Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Polls vs Predictions

Okay, this is interesting.  Abby and I have a routine debate about the roll of Missouri in presidential elections.  Abby believes that Missouri is a bellweather state (and the empirical evidence is on her side here--traditionally: as Missouri goes, so goes the nation) and, therefore, a good indicator of the temperature of the country.  This at odds with recent polling numbers, because the polls overwhelmingly favor Obama, but Missouri is still a toss-up but is leaning McCain.

My position is that, bellweather or no, Missouri isn't a battleground state and even if it was a bellweather, that doesn't mean it is anymore.  A lot can change in 4 years.  But it may turn out that we're both right.  While polls still show a slight McCain lead in Missouri, predictions markets now favor Obama in this state (note, the above are live links to sites with frequently-changing data, so what you see when you click on them may have nothing to do with what I saw when I went to them ten minutes ago).

So I may have to go out and vote this November, after all.

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