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Issue No. 2, October 2006

Political Forecasting Group Now “Official”

The Political Forecasting Group (PFG) was recently designated as a Related Group of the American Political Science Association. Currently 133 colleagues have affiliated with the PFG, including more than 90 APSA members, well above the 50 required for Related Group status. Many thanks to all who helped with recruiting.

As provided in the guidelines, as a first-year group the PFG has been allocated one panel for the 2007 APSA meeting. The number of panels in future years will be determined by attendance in the previous year. To maintain our Related Group status, at the end of three years PFG panels must draw an attendance equal to two-thirds of the average attendance of all APSA panels.

At the PFG business meeting, held at the APSA meeting in Philadelphia, a committee was appointed to determine a subject for the group’s 2007 panel and to recruit panelists. Committee members are Philip Schrodt (University of Kansas), Jay Ulfelder (Science Applications International Corporation), and Randall Jones (University of Central Oklahoma). Suggestions are welcome and may be sent to any of the committee members by email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Also at the business meeting an organizing committee was chosen, which will propose an organizational structure for the group. This proposal will be sent to the membership for review. Committee members are:

Michael Brogan, Rider University
James Campbell, University at Buffalo, SUNY
Alfred Cuzán, University of West Florida
Patrick James, University of Southern California
Randall Jones, University of Central Oklahoma
Patrick Meier, The Fletcher School, Tufts University
Philip Schrodt, University of Kansas
Christopher Wlezien, Temple University

Mid-term Election Forecasts at

At Alfred Cuzán (University of West Florida) has compiled and averaged 14 forecasts of U.S. mid-term elections for the House of Representatives. Currently, these combined forecasts, derived from several methods, predict that Republicans will lose 20 seats. (The forecast average—dubbed Pollyseat—is 20.3.) This is five seats more than Democrats need to gain control of the House. Details and future updates are available at this link.

Averaging election vote forecasts—the Pollyvote—was introduced at during the 2004 presidential election campaign and was a highly accurate predictor, missing the election result by less than half a percent. is part of the Principles of Forecasting web site of Scott Armstrong (The Wharton School).

Lewis-Beck Appointed IJF Associate Editor

Michael Lewis-Beck (University of Iowa) has been appointed Associate Editor of the International Journal of Forecasting, a leading journal in the forecasting field, published by theInternational Institute of Forecasters. As many PFG members know, Michael is a prominent scholar in the field of American and European elections and longtime elections forecaster. At IJF he will be covering subjects related to political forecasting.

APSA 2007 Proposals Deadline November 15

November 15 is the deadline for submitting proposals for papers, panels, and roundtables for the 2007 annual meeting of the American Political Science Association. The meeting will be in Chicago, and dates are August 30 - September 2.

PFG members may wish to propose panels and roundtables that have forecasting applications. The call for papers is at this link: This usual proposal procedure through the program divisions is the only means available to increase forecasting offerings on the program beyond the one panel that the PFG has been allocated.

International Symposium on Forecasting Upcoming in June

The International Symposium on Forecasting will be held in New York, June 24- 27, 2007. The symposium is the major international meeting of forecasters and attracts participants from a variety of disciplines and many nations. It meets in North America in odd-numbered years and elsewhere in even-numbered years, always in June. In 2006 the symposium was in Santander, Spain. The venue in 2005 was San Antonio, where several panels on election forecasting were presented.

Based on past experience the meeting in New York can be expected to present an eclectic mix of forecasting techniques and subject applications. Subjects related to political forecasting can easily fit in, as the San Antonio experience with election forecasting confirmed. Several plenary sessions will provide an opportunity to hear major figures in the forecasting field.

The conference hotel will be the Marriott Marquis in Times Square. The deadline for proposals, to be submitted at the following web page, is March 2, 2007 -


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Previous newsletters

  • Issue No. 1, March 2006