Sarah Palin needs help. So does almost every politician — but Palin needs it more than most. She is young. She is inexperienced. She’s not especially well connected. She’s strong-willed and a little impulsive. And call me a hater, but the woman just ain’t that bright…

Update: Talk about failing to see the forest for the trees, here is Nate Silver’s latest, Republicans — Not Obama — More Often on Wrong Side of Public Opinion. “More often” means nothing when the public is against Obama on the single biggest agenda-item of the Obama administration, health care. And when the public opposition to that agenda reflects a broader distrust of Obama’s plans to expand government further into our lives and to spend our way into unsustainable debt. That is the forest, but Democrats keep looking at the trees.

Update No. 2: Jay Cost from Real Clear Politics gets it about right:

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