How the U.S. election is playing out online

Bambi Francisco Roizen · November 4, 2008 · Short URL:

Polls and prediction markets show Barack Obama a clear winner

 (This post will be updated periodically throughout the voting day. So be sure to check back. Last update: 4 pm)

From to Hubdub, it looks like the polls and prediction markets are forecasting the same thing: Come January 2009, we'll be referring to Barack Obama as Mr. President.

On November 4, Americans (well, besides the ones who already voted from home) will go to the polls to elect the 44th president.

On, the popular polling site, Obama has 348.6, up two points from the last update earlier today, vs 189.4 for John McCain. On RealClearPolitics, Obama has 278. The candidates need 270 electoral votes to win.

Taking a look at the prediction market sites, the results are the same.

On Hubdub, Obama has a 91% chance of winning, down from a high of 95% earlier, but up from 90% yesterday. On News Futures, the probability of a Democrat being elected soared to 95%, up from 89% earlier. On InTrade, McCain contracts have been sinking, hitting 5.9 Tuesday while Obama contracts stand at 94.2.

Prediction markets do not work like polls. The percentages represent forecasts of the likelihood of a candidate winning, and not how many electoral votes they win.

There's been some question of the accuracy of polls and prediction markets. Well, it doesn't look like this election is going to give either process a leg up on the other. 

For those who'll be watching how the U.S. election is playing out online, rather on TV, here's some places to go.  You can go to CNN Election Center and Fox New's America's Election HQ's for the latest. And, for ambient noise about the election, the best site is Twitter's election site. For an aggregate view of Twitter posts and what the Tweets say about the election, go to setfive Consulting

I will update all day. So stay tuned.
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Bambi Francisco Roizen

Founder and CEO of Vator, a media and research firm for entrepreneurs and investors; Managing Director of Vator Health Fund; Co-Founder of Invent Health; Author and award-winning journalist.

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Hubdub Ltd is a VC funded start-up based in Edinburgh and San Francisco that aims to be the world’s largest developer of premium social games for sports fans. Its main product, FanDuel, transforms traditional fantasy sports ($1bn, 30m people market) into an instant gratification daily game where users win cash prizes every day. It is played on, via white label partners such as, and in future on Facebook and mobile.

NewsFutures Prediction Market


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NewsFutures is a leading prediction market, where you can buy and sell predictions about elections, current events, sports, finance, and entertainement. The currency is virtual, but the prizes are real. Established in 2000, the NewsFutures prediction market is home to the most experienced and competitive crowd of prediction traders in the world. The accuracy of it's predictions has been documented in academic research and praised by James Surowiecki in his best-selling book "The Wisdom of Crowds". There is no better place to measure your news-forecasting skills, or to get the latest objective probability estimates for various future outcomes.