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Friday, November 2, 2012

The E-President Poll predicts an Obama Win

In the last U.S. Presidential election, I invented a fun tool designed to measure the e-bay factor.  It's a poll that looks at how much money people are willing to pay to have a piece of the candidate.  The more items for sale the larger the demand.  If the market has a larger demand AND a higher price, it's a hands down winner. The fascinating part is that it had a 100% predictability record in the 2008 U.S. election, both in the primaries and the general election.

e-President poll is not scientific, in fact, it's about as subjective as you can get.  I just do this for fun.  Still, it seems to have a good track record to predict the Presidency!  So here we go again.  Keep in mind, the last election did not feature a sitting President, so owning a piece of the candidate made for a relatively equal playing field in 2008.  In this election, if you bought Obama, you'd be getting a Presidential autograph and if you buy a piece of Romney, you won't know if it's a Presidential autograph until after the election... could turn out to be the autograph of somebody who ran and lost, so value is harder to appreciate.  This means more measures should be introduced, so I added active bids.

Active bids is the range where the "buy it now" signs tend to either fall off or we see multiple bids on items with regularity.  In other words, this is where the market becomes quite active for both candidates, indicating a measure of liquidity.  In this area, Obama holds roughly a 4:1 advantage over Romney.  Unfortunately, this is a new measurement, so I can't compare it to the 2008 data.  Obama's Active Bid Range starts just shy of 400 and strengthens into the 350 dollar range whereas Romney starts at 100 and strengthens into the 75 dollar range.  Interestingly, a lot of items for sale this year are signed baseballs.

Active Bid Range 3.99 : 1 Obama

Item count is another category, and compared to the 2008 election, where Obama's item count was 3.7 times higher than McCain; the range has narrowed in this election with Obama posting 2.8 times the item count Romney has.  This is a troubling statistic for the incumbent president as one would expect an incumbent President's item count separation to be wider.  I think this reflects a much stronger candidacy from the Republican ticket.

Item Count 2.87 : 1 Obama

The value predictor... or how much people will pay to "own" a piece of the candidate has also changed between 2008 and 2012.  Obama's cash value has slipped from 2008 when it was 2,500 down to 2,125 in 2012.  Romney, on the other hand, posts nearly 400 bucks on top cash value pre-election compared to a mere 108 bucks for McCain back in 2008.  This means Romney is a stronger candidate than McCain according to valuation figures. and the ration has vastly changes down from 23:1 in 2008 to a mere 6:1 advantage for Obama in this election.

Cash Value 6.08 : 1 Obama

My analysis is as follows:

Obama will win the election, although due to lower bid values and a tighter range, and compensating for an incumbency, it looks to be that the polls are correct, this will be an exceptionally close election.  The bottom line will be how the swing states go, and on that count, I believe the map of the United States will look very red, but most of the key swing states will be blue; placing President Obama over the top in the Electoral College, but it could be tight... with a possible electoral college win of less than 30.

A narrow active bid range is also troubling, but I feel the margin is wide enough to make it easy to call the race.  Obama enjoys both a far larger base of active bids and the quality is superior.  Romney, apparently, isn't as easy to sell on e-bay.  I was going to try and use Hillary as a potential marker to adjust for incumbent vs. non-incumbent, but even though she is Secretary of State, she is also a failed candidate and her e-bay numbers were in the tank... so not a good way to go.

I'm going to apply a 4:1 rule for incumbent vs. non and look at an amalgamated difference on the ratios posted in item count, valuation, and active bids.  Bear with me... it's a guess.  But using this as my only attempt at a data normalization attempt, I arrive at a predicted victory by Obama of approximately 3.2 (+/- 3)  In other words... it won't be pretty, but Obama wins in 2012.  

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