Forecasting runoff elections using candidate evaluations from first round exit polls

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International Journal of Forecasting. 2013, 29(4), pp. 541-547. ISSN 0169-2070. Available under: doi: 10.1016/j.ijforecast.2013.02.001
Zusammenfassung

We draw attention to a simple yet underappreciated way of forecasting the outcomes of elections involving two rounds of voting: surveying the voters’ candidate evaluations in first round exit polls, poststratifying the sample proportions of reported votes to official first round election returns, and redistributing the votes for eliminated competitors according to their supporters’ lower-order preferences among the viable alternatives in round two. We argue that the approach is likely to outperform standard pre-election surveys, due to its better coverage and reduced measurement error, and the possibility of correcting for sample selection. We set out the practical details of the method and demonstrate its usefulness by employing a recent German mayoral election as an empirical case. Thirteen candidates were competing in the first round, while there were six candidates in the decisive second round. The runoff result was forecast two weeks in advance with an average absolute error of less than one percentage point.

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320 Politik
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Runoff elections, Two-round elections, Exit polls, Feeling thermometers
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ISO 690SELB, Peter, Michael HERRMANN, Simon MUNZERT, Thomas SCHÜBEL, Susumu SHIKANO, 2013. Forecasting runoff elections using candidate evaluations from first round exit polls. In: International Journal of Forecasting. 2013, 29(4), pp. 541-547. ISSN 0169-2070. Available under: doi: 10.1016/j.ijforecast.2013.02.001
BibTex
@article{Selb2013Forec-24492,
  year={2013},
  doi={10.1016/j.ijforecast.2013.02.001},
  title={Forecasting runoff elections using candidate evaluations from first round exit polls},
  number={4},
  volume={29},
  issn={0169-2070},
  journal={International Journal of Forecasting},
  pages={541--547},
  author={Selb, Peter and Herrmann, Michael and Munzert, Simon and Schübel, Thomas and Shikano, Susumu}
}
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