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Asking about social circles improves election predictions

Galesic, M., Bruine de Bruin, W., Dumas, Marion, Kapteyn, A., Darling, J. E. and Meijer, E. (2018) Asking about social circles improves election predictions. Nature Human Behaviour, 2. pp. 187-193. ISSN 2397-3374

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Identification Number: 10.1038/s41562-018-0302-y


Election outcomes can be difficult to predict. A recent example is the 2016 US presidential election, in which Hillary Clinton lost five states that had been predicted to go for her, and with them the White House. Most election polls ask people about their own voting intentions: whether they will vote and, if so, for which candidate. We show that, compared with own-intention questions, social-circle questions that ask participants about the voting intentions of their social contacts improved predictions of voting in the 2016 US and 2017 French presidential elections. Responses to social-circle questions predicted election outcomes on national, state and individual levels, helped to explain last-minute changes in people’s voting intentions and provided information about the dynamics of echo chambers among supporters of different candidates.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2018 Macmillan Publishers Limited
Divisions: Grantham Research Institute
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Date Deposited: 21 May 2018 10:35
Last Modified: 06 Jul 2024 02:39
Projects: MMS-1560592
Funders: National Science Foundation, Swedish Foundation for the Humanities and the Social Sciences Program on Science and Proven Experience

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