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View Diary: More accurate than Nate Silver or Markos—and simple, too (70 comments)

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  •  OK (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LNK, MichaelNY, Alice Olson

    Polling averages often don't predict the election margin correctly, even if they do predict the winner. Usually, they underestimate the Democrat's performance in Blue states, and underestimate the Republican's performance in Red states.

    I attempted to correct for this in a very simple manner, in hopes that, on average, the new predictions would be more accurate than the polls alone. The correction involved adding a number to the polling margin in each state based on how 'red' or 'blue' it was.

    In the end, the corrected polling numbers were more accurate than the polling numbers alone. The method worked.

    Did that help any?

    •  Yes, this helps but.... (0+ / 0-)

      I'm replacing "margin" with  "margin of error" and "corrected polling numbers" with "adjusted polling numbers" in my imagination. So, now I think I get it.

      My summary would therefore be (I'm a picture person):

      When adjusted for how many sparks were flying out of voters heads about this election, the polling numbers were surprisingly accurate.
      I'm also adding some thoughts about human beings tending to conform to their surroundings......

      Thank you for your kind help.

      •  Ah! (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY, Alice Olson, LNK, jhop7

        'Margin' is the difference between the Democrat and the Republican.

        Example: Elizabeth Warren won her Senate race with 53.7% of the vote to  46.3% for Brown. Her margin was 7.4 percentage points (53.7-46.3).

        However, the polls said she was ahead by only 3.8 percentage points. The polls were off.

        My simple model says "Massachusetts is a Very Blue state. Voters there end up being more Democratic than the polls indicate. Add 4.1 points to Warren's margin in the polls."

        My model predicted Warren would win by 7.9 points. This is much closer to the actual result (7.4 points) than the polls were. So I consider it a success.

        Your summary, human beings tend to conform to their surroundings, is exactly what the model says.

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