Election Exception Proves the Rule

On November 4, while votes were being counted all across the country, a strange thing happened in Mississippi. A woman named Janie Sisco won election as Lincoln County elections commissioner, unseating a 20-year incumbent — by just one vote. The final tally had Sisco beating Charles Monroe Smith 1,580 to 1,579. Assuming Sisco voted for […]

Ron Paul Will Now Take Your Questions

Congressman Ron Paul of Texas ran for president in the Republican primaries this year, raising more than $34 million and receiving more than 1.3 million votes. Ron Paul That obviously wasn’t enough to get anywhere near the general election, but Paul became a rogue hero of many in his party (and beyond), even mounting his […]

Advice for Obama?

Photo: BohPhoto In a matter of hours, President-elect Obama will start holding transition meetings that he’s been planning for months. There are obviously a lot of issues to address, matters of great substance and important issues of style as well. I thought the McCain concession speech and Obama victory speech both set a very positive […]

Am I Drinking Because of the Price or the Election?

We saw this sign in the window of a local wine store offering a 10 percent discount on selected brands until 9 p.m. on election night. The owner had noticed that people tend to buy wine on Election Day — either to celebrate or to nurse their wounded egos if their candidate loses. Election parties […]

What’s With All the Ideology?

An Australian reader named Michael Edmonds writes with an interesting question. He did worry a bit that he’d be considered anti-American for posing it, but hey — nothing good in life is without risk … I live in Australia and I’m a regular reader of your site. I’m frequently surprised by the ideological battles that […]

An Election Form Guide

Today, all eyes are on the U.S. presidential election. There’s certainly plenty to follow, and in my latest Wall Street Journal column, David Rothschild and I begin by highlighting the most interesting markets to track. The big one is obviously who will be the next president: Barack Obama‘s stock has risen in recent days, and […]

The Church Effect on Voters, and the History of Prediction Markets

Photo taken from Wolfgang Staudt and Daniel Morrison. Going to church probably causes you to vote, and election betting markets are nothing new. That’s the word from a pair of interesting new working papers. The first, by Alan Gerber, Jonathan Gruber, and Daniel M. Hungerman, makes clever use of a shock to the system — […]

To Be a Legendary Cartoonist, You Do Not Need to Be Good at Math

There’s been a hubbub about an upcoming Doonesbury strip that Garry Trudeau has drawn for publication in many newspapers on Wednesday, the day after election day. It goes out on a limb and assumes an Obama victory. The L.A. Times reports that some newspapers are reluctant to take a chance and schedule the strip, in […]

Pumpkin Politics

I live in Hyde Park, not far from Barack Obama. He has no shortage of supporters around here, and they express their admiration in every conceivable way. This one, however, is my personal favorite: (Hat tip: Peter Thompson)

Obama Wins the Endorsement Election

Percentage of daily newspapers endorsing Obama: 67.8. Percentage of college newspapers endorsing Obama: 98.4. Percentage of alternative weekly newspapers endorsing Obama: 100. Do endorsements matter? We’re about to find out — although in a case like this, correlation certainly does not equal causation. Also, pretend for a moment that Obama wins a whopping 60 percent […]