Campaigns and elections

A calibrated Cook gives Dems the edge in Nov, sez Sandy

Sep 28 '10

Sandy Gordon sends along this fun little paper forecasting the 2010 midterm election using expert predictions (the Cook and Rothenberg Political Reports). Gordon’s gimmick is that he uses past performance to calibrate the reports’ judgments based on “solid,” “likely,” “leaning,” and “toss-up” categories, and then he uses the calibrated versions of the current predictions to make his forecast.

As I wrote a few weeks ago in response to Nate’s forecasts, I think the right way to go, if you really want to forecast the election outcome, is to use national information to predict the national swing and then do regional, state, and district-level adjustments using whatever local information is available. I don’t see the point of using only the expert forecasts and no other data.

Still, Gordon is bringing new information (his calibrations) to the table, so I wanted to share it with you. Ultimately I like the throw-in-everything approach that Nate uses (although I think Nate’s description of his own method could be a bit confusing in that it downplays the national-swing estimate which is so crucial to having it all work) . Maybe Nate can throw Gordon’s information in too.