From: John Conover <john@email.johncon.com>

Subject: The California Recall Polls

Date: 12 Aug 2003 03:21:07 -0000

Note: this analysis originally appeared in the NdustriX and NtropiX mailing lists-and generated substantial interest; more so than I anticipated. There is a new formal version in Appendix III of Quantitative Analysis of Non-Linear High Entropy Economic Systems Addendum which is one of the mathematical and numerical methods series at the NdustriX site, (and analyzes many more things that you might be interested in, too.) You might want to skip over to Appendix III since it is better written and has graphical content; or you can read the original, below. (The poll data was from NBC News, August 11, 2003.)

- -John
- August 27, 2003

Several Polls came out today. 59% of Californians are for bouncing Gray Davis, and if that sticks, Schwarzenneger has 31% of the vote, Bustamante 18%, with all of the other 150, or so, contenders well below 10%, each. There are 57 calendar days to the vote. Polls are very fractal, and if a percentage point that is gained by one opponent is at the expense of another, (e.g., a zero sum game,) then the deviation of poll movements will be about 2% per day. Fractals are a random process, so the deviation of the polls at the end of 57 days would be 0.02 * sqrt (57) = 15%. So, there is a 16% chance, (one single sided deviation,) that Davis can move his fractal poll from 59% to 59 - 15 = 44% for the recall by October 7. (And, 9 / 15 = 0.6 deviations, which is a probability of 27% that he can move it to a 50/50, and defeat the recall.) Schwarzenneger's chance of winning against Bustamante is 31 / (18 + 31) = 63%, and Bustamante's winning against Schwarzenneger is 18 / (18 + 31) = 37%, (the Gambler's Ultimate Ruin is a good way to determine such things; what it says is that each will be required to gamble on strategies, but the success of the strategies are uncertain.) The next candidate has 6% of the vote, so each of the other candidates will have about 6 / 100 = 6% chance of passing Schwarzenneger and Bustamante, (and all the others,) winning the Gubernatorial race. However, most of the remaining 150 candidates are not serious contenders-about 6 actually have a chance. And that means that the chances of any one of the 6 winning the race is 1 - (1 - 0.06)^6 = 31%. So: Chances of Davis defeating the recall: 27% Chances of Schwarzenneger beating Bustamante: 63% Chances of Bustamante beating Schwarzenneger: 37% Chances of any dark horse beating all the other dark horses and both Schwarzenneger and Bustamante: 31% John BTW, note there are no long calls. The best odds are on Schwarzenneger, but for Schwarzenneger to win requires two things to happen: Davis to be recalled, and defeating Bustamante, or a chance of (1 - 0.27) * 0.63 = 46%, (assuming all the others have virtually no chance of winning.) -- John Conover, john@email.johncon.com, http://www.johncon.com/

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