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Will a prediction market outperform Nate Silver's forecasts for the Super Tuesday primaries?
Nate Silver has achieved significant notoriety for developing a system to carefully aggregate election polls to create well-calibrated statistical forecasts of outcome elections; his site publishes daily updates to predictions for primary and general elections in House, Senate and Presidential races.
Prediction markets have offered an alternative to poll aggregation in forecasting elections. Markets such as (the now defunct) InTrade, the Iowa Electronic Markets, PredictIt, and others ask users to buy and sell shares assigned to each candidate in each race, so that the price point corresponds to the probability of victory. In this question we focus on PredictIt, which allows users to place relatively small real-money bets on candidates.
Which forecasts will prove to be more accurate?
To compare, we will score each set of predictions using a Brier score averaged over all races, computed as where j enumerates the possible outcomes (i.e. possible winners) in the ith race out of N, where is the forecast probability of candidate j winning the ith race, and is assigned 1 if candidate j wins the ith race, and 0 otherwise.
For example, PredictIt assigns (as of writing) 52% to Clinton and 48% to Sanders in the Minnesota Democratic Primary. If this were the only primary, and Clinton won, PredictIt would achieve a Brier Score of A lower Brier score is better, with perfect predictions corresponding to . (In the case where PredictIt's prices do not add up to $1, we will normalize them to $1 to convert to probabilities.)
This question resolves positively if the Brier score for the 22 races is lower for PredictIt's probabilities than for fivethirtyeight.com's probabilities, where we will take values as of noon EST on 2/29/2016, and election outcomes as reported on 3/1-3/2.
Metaculus help: Predicting
Predictions are the heart of Metaculus. Predicting is how you contribute to the wisdom of the crowd, and how you earn points and build up your personal Metaculus track record.
The basics of predicting are very simple: move the slider to best match the likelihood of the outcome, and click predict. You can predict as often as you want, and you're encouraged to change your mind when new information becomes available. With tachyons you'll even be able to go back in time and backdate your prediction to maximize your points.
The displayed score is split into current points and total points. Current points show how much your prediction is worth now, whereas total points show the combined worth of all of your predictions over the lifetime of the question. The scoring details are available on the FAQ.
Note: this question resolved before its original close time. All of your predictions came after the resolution, so you did not gain (or lose) any points for it.
Note: this question resolved before its original close time. You earned points up until the question resolution, but not afterwards.
This question is not yet open for predictions.
Metaculus help: Community Stats
Use the community stats to get a better sense of the community consensus (or lack thereof) for this question. Sometimes people have wildly different ideas about the likely outcomes, and sometimes people are in close agreement. There are even times when the community seems very certain of uncertainty, like when everyone agrees that event is only 50% likely to happen.
When you make a prediction, check the community stats to see where you land. If your prediction is an outlier, might there be something you're overlooking that others have seen? Or do you have special insight that others are lacking? Either way, it might be a good idea to join the discussion in the comments.