Joe Scarborough, Nate Silver Dispute Closeness of 2012 Election; Silver Bets 'Morning Joe' Host $1K Obama Wins

Joe Scarborough
MSNBC “Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough sees the 2012 election as a toss-up between President Barack Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

MSNBC “Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough sees the 2012 election as a toss-up between President Barack Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

Nate Silver, who runs the FiveThirtyEight blog at the New York Times, doesn’t think the election will be close – so he offered to make a $1,000 bet with Scarborough over the outcome, with the loser having to donate that sum to the American Red Cross.

Silver made the proposition after Scarborough sent a series of tweets early Thursday morning suggesting nobody knows how the 2012 election will unfold and that the race is a dead heat.

@JoeNBC: 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?” Silver wrote on his Twitter account.

The FiveThirtyEight blog writer also said Scarborough was wrong about nobody having a clue how the election will pan out, writing that “every bookmaker from Las Vegas to London stands with [FiveThirtyEight’s] assessment of the odds.”

According to the most recent post on FiveThirtyEight, Silver gives Obama a 79 percent chance of defeating Romney. Not only is Silver fairly certain Obama will win, but his forecast projects the president will have a comfortable electoral vote margin of victory – 300.4 electoral votes to 237.6 for Romney.

However, Silver prognosticates that the popular vote will be much closer, with Obama receiving 50.5 percent of the popular vote to Romney’s 48.6 percent.

Silver tracks a number of national and state polls on FiveThirtyEight to make his predictions. He successfully guessed the outcomes in 49 of 50 states in the 2008 election.

Scarborough did not directly respond to Silver’s bet, but suggested that he and the FiveThirtyEight blogger make $1,000 donations now to aid victims of Hurricane Sandy.

@fivethirtyeight Why don't we both agree to donate $1,000 to the Red Cross right now? Americans need our help now.#HelpOurNeighbors,” the “Morning Joe” host wrote.

Silver countered the proposal by upping the ante to a $2,000 bet.

@fivethirtyeight Since you have $2,000 to bet, let's instead donate $2,000 each to hurricane victims now. Americans need our help.#Sandy,” Scarborough responded.

A Twitter follower of both Silver and Scarborough said he would donate $1,000 if both men did the same.

Scarborough then indicated he was “giving now” in response to the tweet.

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