DavidMRothschild on October 19, 2014 @ 10:26AM
The last week and a half has been an unmitigated disaster for the Democrats in the polls and their fleeting chances of holding onto the majority of the senate.
The Democrats only bright spot has been Georgia, where Michelle Nunn has pushed into a tight race with David Perdue. The most likely outcome of the election is a runoff between the two candidates, as it is likely neither will get 50% of the vote. Which is why, despite leading many polls, Nunn is still slightly less than 50% to win, as Libertarian supporters are little more likely to break for Perdue in a runoff.
The biggest movement is in Kansas, where voters appear to be second guessing their choice of a Democratic leaning independent. The next biggest movement is more surprising, as the incumbent Democratic senator Udall in CO has fallen steadily behind the Republican challenger Gardner. Finally, the Iowa senate race has been a bit more of a regular roller coaster as Ernst, the Republican, holds a slight, but steady, lead over Braley.
DavidMRothschild on October 17, 2014 @ 5:48PM
The race for the control of the U.S. senate feels a lot like the race for control of the Electoral College (i.e., president), but there are a few crucial differences. First, the only thing that matters after the Electoral College convenes is who won the Electoral College, but minority party senators still get to vote for the next six years (and may tip the majority in the next election or sooner). Second, the Electoral College is 51 elections about the exact same two people, while senatorial elections are about 36 different sets of candidates. Thus, movements in the Electoral College are highly correlated, but senatorial elections are very independent.
DavidMRothschild on October 17, 2014 @ 10:36AM
I launched a new website, with a few friends, including Miro Dudik and David Pennock, called Microsoft Prediction Lab. The website consolidates research into both non-representative polling and prediction games. I have spent years understanding how various raw data: polling, prediction markets, and social media and online data, can be transformed into indicators of present interest and sentiment, as well as predictions, of varying populations. Then, how decision makers allocate resources with the low latency and quantifiable market intelligence that we produce. Microsoft Prediction Lab allows us to continuously innovate not only on the path of raw data to analytics to consumption, but the collection of the data itself.
DavidMRothschild on October 13, 2014 @ 1:29PM
We use really simple and transparent methods for creating forecasts for the gubernatorial and senatorial elections. Everything I do is outlined is this forthcoming paper. The method is unchanged from 2012, but the coefficients are updated with 2012 data.
I consider three different types of data: fundamental, polling, and prediction markets. Fundamental data includes: incumbency, past election results, change in economic indicators, presidential approval, state ideology, and biographical data. Polling data includes aggregated traditional polls Huffington Post’s Pollster and Real Clear Politics. Prediction market data includes prices on contracts from Betfair.
DavidMRothschild on October 10, 2014 @ 7:59AM
The balance of power in the senate is both extremely tight and extremely important. I get that. But, race for race, the gubernatorial elections are fascinating to follow. We have seven races between 30% and 70% and all of them have national implications. The most interesting part of this list is that in six of the seven races the incumbent (or seat) is a Republican, many thought leaders of their party. Depending on how many of them turn Democratic, the narrative of a Republican wave will be in serious jeopardy. From most likely Republican to most likely Democratic:
DavidMRothschild on October 08, 2014 @ 1:27PM
DavidMRothschild on October 08, 2014 @ 1:24PM
The senatorial forecasts have remained remarkably steady over the last week with two small exceptions. First, Kansas has come into stronger focus and the Independent Orman is pulling away from the incumbent Roberts. Second, Michigan, which was leaning heavily Democratic is now a solid Democratic (and off of our chart!).
DavidMRothschild on October 01, 2014 @ 10:37AM
The biggest update of the senatorial elections over the last few days is the good news for Republicans in both Colorado and Iowa. Both of these have moved to leaning Democratic to toss-ups. Again, nothing extremely newsworthy in either of the races, but a gradual movement in the polls.
DavidMRothschild on September 25, 2014 @ 8:22AM
Over the last eight days there has been substantial movement in four of the key senatorial elections. The first is Kansas, where I feel my prediction is a little low. The reason is that the fundamental model, which still has some power, is not well identified on independent elections! But, you have to run with what the data says. Second, Colorado, Arkansas, and Louisiana have all trended a little bit towards the Republicans over the last few days. None of these are serious issues, as much as the release of new polling.
It is important to note two weird structural things about this election. First, the independent in Kansas has declared for the Democrats if they get 50 seats or more and the Republicans if they have 51 seats or more. There is a 20% likelihood of the senate being 49 Democrats and 50 Republicans, with Kansas not sure. Second, the Louisiana race goes to a December 6 runoff if neither candidate gets 50%. This is extremely likely, making the standard three-way polling very confusing, because the third candidate is a Republican. This gives the Republican an increased edge in any runoff election.
DavidMRothschild on September 18, 2014 @ 11:02AM
Using betting market data from Betfair, I have the NO vote in the Scottish independence election at 84% to succeed. And, I can break that down:
6% for 0% to 40% of the vote for YES
26% for 40% to 45% of the vote for YES
51% for 45% to 50% of the vote for YES
12% for 50% to 55% of the vote for YES
3% for 55% to 60% of the vote for YES
2% for 60% to 100% of the vote for YES
There are two key points. First, this is a really wide range. The polls are all clustered at NO being a few points ahead, but the markets are giving 32% that NO wins by 10 percentage points or more! Second, if the polls are way off, the swing is going to favor the NO vote. Intelligent review of the polls are both surmising and determining this possibility.