Leonardo"s Notebook by Mattheus Mei

I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Fun with numbers: The Poblano Model

FiveThirtyEight.com is the place for political junkies like myself. What's so interesting about the blog is the accuracy with which the author Nate Silver (Poblano) has predicted the outcomes of the Democratic Primary on a state by state basis using a whole host of metrics which are inclusive of other polling data but with a twist:

There are several ways that the FiveThityEight methodology differs from other poll compilations. Firstly, we assign each poll a weighting based on that pollster's historical track record, the poll's sample size, and the recentness of the poll. More reliable polls are weighted more heavily in our averages. Secondly, we include a regression estimate based on the demographics in each state among our 'polls', which helps to account for outlier polls and to stabilize the results. Thirdly, we simulate the election 10,000 times for each site update in order to provide a probabilistic assessment of electoral outcomes.

Nate has now moved on to the general election match up between McCain and Obama and updates his charts and maps daily to reflect his algorithms in determining "if the election were today" results.

These numbers of course make me happy because they show my candidate ahead, not only that his map shows a pinking (purpling in general parlance) of certain states that historically were deep red republican strong holds. He figures as much based on two huge factors, the "base line" being the historical performance average of the last two democratic candidates for president, something akin to his PECOTA method for baseball analysis which uses the performance of similar players in determining a players future performance and valuation and then the "Poblano Effect" which takes into account the increased participation in the democratic primary - not of new groups - but of groups traditionally loyal to the party like African Americans, Latinos, and young persons and maintains that if these groups increase in voting compared to their participation in 2004 general election by as little as 10% one would see a net 13 electoral votes for Obama come the fall. And it goes from there.

Today as it stands "if the election were held today" Obama would have 333 electoral votes to Mccain's 204.

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