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Here's How Nate Silver Did With His Oscar Predictions

For Starters, He Failed to Predict That Jennifer Lawrence Would Trip on the Stairs

By Published on .

Nate Silver
Nate Silver Credit: Earl Wilson/New York Times
Nate Silver, the man who predicted President Barack Obama's reelection and correctly called all 50 states -- and is included in this year's just-released Ad Age Digital A-List -- issued his Oscar predictions (for the top six categories) last week in a post titled "Oscar Predictions, Election-Style." His approach was to "look solely at the other awards that were given out in the run-up to the Oscars: the closest equivalent to pre-election polls. These have always been the best predictors of Oscar success."

How'd he do? Here's your executive summary:

Best Picture: "Argo" -- correct!
Best Director: Steven Spielberg -- incorrect! (Ang Lee actually won. It's worth noting that Silver gave Spielberg only the slightest statistical edge over Lee.)
Best Actor in a Leading Role: Daniel Day-Lewis -- right!
Best Actress in a Leading Role: Jennifer Lawrence -- right!
Best Supporting Actor: Tommy Lee Jones -- wrong! (Christoph Waltz actually won. Silver wrote that Waltz "might be my choice if I were going based on which performance I liked the most, instead of trying to guess at what the Academy will do.")
Best Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway -- right!

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Simon Dumenco is the "Media Guy" columnist for Advertising Age. You can follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.

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