Monday, November 28, 2005

In the hopper...

Three projects are going on at the same time here at MHD.

First Matrow is finishing his work on determining if there is a correlation between how a county voted in the 2004 Presidential election and how it voted in the Referendum C election. When he's done I'll set up a table over at We are also working on creating a few jpg maps.

Second, we will begin doing our state-by-state analysis of the 2006 election. At the same time we will also do a systematic analysis of the Colorado State House and State Senate races.

Thirdly, we've got a project in the hopper that will be reviewing a report that we keep seeing in the local papers.

We will release the state-by-state analysis beginning this week.

Meanwhile, here is an exclusive look at how Prof. Snape killed Dumbledore.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Opening Odds on Control of Congress in 2006...

We are using Tradesports current market prices to set our opening odds for control of the United States Senate and House.

Currently the GOP is favored to keep control of both the House and the Senate.

Senate Probability of GOP Control: 74.2% Fractional: 5/14
House Probability of GOP Control: 72.8% Fractional: 4/11

Over the course of the winter we will be doing a state by state analysis of all 435 House seats and all of the open Senate seats. This analysis will be cross posted at

Monday, November 21, 2005

Referendum C State-Wide Analysis...

Here is our complete initial analysis of the 2005 Referenda C and D election. We are dividing Colorado into five regions, the Denver Metro Area, Northern Region, Eastern Region, Southern Region and the Western Region.

Referendum C:

State-Wide Yes 52.0% No 48.0%
Metro Area Yes 54.1% No 45.9% MHD Index = +2.1
Northern Region Yes 52.1% No 47.9% MHD Index = +.1
Southern Region Yes 48.7% No 51.3% MHD Index = -3.3
Eastern Region Yes 42.8% No 57.2% MHD Index = -9.2
Western Region Yes 56.8% No 43.2% MHD Index = +4.8

Western Region.

Our Western Region consists of 27 counties: Archuletta, Chaffee, Clear Creek, Delta, Dolores, Eagle, Garfield, Gilpin, Grand, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Jackson, Lake, La Plata, Mesa, Mineral, Moffat, Montezuma, Montrose, Ouray, Park, Pitkin, Rio Blanco, Routt, San Juan, San Miguel, Summit.

Referendum C Won in the Western Region 56.8-43.2. The Eastern Region accounted for 17% of the total state-wide vote.

Eastern Region.

Our Eastern Region is made up of 16 counties: Baca, Bent, Cheyenne, Crowley, Elbert, Kiowa, Kit Carson, Lincoln, Logan, Morgan, Otero, Phillips, Prowlers, Sedgewick, Washington and Yuma.

Referendum C Lost in the Eastern Region 42.8-57.2. The Eastern Region accounted for 5% of the total state-wide vote.

The maximum percentage of the vote that Referendum C got in any county was 69.5%, the minimum was 31.4%, with a mean of 51.3%.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

More Referendum C Goodness.

Last week we looked at how the seven county Denver Metro Area voted in the Referendum C campaign.

The Denver Metro Area cast 53% of the total ballots.

Referendum C passed in the Denver Metro Area 54.1-45.9 vs. a State-wide vote of 52-48.

Our Northern Region consists of two counties, Larimer and Weld. In this Region Referendum C passed 52.1-47.1 and it accounted for 11% of the state-wide vote.

Our Southern Region consists of eleven counties. In this Region Referendum C lost 48.7-51.3 and it accounted for 17% of the state-wide vote.

On Monday we will go over the Eastern and Western Regions.

Later in the week we will look for correlations between each county's MHD Diff. and its Cook Partisanship Index.

In the meantime, look here for some G rated Paris Hilton goodness.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Regional Analysis of the 2005 Referenda C and D Election.

Over the next week we will be releasing an analysis of the 2005 Referenda C and D election. We are dividing Colorado into five regions, the 7 county Denver Metro Area, North Central, Eastern Plains, South Central and the Mountains.


7 County Denver Metro Area:

Referendum C:

State-Wide Yes 52.0% No 48.0%
Metro Area Yes 54.1% No 45.9%

MHD Index = +2.1

Source: Colorado SOS.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

In the hopper...

We are going to start doing updates about once a week (either on Mondays or Fridays). Tomorrow we will release a regional analysis of the Referendum C and D election.

After that we will begin our predictions for the Colorado State Senate, Colorado State House, United States Senate and United States House contests and we will start our war on the statistical illiterati.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Looking at the Governor Races of 2005.

In 2005 there are only two races for Governor in the United States, New Jersey and Virginia.

According to the Democrats have a 1/13 chance of winning the seat. That's a 93% probability.

Also according to the Virginia race looks like a toss-up.

You can go here to look at Prof. Larry Sabato's analysis of these races. The GOP currently has a 28-22 advantage over the Democrats in Governorships. If the GOP picks up either Virginia or New Jersey it will increase that margin.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Caldara gives post election analysis; echoes MHD...

As you may know from our pre-election analysis, it is our belief that Independence Institute President Jon Caldara is one of the two consuls for the Republican side in Colorado's current political war.

Last night on his 850 KOA radio show Jon Caldara lead what was a mixture of post election analysis, pep rally and a wake.

He began by stating that he felt like "he let [his supporters] down" by losing the battle over Referendum C while he claimed a partial victory in the defeat of Referendum D. "We didn't do that bad considering that we faced the entire Democratic establishment and a minority of the GOP."

When it came to his actual analysis he said that "the state is moving to the left."

He cited Public Choice Theory as the reason for the Referendum C victory. "Had this election taken place during a even-year this wouldn't have even been close...we matched them in the air war but we lost the ground war...we have no GOTV."

A caller called in and dubbed yesterday the "2nd Black Wednesday" referring to the Caldara legion's loss. Caldara asked what the 1st Black Wednesday was. "A year ago," replied the caller. "Yes, your right" stated Caldara, "A year ago we lost the State Legislature, a Congress Seat and a Senate Seat." We call that election Colorado's Cannae, but "Black Wednesday" certainly has a ring to it.

Caldara also gave special congratulations to two supporters of Referendum C. He stated that without the support of Governor Owens, bringing his GOP legions over to the pro-C side, the ballot item wouldn't have passed. He also stated that the tracking polls showed that when Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper jumped out of the plane, support for C jumped.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Split Decision!!!

Update 16:30:

Look to the right for a report card on how Mile High Delphi did this election cycle. Our sophomore effort looked pretty good (simple models work better than big complex ones). Now we need to focus on the State Legislature...

Update 15:45:

We've done a breakdown of our B Market. The predicted results for the percentage of the vote for Referendum C was 51.12%. The actual election result was (with 99.9% of precincts reporting) 52.03%. A difference of .91%. Not too bad, with 58 participants it sure did get close.

Original post:

The results are in and it appears that Referendum C passed and its sister item Referendum D failed.

It is our belief that this will set up a great battle in 2006 (since this election was basically fought to a stalemate).

We will have analysis of the election up throughout the weekend. I'm working on a color-coded map of Colorado (we will put it up both here and at, Blogicus is working on a regression model, and our newest partner, Salacious Crumb, will be typing up the analysis.

We will also have the results of our markets and our winners up.

Early next week we will have a look at other elections across the United States.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005


Here are some links to the results of the 2005 elections.

Rocky Mountain News.

Colorado Secretary of State.

Here is a look at how Mile High Delphi did in predicting the results of this election:

Econometric Models:

Ref. C Predicted:49.4% Actual:52%

95% Range: 46.9%-51.9% Off: 2.6

Ref. D Predicted:48.7% Actual:49.4%

95% Range: 46.2%-51.2% Off:.7

Futures Market A

Ref. C Predicted:51.12%Actual:52.03%

Futures Market B

Ref. C Predicted:48% Actual:52%

Ref. C and D Homepage

Early numbers now good for C and D.

Update 9:00:

With over half of the precincts reporting Referendum C looks good. Ref. D still tight.

Looks like a big win in the Metro Area will put C over the top.

Original post:

Early numbers are starting to trickle out. It appears that C and D are going to be about 20,000 votes short of passage according to these very preliminary projections.

In the metro area it appears that C is getting about 51.4% of the vote. About 305,000 votes are projected to be cast for C in the seven county metro region.

However, unless the rest of the state votes 48.76% for Referendum C the issue will lose. It currently appears that the rest of the state is polling more like 45.5% for the ballot issue.

Coincidentally, if the City and County of Denver had an all mail election, with a turnout of 50%, instead of the projected 42%, Referendum C would have gotten about 14K additional votes.

These numbers are very preliminary, keep tuned in for more updates throughout the night.

CO: Analysis of Election 2006; A Modern Punic War.

Let us tell you a story from 22 centuries ago...

During this time Rome was still building its commonwealth, but it only ruled over the Italian peninsula. Eventually a war broke out over control of Sicily. Rome fought Carthage (at that time another great power) for years during the 1st Punic War. Rome didn't utterly defeat Carthage, but they did win the war, and they imposed humiliating terms.

During that time a young Carthaginian, Hannibal, watched as his father, a general for Carthage, was forced to surrender to Rome when he had never lost a battle. Hannibal swore a blood oath to his father, that he would humiliate Rome one day for what Rome had done to Carthage.

Hannibal eventually concurred modern day Spain for Carthage, went to war against Rome, beat the Romans in every battle that he fought in Italy, decimating an entire generation of Roman men. Eventually Scipio the younger arose to face Hannibal, defeating him in Africa (after Hannibal left half his troops in Italy). Even in death Hannibal defied Rome, he committed suicide rather than be taken prisoner.

How the hell does this relate to modern day Colorado; well we think that the different factions in the huge political war that is swelling up in Colorado are not that much unlike the factions and actors in the 2nd Punic War.

Setting the Stage:

After Hannibal crossed the Alps with his army and battle elephants, he defeated Rome several times. At that time Rome was governed by two Consuls. Imagine that the United States had two presidents, each with a separate army, that's about how the Roman system worked. Several times a consul would come up with his army and face Hannibal. Even though he had less troops and was on enemy ground, Hannibal won time and time again, mainly because of his tactical superiority. Hannibal had a professional army, unlike Rome's citizen soldiers. He also was a military genius, unlike the politicians who commanded Rome's military might.

Eventually Rome formed an army of over 80,000 men. As they approached the plains of Cannae, where Hannibal set up with his force of about a fourth of that, Hannibal hatched a battle plan that would strike fear into the heart of Rome for a half a millennium. The Romans surged ahead in a simple attack. Hannibal spread his troops around and encircled the larger force, by the end of the day Rome had lost a generation.

In 2004 the Colorado GOP had its Cannae. The GOP has a demographic advantage in Colorado. But their superior numbers cannot make up for that fact that the Democrats have proven time and time again that they have a tactical superiority. Simply put, the Democrats are better at politics than the Republicans. In 2004 the GOP lost control of the State Senate, State House, the Third Congressional Seat and one of the State's Senate Seats. Today's election is a battle in this war. To understand the importance of the passage of failure of Referendums C and D you have to understand the different players in this battle and what motivates them.

The Players:

We have divided the field into five factions:

The Hoi Polloi is the largest single faction but the weakest. They are simply the multitude. No one side can win without them, but they are fickle and schizophrenic.

We divide the Democrats into two factions:

The McGovernite wing of the party believes that the Democrats can win in Colorado by simply being liberal. They see the defeat of Referendum C and D as a win because they can then go directly after TABOR, since, by their logic, the Democrats rode the state's fiscal woes all the way to victory in 2004. If C and D win that theory will be vindicated, they feel, and that additional victory will add momentum to the 2006 election. Two examples of this line of thought are available here. Colorado Luis believes that the Democrats should abandon working with the GOP, get rid of TABOR and institute a progressive state income tax. The Wash Park Prophet has put forward a plan that really fleshes out some of the goals of the McGovernite wing of the party.

The Hannibal Democrats understand that they are too strong for the GOP to defeat, like the historical Hannibal, and that they are not strong enough to defeat the GOP and build a lasting majority. They are outnumbered, they can win but they cannot concur. For these Democrats the amazingly close Referendum C and D election is a example of how they must tread lightly in Colorado. They were surprised that the hoi polloi, after putting them in power, wouldn't want them to fix the fiscal mess that got them there (this contradiction troubles them). Hickenlooper, Joan Fitz-Gerald and others who either haven't announced for Governor or who have ruled it out are in this camp. They are trying to read the hoi polloi, they figure that after the Referendum C and D election they will be able to evaluate the battleground for the 2006 elections.

The GOP is also divided, but unlike the Democrats. While the Democrats are divided in their beliefs as to how strong they are, they are united in where to go and how to get there. The GOP is like Rome, they have two consuls and two different armies.

The two consuls are the President of the Independence Institute, currently Jon Caldara and the nominal leader of the state GOP, currently Governor Owens.

Caldara and his allies are best defined by this piece by Mike Rosen.

Owens and his allies agree with the McGovernite Democrats, they think that the GOP lost power in 2004 because of the fiscal crisis. Here is a quote from The Economist that outlines the beliefs of Owens and his faction:

The difficulty is that you can squeeze only so much before services are cut beyond what most people- even in libertarian-inclined Colorado -consider sensible. A no vote in November would force Mr. Owens into the kind of budget surgery that makes governors deeply unpopular. For the moment he affects not to worry: "I'm not running for president," he says; "The backlash won't be against me, but against my party."

As you can see the Owens faction and the McGovernites believe that the fiscal crisis issue is what moves the hoi polloi. The Hannibals and the Caldara faction do not.