UVA Center for Politics, Ipsos Public Affairs Launch New Midterm Election Forecasting Tools

New Political Atlas features expert race ratings, poll-based forecasts, and social media trends in advance of the 2018 election

UVA Center for Politics, Ipsos Public Affairs Launch New Midterm Election Forecasting Tools

The author(s)

  • Chris Jackson Vice President, US, Public Affairs
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Washington, DC, August 28, 2018 — Today, at the National Press Club, Ipsos Public Affairs, in partnership with University of Virginia Center for Politics, launched the 2018 Political Atlas, a multidisciplinary approach to election forecasting for the 2018 midterm elections.  

The site provides daily updates of the main issues affecting citizens in all 50 states, along with poll and social media indicators for every congressional, senate, and gubernatorial race in the country, with expert assessments.

“The most robust predictions use multiple and independent indicators to derive the most accurate predictions, not just a single approach. Political Atlas draws on these methods to look for common conclusions or divergent directions for the most accurate findings,” said Cliff Young, President of Ipsos Public Affairs.

Ipsos will conduct about 10,000 interviews a week, plus 20 state polls over the course of the next few months in conjunction with Reuters and the Center for Politics. The first state-level polls will be released next month. Crystal Ball’s qualitative race rating assessments are adjusted on an ad hoc but frequent basis. Together this partnership can accurately handicap the midterm elections integrating information that challenges preconceptions.

“After the 2016 election, we strove to try to find new data sources and perspectives in political forecasting and to present these to Crystal Ball readers and the general public. Our partnership with Ipsos combines into one place, the Political Atlas, several different methods for looking at the possible outcome of the coming election,” said Larry J. Sabato, Director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics and Editor-in-Chief of Sabato’s Crystal Ball. 

Charting the day-by-day pulse of public opinion through social media is a function Ipsos has increasingly used in its international polling in Mexico, Brazil, and Canada. Bringing this to the midterms provides further resolution to the ebbs and flows of the campaigns. Ipsos uses machine learning and natural language processing algorithms to collect and categorize over 5 million individual posts a day.

The Political Atlas represents the latest collaboration between the University of Virginia Center for Politics and Ipsos, an international, independent marketing research firm, over the last year and a half. The Center for Politics and Ipsos released  two polls on Americans’ attitudes toward recent presidents, and the Center and Ipsos, along with Reuters, released a poll last month on Americans’ racial attitudes at the time of the one-year anniversary of a neo-Nazi march in Charlottesville, as well as a poll on racial attitudes conducted in the aftermath of that march.

About the UVA Center for Politics

The UVA Center for Politics (www.centerforpolitics.org) is a non-partisan institute that seeks to promote the value of politics, improve civics education, and increase civic participation through comprehensive research, pragmatic analysis, and innovative educational programs. The Center’s free nonpartisan weekly newsletter on American campaigns and elections, Sabato’s Crystal Ball, is available at www.centerforpolitics.org/crystalball.

About Ipsos Public Affairs

Ipsos Public Affairs is a non-partisan, objective, survey-based research practice made up of seasoned professionals. We conduct strategic research initiatives for a diverse number of American and international organizations, based not only on public opinion research, but elite stakeholder, corporate, and media opinion research. For more information on Ipsos Public affairs, please visit: https://www.ipsos.com/en-us/news-and-polls/news

For more information on this press release, please contact:

Chris Jackson
Vice President, US
Ipsos Public Affairs
+1 202 420-2025

Ileana Wachtel

Kyle Kondik,

Geoffrey Skelley
434-243-4087, 434-906-2862

The author(s)

  • Chris Jackson Vice President, US, Public Affairs