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Poll-Based System Predicts U.S. Election Results For President, Senate

timothy posted about a year and a half ago | from the pyschopathic-narcissists-for-the-tie dept.

Democrats 519

An anonymous reader writes "Election Analytics is a website developed by Dr. Sheldon Jacobson at the University of Illinois designed to predict the outcomes of the U.S. presidential and senatorial elections, based on reported polling data. From the site: 'The mathematical model employs Bayesian estimators that use available state poll results (at present, this is being taken from Rasmussen, Survey USA, and Quinnipiac, among others) to determine the probability that each presidential candidate will win each of the states (or the probability that each political party will win the Senate race in each state). These state-by-state probabilities are then used in a dynamic programming algorithm to determine a probability distribution for the number of Electoral College votes that each candidate will win in the 2012 presidential election. In the case of the Senate races, the individual state probabilities are used to determine the number of seats that each party will control.'" You can tweak the site by selecting a skew toward the Republican or Democratic tickets, and whether it's mild or strong. Right now, this tool shows the odds favor another four years for Obama, even with a strong swing for the Republicans.

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519 comments

Not possible! (4, Funny)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about a year and a half ago | (#41268775)

Fox news tells me that Romney will win 59 states and sweep Obama and his extreme socialism away forever.

Meanwhile, 13 out of 10 slashdotters are supporting Ron Paul, so clearly he is the only possible winner.

Re:Not possible! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41268867)

Fox news tells me that Romney will win 59 states

That was Obama [youtube.com]. I mean, Down With Romney!

MSNBC is just as biased (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41268881)

MSNBC told me that 2+2=4! That's biased towards those dam socialist mathematicians and scientists. Every good free-thinkin' fam'ly values-lovin' 'Mur'kin knows that 2+2=5!

Re:MSNBC is just as biased (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41269211)

Uh? I guess that 2+2=24 sounds about right to the average American. I'm not sure I'd be laughing at the ones thinking 2+2=120

Re:Not possible! (1, Flamebait)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year and a half ago | (#41268991)

Fox news tells me that Romney will win 59 states and sweep Obama and his extreme socialism away forever.

Uff, did I miss the accession of Iraq and Afghanistan?

Re:Not possible! (4, Insightful)

udachny (2454394) | about a year and a half ago | (#41269013)

Funny.

BTW., Romney already lost because he is now trying to out-Obama Obama, out-Democrat the Democrats. How is that going to work at all? Clearly he is not a Democrat, if somebody wants to vote for Democrats they will vote for Obama.

My point is that the entire 'intellectual' debate of the Right is now: we are going to do a better job PROTECTING Medicare (and SS I guess) than Obama would.

That's a lost fight right there.

Re:Not possible! (4, Insightful)

allcoolnameswheretak (1102727) | about a year and a half ago | (#41269639)

What are you talking about? Romney is pretending to be more right-wing than he really is in order to appease core republican voters. The only reason he's the republican nominee is that many people in the GOP thought they needed a more moderate guy in order to beat Obama. Now that they have the guy it seems they are worried about their voter base, which is why Romney has drifted to the right and they nominated Tea Party darling Ryan as vice president.

Re:Not possible! (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41269353)

Fox news tells me that Romney will win 59 states and sweep Obama and his extreme socialism away forever.

Well, Paul Ryan ran a marathon in 43 seconds, so how could his ticket lose?

Poll based system... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41268793)

Isn't that called an election?

Re:Poll based system... (4, Interesting)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about a year and a half ago | (#41269561)

That would be the definitive poll.

The idea of something like this is to illustrate how different shifts would effect the result.

If you're a campaign for example, and you're trying to figure out how to win usually, tools like this will tell you which areas are still 'in play' and might be worth fighting in (spending your advertising dollars). The campaigns themselves almost certainly have huge amounts of data about what potential voters in each area care about, and how they're going to vote, but that analysis requires a large team of people to manage. This is more for people to play with relatively easily.

In that sense I'm not hugely fond of the tool, it's still a bit too complex for easy casual fiddling, and if I was a serious campaigner I'd likely have much more data to work from - the question becomes how easy is it to flip a particular state (the obvious ones from the charts are Iowa, Ohio, Florida, and Wisconsin ) rather than which would it be nice to flip. The democrats would like to pick up texas, the republicans California, but that doesn't seem likely.

I'm in canada, so it's a little different here, but in our last federal election the NDP managed to take themselves from 3rd party to official opposition essentially from one issue, in one province (French language stuff in quebec), in one stroke they pulled the rug out from one party (the bloc quebecois) - and picked up a lot of seats putting themselves ahead of one of our two big parties (the liberals). A real GOP strategist is looking at probably 4 -6 states and wondering if there's a major issue they can take a stance on an flip the whole state. The rest of us are just playing with sliders to wonder about what could happen.

Interesting Algorithm (2)

pubwvj (1045960) | about a year and a half ago | (#41268801)

"Right now, this tool shows the odds favor another four years for Obama, even with a strong swing for the Republicans."

I'm not surprised since the incumbent has a strong advantage and we have a weak opponent on the Republican ticket. It is next election when the Republicans will logically field a strong candidate as they'll have far better odds of winning.

Re:Interesting Algorithm (2, Insightful)

RobbieCrash (834439) | about a year and a half ago | (#41268941)

Is there a strong republican candidate? I know there's a lot of nut jobs that the vocal minority loves, but none of them have a better chance than Nader ever has.

Re:Interesting Algorithm (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41269277)

There was Jon Huntsman.

Re:Interesting Algorithm (4, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year and a half ago | (#41269545)

Jon Huntsman turned out to be incredibly bad at campaigning. Not a little bad, like "What on earth are you thinking" bad.

Re:Interesting Algorithm (3, Insightful)

Arker (91948) | about a year and a half ago | (#41269403)

Several polls showed Dr Paul would do better against Obama than Romney (or any of the other names that were thrown around in the primaries.) He has pretty good appeal with independents and swing voters and Romney, obviously, doesnt..

Romney was the pick of the RNC and they got worried enough about the convention to show their hand and openly coronate him in Tampa. They went way over anything needed to ensure the nomination and openly wrote the state parties and the activist base out of having any real role in the nominating process from now on, an interesting strategic decision to be sure. It's plainly suicidal for the party in conventional terms. The grass roots are critical to electoral success. But these guys seem to only see the affect of money. Money certainly has an effect, yes, but trying to pay people to do the work that grass roots activists used to do, after running them all out of the party, may not work out as well as these guys think.

Romney is a candidate that seems to be hand picked for his inelectability - he alienates potential swing voters with one hand and hardcore republican faithful with the other. All in all it's very hard not to think that the RNC must *really* want Obama to win his second term.

Newt (2)

gr8_phk (621180) | about a year and a half ago | (#41269621)

I was all for Newt, and things were looking fairly good. Then he called out Romney for being "elitist" which I agreed with. Then all the elites dumped support for Newt and went all-in for Romney. So now the republicans are being funded by a small bunch of elitists who all want handouts (er tax cuts) and the dems are out of control with spending and mandated Obamacare. What's a guy to do?

Re:Interesting Algorithm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41269677)

Ron Paul is a nutjob, with no chance, ever.

Gary Johnson is someone they could have really worked with, but obviously it's too late for that.

Re:Interesting Algorithm (5, Funny)

Arabian Nights (2597797) | about a year and a half ago | (#41269405)

Ron Paul is a better Republican candidate. They're saving him for 2016, when he'll defeat Biden in a landslide.

Re:Interesting Algorithm (4, Funny)

arth1 (260657) | about a year and a half ago | (#41269609)

Ron Paul is a better Republican candidate. They're saving him for 2016, when he'll defeat Biden in a landslide.

I for one welcome our new geriatric overlords.
Can we get Bob Dole and John Glenn as VP candidates too?

Re:Interesting Algorithm (0)

Dragonslicer (991472) | about a year and a half ago | (#41269563)

There could be, but none of them want to deal with the nut jobs. Instead, they're getting the hell out. See, for example, Olympia Snowe, who for several years was considered the most likely to become the first female president.

Re:Interesting Algorithm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41269649)

See, for example, Olympia Snowe, who for several years was considered the most likely to become the first female president.

Currently, the bookmakers consider it more likely that this honor will go to Rand Paul.

Re:Interesting Algorithm (4, Funny)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about a year and a half ago | (#41269069)

and we have a weak opponent on the Republican ticket

"We"?

Who's there with you? Or is this the royal "we" as in, "My maid was cleaning the silver with a paper towel and I had to explain to the wretched girl that we don't use paper towels on the silver here at the Romney house. I'm seriously thinking of sending her back to Ecuador."

Re:Interesting Algorithm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41269237)

It's "we" as in "we the people of the United States."

Idiot.

Re:Interesting Algorithm (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41269503)

It's "we" as in "we the fascist idiots of the United States, who are in the minority but yell very loudly on Fox News and AM radio."

FTFY.

Re:Interesting Algorithm (0, Flamebait)

Glock27 (446276) | about a year and a half ago | (#41269667)

FTFY.

You fixed it about as well as the average illiterate illegal alien writes a doctoral thesis. Good job?

Meanwhile, Romney will in fact clean 0's clock come election day. Sadly, we currently only have two choices for President in this country, and 0 is a complete disgrace. Too bad, so sad...I guess he'll have to suffer as a one-percenter living a life of luxury in Hawaii.

At least there are plenty of golf courses there...

Re:Interesting Algorithm (2)

pubwvj (1045960) | about a year and a half ago | (#41269439)

"We" as in We the American people who go and vote in November. You read entirely too much into things. Don't be so paranoid.

Re:Interesting Algorithm (1, Insightful)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about a year and a half ago | (#41269109)

Relative to what?

I think Romney/Ryan is a ticket better than anything they have fielded since Reagan was President.

And if Obama wins it will be a re-election of a President with the highest unemployment rate since FDR.

It seems to me Republicans have two big issues - demographics; that is Caucasian people are a decreasing percentage of voters, and they have a social platform that is becoming increasingly unpopular with women. You can't win with so much of the electorate unhappy with your policies.

Re:Interesting Algorithm (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41269421)

And if Obama wins it will be a re-election of a President with the highest unemployment rate since FDR.

Interestingly, FDR was elected 4 times and followed a Republican president that presided over the1929 crash.

Re:Interesting Algorithm (1, Interesting)

Glock27 (446276) | about a year and a half ago | (#41269701)

It seems to me Republicans have two big issues - demographics; that is Caucasian people are a decreasing percentage of voters, and they have a social platform that is becoming increasingly unpopular with women.

Romney has been skyrocketing in terms of female popularity lately...

You can't win with so much of the electorate unhappy with your policies.

I presume you're talking about 0bama? heh

He's in for some hurt come November! :-)

Well thats a relief. (0)

Kenja (541830) | about a year and a half ago | (#41268807)

Guess I wont even bother voting since its already been decided!

Re:Well thats a relief. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41268857)

Don't blame me, I'm a non voting felon.

I blame you. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41269113)

Don't blame me, I'm a non voting felon.

Convicted felons can vote in most states if not currently on probation or parole.

Re:Well thats a relief. (5, Insightful)

rodarson2k (1122767) | about a year and a half ago | (#41268911)

Instead, consider "wasting" your vote in a different way: By voting for someone who isn't running on a major party ticket.

Maybe if enough people realize that their vote in their state isn't actually important when it comes to choosing the next president, they can cast a vote that says "the next next president shouldn't be a Republicrat". Only 6 states in the country aren't 90% in favor of one party or the other, and with the exception of florida, none of them really have much in the way of population. If you live in a 90% state, and were going to vote for the "lesser of two evils", why note vote for "neither of two evils". It'll make no more difference, but a much stronger statement.

Re:Well thats a relief. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41269201)

waiting every 4 years to express your outrage at the system by voting for a zero-chance third party candidate for president is kinda retarded.

I completely agree with your sentiment ... but if you want to build a viable third party you can't start at the top. This person will need a network of other party members spread throughout the rest of the system to effectively govern.

If you don't believe me, just look at the damn near unbelievable opposition that Obama has faced ... and HE HAS ALLIES ... just not as many as the other guys. Now imagine your third party candidate SOMEHOW manages to get into office, and now faces bipartisan unified brick-wall of opposition.

A real 3rd (or 4th or 5th) party is desperately needed in America, but it can ONLY happen when people who agree with that statement start paying attention to other elections than just the Presidential one ... right down to your school boards and city councils.

There is a substantive difference between the Democratic & Republican party .. even if you fall for this "two sides of the same coin" philosophy of apathy, you simply cannot deny that even if actual policy is somewhat similar, the tactics each side is willing to use to win are NOT EQUIVALENT. This election is as much a referendum on what we find acceptable in public political discourse, as it is a referendum on policy.

Do you want to live in a country run by wealthy elite willing to co-opt religion and twist it for their own gain? who have no problem outright buying elections? who have no problem with fear mongering and propagandizing in ways that would make the originators of the term blush? People who, in spite of their own incredibly expensive and exclusive educations, have no problem bashing any form of perceived intellectualism as "gay" ... oh and while they're at it, also scapegoating gays, and immigrants and non-christians as "the problem with this country?"

Even if somehow you honestly believe (R) & (D) are the same when it comes to policy, you simply cannot claim they are the same when it comes to that crap.
you have a choice. Do not throw it away on a third party candidate. Do that crap in elections where it could actually matter, and take this opportunity to make a stand.

Re:Well thats a relief. (2)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | about a year and a half ago | (#41269393)

If you don't believe me, just look at the damn near unbelievable opposition that Obama has faced ... and HE HAS ALLIES ... just not as many as the other guys. Now imagine your third party candidate SOMEHOW manages to get into office, and now faces bipartisan unified brick-wall of opposition.

I think after 4 more years of overriding law by executive order and administrative fiat, and with congressional favorability ratings in the single digits, we'll probably have a president that can govern by fiat, so opposition will be irrelevant.

Re:Well thats a relief. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41269295)

That worked out well in 2000 didn't it.

Re:Well thats a relief. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41269483)

Remember, in most states write in votes are only counted as write in. So a vote for Mickey Mouse is the same as a vote for anyone else not on the ballot.

Write in votes are only really examined if they could make a difference or if a write in candidate files the appropriate paper work.

I learned that the hard way when I voted for a write in candidate in California.

Re:Well thats a relief. (1)

l0ungeb0y (442022) | about a year and a half ago | (#41269507)

Republicrat? The correct term is Democratic-Republican, since that was the original name of the party before it split into two.

Re:Well thats a relief. (2)

Dragonslicer (991472) | about a year and a half ago | (#41269579)

If you live in a 90% state, and were going to vote for the "lesser of two evils", why note vote for "neither of two evils".

Screw that. I would never settle for the lesser of two evils. Cthulu 2012!

Actually, I'll probably write in Stewart/Colbert again. Or go with Roseanne Barr if she's on the ballot in my state.

Re:Well thats a relief. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41269657)

Or you could vote libertarian or green. Gary Johnson and Jill Stein are much better options than Obromney.

Re:Well thats a relief. (3, Insightful)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about a year and a half ago | (#41269663)

Instead, consider "wasting" your vote in a different way: By voting for someone who isn't running on a major party ticket.

Maybe if enough people ... were going to vote for the "lesser of two evils"...

I think I see where you're going with this.
C'thulhu 2012 - Why vote for the lesser evil?

Re:Well thats a relief. (5, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about a year and a half ago | (#41269123)

Guess I wont even bother voting since its already been decided!

You may not be able to vote if you live in a Republican state and your photo ID is older than 9 months or if your voter registration shows a middle initial but your ID card doesn't or your photo ID happened to expire yesterday, or you have the same name or a similarly spelled name or your photo ID is issued by one of the state universities or is a Veteran's Administration ID or if you're darker than a paper bag.

They take democracy seriously in those states and they want to protect it at all costs, even if it means several million legitimate citizens are unintentionally deprived of the right to vote.

Re:Well thats a relief. (1)

Vermonter (2683811) | about a year and a half ago | (#41269467)

Why is it people get upset at the suggestion of requiring an ID to exercise your right to vote, but no one is concerned that you need one to exercise your second amendment right?

Re:Well thats a relief. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41269655)

Because no one gets killed when you misuse your right to vote?
Misuse of the second amendment right yields about 30,000 deaths a year in the US.
Mystery solved

Must be true... (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41268859)

Then again there is this one http://dailycaller.com/2012/08/23/university-of-colorado-prediction-model-points-to-big-romney-win/ that has been correct every time since 1980 that says Romney will win big.

Free to ignore (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a year and a half ago | (#41268907)

Ignore models that have proven results, there's not way that a brand new system based on biased poll inputs could possibly result in anything but a totally neutral and correct result.

Re:Must be true... (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41269273)

Then again there is this one http://dailycaller.com/2012/08/23/university-of-colorado-prediction-model-points-to-big-romney-win/ that has been correct every time since 1980 that says Romney will win big.

That model is a joke. It didn't exist 6 months ago. Just look at it! PA for Romney? It's not even considered a battle-ground state anymore and the Romney campaign has pulled ALL advertising and has none scheduled.

Re:Must be true... (1)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | about a year and a half ago | (#41269463)

Then again there is this one http://dailycaller.com/2012/08/23/university-of-colorado-prediction-model-points-to-big-romney-win/ [dailycaller.com] that has been correct every time since 1980 that says Romney will win big.

That model is a joke. It didn't exist 6 months ago. Just look at it! PA for Romney? It's not even considered a battle-ground state anymore and the Romney campaign has pulled ALL advertising and has none scheduled.

It's a peer-reviewed scientific journal [apsanet.org] article. Don't be a Denier. The science is IN!

Re:Must be true... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41269567)

PA elected a Republican governor to replace the tax and spend idiot who was in office. Sound familiar?

counter? (1)

Nittle (1356899) | about a year and a half ago | (#41268865)

I know I'm not supposed to RTFA, but can someone take a website seriously that has a hit counter on the bottom?

Re:counter? (1)

fish waffle (179067) | about a year and a half ago | (#41268951)

A counter is pretty benign. Most of the linked articles are a dense nest of tracking sites.

The marketing people have figured out that slashdot is a good source of eyeballs long ago. I suggest you block as you feel appropriate.

Re:counter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41269595)

A counter is pretty benign. Most of the linked articles are a dense nest of tracking sites.

Don't mind me, I use Ghostery [ghostery.com]. Seems like damn near every website (including the ones I'm responsible for) is a nest of tracking sites these days.

Rasmussen isn't a polling agency (3, Insightful)

smoothnorman (1670542) | about a year and a half ago | (#41268901)

It's renown among serious pollsters as a paid-for propaganda site.

Re:Rasmussen isn't a polling agency (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41268961)

It's renown among serious pollsters as a paid-for propaganda site.

YOU LIE!!!1

Re:Rasmussen isn't a polling agency (3, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year and a half ago | (#41269569)

It's renown among serious pollsters as a paid-for propaganda site.

Oh please. Rasmussen is just another pollster that uses a different methodology, so it thus ends up with different results. In 2006, Republicans thought Rasmussen was biased because it said Republicans would lose. Later, democrats thought it was biased because it said they would lose. It's not biased, it's just different. Sometimes it's more right than other polls, sometimes less right.

If you want accuracy (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year and a half ago | (#41268913)

You probably should go to intrade [intrade.com]... yeah yeah yeah... I know it's pretty obvious to everybody here, but... what the hell

Re:If you want accuracy (4, Insightful)

Will.Woodhull (1038600) | about a year and a half ago | (#41269171)

Using intrade properly looks like it would take bookie skills. I never have bothered to learn those.

I like the electoral vote predictor [electoral-vote.com]. Its comments show a definite blue bias, but there is no bias in its handling of poll data. It uses the last polls taken in each state for data.

At the moment what it shows is not necessarily representative of the country, since there have been very few polls done in the last week. But now that the conventions are over, I expect that there will be a lot of polling done, and electoral-vote.com will be as accurate as anyone can get.

Re:If you want accuracy (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41269187)

The markets at intrade are way too illiquid to give any meaningful insight, for an investment of around $10,000 in bets during the early primary stages that you piss away you could get mainstream press coverage and considered a major player for a short time

Re:If you want accuracy (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about a year and a half ago | (#41269379)

You probably should go to intrade [intrade.com]... yeah yeah yeah... I know it's pretty obvious to everybody here, but... what the hell

Intrade 'predictions' often become extremely volatile close to an election. That's not an accurate reflection of the electorate.

Unemployment is at 14%.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41268925)

Obama is going to lose...............

Re:Unemployment is at 14%.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41269021)

Wrong on both counts. The first is factually untrue, and the second is statistically implausible.

Re:Unemployment is at 14%.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41269049)

No, the second is perfectly plausible. Not likely, but plausible.

Re:Unemployment is at 14%.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41269087)

Put back in all the unemployment washouts and folks moved over to mental health or physical disbility and it is actually 14.1%.......

Re:Unemployment is at 14%.. (3, Insightful)

glueball (232492) | about a year and a half ago | (#41269181)

While you may be 100% confident, you are not 100% correct.

Unemployment is at 14.6% for the US for August 2012.

It's called U6 and is a much more telling number than the U3, which is the oft-manipulated rate used by the press which is at about 8.1% for August, 2012.

Re:Unemployment is at 14%.. (1)

similar_name (1164087) | about a year and a half ago | (#41269645)

I don't think the U3 is manipulated as much as it just has fewer criteria [wikipedia.org]. U6 includes U3 so it will always be higher. Whether we use U3 [portalseven.com] or U6 [portalseven.com] the trend is the same.

problematic Rasmussen (5, Informative)

tverbeek (457094) | about a year and a half ago | (#41268973)

It's worth noting that this analysis includes data from Rasmussen, a pollster whose track record at predicting election outcomes is marred by a persistent, consistent bias. Not that they're faking the results (as some overtly partisan pollsters do), but their methodology appears to over-represent demographics that are more likely to vote Republican. According to one analysis, they overestimated votes for Republicans by 3.9%. Andrew Tanenbam's web site [electoral-vote.com] has a concise explanation of what's wrong with Rasmussen's numbers, and why he maintains a separate map that omits them from his own Electoral College projections. So if a system that includes Rasmussen data projects that a Democrat is going to win the presidency... that's a pretty strong indicator of which way the wind is blowing.

not really new (4, Insightful)

Trepidity (597) | about a year and a half ago | (#41269015)

It's an interesting model, but feeding a poll aggregate into a statistical prediction algorithm has been standard practice for years now. On the internet, fivethirtyeight [nytimes.com] is probably the first prominent site to have done so (originally as an independent site, before the NYTimes bought them).

Big deal. I can accurately predict it, too. (5, Funny)

Seumas (6865) | about a year and a half ago | (#41269025)

I predict that our next president will be an asshole.
And the one after that, too.
And the one after that.

It's been obvious for months (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41269027)

The reps have been harpooning themselves left and right this time around with their extremism and lies. Women and abortions, everyone in the bottom 80%, healthcare. They seem to be trying very hard to piss off a lot of people. Anyone who doesn't think this is going to be a landslide for Obama is kidding themselves. And I'm a republican (note: not neo-con).

Re:It's been obvious for months (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41269305)

The reps have been harpooning themselves left and right this time around with their extremism and lies.

Same as the dems in that regard.

Boo Boo is vulnerable for the same reason G. H. W. Bush was beaten by Clinton - the economy trumps every other issue and the economy has gotten worse during his term. Four more years and the US will be insolvent.

How is this different from fivethirtyeight? (4, Insightful)

pridkett (2666) | about a year and a half ago | (#41269029)

So aside from being a visual disaster and not providing all of the background numbers, how is this different from what Nate Silver has been doing for the last four years? Okay, it allows you to assign a swing, but it's a lot more opaque and seems a lot less robust than what Silver has been doing over at fivethirtyeight.

Excellent Professor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41269073)

I took two classes with Professor Jacobson while at UIUC. He's one of the best lecturers I had while there even if his research means he isn't as involved in other aspects of his courses.

Easy prediction (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41269121)

The sitting president of the USA almost always wins the election for their second term. In fact, I think the only POTUS to not win re-election was the first George Bush, who lost to Clinton after one term. Historically, the good money is on Obama, not because of policies or ad campaigns, but because people usually vote for the guy who is already in office.

Re:Easy prediction (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41269185)

No, he was not the only one. Here is a quick list off the top of my head:

Carter - Lost to Reagan
Ford - Lost to Carter
Taft - Lost to Wilson

There are more but I can't be assed to look them up right now.

Re:Easy prediction (1)

careysub (976506) | about a year and a half ago | (#41269287)

Ford is an unusual case though - he was never elected to the office in the first place so he was running for election not re-election.

Re:Easy prediction (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41269217)

I think the only POTUS to not win re-election was the first George Bush

Carter, Hoover, Taft, and Buchanan to name a few.

What's amazing about Romney (4, Interesting)

rsilvergun (571051) | about a year and a half ago | (#41269193)

is that he just said he doesn't think the troops are important [fark.com] and somehow he's still in the running. That's the kinda gaff that should've broke him. It's amazing what unlimited funds can do. Thanks Citizens United.

Re:What's amazing about Romney (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41269231)

You use a fark post as a reference? Wow, just wow.

Meh, what's wrong with fark? (-1)

rsilvergun (571051) | about a year and a half ago | (#41269307)

how the hell else am I going to find anything at all negative about a guy with that much money? I sure as hell ain't gonna see it on Fox News. Yeah, the gaff is from Fox, but good luck ever seeing it covered again, let alone story after story [google.com] about it.

Re:What's amazing about Romney (1)

mark_osmd (812581) | about a year and a half ago | (#41269329)

Apparently in the speech he referred to the Military in general and not troops in particular.

Re:What's amazing about Romney (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41269547)

Fox News brainwashed me into believing that in the speech he referred to the Military in general and not troops in particular.

Fixed that for you.

Re:What's amazing about Romney (4, Insightful)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about a year and a half ago | (#41269505)

Romney: "When you give a speech you don't go through a laundry list, you talk about the things you think are important"

Not the best phrasing, but it's clear even to me as an Obama supporter that he means the speech was crafted to highlight points that would be advantageous to his campaign. The game of pretending your opponent meant something he clearly did not is not very persuasive to people not already on your side.

Re:What's amazing about Romney (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year and a half ago | (#41269583)

Have you heard the word demagoguery? Because that is exactly what you are doing, probably without realizing it.

So the polls can't even agree (2)

Grayhand (2610049) | about a year and a half ago | (#41269253)

One shows Romney by 1 and the other shows Obama by 3. The state breakdown is the most telling to me. The fact Romney has to win most all the swing states to win makes it a tough road for him. All Obama needs to win is Florida or there are several two state combos that make it an Obama win. It's going to be close but unless Trump digs up that mythical African birth certificate then it's likely an Obama win. The joke is the Congressional elections are far more important. If the Republicans win the house again it's likely 4 more years of gridlock. If they win both houses then Obama gets spoon fed Republican plans. The outlook is bleak no matter the results.

The person who spent MORE? (1)

myowntrueself (607117) | about a year and a half ago | (#41269285)

Question:

(In theUSA) Did the candidate who spent more than the other candidate on their election campaign ever lose the election?

Re:The person who spent MORE? (4, Informative)

tsuliga (553869) | about a year and a half ago | (#41269453)

Meg Whitman lost even though she spent $177 million to Jerry Brown's $36 million.

Re:The person who spent MORE? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41269593)

Problem is that most of the money spent isn't spent by the candidates themselves. There are so many groups spending so much money on "issues" that the candidates spending is just noise. In 2004 George Soros alone probably spent as much as Kerry's campaign.

Re:The person who spent MORE? (1)

arth1 (260657) | about a year and a half ago | (#41269695)

Problem is that most of the money spent isn't spent by the candidates themselves. There are so many groups spending so much money on "issues" that the candidates spending is just noise. In 2004 George Soros alone probably spent as much as Kerry's campaign.

George who?

five - thirty - eight (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41269495)

Nate Silver at five-thirty-eight uses a similar approach. While Silver is openly biased to the Democratic side, his poll weightings seem fair. Currently he is showing about 75% probability of an Obama win.

The Republican problem is that a very successful Southern strategy has hurt them badly in New England as well as among minority voters. I won't argue whether the auto bailout was wise or even successful, I do argue that the bailout is popular in Michigan and Ohio. In fact, Romney has apparently given up on Michigan but perhaps he can salvage Ohio.

I predict this is like Sylvia Brown (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year and a half ago | (#41269617)

> You can tweak the site by selecting a skew toward the Republican or Democratic tickets, and whether it's mild or strong.

I can do that without any mathematical model at all.

Blah biddy blabiddy blah. The election will be over. This model will be wrong. Nobody will remember it.

Asimov Short Story Franchise (5, Interesting)

presspass (1770650) | about a year and a half ago | (#41269665)

Plot summary

In the future, the United States has converted to an "electronic democracy" where the computer Multivac selects a single person to answer a number of questions. Multivac will then use the answers and other data to determine what the results of an election would be, avoiding the need for an actual election to be held.

The story centers around Norman Muller, the man chosen as "Voter of the Year" in 2008. Although the law requires him to accept the dubious honour, he is not sure that he wants the responsibility of representing the entire electorate, worrying that the result will be unfavorable and he will be blamed.

However, after 'voting', he is very proud that the citizens of the United States had, through him, "exercised once again their free, untrammeled franchise" - a statement that is somewhat ironic as the citizens didn't actually get to vote.

The idea of a computer predicting whom the electorate would vote for instead of actually holding an election was probably inspired by the UNIVAC I's correct prediction of the result of the 1952 election.

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