I have to leave for home soon and since I still do not have the landline and internet access at home, I will be reduced on election night to watching the returns the old-fashioned way, on TV.
It will be interesting to compare the final election outcomes with the various predictions, so here are the some predictions for the elections from the sites I follow. When it comes to electoral college votes, some give an average value, which is unlikely to be the actual outcome because of the fact that the electoral votes are awarded in clumps and is affected by the fact that Florida is truly a toss-up state whose 29 votes could go either way. Virginia, North Carolina, and Colorado are three other states that are too close to call with great confidence.
But given the state of the other states, the predictions are converging on an Obama win.
When it comes to averages of the national vote, Real Clear Politics has Obama 48.8%, Romney 48.1%.
When it comes to electoral votes, Sam Wang had Obama 303, Romney 235 as the most likely outcome with the next most likely outcome being Obama 332, Romney 206, the difference being Florida’s 29 electoral votes. For total votes he has Obama at 51.1% and Romney at 48.9%, taking into account just the votes for these two parties. He has a 99% probability of Obama winning.
Nate Silver has Obama at 313 and Romney at 225, with a 91% probability of Obama winning the election. He shows Obama getting 50.8% of the popular vote with Romney getting 48.3%.
Drew Linzer has Obama at 332, and Romney at 206.
At the betting sites, where the share price serves as a proxy for the probability of a win, Romney’s fortunes have taken a dive in recent days. Intrade has Obama at 71.3 and Romney at 28.8, while the Iowa Electronic Markets has Obama around 80 and Romney at 20. I think that these betting sites should no longer be considered independent indicators of the outcome as they once were. Given the past success of the poll aggregators like Silver and Wang, I think the bettors take their cues from them.
If Romney does win against all these odds, the entire polling enterprise will have to undergo some serious soul-searching to see how they could have got it so wrong.