Computing

Obama's Campaign Ran Millions Of Virtual Elections To Predict The Future

Nate Silver, King of Maths, predicted President Obama’s victory using repeated virtual elections. But inside Obama HQ, Barack’s elite data-crunchers were doing some pretty crazy things with computers.

TIME has a nifty rundown of the campaign’s heavy reliance on data analysis, and the confidence that computers and pure maths would be able to predict the future. In a headquarters room nicknamed “The Cave”, Obama analysts took a firehose of polling data, ever-refreshing, and ran it through computers that simulated the entire national election. They did this 66,000 times every single day in October.

“And every morning we got the [data] spit-out,” explains an unnamed campaign official. “Here are your chances of winning these states. And that is how we allocated resources.” That’s 2,046,000 virtual elections, all leading to the real one that actually mattered. The computers were right. Now just imagine how many virtual elections will be run with the computers of 2016. [TIME]


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