Accuracy of Combined Forecasts for the 2012 Presidential Elections: The Pollyvote

Political Science & Politics, Forthcoming

13 Pages Posted: 8 Apr 2013 Last revised: 15 Jan 2014

See all articles by Andreas Graefe

Andreas Graefe

Macromedia University of Applied Sciences

J. Scott Armstrong

University of Pennsylvania - Marketing Department

Randall J. Jones

University of Central Oklahoma

Alfred G. Cuzan

University of West Florida

Date Written: January 15, 2014

Abstract

We review the performance of the PollyVote, which combined forecasts from polls, prediction markets, experts’ judgment, political economy models, and index models to predict the two-party popular vote in the 2012 US presidential election. Throughout the election year the PollyVote provided highly accurate forecasts, outperforming each of its component methods, as well as the forecasts from FiveThirtyEight.com. Gains in accuracy were particularly large early in the campaign, when uncertainty about the election outcome is typically high. The results confirm prior research showing that combining is one of the most effective approaches to generating accurate forecasts.

Keywords: combining forecasts, forecast accuracy, Iowa Electronic Markets, FiveThirtyEight, econometric models, election forecasting

JEL Classification: C10, C53

Suggested Citation

Graefe, Andreas and Armstrong, J. Scott and Jones, Randall J. and Cuzan, Alfred G., Accuracy of Combined Forecasts for the 2012 Presidential Elections: The Pollyvote (January 15, 2014). Political Science & Politics, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2246259

Andreas Graefe (Contact Author)

Macromedia University of Applied Sciences ( email )

Sandstrasse 9
Munich, Bavaria 80337
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.andreas-graefe.org

J. Scott Armstrong

University of Pennsylvania - Marketing Department ( email )

700 Jon M. Huntsman Hall
3730 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6340
United States
215-898-5087 (Phone)
215-898-2534 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://marketing.wharton.upenn.edu/people/faculty/armstrong.cfm

Randall J. Jones

University of Central Oklahoma ( email )

100 North University Drive
Edmond, OK 73034
United States

Alfred G. Cuzan

University of West Florida ( email )

11000 University Parkway
Pensacola, FL 32514-5750
United States

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