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Location: Ruston, Louisiana, United States

Just your average joe, with an unhealthy obsession with politics and news.

Monday, November 01, 2004

The Horserace Blog(Jay Challenges The Incumbent Rule And Gives Predictions)

The Horserace Blog
Jay has his final post for the night on his blog giving his predictions as well as a great rebuttal to the so called incumbent rule. In addressing what the mystery poller and others talking heads pontificate , Jay states:
What the mystery pollster (and others) is trying to do is essentially the same as what IR people try to do. He is taking a series of observations and developing an average for how undecideds break to the challenger. This is what "the incumbent rule" is driving at. His problem is that he has a small number of observations, only 8 presidential elections since 1956 where there is a challenger v. incumbent (some have tried to broaden the field to look at all elections and derive a rule from that, but I think that is foolish -- presidential elections are fundamentally different from an election for dog catcher or US Senator). It is really, really, really hard to make a rule from eight observations. And, given that 1976 and 1984 stand out as exceptions (undecideds broke evenly at the end of both campaigns) -- when I say "hard," I actually mean impossible.

Furthermore, 1992 itself is quite incommensurable to the other the elections in the sample. Perot and Bush picked up the last minute deciders -- Clinton actually lost ground among them. A good social scientist would probably would exclude 1992 from his analysis because it is so uncharacteristic in unrelated ways. So, that would be 2 exceptions out of 7. And, if you go back to 1948, for which there is a Gallup survey, you'll see that Truman picked up the undecideds, too. So, that would be 3 exceptions out of 8.

What kind of rule is that? You could easily flip a coin eight times and get heads five times.

People often foget the examples of Ford and more recently Bush one. I believe , like Matthew Dowd, that independents will split. Click above and enjoy.


Blogger Chris said...

Stop the Internet Voter's GuideJust a few tips for those that are new to the process, so that they don't get shafted come tomorrow. Best of luck!


November 1, 2004 at 9:53 PM  

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