Predicting The 2012 US Presidential Election

Polly the parrot uses the high-profile application of forecasting U.S. Presidential Election outcomes to demonstrate advances in forecasting methodology. Her main focus is on the principle of combining.

As forecasters know, combining improves accuracy. After Polly the combining parrot’s successful outings in the lead-ups to the 2004 and 2008 U.S. Presidential Elections, PollyVote 2012 is now up and running.

With the Presidential election more than a year away Polly is currently combing forecasts from just two forecasting methods: polls and quantitative models. Prediction markets, and Delphi panel forecasts will be added to the combination in due course.

Polly averages forecasts from four different component methods: trial-heat polls, prediction markets, quantitative models and expert judgments. The resulting forecast is called the PollyVote.

This approach has led to highly accurate forecasts for the past five U.S. presidential elections. Currently, Polly is working on the PollyVote 2012 for forecasting the 2012 U.S. Presidential Election.

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