Numbers in Action

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Last week I stumbled across a fascinating post on Media Shift about Politcal Polling Sites.  I am still digesting all of its information.  I’m aware of the fact that each Presidential candidate pays for private polling data for their down data-driven decision making and that news outlets will also sponsor polls.  What I did not realize though, was the vast about of websites and blogs that are polling voters independently or aggregating the data from multiple polls.

The site that amazes me the most is FiveThirtyEight.com, where Nate Silver took his knowledge of baseball statistical analysis and applied it to Presidental politics.  He aggregates polling data and runs 10,000 simulations each day to give a daily prediction of who will win the electoral vote.  FiveThirtyEight is just one of many of these sites including Pollster.com, and ElectionProjection.

I’m no math teacher, but I can definitely sense a great example of real life statistics here.  It could also be an interesting resource to use in a social studies, history, or student government class.  At the very least its a great example of “Huh!” or “Wow!” for all of us.

Joe

Photo: Tied Election Scenario on Flickr

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