Accurate prediction of electoral outcomes


We present novel methods for predicting the outcome of large elections. Our first algorithm uses a diffusion process to model the time uncertainty inherent in polls taken with substantial calendar time left to the election. Our second model uses Online Learning along with a novel ex-ante scoring function to combine different forecasters along with our first model. We evaluate different density based scoring functions that can be used to better judge the efficacy of forecasters. We also propose scoring functions which take into account the entire density of the forecast rather than just a point estimate of the value. Finally, we consider this framework as a way to improve and judge different models performing a prediction on the same task.

arXiv preprint arXiv:1704.02664