Agree or not agree: If Romney and Obama are tied in the polls, odds of a Romney win is about 50%?

There seems to be a running debate about how to interpret the polls to estimate probability of a win. Many say that since the popular vote polls is tied between Romney and Obama, then Romney has about 50% chance of winning. Some point to the historical record that in elections where the popular vote is tied, the outcome is split about 50-50 between the candidates. Is this line of reasoning valid?

Nate Silver disagrees with this assessment. Is he biased, or does he know his math?

Update 2:

Nate Silver insists that he's a centrist, if not apolitical. He says he won't be voting in 2012.

14 Answers

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  • TerryT
    Lv 5
    8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Nate Silver's final 2008 presidential election forecast accurately predicted the winner of 49 of the 50 states as well as the District of Columbia (missing only the prediction for Indiana). As his model predicted, the races in Missouri and North Carolina were particularly close. He also correctly predicted the winners of every U.S. Senate race.

    He currently projects Obama to win (primarly based on electoral vote) with almost a 75% chance.

  • Dash
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    But it is still six day out. And the polls are not split 50-50.

    They are split 47-47 according to the realclearpolitics average of polls.

    That means that 5 to 6% are undecided or voting for third party. The undecideds will sway heavily toward the challenger. So Romney should win popular vote by at least a few points when the acutal votes are counted.

  • 8 years ago

    Statistically, yes. Realistically - not quite that high.

    Regardless as to whether Obama deserves reelection, he will most likely have the White house for another four years. The main reason being that he continues to have the backing of the major press.

    The same press which in 2008 told voters that a first term Senator with an unusually mediocre senate record and not so much as one days work in any private business, was the prefect presidential candidate. This is the same group backing Obama's reelection,

    No one ever lost a presidential election because they underestimated the intelligence of the average voter. Obama looks good to go in November.

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    I nonetheless like McCains option of Palin win lose or draw. Humans are normally bemoning the truth that its just politics as common that one politician is fairly no special than a further. Then what will we do we choose representatives year after year after yr with the equal dismal results. Then every 4 years or so we clamor for exchange and we get what? An Obama and a McCain that only rather symbolize the same old WAshington insider Beltway Politics as typical crowd. Along comes an outsider a contemporary face with new suggestions and what will we do? We villify and deride her and attempt to diminish her!! So what do you relatively need ? I feel lots of you're convinced by using getting precisely what you will have gotten over and over and over.

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  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    Nate Silver might be biased, but math is not and the math shows, when you add up the electoral votes, based on all the State polls, that Obama is the favorite to win the electoral vote.

  • 8 years ago

    The people vote, but it doesn't count to much. Remember, the electoral colleges vote. THEY decide who the President will be. If a state votes many Republican for example, the electoral colleges will vote for many Republican, but that doesn't mean that one or two might not vote Democratic.

    The polls are completely biased; we will truly never know. There is no way to interpret the polls this way or that way. Do not listen to polls.

  • Erik
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    Check out intrade.com for the best "odds" on who is going to win. Obama is at 66% chance right now. These people that bet take lots of things into consideration - so I think it is more reliable than a poll.

    It's a game of electoral votes....not popular votes.

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    so you're saying that if Mitt and Barack are both polling 50%..they have a 50% chance of winning..that's like saying the team with the higher score at the end of the game almost always wins....

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    This one is to hard to read. I don't care what anyone says.Too many words coming from to many different directions. I know how it should read. But it wont.

  • 8 years ago

    If you look at the swing states Obama is ahead.

    Source(s): RCP
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