Princeton Election Consortium

A first draft of electoral history. Since 2004

Entries from October 15th, 2014

The Problem With Polls, or…Are Senate Democrats Really Doomed?

October 15th, 2014, 11:49pm by Sam Wang

TNR essay:Tweet !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?’http’:'https’;if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+’://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js’;fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, ‘script’, ‘twitter-wjs’);Here at PEC, the calculations are built on the assumption that on average, polls provide an unbiased measure of eventual Election Day behavior. This assumption is our strength and our Achilles heel, and it is the topic of my new piece at The New Republic. The supporting calculations are here. In the [...]

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Tags: 2014 Election · Senate

Brief notes

October 14th, 2014, 10:36am by Sam Wang

We’ve been experimenting with presenting the probability as a decimal, on the grounds that the false precision of showing the ones-place is misleading. For example, “0.4″ means 40%. However, I’m not seeing a lot of love in comments about this change – a bit of a mixed reaction. Note that the uncertainty (1 sigma) on the [...]

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Tags: 2014 Election · Senate

Early voting picks up steam

October 12th, 2014, 8:48pm by Sam Wang

Early voting has started, most notably in Iowa, Florida, and North Carolina. Here is a rundown by Michael McDonald, who drills into the subject in amazing detail. While we’re at it, here’s his early voting tabulation page. Bookmark it! P.S. For general comments use the MSNBC thread. There’s a great conversation going on there.

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Tags: 2014 Election

MSNBC, Sunday 8:45am with Steve Kornacki

October 11th, 2014, 8:22pm by Sam Wang

On Sunday morning around 8:45am, I’ll be on MSNBC’s Up with Steve Kornacki. Update: Pre-empted by Ebola! On my mind at the moment: In the Senate, recent Iowa polling leaves us with a median of Ernst over Braley by just 0.5±0.8% (8 polls), a dead heat. Also, what’s up with Colorado and South Dakota? Finally, [...]

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Tags: 2014 Election · Senate

Everything is different today…or maybe not!

October 10th, 2014, 9:53am by Sam Wang

Tweet !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?’http’:'https’;if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+’://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js’;fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, ‘script’, ‘twitter-wjs’);At this moment, PEC’s probability of D+I is 49%. Yesterday it was 52%. Obviously everything is different, a volte-face. Right? Um… Only if you don’t have a clear understanding of uncertainty. This is common among even the most experienced journalists [NPR] [WaPo]. It makes the baby Ronald Fisher cry. For a [...]

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Tags: 2014 Election · Senate

No Wave

October 9th, 2014, 11:35am by Sam Wang

Tweet !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?’http’:'https’;if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+’://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js’;fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, ‘script’, ‘twitter-wjs’);Today let’s back up a step, and not focus so much on individual polls, or even single races. A larger picture emerges if we look at recent polls in the Senate and the House, as well as President Obama’s net disapproval rating. Taken in full, polls indicate a continuation of recent [...]

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Tags: 2014 Election · House · President · Senate

Poll geekery on All Things Considered and MSNBC

October 7th, 2014, 4:06pm by Sam Wang

NPR interviewed me and my lab members here at Princeton. It was fun, and it did get across that polls-alone might be enough. However, it didn’t have time to focus on one nuance, maybe because it’s a bit dull: PEC and other sites are not that different in their predictions. We’re talking one or less [...]

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Tags: 2014 Election

Political science model matches PEC long-term forecast

October 7th, 2014, 3:55pm by Sam Wang

In TalkingPointsMemo is a rundown of political-science models of this year’s Congressional campaign. Such models are research tools that use pre-campaign fundamentals to test a hypothesis about how a campaign “ought” to turn out. Today I point out that the Highton/Sides/McGhee Senate forecast has, in some sense, already been confirmed: it is essentially identical to [...]

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Tags: 2014 Election · Senate

A Reply To Nate Silver – With Factchecking

October 6th, 2014, 8:19am by Sam Wang

Political Wire: Tweet // This post:Tweet // In response to the “Twitter-crit” post below, Nate Silver wrote a longer piece for Political Wire. There’s also this interesting analysis by Daniel Altman at The Daily Beast. This Monday morning, I replied in Political Wire. Check it out. I thank PEC readers Bum, bks, Froggy, Kevin, AySz88, Hugh J [...]

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Tags: 2014 Election · Senate

Factchecking Nate Silver

October 5th, 2014, 4:39pm by Sam Wang

In response to the post below, Nate Silver wrote a longer piece for Political Wire. I am traveling, and will reply soon. You’ll want to read it. Check back soon!

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Tags: 2014 Election · Meta-analysis · Senate