There are three things about this week's guess that should be noted.
- I got beat by Nate Silver's guess, 88.8% to 88.2%.
- I did much better than I did last week.
- I got Gingrich over Santorum and Nate Silver went the other way.
Mitt Romney: 39.3% (Silver beats me by 2.9%)
Ron Paul: 22.9% (I beat Silver by 2.7%)
Jon Huntsman: 16.9% (Silver was at 17.0%, I was at 16.7%, so he was 0.1% closer)
Newt Gingrich: 9.4% (We both overshot, I lose by 1.2%)
Rich Santorum: 9.4% (We both overshot, I win by 1.1%)
Rick Perry 0.7%: (Again, we both went high, I win by 0.1%)
Buddy Roemer: 0.4% (Silver was silent, I went high and lost 0.8%)
I learned several things this week, mainly about thinking like a mathematician instead of thinking like a statistician, which is my serious advantage over Silver in the long run.
- Don't chase a single data point. I was impressed by Buddy Roemer's results in one poll and changed my prediction because of it. I should not do that and won't do it again.
- There's no point in being precise when you don't know what you are talking about. The data I collect is to the nearest percent. I shouldn't work with numbers to the nearest tenth of a percent. My predictions will be to the nearest percent. It giveth and it taketh away, but for the most part, it will giveth to me. I might decided to round to the nearest half a percent, but no closer. The data doesn't deserve it.
- Keep track of the recent, ignore ancient history. Silver tweeted that every winner broke the 40% barrier since 1972. This is because he's a statistician. Completely meaningless number and somebody who isn't fooled by useless hard work could see through it in a fraction of a second.
With no false modesty, I'm better than Nate Silver and I really do believe I will beat him at this in the long run. I could use an old cliche and say I've forgotten more mathematics than he will ever know, but once again with no false modesty, I haven't forgotten it.
He's a statistician. I'm a mathematician. I outrank him.