Thread: Elections 538
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Old 10-01-2012, 10:02 PM   #235
whoman69 whoman69 is offline
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An odd article on 538 today about an EC tie. Granted they only put that chance at .6%, but mention it because the possibility has doubled from recent scenarios. There are quite a few scenarios for a tie, but all are pretty equally unlikely. In the event of a tie it would most likely fall towards Romney as he will most likely hold a majority in more states in the House. That vote would not be without its repercussions if Obama wins the popular vote.

That said 538 gives Obama an 85% chance or better of winning in 21 different states including Ohio, Wisconsin and New Hampshire. In fact Wisconsin is over 90% despite native son Paul Ryan on the ballot. The overall chances are at 85.7%. He uses an interesting analogy to football in calling Obama ahead by a touchdown with ten minutes to play.

Quote:
According to the win probability calculator at AdvancedNFLStats.com, an N.F.L. team down by field goal with 10 minutes left to play in the fourth quarter has a 34 percent probability of winning the game. A team down by a touchdown wins just 16 percent of the time.

(A technical note for sports geeks: these cases assume that the trailing team has possession of the football with first down and 10 yards to go at its own 20 yard line.)

It might be surprising that a team down by just a touchdown — a close game, by any common description of it — winds up winning so rarely. But there are a few things to consider.

First, a field goal alone won’t be enough for the team to come back. It needs something big to happen — or it needs to score at least twice.

Second, although there’s still enough time in the game for the trailing team to have multiple opportunities to score, there is also enough time for the opponents to score as well and extend their lead. So the team still has to play defense — it’s not purely a two-minute drill.

A third and often overlooked (if completely obvious) point: if the trailing team does score a clutch touchdown, it only ties the game. There are a lot of cases in which it will later lose anyway.

Right now, our forecast says that Mr. Romney has only about a 15 percent chance of winning. But that does not mean that he only has a 15 percent chance of tightening the race — or of making it come down to the wire.
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