The Polls That (Don’t) Matter

Since everyone is talking about the scientific (or not) polls, what about those indications of the election that aren’t based on calling voters?

First, the serious ones: economist Ray Fair uses his “Fair Model” to predict the outcome of elections based on economic data. Given the economic situation today, the Fair Model predicts are Republican share of 57.70% of the popular vote. Historically Fair’s model is only off by 1.5%. Is this a sign of a GOP landslide? We’ll (hopefully) know tomorrow.

The Iowa Electronic Markets have also picked the winner in the last several elections. This year the IEM predicts a 55% probability of Bush win in the Winner-Takes-All market.

Now, for the slightly less serious ones:

  • The Scholastic Poll of schoolchildren has predicted ever election in the last half century except for 1948 and 1960. This year, Bush trounced Kerry.
  • The winner of the Family Circle cookie contest has become First Lady for the past three elections. This year, Laura Bush’s delicious Oatmeal-Chocolate Chunk whipped Teresa Heinz-Kerry’s Pumpkin Spice Cookies.
  • If the Washington Redskins lose their last home game before the election, the incumbant party will lose the election. The Redskins lost last afternoon to the Green Bay Packers 21-14. (On the other hand, Brett Favre is a Bush supporter… and since the Red Sox won the World Series I figure all bets are off with any kind of sports-related superstitions…)

Those are just ones that I can think of off the top of my head. If you know any other wacky election predictors, leave them in the comments…

One thought on “The Polls That (Don’t) Matter

  1. The IEM numbers for Bush have been in freefall since the first debate. The last I heard, they were at 57% Bush, so things are looking even murkier for him today. Plus, correct me if I’m wrong, but I heard that Bush had 66% odds of election against Al Gore in 2000, even though by all intents and purposes, Gore won the election.

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