November 21, 2011 § Leave a comment
President Barack Obama has a 51% chance of being elected, according to the Intrade market, in which bettors buy and sell shares that pay off if their predictions are correct. How accurate is the collective wisdom of the market on political matters? More accurate than political pundits, according to the Washington Post and the New York times. http://tierneylab.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/11/24/bettors-beat-pundits/
While the Intrade market has been a more accurate barometer than public opinion polls, its data only occasionally gets used in news graphics, such as the New York Times chart above.
To read Intrade data as a percentage, you just convert the dollar amount so that, for instance, $6.70 is 6.7%.
In addition to a market on Obama’s chances, Intrade has odds on each GOP presidential candidate, House, Senate and Governors’ races, and whom Sarah Palin and Jim DeMint will endorse.
October 27, 2011 § Leave a comment
Each year the National Retail Federation releases a survey on how much Americans plan to spend on Halloween, how they plan to celebrate and what costume they will wear. They survey offers a chance to create some interesting charts. Above is an example from The Wall Street Journal. Below is a graphic from the Columbia Missourian (http://www.columbiamissourian.com/multimedia/graphic/2011/10/23/chart-halloween-celebration-2011/)
August 10, 2011 § Leave a comment
Each day, Gallup polls Americans on how they view economic conditions. The percentage saying the economy is poor shot up by 10 points around the time of the congressional battle over raising the debt ceiling.
You can download the data and build your own chart. Unfortunately, these figures only go back to 2009, so they don’t capture the period before the recession that began in December 2007. I suspect you could get older figures by contacting Gallup directly.