Emory’s Drew Linzer and his Votamatic predict biggish Obama win


I boldly predict a Harvard Law grad will win the Presidential election on November 6.

Maybe I should put that in boldface type to emphasize just how bold my boldness is.

I boldly predict a Harvard Law grad will win the Presidential election on November 6.

The problem, of course, is I’m not sure if the winner is going to be Romney (Class of ’75) or Obama (Class of ’91).

Political journalists and national public opinion polls say the race is too close to call a clear favorite. Mathematically inclined political analysts, however, disagree with the “too close to call” conventional wisdom. They say state-level polls show President Obama with enough of a lead in state polls to make him the clear frontrunner.

The most famous of the spreadsheet pundits is sports-stat junky turned political prognosticator Nate Silver of the New York Times. Using old polls and elections, he developed a computer model to analyze current polls. Right now, Silver predicts Obama will win 50.5 percent of the popular vote and 300 Electoral College votes. But Nate Silver’s not the only man with an interest in politics and Microsoft Excel.

Emory University Assistant Professor of Political Science Drew Linzer has his own computer model and analytical method. He calls it the Votamatic. Because he’s better known, Silver takes a lot of heat from critics who say he’s overstating Obama’s chances. But Linzer’s Votamatic model is actually a lot more bullish on Obama than Silver. Linzer’s model predicts Obama will win 332 Electoral College votes.

To be clear, neither man is saying Romney won’t win or can’t win. They’re saying the current polling data available to them points to an Obama win. On Tuesday, or maybe Wednesday, we’ll not only find out who’s going to be President for the next four years. We’ll also figure out if our spreadsheet pundit is better than New York’s spreadsheet pundit.

May the best nerd win.