Election projections are topic of March Olson seminar

Allan McCutcheon
Allan McCutcheon

Election projections are sophisticated features of modern elections and electoral politics. They allow analysts to predict with considerable accuracy the outcome of key political races -- as demonstrated in the 2012 presidential race and several key state races.

How do they do it?

Allan McCutcheon, Donald O. Clifton Chair of Survey Science at UNL, said, on Election Day, "various forms of data contribute to the decision-making process over the course of the day."

In a Paul A. Olson Seminar in Great Plains Studies at UNL on March 6, McCutcheon will reveal the story of how data, including exit polling, pre-election polling, and vote counts, are used in Election Day projections. "Welcome to the Elections from the Inside: Exit Polls and Election Projections for the Great Plains" will be from 3:30 to 5 p.m. in the Great Plains Art Museum, 1155 Q St. Sponsored by the University of Nebraska's Center for Great Plains Studies, the seminar is free and open to the public.

He will discuss the especially significant role played by exit polling, and he will analyze the "news" aspects of exit poll data and how the data are used by journalists and researchers. He will then place recent Great Plains elections and patterns within the context of the broader American experience.

McCutcheon is also professor of statistics, professor of survey research and methodology and principal investigator for the NSF/Census Research Network, UNL-Gallup Research Center.

For more information or accommodation, contact the center at 402-472-3082 or visit http://www.unl.edu/plains.

— Katie Nieland, Great Plains Studies