Wednesday, October 30, 2013

VA Governor's race:
Last October update

There are three notable elections held next Tuesday. Barring absolute craziness, Bill DeBlasio will be mayor of New York City and Chris Christie will still be governor of New Jersey. That's a win for a liberal Democrat and a moderate Republican, at least by 2013 standards. The other election thatis closeris for governor of Virginia, pitting an establishment Democrat Terry McAuliffe against a Tea Party conservative Ken Cuccinelli. This race is closer, but still not really that close.
Even Republican pollsters who say it's close still have McAuliffe in the lead. There were no identified partisan pollsters among the five polling companies that put out data in the past few days. Rasmussen was reliably skewed to the right in 2012, but founder Scott Rasmussen has resigned and their polls in 2013 are closer to the median now.

Here are the five companies, the date the poll closed, the lead they have for McAuliffe and the confidence of victory number, rounded to the nearest tenth of a percent.

Washington Post 10/27 12 point lead 100.0% CoV
Roanoke 10/27 15 point lead 100.0% CoV
Hampton 10/27 6 point lead 97.3% CoV
Rasmussen 10/28 7 point lead 99.4% CoV
Quinnipiac 10/28 4 point lead 93.1% CoV

In this set of data, Rasmussen is the median, which is the number I go with. 99.4% sounds like a lock, and given that I have only collected data on less than 200 races, I don't have an instance of some candidate losing when the polls were so much in their favor. My system does not give more weigh to one company and less to another, but it should be noted that Quinnipiac alone picked a winner in the New York City comptroller race, so they are on a roll, at least in a small way. If the race is as close as they say, I will at least have to consider making a special case of mentioning their position every time they take a final poll, but that can wait until Wednesday morning to be decided.

If there are more polls, I'll make another update before Tuesday's election.

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