Princeton Election Consortium

Innovations in democracy since 2004

Outcome: Biden 306 EV (D+1.2% from toss-up), Senate 50 D (D+1.0%)
Nov 3 polls: Biden 342 EV (D+5.3%), Senate 50-55 D (D+3.9%), House control D+4.6%
Moneyball states: President AZ NE-2 NV, Senate MT ME AK, Legislatures KS TX NC

CNN, Smerconish, 9:40am Eastern

September 13th, 2014, 8:27am by Sam Wang

Off to caffeinate. [Update: video here.]

Tags: 2014 Election

20 Comments so far ↓

  • A New Jersey Farmer

    Spent some time trolling around the polling and political sites. It’s great to see how you and PEC are making an impact in the way that polling data is interpreted. It’s also interesting to note the arguments that other media types use to dismiss or minimize your hypothesis. The sauce is getting thick.

    • ArcticStones

      Yep. And Nate Silver’s uncouth attacks have a simple explanation, imho: Nate feels that the pre-eminence of his brand (real or imagined) is threatened.

    • Sam Wang

      That is great to know. At this point I have to keep the message simple and clear: look at polls only, and note that NYT and 538 have a finger on the scale.

      And of course acknowledge the possibility that polls can change.

  • aub

    Saw the CNN stuff and you were awesome!! wow

  • Bert

    Your system seems so much more rational to me than Silver’s. If you strictly look at the polls, Kansas seems to favor the Independent and NC the Democrat. The GOP simply won’t have the majority without those to states. If the polls in Kansas and NC start moving in the GOP column, then it will make sense to predict GOP control of the Senate. Until that happens though, Silver
    is being pretty reckless with his prediction.

    • Frank

      I’ve never understood why Silver is still sticking with the so-called fundamentals. His predictions in 2012, while it was true overall, wasn’t as closely accurate as PEC and

      Is there something about his particular methodology he’s sticking to which he feels gives a more accurate prediction?

    • Andrew



  • SFBay

    Sam, is there anyway you can link to the video of your interview with Michael? Or maybe go all high tech and imbed it here on PEC?

  • SFBay

    I just watched the segment on Smerconish’s show. You’re channeling Joe Friday from Dragnet. Just the facts ma’am. Thanks for the clear explanation of you model in 5 minutes or less.

  • Marc

    Sam, The only thing that matters in the end is the accuracy and earliness of your predictions for the outcome on election day. To the end, continue to be crystal clear and open about your methods and predictions. Focus on that, don’t rise to any bait, and don’t engage others outside of the above.

    • 538 Refugee

      IF this holds without much change what will it say about all that campaign spending blitz towards the end of the cycle?

  • Billy

    Love your eyeroll at the mention of the 538 “feud”. CNN and media outlets love to generate controversy, but you want to stay on topic.

  • Art Brown

    Ahh, I see in a previous post you identify the meta-margin as D+I. Maybe you should modify your header accordingly? There seems a significant probability that Mr. Orman decides who is in the majority. Or should I say, like Professor DeLong, Senate Majority Leader Orman?

  • A New Jersey Farmer

    Still concerned about Alaska, though.

  • Amitabh Lath

    Nice interview. The segment on how Romney’s people were shocked by the results reminded me of the 1988 election. I was fresh in grad school and the MIT student groups for Dukakis had convinced themselves that the polls just had to be wrong, and there was a huge wave of progressive voters who were simply not being sampled.

    They too had numbers and weights and analyses (for instance, Jesse Jackson’s support!) that sure sounded convincing.

    • Sam Wang

      Those all look the same to me.

      If regression toward the mean holds, those probabilities should all move D-ward in the coming weeks. We’ll see.

    • Kenny

      538 updated this afternoon to Republicans 54.7% (previously 58%).

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