Who runs this site?
Tyler Miksanek and Matthew Dudak are the primary people behind Electoral Statistics, but along the way they may have some help from an extended cast of people, who will be mentioned as they help.
Who are you guys?
Tyler and Matthew are both undergrads, Matthew studying physics at Brown University and Tyler studying biology and economics at Michigan State University.
What are you trying to do with this site?
Our long-term goal is to build a successful model to predict the US Presidential elections of 2016. On the side, we will also be covering the statistics of the primaries, analyzing what the statistics that are put into our model truly mean and writing about what goes into designing the model.
So if you guys aren’t statisticians or political science professionals, how do you know how to do this?
We are using some combination of trial and error and standing on the shoulders of giants. Both of us have closely followed others who are trying to do the same thing we are, and we decided we’d take a stab at it too. While we are not professionals, we still build on the same basic statistical tenets that the professionals use and believe that maybe we can have something beneficial to offer. We also hope that as amateurs, we can help you understand what truly goes into trying to predict an election.
Do you have any experience in this?
In this specific endeavor, no. In 2015, Matthew took a stab at predicting the General Election in the UK, and you can check out his work here. Tyler and Matthew also some experience covering elections, albeit more as pundits than quants, over at RantAWeek the last time around.
Are you partisan?
Matthew is a registered Democrat, and is openly involved in Democratic politics, while Tyler is a proud independent.
Will your partisan affiliation affect anything you do on here?
Whatever our personal political inclinations may be, these will not change the cold, hard numbers that we are dealing with. Certainly, in designing a model there will be some level of subjectivity as we have to decide how to incorporate different elements (or whether to incorporate them at all), but when making these decisions, we will be making them based on what can more accurately predict what will happen on November 8th, 2016, not what can make one or the other candidate look better.
This is my first time on the site, where should I start?
Well, coming to the FAQ was a first good step. Since each party’s candidates are not yet settled, try checking out some of our primary coverage. We also will have some rolling posts about various elements as we work on building our model. Otherwise, check back when both parties have settled on a candidate, and we will hopefully launch our model shortly after! If you are of a more nerdy nature, feel free to check out our GitHub account.