Monday, October 23, 2006

This is what democracy looks like

An interesting article about the American midterm elections in a couple of weeks in Barron's Online. They predict that the Republicans will keep control of both the House and Senate, using a predicative system which has proved more accurate in recent elections than opinion polling. They predict that the successful candidate in each race will be the one who has raised most money:

"Look at House races back to 1972 and you'll find the candidate with the most money has won about 93% of the time. And that's closer to 98% in more recent years, according to the Center for Responsive Politics...

Our method isn't quite as accurate in Senate races: The cash advantage has spelled victory about 89% of the time since 1996. The reason appears to be that with more money spent on Senate races, you need a multi-million-dollar advantage to really dominate in advertising, and that's hard to come by."

Read the whole thing here.

This method of predicting American elections was more successful than the pundits in both 2002 and 2004. An electoral system where the better funded candidate wins 98% of the time is not one I like to spend too much time thinking about. Let's hope the Democrats can beat the odds this time.

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