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Where are undecideds falling?

November 2nd, 2012, 4:30pm by Sam Wang

(original version published on temporary site with comment thread) In the home stretch to Tuesday, undecided voters are claimed to be an unknown that could increase President Obama’s lead – or turn the race around for Governor Romney. But many pundits (and comedians) don’t understand what it means to be “undecided.” Most undecideds probably have a […]

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Tags: 2012 Election · President

Nerds under attack!

October 29th, 2012, 10:00am by Sam Wang

Tweet Paul Krugman is calling out National Review Online for their attempted takedown of Nate Silver for biased methods and somehow cooking the books. Krugman writes: This is, of course, reminiscent of the attack on the Bureau of Labor Statistics — not to mention the attacks on climate science and much more. On the right, […]

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Tags: 2012 Election · President

Vast liberal conspiracies?

September 26th, 2012, 12:48pm by Sam Wang

(Welcome, readers of IEEE Spectrum! A small group, but enriched for quantitative people. Do not be fooled by the picture. I usually do not glower.) The Popular Vote Meta-Margin just hit 5.0%, its highest value of the campaign. I will briefly address the wishful thinking of Romney supporters, despite its faint whiff of hysteria. Some fantasies […]

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Tags: 2012 Election · House · President · Senate

How will the last holdouts break?

November 3rd, 2008, 2:45pm by Sam Wang

The national two-candidate margin is currently Obama leading by 7.0 +/- 0.9% (median+/-SEM, n=7, 10/31-11/2). There are between 1 and 6% “undecideds.” Can they wreak havoc anywhere? Today, Charles Franklin at Pollster.com writes about how undecideds have broken since 1948. These data can give us outer bounds on what may happen this year. Bottom line: […]

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Tags: 2008 Election

Covert decisionmaking and the Bradley effect

October 28th, 2008, 11:20am by Sam Wang

Today’s New York Times is a target-rich environment for a brain geek. In addition to my own op-ed on the brains of undecided voters, there’s an op-ed by David Brooks on irrational decision-making in financial markets. All decisions, all the time. And for my second geek, there’s the piece on polling analysis (in which I […]

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Tags: 2008 Election

The neuroscience of being “undecided”

October 7th, 2008, 10:30am by Sam Wang

At Pollster.com, Charles Franklin examines this year’s campaign trends. In his data, “undecided” voters make up a similar fraction to the current Obama-McCain polling margin. How many of them are really undecided? Based on psychology and neuroscience research, maybe not many.

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Tags: 2008 Election

Obama’s continuing rise, and a criticism from Silver

October 1st, 2008, 12:38pm by Sam Wang

The EV estimator is continuing its sharp rise (now Obama 322 EV, McCain 216 EV). It is catching up with the increase in support for Obama, which has been maintained after the first debate. National polls are now at a median of Obama +5.5 +/- 0.8% (n=12, Sept. 25-30; updated 12:53am). The EV estimator will […]

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Tags: 2008 Election · Site News

Red gets redder

September 16th, 2008, 9:53am by Sam Wang

Today on Pollster.com, Charles Franklin has an interesting graph detailing where John McCain’s post-convention bounce occurred. It illuminates why McCain was up by more in national polls (2%) than he appeared to be in the Electoral College (basically a tie).

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Tags: 2008 Election

To poll obsessives everywhere: welcome (and welcome back)

August 14th, 2008, 11:25am by Sam Wang

If you’re a reader from 2004, welcome back. For everyone old and new, take a good look around. There’s lots to see. At first glance, there are two reasons you might be less interested in the Meta-Analysis this year: In 2004, the suspense was greater. Although Bush was in trouble for most of the summer, […]

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Tags: Site News

A technical note: Non-independence among states

August 7th, 2008, 7:28am by Sam Wang

The comments on the last thread were quite instructive, and led me to look over Silver’s methods documentation in detail. Wow, that’s quite a complex procedure he has. I should probably address your questions about it before commencing with further description of the Meta-Analysis (which is not a prediction).

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Tags: Meta-analysis · Uncategorized