Riverdale Country School

Mind • Character • Community

|
<<  Upper School News & Stories

Upper School News & Stories

Politics And Statistics
Posted 03/11/2015 03:40PM

What do you do if you like politics, statistics, and weather predictions?

If you are Harry Enten '07, you sign on with Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight.

Enten came to Riverdale on Wednesday as the featured speaker in American Elections, a student-led miniclass, to talk about political polling.

The senior political writer and analyst for FiveThirtyEight, Enten told the students that he wasn’t a good writer when he was at Riverdale, but he was good at history and statistics. “Anywhere I could use statistics, I did.”

That led him to a position at The Guardian and then to FiveThirtyEight, a news website that uses statistics to analyze and predict news. Now Enten spends much of his time watching the field of candidates for the 2016 presidential election, and writing comes a lot easier.

Enten explained to the students that 60 years ago, polling firms used quota sampling to predict election outcomes. That methodology was deeply flawed – leading to Truman’s surprise victory over Dewey in 1948.

As presidential elections became more closely contested, polling shifted to probability sampling, and pollsters became more sophisticated about determining the margin of error. Nate Silver refined the science of predicting election outcomes even further with a sophisticated statistical methodology that involves aggregated poll results and other data.

As presidential campaigns gear up for 2016, Enten said polling strategies will continue to change. “People don’t have landlines anymore,” he said. “The response rates are way down.”

So polling companies are looking at other mechanisms – such as online surveys, focus groups, and even the U.S. mail – and assessing the relative costs and reliability of the data.

“I am a huge fan of mail polls,” he said. “If you send someone a letter, they will probably read it.”

Blank

Riverdale Country School

Mind • Character • Community

Directions

Portals

Contact

5250 Fieldston Road
Bronx, NY 10471

LS: (718) 549-7780
MS/US: (718) 549-8810

info@riverdale.edu

Quick Links

Riverdale teaches students to become lifelong learners by fostering "growth" mindsets. Go There >

Riverdale encourages students to develop a sense of well-being. Mindfulness activities promote calm, focus, and self-reflection. Go There >

Quick Links

The River Campus offers a spacious, natural setting for our youngest students, inspiring learning and play. Go There >

Riverdale offers "STEAM" (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) teaching to Lower School students. Go There >

Quick Links

Middle School students explore hands-on learning through the Riverdale Maker program. Go There >

Project Knowmad allows Middle Schoolers to learn in a different way, using NYC as their classroom. Go There >

Quick Links

Riverdale teaches students to make connections through our interdisciplinary programs. Go There >

The club and activity program encourages students to explore their passions and try new things. Go There >

Quick Links

About 80 percent of Upper School students participate in athletics. Go There >

Riverdale's Hill Campus has an indoor pool, football stadium, weight room, and 3 playing fields. Go There >

Quick Links

Riverdale has entry points in Pre-K, Kindergarten, 6th, and 9th Grades. Visit our campus today. Go There >

Approximately 20 percent of Riverdale students receive some level of financial aid. Go There >

Quick Links

Last year's Annual Fund totaled nearly $5 million in gifts from alumni, parents, and friends of the school. Go There >

Have you included Riverdale in your estate plans? Please let us know and join our expanding group of Hackett Planned Giving Society members today. Go There >

powered by finalsite