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The Bayes-ics of Election Forecasting
These are known as our “priors,” our initial beliefs about the probability of something coming true. In response, the psephologist might decrease Candidate A’s probability of winning the race from 80% to 70%. Our intuitions about what is or is not more likely to happen are inherently subjective, shaped by our personal experiences. This is precisely what makes it a useful approach to developing election forecast models. The methodology is certainly complex, but Bayesian principles still apply.Bayesian statistics is an important technique for modern election forecasting and a host of other empirical endeavors.
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