San Francisco Chapter of the American Statistical Association Seminar
Speaker: Drew Linzer.
Forecasting Presidential Elections from History and the Polls
Thursday 5 December
4:30 - coffee and snacks
A big story of the last presidential election was the "victory of the quants" -- a triumph of data over intuition. While traditional pundits portrayed the race as neck-and-neck, pollsters and polling analysts confidently and accurately predicted that President Obama would win reelection. How was this done? Drew will talk about the dynamic Bayesian forecasting model he used at votamatic.org to forecast the outcome of all fifty states, as early as June. Combining the results of nearly 1,000 pre-election polls -- representing over 700,000 individual interviews -- the site offered real-time opinion tracking, state- and national-level forecasting, and commentary on the race. After the election, Drew's forecasts were widely recognized as among the best of the campaign.