• With anywhere from days to weeks remaining in the long and tortured period of speculation over Mitt Romney's running mate, the Signal is increasingly convinced that either Ohio Sen. Rob Portman or former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty will get the nod. The prediction markets currently give them a 35 percent and 16 percent chance of victory, respectively. In other words, there's better than a 1-2 chance that Romney will opt for the safest choices available.

    You could be forgiven for needing a refresher on which of these two politicians is which. Portman and Pawlenty are both white males in their 50s with records as reliable conservatives, not firebrands. Either would provide Romney cover from the right while providing a sense of prudent sensibility to the rest of the country. These men both provide a moderate benefit, credibility with the right, with little potential cost.

    Running mate odds

    Sources: Betfair and Intrade

    From a strategic standpoint, the biggest difference between them is that Portman is from

    Read More »from Prediction markets leaning toward safe choice for Romney’s running mate
  • Many websites and publications are keeping score in the proxy presidential campaign being waged on Twitter. The Obama campaign account has 23 times as many followers as does the Mitt Romney campaign account, and @BarackObama tweets a dozen times for every one sent by @MittRomney. But no one is certain if these metrics have any relationship to electoral outcomes.

    Elections may or may not imitate Twitter, but Twitter imitates life—with a marked liberal bent. Measures of sentiment on Twitter find users on the platform are reliably more positive on Obama than Romney compared with polls. When you drill into that data, however, you see a familiar pattern: The tweeting class likes Barack Obama as a person more than it likes him as a politician.

    When Barack Obama turned 51 on Saturday, for example, Yahoo News' Twitter analysis engine picked up a tremendous surge in positive sentiment around the president. A tweet from the @BarackObama account wishing him a happy birthday and including a cute

    Read More »from ‘RT if you like Obama’: On Twitter, Obama wins hearts, but will that equal votes?
  • When it comes to preferences in the 2012 presidential campaign, Twitter follows a familiar political narrative. The Democrat, Barack Obama, draws his support from large numbers of people with limited influence, while the Republican, Mitt Romney, relies on tweets from a smaller, more powerful set of people.

    And by power, of course, we mean one's number of Twitter followers.

    A Yahoo News analysis of 80,000 political tweets from Wednesday, Aug. 1, determined that 62 percent of the tweets that expressed an opinion about Obama were positive. By contrast, only 39 percent of the tweets that took a position on Romney were positive.

    This itself is not surprising, given demographic assumptions about the tweeting class. Twitter's new political index, which it unveiled Wednesday, found a similar differential in tweet support for the two candidates.

    We divided the data by the number of followers each Twitter user in the sample has, to better tease out the dynamics of political expression on the

    Read More »from Got fewer than 50 followers on Twitter? You probably support Obama

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About The Signal

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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