Proposal for the 2016 Time Series: Quantitative Predictions of State and National Election Outcomes

Can ordinary citizens predict election outcomes? This question is of growing importance in political science for several reasons. First, given declining response rates and increased use of mobile phones, scholars are increasingly looking to crowd-sourced predictions as a supplement for more traditional forecasting methods (Zukin 2015; Graefe 2014). Second, expectations of election out- comes have been used to gain insight into partisan motivated reasoning (Thibodeau et al. 2015; Daniller et al. 2013; Enos and Hersh 2015). Third, given the increasing use of elections as “natural experiments,” it is important to gauge how unexpected these outcomes truly are through the use of pre-election forecasts (Snowberg et al. 2007; Gerber and Huber 2010; Caughey and Sekhon 2011).

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