Besides President Obama, the big winner on Election Day was big data.
Big data's patron saint -- FiveThirtyEight blogger Nate Silver -- won the battle to predict the outcome of the contest between Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Where breathless pundits brandishing equivocating polls shouted from the rooftops over the last few weeks that the race for the White House was a "toss-up," or "too close to call," Silver and other poll aggregators sat back and calmly told anyone who would listen that the math told another story: Obama's re-election was never in danger.
Indeed, Silver successfully predicted the winner of the presidential election in all 50 states. That performance was one for the ages, earning him worldwide admiration and validating a polling aggregation model that had drawn mockery and ire from many pundits. In addition to picking the winner in all 50 states -- besting his 49 out of 50 slate in 2008 -- Silver was also the closest among the aggregators to picking the two candidates' popular vote percentages.
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