What's In a Poll?

We're about 11 months away from the next U.S. Presidential election, but it already feels like it's been dominating our media for six months, or more. Even though a single vote in a primary has yet to be cast, poll after poll after poll has been taken, with the results of said polls reported on as though they have a real bearing on the eventual nominees and victors.

However, when you REALLY want to know who's most likely to win, you go to people who have, as they say, skin in the game: you go to the betting markets. Outside of the United States, plenty of wagering concerns offer odds on the outcomes of political contests, and since these houses stand to lose substantial sums of money if their odds are way off, they do a lot more analysis on what any given candidate's ACTUAL chance of winning the election might be. This analysis surely includes polling data, but is not wholly dependent on it. 

Our CEO, Tom, has been tracking the overseas betting odds for the U.S. presidential race for some time now, and our dataviz guy Mike put together an interactive on Tableau to capture this historical data. What we've learned is that what the public thinks (or fears) is going to happen is not entirely congruent with what the oddsmakers believe.

Check it out for yourself, and see where you think the truth lies. We hope to update this tracker continuously over the remaining months of the campaign, or until we just can't take it anymore.