NerdWallet launches Presidential Election Analysis

Personal Finance

NerdWallet is excited to announce cutting edge statistical analysis of the 2012 Presidential Election!

The NerdWallet Election Model will be updated daily and will show each candidate’s statistical odds of winning the presidency.  There has been a lot of press on national polls, but the truth is the only thing that determines presidential election outcomes is electoral votes.  NerdWallet’s election analysis quantifies each candidate’s probability of winning enough electoral votes to become president.  Nothing else matters!

The Analysis

President Obama will safely win 201 electoral votes and Mitt Romney will safely win 181.  This leaves only 156 electoral votes in 12 states available to either candidate.  Mitt Romney would need to win 89 of these 156 electoral votes to win the presidency.

The NerdWallet Model looks at the 12 states that either candidate could win and estimates each candidate’s chances in each state.  The model takes the latest polling data and estimates its accuracy to determine possible election outcomes.  Accuracy is based on the past accuracy of more than 1500 state polls in the previous two presidential elections.  Using current polls and their accuracy, the model runs 30,000 simulated elections to determine outcome probabilities.

Key Features of the analysis:

  1. Extensive – Results reflect over 30,000 model simulations based on data from more than 1500 historical polls.
  2. Unbiased – NerdWallet is not a political organization.  All studies reflect only the statistical facts, not personal opinions.
  3. Transparent – Unlike other election studies with undocumented results, NerdWallet reveals exactly how we did the analysis.  No secrets here!

Current Results

The model finds that the probability of Mitt Romney winning the presidency is currently only 19%.  The study will be updated as new polls become available.  The final update will be on Monday, November 5, the day before the election.

Why are Romney’s chances so low?

  1. Obama has 201 safe electoral votes.  Romney has only 181. Only 12 states (156 electoral votes) could go to either candidate.
  2. Therefore, Romney needs at least 89 of those 156 electoral votes to win (57%).
  3. Given current polling in those states & historical polling accuracy, Romney’s statistical chance of getting those 89 votes is only 19%.

 

Current Polling Probability of Romney’s Votes
State Electoral Votes Romney Obama Romney Winning Expectation Binary
Colorado 9 45% 49% 34% 3.1 0
Florida 29 46% 48% 39% 11.3 0
Iowa 6 46% 44% 60% 3.6 6
Michigan 16 46% 46% 47% 7.5 0
Missouri 10 49% 44% 74% 7.4 10
Nevada 6 45% 47% 41% 2.5 0
New Hampshire 4 45% 51% 24% 1.0 0
North Carolina 15 48% 47% 54% 8.1 15
Ohio 18 45% 47% 44% 7.9 0
Pennsylvania 20 41% 49% 18% 3.6 0
Virginia 13 47% 47% 47% 6.1 0
Wisconsin 10 47% 48% 45% 4.5 0
Safe Romney 181 100% 181 181
Safe Obama 201 0% 0 0
*Polling data last updated on August 27, 2012 TOTAL ROMNEY 248 212
NEEDED TO WIN:      270