STUMP » Articles » Election Prediction Aftermath: The Goat LOSES » 9 November 2016, 03:41

Where Stu & MP spout off about everything.

Election Prediction Aftermath: The Goat LOSES  


9 November 2016, 03:41

This particular wacky prediction came in late.

As sophisticated pollsters forecast the outcome of the 2016 election, meanwhile a “psychic” goat has wordlessly weighed in with its own prediction.

“Boots,” a thoughtful three-year-old Golden Guernsey hailing from Jedburgh Scotland recently made this very low-key prediction of the ultimate people’s choice by biting the sign marked “Clinton” for the win, according to Scotland newspaper The Scotsman.

Should have trusted the monkey.

(Btw, I woke up at 3am… turns out my timing was fabulous.)


Well. I certainly hadn’t expected that. And a bunch of people from my prediction posts also hadn’t.

Also, this MIT prof is going to eat bugs, supposedly. I don’t think it’s much of a stunt given I went to a restaurant last weekend that serves grasshoppers tacos. (I didn’t have any, but they’ve got a great selection – I highly recommend for brunch if you’re in the area.)

There will be more taunting gifs:

Oh, let’s visit the to-be bug eater:

Forget Nate Silver. There’s a new king of the presidential election data mountain. His name is Sam Wang, Ph.D.

Haven’t heard of him just yet? Don’t worry. You will. Because Wang has sailed True North all along, while Silver has been cautiously trying to tack his FiveThirtyEight data sailboat (weighted down with ESPN gold bars) through treacherous, Category-Five-level-hurricane headwinds in what has easily been the craziest presidential campaign in the modern political era.

When the smoke clears on Tuesday—and it will clear—what will emerge is Wang and his Princeton Election Consortium website and calculations (which have been used, in part, to drive some of the election poll conclusions at The New York Times’ Upshot blog and The Huffington Post’s election site). What will be vindicated is precisely the sort of math approach that Silver once rode to fame and fortune.

This year, Wang called the election at 8:55 PM on October 18. He promised to eat more than just his hat if Clinton loses: “It is totally over. If Trump wins more than 240 electoral votes, I will eat a bug,” Wang tweeted to his 23,000 followers. He expects Clinton to receive at least 298 electoral votes.

Oh I’m looking forward to this.

Wait….. that’s not popcorn….

Okay, this is really. Well, not really a shock.

As of right now, I’m seeing Donald Trump: 48% of the vote, Clinton: 47%… and that seems within the margin of error of 3% used in most polls.

But let’s go down the list from my last post on predictions.


I’m using the predictions I compiled from this post.

538 still has Clinton winning, 67.8% chance. 296.4 electoral votes.

Oooooh, so close. I mean, no.

Okay, maybe I better hold off til the end.

RCP Tracking poll has Clinton up by 1.7 percentage points over Trump.

Within the 3% margin. Still.

ABC currently has Clinton at 278 electoral votes, and Clinton with a 3 point lead in their tracking poll.

3 point lead? Yeah, that’s a 4 point swing.

LA Times has Trump over Clinton by 3.5 percentage points – widening the 1 percentage point lead that they had last week.

Mmmm, within the margin. And in the correct direction.

Iowa Electronic Markets still have Clinton up – but lots of volatility.

The last graph I found had a lot of volatility… in the wrong direction.


Good Judgment Project has Clinton with 75% chance to win.

Oooh, I was a predictor in that one. It closed at Clinton at 76%.

My last prediction was 60% to Clinton, so I’ll give myself…oh wait, there was a comment:

meepbobeep made a forecast:
60% A Democrat
39% A Republican
1% Other
0 UPVOTES Reply Edit Delete Link NOV 4, 2016 04:58PM

0 Upvote Flag Link NOV 4, 2016 07:09PM

Yeah, I was wrong. Oh well.
0 UPVOTES Edit Delete Link NOV 9, 2016 04:10AM

Though it seems I was a wee less wrong than others.
0 UPVOTES Edit Delete

Okay, I’ll take a dunce cap, though.

Only fair.

It also looks like I got the third party question wrong, too. But I probably got the popular vote one correct.

I’ll take that.


Predictwise at this moment in time: 84% chance of Clinton victory. Looks like it combines the results from multiple betting markets. Looks like he’s saying the electoral votes for Clinton should be over 300.

And there’s this particular prediction:

“There is zero probability of a President Trump with a Democratic Senate and a Republican House

“Because of the likelihood that Democratic gains in the Senate would also give the states to Clinton, the likelihood of Trump winning and then facing a divided Congress are negligible. Other scenarios are currently forecasted as being similarly improbable.”

Well it didn’t happen. So.

Take your wins where you can find them.

But here ya go, the astrologers have spoken:

Astrologers attending an international symposium in Costa Mesa Calif., unanimously agreed the election gods will not be smiling on The Donald when results for what has been the most contentious political campaign in modern American history are counted on November 9.

Way to confirm the predictive usefulness of astrology.

But hey, about as useful as the polls, so:

Finally, a professor with a non-poll model:

“Last month, the man who’s tried to turn vote prediction into a science predicted a Trump win.

Allan J. Lichtman, distinguished professor of history at American University, said Democrats would not be able to hold on to the White House.”

He was correct.

And this guy from my first prediction post:

Professor Norpoth claims Trump will win:

Norpoth, who has accurately predicted the last five presidential elections, uses two models. The first, he told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, is the primary model, which tracks how the candidates are performing, and “it usually turns out the candidate who does better in his party’s primaries or her party’s primaries beats the other guy who does less well.”
The second model, he explains, is called the Swing of the Pendulum, which is the tendency for a change after two terms of a party being in the White House. This, of course, gives the prediction that a Republican will win in 2016.

Norpoth is so convinced by his models that he’s putting his money where his mouth is. He bought shares in the Republican candidate in the Iowa Electronic Markets a long time ago and he’s sticking with it, he said.

Given where the market ended up there, he’ll probably cash out nicely.

Anyway, I’m looking forward to the explanations as to why the polls failed this time, and Norpoth and Lichtman will be doing their victory laps, as will Scott Adams and Don Surber with Michael Moore looking on saying I told you so.

For now, I’m staying off twitter and facebook, because those places are likely brutal. I’ll just post a link to here and skedaddle.

It’s going to be an interesting four years.

I don’t think anybody will object to that prediction.

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