The Obama campaign doesn’t want you listening to Nate Silver. In an email sent out earlier this afternoon, campaign manager Jim Messina urged voters to disregard the statistical guru’s article in this past weekend’s New York Times Magazine, which gives President Obama slim chances of retaking the White House.
Mr. Messina claims that Silver’s article ignores “the obvious reality that there has been virtually no difference among the GOP candidates–or between them and the Republican congressional leaders who refuse to do anything to restore economic security for the middle class.”
“It says neither you nor Barack Obama has a role to play in this election, because the outcome is essentially predetermined. We disagree,” Mr. Messina wrote.
In the offending article, which is ever-so-subtly entitled “Is Obama Toast?,” Silver presents a formula of his own design that seeks to determine the probability of an Obama victory based on three factors: the President’s approval ratings, his economic performance, and the ideological positioning of the Republican candidate. Silver’s analysis results in a grim forecast for President Obama in a variety of scenarios. For example, Silver gives President Obama only a 17 percent chance of winning if pitted against Mitt Romney in a stagnant economy.
Mr. Messina’s email closes with a postscript telling voters “this election is in your hands” before, of course, asking for contributions.