Presidential Predictions

Despite being unable to vote in the imminent USA election I’ve been taking a keen interest in the various predictions being made, especially as some of the American methods are less scientific than you normally see in the UK. Such as the taller or heavier candidate is most likely to win or if Washington Redskins win their last home game before the election, then the incumbent party can heave a sigh of relief.  If you’re interested you can find other traditional but bizarre presidential predictions over at 11points, most of which point towards an Obama victory .

Looking at online indicators, well unsurprisingly the Twitterverse has been alight all day with discussion of just who will be in charge of the free world come January. The dedicated twitter election page, which is displaying all and any tweets featuring election related topics, is updating several times a second and has been all day.

Some people have already looked at what the result would be based on the voting habits of Twitter users.  SetFive consultancy threw together a few algorithms looking at who Twitter users support and displaying it in a frequently updating chart.  At 20.00 GMT the map is almost totally dark blue.  Twitterers have also been actively casting their vote, using TwitVote, in which Obama is ahead by a factor of about two to one.

I know several people who claim that google trends is an almost foolproof indicator of reality TV show results, and so surely it should be a pretty good indicator for possible the greatest reality show of the past two years, and it clearly shows a massive difference between the numbers of searches for Obama (blue) over McCain (red).

Going back to less online based modes of prediction, FiveThreeEight, which claims to do ” Electoral polls done right”, has amalgamated a wide range of polls, evaluating them based on the pollsters historical accuracy and sample size. It does a couple of other things, have a look at the FAQ for more details and currently predicts that Obama will receive 52% of the vote, giving him nearly 350 seats in the electoral college.

Guess we find out tomorrow.

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