Archive for the ‘US Election’ Category

A US Presidential election prediction – Clinton 332 electoral college votes to Trump’s 206

November 8th, 2016 Comments off

When it comes to predicting election results I’m still a wisdom of crowds man although with so many media pundits now following the betting markets there is growing evidence of people trying to influence things purely because they have more money than the markets can comfortably cope with. That’s why when it comes to this US presidential election I’m using the Iowa Electronic Market as my guide to what the true wisdom is. That’s because the IEM, run by the College of Business at the University of Iowa, has a lot of participants but with sensible limits on how much any participant can invest.

As I am writing this at 10pm Canberra time the Iowa consensus is that Clinton will end up with 53.7 per cent of the two party (Democrat plus Republican) vote to Trump’s 46.3 per cent. That predicts that Clinton will do 1.7 points better than Obama did in 2012 and have a comfortable win.

Comfortable but not enough to do better than Obama when it comes to the number of electoral college votes. On the IEM prediction of the national vote, if it turns out overall to be uniform, the electoral college result would be identical to 2012 – Clinton 232 to Trump on 206.

I’ll go with the pluses in some states being cancelled out by the minuses in others so 332 to 206 is my fearless prediction.

Thoughts on the UK election and links to other interesting news and views

April 25th, 2015 Comments off
  • UK election: Who will run Britain? – The polls have been static for weeks, with the Conservative and Labour parties stuck on roughly 34 per cent each. So the real drama is likely to take place after 10pm on polling day, as David Cameron, the Tory prime minister, and Ed Miliband, his Labour rival, try to claw their way to power. The bookmakers name Mr Cameron favourite to win most seats in the House of Commons, but expect him to fall short of an outright majority. They reckon Mr Miliband is most likely to be Britain’s next prime minister.
  • Politics and the Australian language – Sexism, plain talking (when it suits them) and obfuscating euphemism: politicians down under abuse language, too
  • Republicans want a bumper sticker world – The case for Mr Obama is that in seeking to deploy economic and diplomatic power, and to leverage US influence through multinational coalitions, he has recognised the complexities of this new landscape. The case against is that he has sometimes gone too far in drawing the limits of US power. What has been missing is an overarching framework — a set of principles clear and practical enough to deter adversaries and to reassure allies. A grand strategy, in other words, that balances ambition and realism. Republicans used to have a reputation for such thinking. Now they prefer bumper stickers.
  • Oklahomans Feel Way More Earthquakes Than Californians; Now They Know Why – A magnitude-3.0 earthquake is small, but most people can feel it. Historically, Oklahoma got less than two of those a year, but in 2013 it became two a week. It’s only gotten more active since then — last year, the state had three times as many earthquakes as in the entire seismically active state of California. This morning, the U.S. Geological Survey will issue its first comprehensive assessment of the hazard posed by earthquakes linked to oil and gas drilling. In the preliminary report, the survey details oil and gas-related quakes in eight states. The earthquake surge is strongest in Oklahoma, where the state government has formally acknowledged the link for the first time earlier this week.
  • Clinton Rules – So there’s a lot of buzz about alleged scandals involving the Clinton Foundation. Maybe there’s something to it. But you have to wonder: is this just the return of “Clinton rules”?

Going for the Democrat outsider in the US Senate race

November 2nd, 2014 Comments off

I am normally a favourite backer when it comes to elections. My experience suggests that the market on elections tends not to get the favoured party in short enough quickly enough.

So what am I doing on the US Congressional elections? Breaking my habits of a life time and going for the outsider in the Senate race.

The reason for my modest risk taking on the Democrats surviving as the majority party in the Senate comes from a couple of recent articles by Sam Wang on The Princeton Election Consortium website.

Midterm National Senate Polling Error Is Five Times Larger Than In Presidential Years and Races I’ll be Watching on Election Night  outline what Wang calls “the mid-term polling curse” whereby historically, in any given year, midterm polls have been off in the same direction by a median of 2 or 3 percentage points.

Depending on the year, either Democrats or Republicans end up outperforming polls. In current poll medians, six races are within less than 2 percentage points: Alaska, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, and North Carolina. Therefore all six of these races could be won by Republicans…or all six could be won by Democrats.
The other races total 48 Republicans and 46 Democrats/Independents. Republicans are slightly favored to take control, since an even split of the six close races would give them the 51 seats they need. However, the likely possibilities range anywhere from a Republican majority of 54-46 to a Democratic majority of 52-48. As of today, cranking through the math and the uncertainties gives a probability of 55% for a Republican takeover.

That seems a good enough reason to me to recommend an interest on the event.

Some of the British bookies are offering $8.50 about the Democrats (plus independents who decide to caucus with them) being in the majority and that would suit me just fine. In Australia Betfair offers the three options of Democrat, Republican and neither (where caucusing independents are not counted with one of the major parties). So, $20 at the $8.50 to make election watching more fun.

Details of my political punting recommendations at The political speculator’s diary

Categories: Betting, Elections, US Election Tags:

Republican control predicted for US Congress

November 2nd, 2014 Comments off

The Owl’s election indicator is pointing to the Republicans ending up with control of both houses of Congress after Tuesday’s mid-term US elections.

The probability of the House of Representatives remaining with a Republican majority is put at 99%.


For the Senate the indicator has Republican control as a 76% chance with the Democrats at 9% and no party having control at 16%.


Details of all the Owl’s indicators present and past will be found at The Owl’s Indicators page.


Castrating hogs on an Iowa farm – my favourite political ad for this season

October 23rd, 2014 Comments off

“I’m Joni Ernst. I grew up castrating hogs on an Iowa farm. So when I get to Washington, I’ll know how to cut pork.”

It is certainly an ad you are likely to remember.

NPR features some other memorable moments from this year’s Congressional campaigns.

Categories: Elections, US Election Tags:

Which team do you think Rupert’s backing?

June 19th, 2014 Comments off

So you thought there was something unique about the way The Australian treated opinion polls. Have a look at this morning’s London Times as it decides to strengthen the anti-Labour message after the first edition:

19-06-2014 thetimes

Categories: Media, US Election Tags:

The US campaign ads begin and other news and views for Monday 28 April 2014

April 28th, 2014 Comments off

28-04-2014 northstar28-04-2014 wehby

Castrating hogs to cut through the media clutter in political campaigning

March 30th, 2014 Comments off

I’m  Joni Ernst. I grew up castrating hogs on an Iowa farm. So when I get to Washington I’ll know how to cut pork

30-03-2014 castratinghogs

That’s the message as the relatively unknown Joni Ernst seeks the Iowa Republican Party’s U.S. Senate nomination. Her television ad is designed to cut through the media clutter without the huge expense of constant repetition.

Brian Donahue, a strategist with Craft Media, told National Public Radio that when you see an ad like Ernst’s you’re also viewing a message based on political consultants’ understanding that emotion resonates more with voters than repetition.

It’s that emotional reverberation that sends it viral. “That causes what we call ‘the Buzzfeed effect,’ ” Donahue says, whose firm counts Republican political campaigns among its clients. “It compels you to do more than just shape an opinion. It compels you to share it too. Which is why so many people are seeing an ad like this.

“It did something different and it was so unpredictable,” Donahue says. “We had a female candidate running for office and she’s talking about castration and relates it to members of Congress, which is pretty unbelievable stuff. But beyond the race she’s running, people are sharing it online and that’s the effect you want to create. And that’s what emotionally, cutting-edge media does. It takes on its own life.”

Lori Raad, a consultant whose political-messaging firm, Something Else Strategies, is behind the Ernst ad, said she knew just the word itself was going to get noticed.

“Of course, our goal was for people to watch long enough to learn about Joni Ernst,” Raad says. “I wouldn’t have guessed that people would’ve linked to it to this extent, although you always hope.”


Categories: Elections, US Election Tags:

A close run thing for control of the US Senate in November

February 24th, 2014 Comments off

There’s a lengthy analysis on the Real Clear Politics site at the moment on How Likely Are Democrats to Lose the Senate? at the US mid-term Congressional elections in November that suggests the conventional wisdom of the pundits is that they are more likely to do so than retain their current majority. The problem the Democrats have, the analysis suggests, is the low approval rating of President Barack Obama,


Using what has happened at past elections RCP’s Sean Trend compiled this summary of  what the Democrat losses in the Senate would be for various Obama approval ratings:



This is a grim picture for Senate Democrats, suggesting that the president would have to get his approval above 50 percent by Election Day before they would be favored to hold the chamber. This is also consistent with what we’ve seen in polling, which shows the seven “red state” Democrats in truly severe states of distress, while Democrats in Iowa, Michigan, New Hampshire and Colorado are exhibiting surprising weakness.  If these 11 seats are showing similar signs of weakness in November, Democrats will have an extremely difficult time holding the chamber.  At Obama’s current 44 percent approval rating, we’d expect Democrats to lose somewhere between nine and 13 seats.

Well that’s one view of the prospects in November but the Owl is more inclined to stick with the wisdom of the crowds and look at how his Congressional Election Indicator assesses things. This is the market assessment for contol of both the House of Representatives and the Senate:

2014-02-24_congressionalkindicatorsYou will find the Owl’s Indicators for other events HERE.



Categories: Political indicators, US Election Tags:

The five most memorable US political ads of 2013 – News and views for Monday 2 December

December 2nd, 2013 Comments off

Some news and views noted along the way.


  • 5 Most Memorable Political Ads Of 2013 – “It may have been an election off-year, but that didn’t stifle the creativity of political ad-makers in 2013… Politicians often use family members in campaign spots, but this one was particularly noteworthy: Sciortino’s father is a member of the Tea Party. The two engaged in a playful back-and-forth about their political differences.”
  • Work in the Age of Anxiety – The 40-Year Slump – “All the factors that had slowly been eroding Americans’ economic lives over the preceding three decades—globalization, deunionization, financialization, Wal-Martization, robotization, the whole megillah of nefarious –izations—have now descended en masse on the American people… The middle has fallen out of the American economy—precipitously since 2008, but it’s been falling out slowly and cumulatively for the past 40 years. Far from a statistical oddity, 1974 marked an epochal turn. The age of economic security ended. The age of anxiety began.”
  • Sistema – “There are any number of paths and initiations into sistema, the liquid mass of networks, corruptions and evasions – elusive yet instantly recognisable to members – which has ordered the politics and social psychology of Russian civilisation since tsarist times.”
  • Turning Good Economic Luck into Bad – “It is often difficult to understand how countries that are dealt a pretty good economic hand can end up making a major mess of things. It is as if they were trying to commit suicide by jumping from the basement. Two of the most extreme cases (but not the only ones) are Argentina and Venezuela, countries that have benefited from high prices for their exports but have managed to miss the highway to prosperity by turning onto a dead-end street. They will eventually have to make a U-turn and backtrack over the terrain of fictitious progress.”

Trial balloon season in US presidential politics

December 1st, 2013 Comments off

Long-Shot Candidates Look To Keep Hope Alive For 2016 : It’s All Politics : NPR.

It’s trial balloon season in presidential politics.

Not for the headline-devouring, top-tier prospects like Hillary Clinton and Chris Christie, but rather for the long shots and lesser-knowns who are floating their names for 2016. …

Dante Scala, a political science professor at the University of New Hampshire, said many of these potential candidates are after one thing: free publicity.

“Politicians and public figures are taking advantage of the vacuum in presidential electoral politics right now,” Scala said. “When there’s a name floated, and if they’re at all prominent, it will get some coverage.”

Categories: Elections, US Election Tags: