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September 21, 2016

2016 NFL Prediction Accuracy


Microsoft's Cortana and Nate Silver's Elo are again predicting the outcomes of NFL games each week during the 2016 season. (See the accuracy results for the two models for the 2015 NFL season here.)

The tables below use Brier scores to determine the accuracy of the probabilistic predictions from both models.

Brier scores range from 0 to 1, with 0 meaning the probabilities in the models perfectly match the outcomes of the games and 1 meaning no matches were made (so the closer to 0.000, the better calibration of the model).

If a 50% (0.500) probability were assigned to each team for each game, the Brier score would be 0.250.

After the first two weeks of the season, the Elo model has a Brier score of 0.219 and the Cortana model has a Brier score of 0.238.


Brier Scores
2016 NFL Season Summary 538 Elo Cortana
Week 1 0.210 0.230
Week 2 0.229 0.247
Season totals 0.219 0.238


The 95% confidence intervals for both models include 0.250, making both models no better or worse than assigning each team a 50% win probability.

The average win probabilities among winning teams are 56% for the Elo model and 54% for the Cortana model.

Details for each game are here.



September 21, 2016

National Presidential Ballot


National Presidential Ballot
  Clinton Trump Other** Undecided
Registered voters 47% 44% 5% 4%
August 17-20 47% 42% 6% 5%
July 17-20 43% 42% 6% 9%
June 17-20 50% 41% 3% 6%
May 17-20 46% 46% 2% 6%
* Less than 1/2 of 1%   **Volunteered


Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump 47% to 44% in a national survey of registered voters. In August, Clinton was leading Trump 47% to 42%.

Details of the survey conducted September 17-20, 2016 are here.



September 21, 2016

Obama Job Approvals and the National Economy


Obama Job Approval Ratings
9/20/16 Approve Disapprove Undecided
Overall 48% 46% 6%
Economy 47% 48% 5%


A total of 48% of Americans say they approve of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as president and 46% say they disapprove of the way Obama is handling his job. In August, 46% of Americans approved of the job Obama was doing and 50% disapproved.

When it comes to Obama's handling of the economy, 47% of Americans approve and 48% disapprove. In August, 47% approved and 49% disapproved.

Among Americans registered to vote, 48% approve of the way Obama is handling his job as president and 47% disapprove. On Obama's handling of the economy, 48% of registered voters approve and 48% disapprove.

Details from the nationwide survey conducted September 17-20 are available at The National Economy.



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