Forecasting Politics

The goal of this CAS research focus is to establish and advance forecasting theory and practice by conducting research in an interdisciplinary setting. In testing and developing forecasting principles for different fields of applications, the proposed project aims at contributing to existing knowledge about how to forecast.

Forecasting encompasses the analysis and application of methods to determine future developments or events. In contrast to planning, which is concerned with what the future should look like, forecasting is concerned with what the future will be like. The quality of political and managerial decision-making depends on reliable forecasts of future developments such as economic growth, unemployment, and birth rates, the demand of alternative technologies and public transportation, or variations in global temperature. Thus, forecasting helps to evaluate different plans and is a prerequisite for shaping the future.

The goal of this CAS research focus is to establish and advance forecasting theory and practice by conducting research in an interdisciplinary setting. In testing and developing forecasting principles for different fields of applications, the proposed project aims at contributing to existing knowledge about how to forecast. In order to make forecasting accessible to a potentially broad public, a special focus will be on predicting national elections in Germany and the U.S., which commonly generate wide media attention. The research will aim at developing models that can aid political decision makers in questions such as who to nominate or which issues to emphasize in the campaign. Thereby, a particular focus will be on simple methods, which are easy to describe, easy to understand, and thus easy to use in practice.

The project team consists of LMU researchers from different disciplines, such as communication, political science, and statistics.

Spokesperson

  • Dr. Andreas Graefe
    (Institut für Kommunikationswissenschaften und Medienforschung (IfKW), LMU)

Advisory Board

  • Prof. Dr. Hans-Bernd Brosius
    (Institut für Kommunikationswissenschaft und Medienforschung, LMU)
  • Prof. Dr. Helmut Küchenhoff
    (Institut für Statistik, LMU)
  • Prof. Dr. Anke Ortlepp
    (Department für Anglistik und Amerikanistik, LMU)
  • Prof. Panu Poutvaara, Ph.D.
    (ifo Institut München)
  • Prof. Dr. Paul Thurner
    (Geschwister-Scholl-Institut für Politikwissenschaft, LMU)

Working Group

  • Dr. Christian Ganser
    (Institut für Soziologie, LMU)
  • Prof. Dr. Michaela Geierhos
    (Institut für Wirtschaftsinformatik, Universität Paderborn)
  • Dr. Alexander Haas
    (Institut für Kommunikationswissenschaft und Medienforschung, LMU)
  • Dr. Olaf Jandura
    (Institut für Publizistik, Universität Mainz)
  • André Klima
    (Institut für Statistik, LMU)
  • Dr. Thomas Koch
    (Institut für Kommunikationswissenschaft und Medienforschung, LMU)
  • Dr. Jasmin Siri
    (Institut für Soziologie, LMU)
  • Dr. Thomas Zerback
    (Institut für Kommunikationswissenschaft und Medienforschung, LMU)

Visiting Fellows

Prof. J. Scott Armstrong, Ph.D.

Previous Visiting Fellow

Prof. Dr. Philippe Jacquart

Previous Visiting Fellow

Aaron Kamm

Previous Visiting Fellow

Prof. Kevin M. Quinn, Ph.D.

Previous Visiting Fellow

Prof. Arthur Schram, Ph.D.

Previous Visiting Fellow

Events

  • Lecture by Dr. Andreas Graefe – "Wer gewinnt die U.S. Präsidentschaftswahlen? Die Prognose von PollyVote.com"
    (winter semester 2012/13)
  • Workshop – "Election Forecasting"
    (summer semester 2013)
  • Panel discussion – "Prognosen der Bundestagswahl 2013. Orakel oder Debakel?"
    (summer semester 2013)
  • International Meeting – "Election Studies: Reviewing the Bundestagswahl 2013"
    (summer semester 2014)

Publications

Press

  • "Steinbrück wird nicht Kanzler" – Artikel in der SZ am 18. September 2013
  • Vorteil Obama: Wahl-Sieg der Prognoseforschung, in: Einsichten 2 (2012), S. 6f.
  • "Der Wahlvorhersager"– Artikel in der Passauer Neuen Presse am 19. November 2012
  • "Die wichtigste Wahl der Welt" – Filmbeitrag in der Abendschau des Bayerischen Fernsehens am 6. November 2012
  • "Wahlen USA" – Radiobeitrag im Magazin IQ - Wissenschaft und Forschung auf Bayern 2 am 31. Oktober 2012

LMU Lehrinnovationspreis 2013

Professors Helmut Küchenhoff (statistics) and Paul W. Thurner (political science) were awarded the LMU Lehrinnovationspreis 2013 for their course "Interdisciplinary election research/voter migration in Munich in the 2013 state and federal elections". The stay of Professor Kevin Quinn (UC Berkeley School of Law), who was invited as part of the CAS focus "Forecasting Politics" and was a guest at the LMU Munich in summer 2013, also contributed to the success of the research and teaching project.