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Author Rating: 0 Topic: TheRealRight Among the Most Accurate in ‘08 Election Predictions (Read 590 times)
jwilkes

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Now that Missouri - the last outstanding state in the presidential race - had been counted and declared for Republican John McCain, we can officially evaluate how the major predictors did in their predictions for the 2008 elections. A comparative chart is below.

On the morning of November 4, I set my official prediction for the 2008 election. How’d we do? See for yourself:

Presidential Election - We were 98% accurate on the electoral vote side, predicting the outcomes in 49 of the 50 states, including the single electoral vote he picked up from Omaha, Nebraska (the state is one of only two nationwide that split their electoral votes by district).

On the popular vote side, we predicted that Obama would take 52.6%, while McCain would take 46.4%. We were within one-tenth of 1% for Obama, and one-half of one percent for McCain.

Senate Races - We predicted that Democrats would have a net gain of 7 - 8 seats in the Senate, winning all of their incumbent seats in addition to Republican-held seats in Oregon, North Carolina, New Mexico, Colorado, New Hampshire, Virginia, Alaska, and possibly Minnesota. And so far, we’re right in. Democratic candidates picked up the first seven, and Minnesota could (pending a recount) end up being the eighth. Now, although he lost his November 4th election, Jim Martin was able to get close enough to incumbent Republican incumbent Saxby Chambliss to force a runoff under Georgia state election law.

House Races - We predicted that Democrats would lose a few but gain a whole lot more, ending with between 20 and 22 new seats. So far, Democrats have taken 20, with five elections still out for certification. In all likelihood, they may pick up one more, but two would be a stretch, putting TRR’s prediction within the proper range.

Let’s see how that stacks up against some of the other top political websites on the web:

                                              President                           Senate                   House

Actual Result                      365 - 173                             Dems +8-9          Dems +20-23

Larry Sabato                       364 - 174 (49/50)               Dems +7-8          Dems +26

EyesOnObama.com         354 - 184 (49/50)               Dems +7-8          Dems +20-22

FiveThirtyEight.com           353 - 185 (48/50)               Dems +8              N/A

Electoral-Vote.com            353 - 174, 11 Tossups     Dems +7             Dems +16-18

ElectionProjection              338 - 200 (47/50)               Dems +7             Dems +25

RealClearPolitics.com      338 - 200 (47/50)               Dems +5-10       N/A

Rothenberg Report            353 - 159, 26 Tossups     Dems +7-9         Dems +27-33

Congressional Quarterly   311 - 157, 70 Tossups     Dems +6-9        Dems +9-35

Sabato came the closest on the electoral vote prediction, missing only the Nebraska split vote. Next came EOO, which missed only Indiana. FiveThirtyEight missed Indiana and the Nebraska split. Electoral-Vote.com came close, missing Indiana, the Nebraska split, and calling Missouri as a tossup.  RealClearPolitics.com and ElectionProjection.com both missed Indiana, North Carolina, and the Nebraska split.  Rothenberg and CQ Politics were placed at the bottom of the list, because each set such wide ranges of possibility as compared to the others on the list.

Guest-scottknick

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« Reply #1: Nov 21, 2008, 12:10 PM »
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I am a hopeless data junkie and this election cycle was heaven for me. FiveThirtyEight.com was a bit low in part because their model presumes that front-runners don't actually perform as well as their pre-election poll numbers suggest they will; they might have to rethink that for the next time around.
Guest-NinaOdell

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« Reply #2: Nov 21, 2008, 12:48 PM »
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was off by over 50 electoral votes! Ah ha ha ha ha!
Guest-Kavalier

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« Reply #3: Nov 21, 2008, 12:59 PM »
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was off by 3 electoral votes. I thought that was pretty darn impressive.
http://news.aol.com/political-machine/2008/11/20/john-mccain-wins-missouri-2008-presidential-race-ends/
Tesla

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I was off by 6 points and got 46/50 right (92%).. not bad for a non scientific prediction.

Jason

 

Guest-The Bard of Wilmette

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« Reply #5: Nov 23, 2008, 9:45 AM »
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Considering all the uncertainties regarding this campaign (Is there a "Bradley effect?" Will young people turn out in greater numbers than in the past? Would the large number of cell phones distort pre-election polls?), the surprising thing to me is that most of the major polls came very close to predicting the actual results. Then again, a lot of us amateurs also came pretty close. I had North Carolina wrong, and I did not consider the Nebraska split, but otherwise I had it right. Of course, the same is true for a lot of people
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