At the 2018 midterms, the last time US pollsters were tested in national elections, the Democrat margin was 1.1% better than predicted

At the 2018 midterms, the last time US pollsters were tested in national elections, the Democrat margin was 1.1% better than predicted

  Twelve days before what has become the biggest political betting event of all time it is worth reminding ourselves at how well US pollsters performed the last time they were tested in a real set of elections. The above Real Clear Politics table gives quite a degree of confidence. The main elections taking place in November 2018 were for the House and as can be seen most of the final polls were in the right territory having Democratic margins…

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If Florida flips, as the polls are suggesting, then Trump is doomed

If Florida flips, as the polls are suggesting, then Trump is doomed

Florida with its 29 electoral votes has been looking pretty good for Biden and the current FiveThirtyEight average has Biden 3.5% ahead. What makes this interesting from a betting perspective is that as I write Trump and Biden are running at fifty-fifty on the Betfair exchange. Essentially those betting on Trump at this price are gambling that the polls are wrong. Given that the last time Trump was ahead in the polling average was back in March this is what…

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Home truths about Covid-19

Home truths about Covid-19

OK, time to take stock.  Covid-19 cases are rising again.  Where should we go from here?  Plenty of others will use the statistics to construct arguments for preferred courses of action.  I intend instead to focus on some big, simple and mostly unpalatable truths.   The tiered restrictions will likely only slow the growth of the virus   SAGE, our best-informed experts, believe that.  While they’ve hardly given a great account of themselves so far in this crisis, we have no reason…

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What makes the Texas battle intriguing is the historic polling understatement of the Democrats in the state

What makes the Texas battle intriguing is the historic polling understatement of the Democrats in the state

Biden winning here the best value bet of WH2020? At WH2016 the Texas final polls had Trump beating Clinton by 11.7% compared with a 9% margin on the day. Two years later, at the 2018 midterms, the RCP polling average had Republican Senator Ted Cruz beating Democrat Beto O’Rourke by 6.8%. In the end Cruz just managed it with a margin of 2.6%. Currently the FiveThirtyEight average has Trump ahead of Biden in the state by just 1.2%. It is…

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The Johnson/Cummings power grab is in danger of undermining democracy

The Johnson/Cummings power grab is in danger of undermining democracy

The above Tweet sets out clearly and succinctly how the Johnson/Cummings team is seeking to undermine many bodies and to bring power presumably, to Dom itself. This is the man, of course, who at the height of the pandemic in April decided that the rules didn’t apply to him and when all was revealed Johnson failed to do anything about it. Clearly with an 80+ majority the government is in a strong position but I just wonder how Tory back…

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Unlike WH2016 Trump’s opponent this time has strong positive favourability ratings

Unlike WH2016 Trump’s opponent this time has strong positive favourability ratings

So far during this campaign PB has spent a lot of time looking at the voting intention polls but this is the first header on what is arguably a better indicator, the leader ratings for Trump and Biden. The RCP chart shows the gap between the net ratings that Biden is enjoying on favourability compared with those that that Trump is getting. The latest average has Trump on 54.4% unfavourable and 43.1% favourable. This compares with Biden who is getting…

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Is it 1948 redux? A lesson from history.

Is it 1948 redux? A lesson from history.

Last Wednesday, I was lucky enough to join Iain Martin of Reaction’s hour-long video chat with historian and Stanford university fellow Niall Ferguson. As ever with Ferguson it was an erudite and illuminating session, ranging across the presidential election, Trump’s four years, the Covid response, Scottish politics and China.  One of his many riffs though struck me hard: is this presidential election about to be 1948 again? Trump is done according to everyone who is anyone in America, reported the…

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What is Sunak up to?

What is Sunak up to?

Sunak is seen as a possible successor should Boris decide to spend more time painting buses (assuming he’s not pushed under one first). Little wonder: a fresh face, unflustered, articulate and brilliant at PR, with a friendly nickname already (“Mr Yorkshire Tea”). Importantly, he has been in charge of the one government department which has behaved competently during the Covid crisis. The original plan may not have been adequate but Sunak was able to respond to concerns quickly, alter course…

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