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  • 11.07.16

Clinton will win the election—according to our TV viewing habits

The election prediction game isn’t just for political pollsters anymore. Now data science is common among all types of organizations, so others are trying their hand at projecting tomorrow’s electoral outcome—like Dish Network. The satellite TV company says Hillary Clinton will win the U.S. presidential election, according to a statistical model it developed that ties the viewing habits of its subscribers to electoral outcomes (culled from set top boxes) to likely political affiliations. The model also predicted that Republicans would keep control of the House, but the company conceded that it didn’t have enough data to predict Senate results.

The company’s data science team looked at the types of shows people watch (and how much TV they consume) across genres and used some math wizardry to link that to state-by-state outcomes in the last midterm elections in 2014 and presidential election data going back to 1932. A perfect model? Not likely, but it’s in line with many traditional polls, so it’s a safe bet that Dish won’t be wildly off the mark tomorrow. JPT