The Deliverator – Wannabee

So open minded, my thoughts fell out…

Lies, Damn Lies and Election Statistics

Posted by Deliverator on October 21st, 2008

I’ve been trying to get a sense of the likely results in the Senate races and happened to come across FiveThirtyEight a site which mixes polling data with statistics acumen and advanced computer modeling to predict election outcomes. Unlike many other sites replete with election graphs, maps, the site’s producers actually show you how the sausage gets made. I would be curious to hear from my brother and my friend Jason an analysis of the validity of their methodologies.


Their conclusions broadly are that Obama is almost certainly to win the election and that it will border on a landslide in the electoral vote, with the popular vote being won by a slimmer margin. In the Senate, Democrats are quite likely to gain 6-8 seats, but only have something like 1 chance in three of gaining a 60 seat filibuster proof working majority, especially factoring in fickle, nominal Democrats like Joe Lieberman. This prospective outcome makes substantial legislative reforms under an first term Obama administration less likely.