In the end, big data won.
Not the presidential election -- although there's no doubt that President Obama's victory tonight was aided by a sophisticated understanding of the American electorate born of years of analysis of voting trends and demographic shifts.
No, big data -- and its patron saint, 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 "tossup," 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.
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