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4.2 What happened with the PollyVote since 2004?


For predicting the 2008 election, the general structure of the PollyVote remained unchanged; the PollyVote combined forecasts within and across the same four component methods as in 2004. However, some changes were made at the level of the component methods. Instead of averaging recent polls themselves, the PollyVote team used the RCP poll average by RealClearPolitics as the polls component. In addition, the advantage of the leading candidate was discounted (or damped) using the approach suggested by Jim Campbell. The first PollyVote forecast for the 2008 election was published in August 2007, 14 months prior to Election Day, and was updated daily (Graefe et al. 2009).

For forecasting the 2012 election, a fifth component called index models was added to the PollyVote. This component captured information from quantitative models that use a different method and rely on different information than the traditional political economy models. In particular, the index models capture information about the campaign, such as the candidates’ perceived issue-handling competence (Graefe & Armstrong 20122013), their leadership skills (Graefe 2013), their biographies (Armstrong & Graefe 2011) or the influence of other factors such as whether the incumbent government faced some scandal (Lichtman 2008). The first forecast for the 2012 election was published on January 1, 2011, almost two years prior to Election Day. As in 2008, the forecasts were updated daily, or whenever new information became available (Graefe et al. 2014a).

In 2013, the PollyVote was launched in Germany to predict the German federal election of the same year.

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