If you’re looking for an alternative to the talking heads and endless spinning, here are some quantitative tools for following the U.S. elections that I’ve found useful.
Top of my list would be the betting exchange Tradesports, according to which the Republicans took a real beating this last week. Retaining control of the House is now less than a 50% probability, and Democrats gaining control of the Senate has also become a significantly more plausible event than it was judged to be a week ago:.
The same story is told by the Iowa Electronic Markets, which also has a contract for the now seemingly irrelevant possibility of the Republicans actually gaining seats in either house:
These graphs are live links, so you can check back to this page from time to time as the election draws nearer for updates.
On specific elections, the Senate races in Missouri, New Jersey and Tennessee are very close to 50-50 propositions at the moment, with the odds currently slightly favoring the Republicans retaining their seat in Missouri, gaining a seat in New Jersey, and losing a seat in Tennessee.
In all the other senate races, Tradesports has the favorite with 70% odds or better. These include Democratic pickups in Montana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island, while Lieberman will likely retain his Connecticut seat.
For following the polls themselves, a nice site is Pollster.com. Also noteworthy is Election Projection, which follows good statistical procedure in giving some small weight not just to the average polls, but also to other useful information such as the recent tendency of the state to vote Democrat or Republican. On that basis, EP does not yet call Tennessee as favoring the Democrat.
And if you still want a talking head, it’s hard to beat Larry Sabato.
UPDATE: Election Projection is now joining Tradesports in betting the Democrats will win Tennessee.