With the US presidential election race coming to an end tomorrow (we hope!), it is time to take one last one last look at the RealClearPolitics (RCP) poll average and the Iowa Electronic Markets (IEM) winner-take-all contracts and see where things stand.
We’re including one more data set this time just to give an additional picture – Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight model, which has become the source of quite a bit of contention.
One thing to point out about the IEM that we mentioned in the initial post – the contracts represent a probability, as does the much-cited FiveThirtyEight model that we’ll look at later in this post. That means that as it stands in the IEM, Obama is the favourite but far from a sure thing.
The RCP poll average appears neck and neck:
What have Georgia, Rwanda and Belarus got in common? According to the World Bank’s annual Doing Business project, which has been running for nearly a decade, these are the fastest improving countries in which to do business.
The most surprising inclusion for the outsider is obviously Rwanda. The central African nation has changed greatly since the horrific genocide in 1994-1995 for which it is most notorious. Just days ago, it took up a seat on the UN Security Council. And it is attempting to reduce its reliance on foreign aid donors, focusing instead on raising its own funding.
When we started these posts for the 2012 election season, the goal was to give a purely numbers-driven look at the presidential election – a respite from the noise. Not that the media coverage isn’t useful, however it can be occasionally useful to turn off the noise and just look at the data.
Let’s get a sense of the polls for the last month and a half. Each of these graphs looks at the race(s) from September 1 to mid October.
Real Clear Politics (RCP)
Now that’s what I call volatility. After being in a dead heat in early September, Obama built a lead that hovered in the 3-4 point range for much of the month. The October 3 debate was seen as an important turning point, giving Romney some sorely needed momentum. It is important to note, however, that he had been trending up in the days preceding the event.
To the market!
Iowa Electronic Market (IEM)
The UK Department for Transport is under fire over the cancellation of a deal to award a rail franchise, because of “technical flaws” in the bidding process.
The incident brings the British railway system back into the headlines, where it has often been because of contested fare rises. Complaints about the railways may be something of a national sport, but according to a survey published last month by Eurobarometer, the European Commission body that analyses public opinion, people in the UK are more satisfied with their national and regional rail system than most of their European counterparts. Read more
It has been a rocky road for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney since we last checked in on the polls, and the money is starting to lose faith in the challenger.
The Iowa Electronic Market from 8/23 through 9/25:
As of the end of trading on September 25, the disparity in contracts between Romney and US President Barack Obama was at an all-time high. The polls tell a similar, albeit more muted, story. Read more
Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s announcement on August 11 of Paul Ryan as his running mate drew a variety of responses, including cheers, jeers and even some comparisons to John McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin in 2008.
But for all the media fervor over Ryan and his controversial budget plan, the polling response has been muted compared to 2008. The Real Clear Politics poll shows Romney narrowing the gap from 4.6 points to 2.8 since the August 11 announcement.
But compared to 2008, the bump from Ryan looks inconsequential. Nine days after McCain announced Palin as his running mate, the GOP hopeful had not only erased a 3.9 point deficit, he had taken a narrow 1 point lead.