You Think Nate Silver Was Impressive? A Princeton Neuroscientist PERFECTLY Nailed The Popular Vote

ELectoral vote histogram

Photo: Sam Wang

Neuroscientist Sam Wang at the Princeton Election Consortium made a bold call last night.Wang indicated that his model found that Obama would close with 332 Electoral votes.

Wang also called the following popular vote spread:

  • Final predicted popular-vote margin: Obama +2.2 +/- 1.0%.
  • Two-candidate vote share: Obama 51.1%, Romney 48.9%.

This morning, what did we find? Well, if Florida goes to Obama, he’ll close out with a strong showing of 332 electoral votes. And as for the popular vote, here’s what Wang says in his “morning after” post:
The popular vote is Obama 51.1% to Romney 48.9%. Again, this exactly matches my prediction, which was state polls with a little Bayesian help from national polls.
So even if Silver’s magnum opus of prediction wasn’t convincing enough to convince people that polls are fair, accurate and analytical, Wang’s similar performance should do the trick. 
All together, Wang’s relative beat of Silver on this one shows that, if anything, not only are aggregation models here to stay, but the business is bound to get a lot more diverse in the years to come. 

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