After election night in 2012 Obama was 2% ahead in the popular vote. By January 2013 it reached 3.85%
At the 2012 White House Race we had a very special reason on PB to pay close attention to the precise national popular vote numbers in the period after the election.
William Hill had offered £1,000 in free bets and the competition was to predict the winning national vote margin to two decimal points.
My naive assumption in devising it like this was that we’d have the final numbers within a couple of days and the prizes could be handed over.
Not so. The process of gathering in the data to produce a definitive competition verdict took weeks and we had the wonderful spectacle of entrants thinking they’d overshot, getting excited as the total moved up to their number and then disappointed as it went past.
In the end we had to wait until early in the New Year to get the final count. Amazingly Obama’s margin went from 2% on election night to 3.85% at the end.
I was grateful during this period for PBer Andy JS who played a huge role monitoring changing totals from across the US and maintaining a publicly available spreadsheet.
This time there was no competition but the final Hillary Clinton vote lead will be politically important.