Predicting Electoral College Victory Probabilities from State Probability Data

21 Pages Posted: 24 Nov 2004

See all articles by Ray C. Fair

Ray C. Fair

Yale University - Cowles Foundation; Yale School of Management - International Center for Finance

Date Written: November 2004

Abstract

A method is proposed in this paper for predicting Electoral College victory probabilities from state probability data. A ranking assumption about dependencies across states is made that greatly simplifies the analysis. The method is used to analyze state probability data from the Intrade political betting market. The Intrade prices of various contracts are quite close to what would be expected under the ranking assumption. Under the joint hypothesis that the Intrade price ranking is correct and the ranking assumption is correct, President Bush should not have won any state ranked below a state that he lost. He did not win any such state. The ranking assumption is also consistent with the fact that the two parties spent essentially nothing in most states in 2004.

JEL Classification: C10

Suggested Citation

Fair, Ray C., Predicting Electoral College Victory Probabilities from State Probability Data (November 2004). Yale ICF Working Paper No. 04-44; Cowles Foundation Discussion Paper No. 1496. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=621701

Ray C. Fair (Contact Author)

Yale University - Cowles Foundation ( email )

Box 208281
New Haven, CT 06520-8281
United States
203-432-3715 (Phone)
203-432-6167 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://fairmodel.econ.yale.edu

Yale School of Management - International Center for Finance ( email )

Box 208200
New Haven, CT 06520
United States
203-432-3715 (Phone)
203-432-6167 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://fairmodel.econ.yale.edu

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