Predicting Elections from Biographical Information about Candidates
AbstractUsing the index method, we developed the PollyBio model to predict election outcomes. The model, based on 49 cues about candidates’ biographies, was used to predict the outcome of the 28 U.S. presidential elections from 1900 to 2008. In using a simple heuristic, it correctly predicted the winner for 25 of the 28 elections and was wrong three times. In predicting the two-party vote shares for the last four elections from 1996 to 2008, the model’s out-of-sample forecasts yielded a lower forecasting error than 12 benchmark models. By relying on different information and including more variables than traditional models, PollyBio improves on the accuracy of election forecasting. It is particularly helpful for forecasting open-seat elections. In addition, it can help parties to select the candidates running for office.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 16461.
Date of creation: 23 Jun 2009
Date of revision:
forecasting; unit weighting; Dawes rule; differential weighting;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- C53 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Forecasting and Prediction Models; Simulation Methods
- D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2009-08-02 (All new papers)
- NEP-CDM-2009-08-02 (Collective Decision-Making)
- NEP-ECM-2009-08-02 (Econometrics)
- NEP-FOR-2009-08-02 (Forecasting)
- NEP-POL-2009-08-02 (Positive Political Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Graefe, Andreas & Armstrong, J. Scott, 2008. "Forecasting Elections from Voters’ Perceptions of Candidates’ Positions on Issues and Policies," MPRA Paper 9829, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Lichtman, Allan J., 2008. "The keys to the white house: An index forecast for 2008," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 301-309.
- Ray C. Fair, 1976.
"The Effects of Economic Events on Votes for President,"
Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers
418, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
- Fair, Ray C, 1978. "The Effect of Economic Events on Votes for President," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 60(2), pages 159-73, May.
Blog mentionsAs found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
- How to select presidential candidates based on their biography
by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2009-09-14 14:58:00
- Cote, Joseph A., 2011. "Predicting elections from biographical information about candidates: A commentary essay," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 64(7), pages 696-698, July.
- Voss, Kevin E., 2011. "Voss wins the Presidency! A commentary essay on "Predicting elections from biographical information about candidates: A test of the index method"," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 64(4), pages 345-347, April.
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