Obama On Way Out? Romeny Hasn’t A Chance? Last Day of Presidential Voting Study

Today is the last day to participate in the voting study. If you have not already done so, please click below. And please send this to people you know, especially those of a different political orientation.

Please take a moment to register who you think will win the presidency. This is a statistical study of how good people are at predicting presidential races.

The results will be posted after the election. This is a self-funded study, so please be honest, please vote just once. This survey takes about one minute to complete and is completely anonymous.


The study closes midnight 16 September 2012.

Help spread this study. Click on the Twitter or Facebook links below, or email the study to one of your friends. Post it on internet forums. We want both progressives and conservatives to take part. See this webpage after the election for the results. Thank you!


  1. Speed

    Shouldn’t there be a “don’t know” option for “Who will win the election?” It would be my answer so I can’t participate. On the other hand, having the ability to “select” my sex is interesting.

  2. Briggs


    Good question. But no, there should not be a “Don’t know” option. By definition, if you truly do not know, you cannot make a guess. If you can make a guess before next Saturday, then please come back and register one. Thanks.

  3. DAV

    If it’s truly anonymous, does that mean you aren’t eliminating multiple votes?

  4. DAV

    I see you do accept multiple votes.

    Just a suggestion (maybe for future polls) you could track who voted by at least IP but not store the results with that information. Not completely foolproof. Also not completely anonymous as it depends on YOUR honesty. OTOH, maybe it’s not a real problem but how would you know?

  5. Christina

    You should have a “I’d would more willingly vote for a dead horse, but I don’t want that other guy to win.” option on the how much you desire your choice to win.

  6. Matt

    Of course, there are legitimate reasons for a single IP address to have multiple votes (e.g., people living in the same house, working at the same business).

    On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.

  7. Jim Fedako

    For those who support neither, blank is the only response to “Who do you want to win.” Is that your intention.

  8. Sextus

    I am going to shed unfavorable light on the way I make decisions. I very often loose my bets, though I bet infrequently (cause and effect?). I say Obama will win and I am willing to make a bet.

    Is the purpose of this study learning about the leanings of the readers of this blog? Surely, it is not a representative sample of the population. Could you tell us more Professor?

  9. Matt

    The political orientation question should offer more choices. I self identify as a conservative leaning libertairian.

    I would be intresting to see the predictions and results broken out for some of more mminority political parties / Philosophies.

  10. paul Callander

    I completed the survey. I am not a US citizen or even resident.
    Did you want non US citizens to do this?

  11. @ paul Callander: Plenty others already doing it for real, so no sense getting picky here.
    @ DAV: It’s called “replicating the Chicago effect”.

  12. Chinahand

    I find it almost impossible to break down my beliefs into a conservative/progressive split. It depends what political aspect you are examining. I’m close to being an Adam Smith liberal – with liberal being used not as it commonly is in the US as a proxy for socialism. In social matters I align with progressives – in favour of gay rights, pro-choice, secularist. In economic ones I often think less government is best with a dislike of government picked winners, trade union protectionism etc and I am deeply in favour of free-trade and free flows of capital, ideas and people. In the UK I align reasonably well with liberal conservativism, but in the US I could fit under either centrist Republican or Democrat umbrellas – both can attract and repel me depending upon which part of their platform they are emphasizing.

    Prof Briggs what aspects of the word progressive and conservative are you emphasizing? My gut feeling is that I am a conservative, but am pretty sure you would dismiss me as a progressive – horses for courses and all that but I feel a tripartite breakdown of Progressive, Independent, Conservative would be better and for methodologically different reasons than your binary split between being able to make a guess or not.

    Oh, also do you want foreigners confusing your poll with their different political spectra? I can publicize you poll, but it would be on British orientated sites and they would have similar problems to those identified above – the US conservative/progressive split doesn’t real fit “abroad”!

  13. Matt

    @Matt (err…some other Matt 🙂 )

    One of Briggs’ interests is wishcasting, which is seeing how your desires affect your predictions. IIRC, he explicitly mentioned that aspect last time around, and I assume similar motivations apply here.

  14. Carl Spackler


    In the case of “Who do you want to win?” I left it blank. I don’t want either of them to win, I think they are both deficient. So, an “other” option would be nice there, even for those of us that know that “other” isn’t really a viable option. Given that it’s an opinion of choice though, reality shouldn’t constrain choice. 😛

  15. Briggs

    paul Callander,

    All people can enter; but please say whether or not you are registered to vote here (presumably you are not).

  16. Available answers for “who do you want to win?” should include “Johnson” and “Neither”

  17. Luis Dias

    Not an american, yet made the poll, hope you don’t mind (I do keep up with american politics quite well… for instance I did listen to most speeches of the conventions, yes that included the dreadful (but cute) speech by Clint).

  18. Ray

    Are dead people allowed to vote too? That’s what happens in Chicago.

  19. Uncle Mike

    So there are four possible outcomes:

    predict A, desire A
    predict A, desire B
    predict B, desire B
    predict B, desire A

    Which of these are “wishcasting”? Or are they all wishcasting, with two of them based on perverse wishes? If so, when are predictions (like these) not wishcasting?

    Note that if wishcasting exists, it must exist regardless of the final outcome.

  20. Michael Ozanne

    I voted in the survey, but left the ‘want to win’ sections blank. A rational US citizen must be feeling somewhat afflicted. Our Barry never had the currency or the record for the job. And as one of our Colonel’s scathingly put in one of his officers assessments “has performed his duties entirely to his own satisfaction”. His running mate, words fail. We got a good look at Mr Romney on his European tour, mans a knob. His running mate is a liar in the Nixon class, “he’ll even tell a lie when it’s not convenient to, the mark of a true master”. J. Average voter must feel that he’s gone to hospital with pneumonia and been offered the choice between a colonoscopy and urethral scrape. Neither of which will address his issues.

  21. Adam Gallon

    Should there be a “Don’t care” category for who will win?

  22. Briggs

    Adam Gallon,

    Good question. But no. For one, I doubt anybody truly does not care, even if they profess this. If they truly do not care, then I do not for this study need their opinions. Plus, including a “Don’t care” would allow people who really do care, though perhaps not strongly, to select a category which actually does not represent their view.

  23. Most Americans are not stupid. We have been through the Romni crooked types.
    President Obama is the kind of President that I thought I would never live to see.
    I have been involved in politics since I was 17, I am 64+ years. I know people on both sides and can honestly say that most Rep.do not want to see America as a melting pot.
    Republicans that have wealth have taught those without, that it is the rich Republicans who know what is best for everyone and that they will do the thinking for them. They have and are producing wind up toys and robots.

  24. Stand up for your rights America. Don’t let Romi or that preacher who said on the news ” IF OBAMA IS ELECTED AGAIN THERE WILL BE CIVIL WAR”. He seemed very happy when he said this. Why did the news only run him once. I wonder.
    I was going to vote for President Obama anyway, but after what Romi and that preacher said I have taken upon myself to talk to and register people.
    Lets show those Commies that we are not afraid. I consider the Romi types as terrorists or those who back terrorists.

  25. Good sir: I accidentally did not fill out the entire survey and hit ENTER. As such, I ended up filling out the survey 1.5 times. Please disregard the half result. (If only this were droll trolling it might have been hilarious. Alas.)

  26. Alan D McIntire

    I clicked on the study today, September 16, and I got the message, ” study now closed. Just WHEN is the imaginary date and time midnight September 16? I assumed that you meant midnight 9/16-9/17, but you evidently meant midnight 9/15-9/16. NEVER use the phrase midnight xx/xx- it’s meaningless.

  27. Briggs

    Alan D McIntire,

    I also had a stupid typo that said “22 September.” I fired my old copy editor and hired a new one.

  28. paul Callander

    Sorry for the delay in replying. Just to confirm, I am not registered to vote in the US elections.

  29. HarryG

    So Matt

    Do I place a bet at Centrebet as per last time?
    If I recall we, as they say down here, “did our dough”


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