Call for Paper proposals: Symposium ‘Forecasting the 2020 American National Elections’

Even though elections are seemingly increasingly unstable, and voters’ behaviour seems fickle, the outcomes of US elections have historically been quite predictable. First, election outcomes seem systematically correlated with election fundamentals, such as the state of the economy, and incumbency. Second, what happens in the run-up to the election, during the primaries and the conventions, or how much money candidates raise or spend is known to affect their electoral success. Third, public opinion polls – with measures of presidential approval or vote intentions – give a good sense of what is to expect on Election Day, even months before the election. With this knowledge of what historically determines election outcomes in the US, what are the predictions for the 2020 American National Elections?

With the support of the APSA Political Forecasting Group, we are proposing a symposium for PS: Political Science & Politics of papers that each lay out a forecasting model and make a prediction for the 2020 American National Elections. The goal of the proposal is to show a diversity of approaches to forecasting elections, including political markets, structural models, work that is based on the aggregation of polls, and combinations of both. We welcome paper proposals that focus on different types of elections, including predictions of the Presidential, House, Senate, and governorships, as well as the Electoral College. We also are keen to include voices that might be critical of political forecasting, or the way it has been done in political science. The proposers may be members of the Political Forecasting Group of the APSA, but that is by no means a requirement.

Specifically, we are seeking short papers of 3,000 words maximum, that offer a prediction of the 2020 American National Elections. The symposium will have space for updates of models that have historically performed well at predicting the outcomes of US elections, but we also encourage submissions that lay out new and innovative ways to forecasting the election outcome. We particularly welcome diverse teams of scholars and members of underrepresented groups and junior scholars to submit abstracts for the Symposium.

Abstracts should be submitted by 20 December 2019 to or The guest editors, Ruth Dassonneville and Charles Tien, will evaluate those abstracts and make a selection of papers for inclusion in the Symposium proposal. If the proposal is successful, the full papers for the Symposium are due by August 3. To ensure a timely publication of the Symposium, authors have to commit to responding to reviews in one-week time. For questions regarding the Symposium proposal, contact Ruth Dassonneville and Charles Tien.

For a pdf-version of the call, see here.

This content has been updated on 13 November 2019 at 11 h 42 min.