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Ron Paul and "electability"

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Ron Paul and "electability"

Postby Add » Wed Dec 21, 2011 5:15 pm

I'm posting in debators forum in case it flares up into a political debate. It's really a maths post though.

Firstly (as a Brit) I'm fairly disinterested in US elections, but I still follow world news. It's interesting to see how some parts of your media portray the different GOP nominee candidates and feel that they can say who is, and isn't, electable.

I hear some say that if Paul was the GOP nominee he'd never beat Obama. I thought I'd check the data to see how electable the different candidates are.

There's something called conditional probability. It's fairly elementary mathematics it allows you to calculate what's the probability of an event given another event.

So:
P(A|B) means if B happens what's the probability that A will happen.

So (for each Republican candidate) if that candidate was to represent the Republicans what is the probability the candidate would beat Obama?

By calculating this for each candidate I can get a rough value for their "electability" and see quite how badly Ron Paul fares.

Now the mathsy bit.
P(A|B)=P(AnB)/p(B)
That is:
The probability that if a candidate is chosen to represent the GOP they'd win the presidency=Probability that they are chosen AND win the general election divided by the probability they are chosen to represent the GOP.

So how did I find the numbers for P(AnB) and P(B)? The most obvious place was to take the data from the betting exchanges. Gamblers tend to be quite good at assessing probabilities, and the probabilities adjust as more information is released. So using this model I was able to test the presidential potential hard-headed gamblers assign to Paul.

I was quite surprised by the results.

Disclaimer: This is a fairly simple model, and there are some obvious problems (e.g. no analysis of market depth, probability that Paul forms a break-away party and wins, etc.). This is just a quick media bullshit sniff test.


Image

The vertical bars are error bars based on market spread, the horizontal bar marks the average probability of the candidate becoming president IF they were chosen as the GOP candidate.


According to this derivative data in the marketplace, if chosen to represent the GOP then Paul is the MOST likely to beat Obama, not the least. At the very least it's a stretch to say he's less presidential than the others.


I then figured that perhaps this is because Paul is the "flavour of the month". So I downloaded the last few months data to look see how Paul's electability has varied using this model (this is over the last two months).

Image

Paul's electability has wiggled about a bit but the market seems to think that Paul (if chosen) would be the only candidate that has better than evens chance of beating Obama.

Now, I'm sure the journalists can tell me why all the gamblers are wrong, but journalists get paid whether they're right or not. Gamblers only get paid if they're right.

....So, the questions...

How efficient do you think markets are in assessing likelihoods? Are gamblers more accurate at predicting the future than the main stream media?

Oh yeah, and if you'd like Obama to see another term then start cheering for Bachmann!
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Re: Ron Paul and "electability"

Postby acaciavet » Wed Dec 21, 2011 5:20 pm

They all suck,Ron Paul is A loon when it comes to his stance on defence.I cant vote for some one makes it hard for my military to go kill someone. If Obama get re-elected its all over for us so it will be up to the stupid people to get the message, Besides the Myan Calender said that the World ends Dec 2012. Dheerio old boy

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Re: Ron Paul and "electability"

Postby kats » Wed Dec 21, 2011 6:56 pm

acaciavet wrote:They all suck,Ron Paul is A loon when it comes to his stance on defence.
I'm with you AVet... but I have a MUCH higher (... oh, I'd estimate... say about 100|0 ) probability of ANY GOP vote over Obama.
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Re: Ron Paul and "electability"

Postby KyleWeiss » Wed Dec 21, 2011 7:57 pm

Of course this is going to turn into a political debate. That versus speculating over proposed "what if" numbers? :lol: I mean, same realm, different schools of thought.

An administration that can help get people working again, be good for my industry (mining) by removing the ridiculous taxes and red tape that just generates money for some idiot to spend on something pointless, I'll be good. Then they can have all the other crap they want, adulteration, guns, whatever. Let the "intellectuals" fight over morals and specifics. I need to pay my rent. Obama doesn't care about me or my line of work. To most of that ilk, it's better off in China where it's unregulated and dirty, out of sight, out of mind: Just send over those pretty, new iPhones and everyone's happy. 8-)
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Re: Ron Paul and "electability"

Postby ScotsJim » Wed Dec 21, 2011 10:15 pm

KyleWeiss wrote: Just send over those pretty, new iPhones and everyone's happy. 8-)


True. But only "happy" for a while. Until the next gadget comes on the market. For it is written....Let the consumers consume. Amen.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JRoEGZ3v2f8

:lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Ron Paul and "electability"

Postby ewlewis » Thu Dec 22, 2011 2:01 am

I feel that Paul does say some good things, and also some far out things, but overall he could not beat Obama. The primary reason I would see this as so is because I do not believe he would sway the moderate voter. Then again I believe there is also some credence that nay one of the front runners is a better choice than current administration and could quite possibly win.
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Re: Ron Paul and "electability"

Postby KyleWeiss » Thu Dec 22, 2011 6:59 am

ScotsJim wrote:
KyleWeiss wrote: Just send over those pretty, new iPhones and everyone's happy. 8-)


True. But only "happy" for a while. Until the next gadget comes on the market. For it is written....Let the consumers consume. Amen.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JRoEGZ3v2f8

:lol: :lol: :lol:



:lol: Wow. Gotta love The Onion. 8-)

Hey, the consumers can buy whatever they like, so long as I'm given a chance to supply shit for the shit components in their ultimate, shiny new shit. :lol:
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