Henry Farrell worries that the popularity of Nate Silver, and other modelers, will lead to a polling decline:
[I]f politically interested consumers start paying more attention to the aggregate tracking models instead of triumphing or despairing in response to the vagaries of individual polls, then there is less incentive to produce these individual polls in the first place. If people want to read about the results of Nate Silver’s model rather than the one shot picture provided by e.g. the Washington Post’s latest poll, then the Washington Post obviously has less incentive to pay for an expensive poll which will garner less readership. Similarly, if people aren’t interested in individual polls, then they are going to be much less effective as loss leaders for polling firms.
And this presents a problem, because Silver, Jackman and everyone else need to feed their models with lots of individual polls.
Relatedly, John Sides plotted pollster accuracy. Chart after the jump: