• With dozens of scenarios, control of the Senate is a toss-up

    As political nail-biters go, the most interesting battle in the 2012 election does not involve anyone named Obama or Romney. While the general election is going to be decided in six or seven swing states that have a reasonable likelihood of going for either presidential candidate, control of the Senate rests in a much more complex tangle of eight or nine states. Right now, our model of polls, prediction markets and historical data suggests that Democrats have a 48.7 percent likelihood of retaining control of the upper body.

    The Democratic Party currently has 53 senators in its caucus to the Republican Party's 47 senators. But the way the cards fell with the 33 seats up for re-election this year was not kind to the incumbent party. Democrats are defending 23 seats while the Republicans are defending only 10 seats in this year's election. Stated another way, the Democrats have just 30 seats confirmed for the next session to the Republicans' 37 seats among the 67 total that aren't up for

    Read More »from With dozens of scenarios, control of the Senate is a toss-up
  • Mitt Romney's choice of Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate has thrown the state of Florida back into play in the prediction markets, suggesting political handicappers do not think the Republican wunderkind's budget proposals will play well in the retiree-heavy state.

    To be fair, these same markets gave Ryan only a 15.8 percent chance of getting the nod from Romney as of Friday morning. While those are non-negligible odds, the markets were more certain that Romney would play it safe and go with the more vanilla Tim Pawlenty or Rob Portman. As rumors of a Ryan pick gathered steam, his odds in the markets grew to well over 50 percent by 8 p.m., about four hours before the pick was confirmed.

    When the markets were leaning in the Pawlenty/Portman direction, they gave Romney a 70.7 percent chance of winning the state of Florida. With Ryan officially on the ticket, Romney is clinging to a 56.3 percent likelihood of taking the state. We expect polls to follow this path in the next

    Read More »from Ryan pick damages market odds of Romney victory in Florida
  • (@barackobama)Twitter erupted in excitement Friday as news broke that Mitt Romney had selected Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate, but the volume promptly dropped off as bedtime arrived. Now, in the sober light of morning, the Obama campaign appears to be effectively mobilizing its opposition research on the microblogging platform.

    At 9 a.m. EDT, conversation peaked, with Twitter users discussing Ryan at a clip of about 40,000 tweets an hour, according to social media analysis firm Attensity. By 11 a.m., four of the five top URLs in those tweets pointed to official Obama campaign material. Minutes after it was posted, thousands of people retweeted an @BarackObama tweet listing "5 Things you need to know about Mitt Romney's VP pick." Also in the top five were a press release from the Obama campaign calling Ryan the "architect of the radical Republican House budget," a landing page on the campaign website branding Romney and Ryan the "Go Back Team," and GoBackTeam.com, which redirects to

    Read More »from Obama campaign quickly co-opts Twitter to push opposition research

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The Signal is the Yahoo! News predictions blog featuring real-time forecasts and sentiment on politics, economics, and more. MEET THE TEAM: David Pennock, David Rothschild

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