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October 21, 2014

Obama Job Approvals and the National Economy


Obama Job Approval Ratings
10/20/14 Approve Disapprove Undecided
Overall 43% 52% 5%
Economy 41% 55% 4%

A total of 43% of Americans say they approve of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as president and 52% say they disapprove of the way Obama is handling his job. In September, 42% of Americans approved of the job Obama was doing and 50% disapproved.

When it comes to Obama's handling of the economy, 41% of Americans approve and 55% disapprove. In September, 39% approved and 56% disapproved.

Among Americans registered to vote, 44% approve of the way Obama is handling his job as president and 51% disapprove. On Obama's handling of the economy, 42% of registered voters approve and 54% disapprove.

Details from the nationwide survey conducted October 17-20 are available at The National Economy.



October 21, 2014

2014 NFL Prediction Accuracy


Microsoft's Cortana and Nate Silver's Elo are predicting the outcomes of NFL games each week during the 2014 season.

The tables below use Brier scores to determine the accuracy of the probabilistic predictions from both models.

Brier scores range from 0 to 1, with 0 meaning the probabilities in the models perfectly match the outcomes of the games and 1 meaning no matches were made (so the closer to 0.000, the better calibration of the model).

If a 50% (0.500) probability were assigned to each team for each game, the Brier score would be 0.250.

Through the seventh week of the season, the Elo model has a Brier score of 0.207 and the Cortana model has a Brier score of 0.216.

Brier Scores
2014 NFL Season Summary 538 Elo Cortana
Week 1 0.212 0.222
Week 2 0.256 0.258
Week 3 0.187 0.209
Week 4 0.242 0.288
Week 5 0.149 0.145
Week 6 0.194 0.194
Week 7 0.211 0.200
Season totals 0.207 0.216

For the season through week 7, the Elo model is performing about 17% better than assigning all teams a 50% win probability and the Cortana model is performing about 14% better than assigning all teams a 50% win probability. The Brier scores for the season reflect that the average win probability among winning teams is 57% for the Elo model and 56% for the Cortana model. 

In week seven, both models continued slip back from their best performance of the season to date in week five.

Details for each game are here.



September 30, 2014

The New Hampshire Poll

US Senate and Gubernatorial Ballots


Jeanne Shaheen leads Scott Brown 53% to 43%, with 4% undecided, in the race for US Senate in New Hampshire. Results from the survey conducted September 27-29 can be found here.

Maggie Hassan leads Walt Havenstein 55% to 40%, with 5% undecided, in the race for governor of New Hampshire. Results from the survey conducted September 27-29 can be found here.




September 19, 2014

2014 Scotland Independence Referendum Pollster Accuracy


The following table lists the accuracy of pollsters in the September 18, 2014 Scotland independence referendum using the measure of polling accuracy proposed by Martin, Traugott, and Kennedy.

An accuracy measure of 0.00 indicates that the odds ratio of the survey results matches the odds ratio of the actual results (the closer to 0.00, the better).


2014 Scotland Independence Referendum
No Yes Odds
Survation 48% 43% 0.90 -0.10 
Ipsos-MORI 50% 45% 0.90 -0.11 
Panelbase 50% 45% 0.90 -0.11 
ICM 45% 41% 0.89 -0.12 
Opinium 47% 43% 0.88 -0.12 
You-Gov 49% 45% 0.88 -0.13*
TNS-BMRB 39% 38% 0.83 -0.19*
Actual 55.3% 44.7%

There are no differences between pollsters at the 95% confidence interval.

*The accuracy measures for the You-Gov survey and the TNS-BMRB survey fall outside the 95% confidence intervals. The You-Gov survey had a total of 3,237 interviews.

The absolute average accuracy for all seven polls is 0.126.

As a comparison, the absolute average accuracy for polling in the 2008 US presidential election was 0.037 and was 0.055 in the 2012 US presidential election.



September 16, 2014

The New Hampshire Poll

Hassan and Obama Job Approval in New Hampshire


Hassan Job Approval Ratings
9/15/2014 Approve Disapprove Undecided
Overall 48% 27% 25%
Economy 41% 29% 30%


Obama Job Approval Ratings in NH
9/15/2014 Approve Disapprove Undecided
Overall 38% 51% 11%
Economy 40% 50% 10%

Results from the September 2014 Quarterly New Hampshire Poll are now available. NH residents rate NH business conditions, their personal finances, Maggie Hassan, and Barack Obama. Also included are results for an updated 2014 US Senate ballot between Jeanne Shaheen and Scott Brown and a 2014 NH Gubernatorial ballot between Maggie Hassan and Walt Havenstein.



September 8, 2014

South Carolina Gubernatorial Election


Nikki Haley leads Vincent Sheheen 43% to 33%, with 18% for Tom Ervin in a survey of likely voters in South Carolina.

Details of the survey, conducted September 2-4, 2014, can be found here.




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