36 states will hold gubernatorial elections on Tuesday, and according to the famed election prognosticators at FiveThirtyEight, Alabama’s incumbent governor Robert Bentley is the surest bet of them all. His chances of getting re-elected currently stand at over 99 percent, and the margin of victory is expected to be substantial.
FiveThirtyEight’s founder Nate Silver explains how they reached that conclusion:
- We take polls and weight them based on recency, sample size and the FiveThirtyEight pollster ratings.
- We adjust polls for house effects, and we adjust registered voter polls to make them comparable to likely voter surveys.
- We estimate the uncertainty in each projection based on the volume and quality of polling, the number of undecided and third-party voters, the amount of variation in the polling and the number of days until the election.
After doing that, Silver’s team produced a graph, which shows the projections for all 36 races, from Connecticut, which is a true “toss up,” to Alabama, which polling indicates will be a blowout.
— Cliff Sims (@Cliff_Sims) November 1, 2014
FiveThirtyEight isn’t the first publication to point out that Bentley is performing exceptionally well in the polls.
The Washington Post recently produced a map showing which governors around the country are outperforming where the election models predict they “should” be in the polls. Bentley was found to be outperforming the projections by the second largest margin of any incumbent governor in the country.
Mitt Romney bested Barack Obama 60.55 percent to 38.36 percent in Alabama in 2012. Former Republican governor Bob Riley beat Democratic challenger Lucy Baxley 57.45 percent to 41.57 percent in 2006.
The question on Tuesday will not be whether Gov. Bentley wins a second term, but rather, will he outperform other Republicans who appeared at the top of the ticket in recent years.
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