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NY Times' Nate Silver speaks to Ripon College grads

RIPON, WI (WTAQ) - Hillary Clinton would almost certainly get the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination if she wants it.

That’s what New York Times’ statistician Nate Silver said at Ripon College Sunday, where he took part in a panel discussion and spoke to graduates.

Silver accurately predicted the winners of all 50 states in last November’s White House contest.

In answering an audience question, Silver said the next Democratic nomination is Clinton’s for the taking. She lost her party’s bid to Barack Obama in 2008, but Silver says her stature is higher after her four years as secretary of state.

Clinton has been under fire for the Benghazi incident in Libya last year, in which 4 Americans were killed at their embassy.

Silver does not believe the controversy would seriously damage her political chances. He said Clinton’s success against a Republican in 2016 would depend on the state of the economy and Obama’s popularity at the time.

Silver told a reporter that Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker should be taken seriously as a potential GOP White House candidate. He said Walker has succeeded in pushing the agenda to the right, in a state that has voted for Democrats for president since 1988.