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Frequently Asked Questions

What does 538 mean?

FiveThirtyEight, sometimes rendered as 538, is a website that focuses on opinion poll analysis, politics, economics, and sports blogging. The website, which takes its name from the number of electors in the United States electoral college, was founded on March 7, 2008 as a polling aggregation website with a blog created by analyst Nate Silver.

Why isn't the 538 polling database publicly available?

As for why the complete 538 polling database had not been released publicly, Silver responded: "The principal reason is because I don't know that I'm legally entitled to do so.

How are public polls listed on the FiveThirtyEight polls page?

Polls conducted after June 28, 2018, the date this page was published, are listed by the date that FiveThirtyEight collected them; polls conducted before then are listed under the last date that the poll was in the field. Polls from firms that are banned by FiveThirtyEight are not shown.

Did silver's 538 model correctly predict the winner of the election?

The 538 model correctly predicted the winner of all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Silver, along with at least two academic-based analysts who aggregated polls from multiple pollsters, thus not only correctly predicted all 50 states, but also all nine " swing states ". In contrast, individual pollsters were less successful.


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