Monday, 5 November 2012
trying to predict the US election with a few pundit numbers?
Nearly all of the US election commentary on UK television say that the American pre-election polls are too close to call. I can't help thinking that everyone is worrying about whether or not the electorate turn out in sufficient quantities. Given the billions of dollars spent by the two candidates then I suppose most people should show up at the polling stations.
I thought I'd take a bunch of the data based upon the US Electoral College voting system and try to crunch it to predict the outcome. I grabbed a range of predictions from a few diverse sources including some with obvious political biases in both directions.
The first thing was to sort the various random predictions into an ascending order. Then I decided to ignore the outliers like to 440/98 split that one prediction drives. That provided a core set of results which pivoted something like a 20% probability to Romney and 80% to Obama.
My calculation gives the result to be something like 303 Obama and 235 Romney.
But hey, this is just playing with numbers.
UPDATE Weds, Nov 7th, 12:00GMT (coffee break): Well, as the morning arrived and the votes had been counted, astonishingly, I had the Obama number accurately pegged at 303. The Romney number was light though because Florida's votes were not in.
I seem to remember Florida has featured in previous voting lateness.
Whats that old joke? When will your count be ready? - How many votes did you say you need?
On this occasion, I'd assumed that Florida would tip to Romney, which would have made my forecast spot on. What I think will happen (Florida's vote count is still not in) is that actually Obama will also get Florida by about 45,000 votes. This will mean the last 29 votes go to Obama instead of Romney. Instead of 303-235 it could be something like 332-206. Therefore my calculation will be out and an even more extreme win for Obama will have ensued - probably courtesy of Miami and environs.
It will be good to see if Obama can deliver 'the best is yet to come' without the pressure of having a further fight for office. Also whether the Republicans in the House of Representatives can avoid the pettiness which can otherwise stop sensible decisions from being made.
Posted by rashbre at 23:12