November 1, 2004


The United States 2004 Election Prediction (Stanford Predicts: The 2004 Presidential Election)

Probability of winning presidency based on electoral college only (not popular vote)

Kerry 14.79%
Bush 84.02%

Last Updated: Nov 1, 2004, 2:40 pm
Next Updates Expected at: 6:00 pm, 9:00 pm

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 1, 2004 8:01 PM

All the market based indicators, from Fair to tradesports to the bookies, seem to back the incumbent much more than the polls, although it's not correct to equate probability (odds or future prices) with vote %.

The polls indicate W will lose as a tie means the dem ground game in key states will prevail.

It'll be an interesting test.

Posted by: JAB at November 1, 2004 8:13 PM


What polls?

Posted by: oj at November 1, 2004 8:21 PM

The cascade of polls showing W an average of 1.5% up on Kerry but failing to break 50% most of the time. I envy anybody with the willpower to ignore them. I cannot.

Posted by: JAB at November 1, 2004 8:30 PM

For amusement, I just did a numerical analysis of the tradesports' presidential contracts by state and get:

Bush: 57.5%
Tie (269 to 269 which should go to Bush as well): 1.5%
Kerry: 41%

The polls don't take into account things like fraud, litigation, etc., all of which favor the democrats. The future's contracts take such things into account (theorectically).

If I applied the numerical methods to the Stanford polls, I'd get the same results.

Posted by: Bret at November 1, 2004 8:33 PM

JAB: The last few days have seen multiple polls (Zogby and CNN/Gallup, I think) admitting that they are fiddling with the numbers to get the "right" answer. Because they "know" that the race is tied, they can use this to figure out how the undecideds will break, what partisan breakdown to use, etc. It's nicely circular, and makes their results utterly meaningless.

Posted by: brian at November 1, 2004 8:43 PM

Bret: if your numbers are good there's a 4.5 point arbitrage (currently 53 ASK) to be had between the 'GWB to win' contract and what you show for all the states. Problem is you'd burn up 3x that much just trying to get it put on. Darn those efficient markets anyway. The burning question for me is how many 300+ EV's contracts to buy. That may require some beer consultation time.

Posted by: John Resnick at November 1, 2004 8:55 PM

W ticked down today on tradesports, but I think it's volatile. I only recently began checking it compulsively.

Posted by: JAB at November 1, 2004 9:06 PM

John: Bush was at 55% when I did the analysis so it is even more efficient. Even worse, the spread in the States' Bid/Asks are pretty big, so there's no way to make money (I used the average of the Bid/Ask in my analysis as opposed to "Last").

Posted by: Bret at November 1, 2004 9:26 PM

Bret, I agree on the spread and your numbers seem about right. Bush winning OH just took a hit, but who knows.

Posted by: JAB at November 1, 2004 10:02 PM

As of this writing (10:16 Eastern) the Tradesports for Bush has dropped to 52.3, but the IEM Vote Share (share of Dem + Republican, ignoring third parties) really tanked for Bush in what is probably manipulation.

Posted by: Bruce Cleaver at November 1, 2004 10:19 PM

How the heck does one calculate the probability of a single trial to the hundredth of a percent?

Posted by: Jeff Guinn at November 2, 2004 7:33 AM