Poll Positions III

It’s past midnight for me, but we have some reasonable data so far: Bush will likely win the popular vote because Kerry did worse in the Gore states and Bush will either tie or win the Electoral college with about 275-285 votes. Ohio might tighten as the morning wears on and absentee ballots/early votes are counted. The massive number of absentee/early ballots in New Mexico might flip the state to Kerry. So I’ll wait till tommorrow to see the final EC count, but I can safely say the following…

The following folks were right:

1. The final round of pre-election polls by major news organizations and the reputable polling organizations. If you average them, you got a Bush lead – not huge – but it was there. Individual polls were wrong, but the batch was right as a whole.

2. The Iowa Electronic Markets up till Monday. The Bush vote share was selling at $.51 – probably close to final number.

3. My sociology undergraduates (scroll down to the “Poll Positions II” post below) collectively predicted a clear Bush popular vote win. The students predicted about 49.7% for Bush. They might have done better if they had not overestimated the Nader vote.

The following folks were wrong:

1. Fabio Rojas. Following the incumbent rule, I believed that the undecideds would go for Kerry. I was wrong. Plain wrong. [Note: There is a slim chance that my electoral college prediction might come true.]

2. John Zogby – Early on election day, polling world demi-god Zogby predicted a Kerry blow out. Even if Kerry wins the electoral college, it might be because of slim Kerry win in Ohio and the New Mexico lead evaporating for Bush. Kerry could take the day, but not because he won the popular vote.

3. Exit polls. I tell people that I have a very low opinion of exit polls. They are often poorly executed and are easy to misread. Today is yet another peice of evidence against exit polls.

4. Iowa electronic market on tuesday. There was a short panic when Kerry contracts sold for more than Bush contracts. I guess some traders panicked when they heard about the exit polls. Shame on them!

That’s it for now. Now back to our normal blogging at Marginal Revolution…


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