PredictWise Blog

Election Update - 9/25, 40 Days

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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.

Here is New York Times and FiveThirtyEight compared with PredictWise. Not too much difference:Updating Predictions: senatorial, senatorial balance of power, and gubernatorial.

Possible error in Scottish predictions really large and likely favors NO

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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.

To provide some perspective on this crazy error possibility, let us consider what an 84% election the in US looks like right now. Gary Peters is 83% to defeat Terri Lynn Land for the open Michigan senate election. My current fundamental and poll-based forecast has Peters getting about 54% of the vote. I would put the possibility at him getting 60% approaching 0%!

Election Update - 9/17, 48 Days

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I last addressed the senate 6 days ago and there has been meaningful movement in two states. First, North Carolina has gone from leaning Democratic to strong Democratic. This is on the strength of some new polls. Second, Kansas has gone from very difficult to possible for the Democrats. That is assuming that Orman is going to caucus with the Democratic Party. This on the strength of the first polls showing the Democratic candidate basically gone and looking increasingly likely the Democratic candidate will not be on the ballot, despite the Lt. 'Governor's best efforts. It amazing to think that Kansas’ top three races: Senator, Governor, and Lt. Governor may all go Democratic.

Here is New York Times and FiveThirtyEight compared with PredictWise. Not too much difference:

Updating Predictions: senatorial, senatorial balance of power, and gubernatorial.

Election Update - 9/12, 53 Days

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There are more interesting gubernatorial elections than senatorial elections. While the immediate national stakes do not seem as high, that is a misconception in many ways. Governors such at Wisconsin’s Scott Walker (R) is one of the most influential people in the country advocating for breaking unions,  Maine’s Paul LePage (R) is not that far behind, Kansas’ Sam Brownback (R) is the poster-child for step tax cuts and austerity (which is not going well), and Florida’s Rick Scott (R) gained fame for drug testing the poor. In Arizona they are fighting over a legacy of controversial immigration policies and Georgia’s Jason Carter (D) is Jimmy’s grandson!

The most interesting races feature these influential people: GA, FL, AZ, WI, CT, ME, and KS are the core elections. I will start with ones that lean Republican. In Georgia Jason Carter is 24% to unseat Nathan Deal (R), best known nationally for Guns Everywhere Law … which Jason Carter also voter for in the state senate. The Florida election is between Rick Scott and Charlie Crist (D) the former Republican governor, who switched over in 2012. The Arizona election between Doug Ducey (R) and Fred DuVal (D) will indubitably turn on the controversial legacy of Jan Brewer (R). Wisconsin is all about Scott Walker who broke the unions and passed very harsh voting restrictions. Connecticut features incumbent Dan Malloy (D) against Thomas Foley (R). The first one that leans Democratic is Maine with Paul LePage on the ropes against Mike Michaud (D). Finally, in Kansas Sam Brownback is losing to Paul Davis (D), which would be a huge upset for both Kansas and the austerity measures that Brownback pushed as governor.

 Updating Predictions: senatorial, senatorial balance of power, and gubernatorial.

NFL Week 2

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I forgot to post this yeseterday, so I am one game short!