Open Model Project

American Civics Exchange

Bringing radical transparency and crowd wisdom to the broken world of political forecasting. OpenModelProject.org

All Episodes

We all know political polls are increasingly unreliable. That's why forecasting outfits like 538 aim to separate "the signal and the noise" by assigning grades to pollsters and weighting their forecasts toward those with the best grades.  It seemed like a good plan. So why did it backfire so spectacularly?  Flip Pidot, Peter Hurford and Harry Crane investigate Nate Silver's utterly failed attempt to distinguish good pollsters from bad.  Follow along with our interactive polls and forecasts at OpenModelProject.org. Follow us on Twitter at @OpenModelProj.  If you'd like to see more independent forecasting and unbiased polling in your world (and gain exclusive access it before anyone else), please consider supporting us on Patreon at patreon.com/openmodel. 

Mar 16

50 min 41 sec

Flip Pidot and Peter Hurford take a fresh look at the New York Democratic mayoral primary (where we're getting ready to field our first ranked choice poll) with a particular focus on the underloved candidacy of Maya Wiley.  Later, Peter shares a rather gloomy theory about potential systemic error in polling of Americans' covid vaccine hesitancy.  With your help, maybe we can do better...  Follow along with our interactive polls and forecasts at OpenModelProject.org. Follow us on Twitter at @OpenModelProj.  If you'd like to see more independent forecasting and unbiased polling in your world (and gain exclusive access it before anyone else), please consider supporting us on Patreon at patreon.com/openmodel. 

Feb 23

31 min 39 sec

Flip and Peter are joined by City & State NY senior reporter Jeff Coltin for a look inside the campaigns of the 5 (maybe 6) top tier candidates for mayor of New York.  Follow along with our interactive polls and forecasts at OpenModelProject.org. Follow us on Twitter at @OpenModelProj.  If you'd like to see more independent forecasting and unbiased polling in your world, please consider supporting us on Patreon at patreon.com/openmodel. 

Jan 29

49 min 56 sec

Flip Pidot moderates a fierce debate between Peter Hurford and Liam Donovan over whether election forecasters should purge polls from their models once and for all.  Liam says send the pollsters packing.  Peter says mend it, don't end it.  Who wins? Listen and find out!  Follow along with our interactive polls and forecasts at OpenModelProject.org. Follow us on Twitter at @OpenModelProj.  If you'd like to see more independent forecasting and unbiased polling in your world, please consider supporting us on Patreon at patreon.com/openmodel. 

Jan 22

48 min 15 sec

We asked you to vote on what race you wanted next and it wasn't even close. The New York Democratic mayoral primary, set for June 22, is our next stop.  With incumbent Bill de Blasio term limited, a huge and growing field of would-be successors are lining up, most prominently 2020 presidential candidate Andrew Yang. Complicating NYC's already byzantine electoral landscape is the first-even rollout of ranked choice voting, where voters get to pick their 1st through 5th choice candidates, who are then sorted through rounds of instant runoffs until someone in the crowded field scrapes together a majority.  How do you campaign in this kind of race? How do you poll it? How do you even begin to model and forecast it?  To help us get a handle on things, we've brought in ranked choice voting expert Paul Butler, creator of ranked.vote.  Follow along with our interactive polls and forecasts at OpenModelProject.org. Follow us on Twitter at @OpenModelProj.  If you'd like to see more independent forecasting and unbiased polling in your world, please consider supporting us on Patreon at patreon.com/openmodel.  Big thanks to our latest (truth be told, also our first) patron Zachary Cramer, who as a "Pollster" level supporter will be enjoying early access to our in-house polling, VIP access to our Discord server, and other behind-the-scenes goodies.

Jan 18

35 min 13 sec

So how'd our prototype do in the twin Georgia Senate runoffs?  Polling: bad. Forecast: not so bad.  Hey, it's a process. It's also lots of fun. So join us as we vivisect the model and ponder how best to monkey with the assumptions, weights, and screens, as eye upcoming ballot brawls like the (possible) Newsom recall and the NYC mayoral primary.  In the episode, we reference Northwestern data scientist Thomas Miller's supremely accurate Georgia forecast. You can follow Miller on Twitter at @virtualtout.  Follow along with our interactive polls and forecasts at OpenModelProject.org. Follow us on Twitter at @OpenModelProj.  If you'd like to see more independent forecasting and unbiased polling in your world, please consider supporting us on Patreon at patreon.com/openmodel.

Jan 11

57 min 22 sec

The Open Model Project is an initiative of American Civics Exchange, aiming to bring radical transparency and crowd-based wisdom to traditional election modeling. In this sneak peek at the 1st episode of the OMP podcast, Flip Pidot sits down with pollster/forecaster Peter Hurford to discuss the inspiration behind the project, why we think it may help fix what's broken with black box forecasters, and what it all means for the Georgia Senate runoffs. Follow us at @openmodelproj and get your hands on the model at openmodelproject.org. Finally... we intend to poll a bunch of overlooked races in 2021, which gets expensive. If you'd like to see more independent forecasting and unbiased polling in your world, please consider supporting us on Patreon at patreon.com/openmodel.

Jan 4

23 min 16 sec