New York University Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Navigation Skip to Sub Navigation

NYU Politics Professor Devises 2010 Congressional Forecast Model Based on Current and Past Election Cycles

September 30, 2010
56

New York University’s Sanford Gordon has devised a new method for forecasting the 2010 congressional elections that calibrates current expert rankings of individual House races based on the predictive success of those rankings in previous election cycles.

Gordon, an associate professor in NYU’s Wilf Family Department of Politics, uses publicly available race rankings determined by the Cook Political Report and the Rothenberg Political Report (e.g., “likely Republican,” “leaning Democratic,” “toss-up”). However, his model also considers the rankings from previous election cycles and their subsequent electoral outcomes.

“The model is a systematic way to aggregate expert rankings to tell us about what is likely to happen in November,” Gordon explained.

“The basic idea is to treat the outcome of each current House race as the result of a weighted coin-flip,” he added. “So, for example, suppose that in the past, Democrats have won seats classified as ‘leaning Democratic’ 93 percent of the time. Then our best estimate of the chance that the Democrat will win in a ‘leaning Democratic’ district in the current race should be in the neighborhood of 93 percent.”

Gordon ran 10,000 simulations using rankings from the Cook and Rothenberg political reports (as of late September) to come up with which hypothetical election outcomes are more or less likely. The full details of the procedures are available here.

Using the Cook rankings, the procedure projects an expected Republican caucus of 215 seats; using the Rothenberg rankings, the prediction is 213 seats. Two hundred and eighteen seats are necessary for a majority. Gordon also ran simulations to calculate the likelihood of the House changing hands—that is, what are the chances that the Republicans will win at least 218 seats?

The simulation using the Cook rankings suggests that the probability is about 37 percent; using the Rothenberg rankings, it is 14 percent.       

This Press Release is in the following Topics:
Arts and Science, Research, Faculty

Type: Press Release

Press Contact: James Devitt | (212) 998-6808

NYU Politics Professor Devises 2010 Congressional Forecast Model Based on Current and Past Election Cycles

Sanford Gordon, an associate professor in NYU’s Wilf Family Department of Politics, has devised a new method for forecasting the 2010 congressional elections that calibrates current expert rankings of individual House races based on the predictive success of those rankings in previous election cycles.


Search News



NYU In the News

CUSP Unveils its “Urban Observatory”

Crain’s New York Business profiled CUSP’s “Urban Observatory” that is continuously photographing lower Manhattan to gather scientific data.

Post-Sandy Upgrades at the Langone Medical Center

NY1 reported on the major post-Sandy upgrades and renovations made at the Medical Center to protect the hospital from future catastrophic storms.

Steinhardt Research Helps Solve Tough Speech Problems.

The Wall Street Journal reported on research at Steinhardt’s Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders, including an interview with Assistant Professor Tara McAllister Byun, that uses ultrasound to help solve tough speech problems.

Times Column Lauds Professor Stevenson’s New Memoir

New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof wrote a column about “Just Mercy,” a new memoir by Law Professor Bryan Stevenson, the founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, whom he noted has been called America’s Nelson Mandela.

Entrepreneurship Lab Opens at NYU

Crain’s New York Business covered the opening of the Mark and Debra Leslie Entrepreneurial eLab, which will be the headquarters for NYU’s Entrepreneurial Institute and all of the University’s programs aimed at promoting innovation and startups.

NYU Footer