NYT’s Nate Silver Bets Scarborough on Obama Win

Matt Vasilogambros
National Journal

Nate Silver, of The New York Times, has taken some heat recently for his election predictions that show President Obama as the clear favorite in next week’s election. Now he’s telling one of his critics to put his money where his mouth is.

On MSNBC's Morning Joe on Tuesday, host Joe Scarborough criticized Silver’s prediction, which now states Obama has a 79 percent chance of winning the election, higher than it sat earlier this week.

"Nate Silver says this is a 73.6 percent chance that the president is going to win?” Scarborough said. “Nobody in that campaign thinks they have a 73 percent chance—they think they have a 50.1 percent chance of winning. And you talk to the Romney people, it's the same thing.”

Silver, apparently spurred by this criticism and others, made this wager to Scarborough on Twitter on Thursday: “If you think it's a toss-up, let's bet. If Obama wins, you donate $1,000 to the American Red Cross. If Romney wins, I do. Deal?”

Scarborough is already involved in one bet over the presidential election. On Wednesday’s show, he told Obama campaign senior adviser David Axelrod that he would grow a moustache if Obama won either in North Carolina or Florida. Axelrod, in turn, said he would shave his if Obama lost in Minnesota, Michigan or Pennsylvania.

Scarborough responded a few hours later, but wouldn't take the bait, tweeting: "Why don't we both agree to donate $1,000 to the Red Cross right now? Americans need our help now. #HelpOurNeighbors"

Silver upped the bet, however, to $2,000 after Scarborough's response.