Over the course of the past semester, junior Nick Froehlich, sophomore Molly O’Donnell and first-year Craig Beurelein have been developing a polling analysis organization for the Miami community, inspired by Nate Silver’s national website “FiveThirtyEight” (538).
1809, which is named after the year Miami University was founded, launched concurrently with this year’s ASG student body president elections.
“I’ve always been a huge fan of Nate Silver,” Froehlich said. “I think it’s the best political news site there is. They look at the numbers, they present them in interesting ways and they don’t shy away from commentary and looking beyond the numbers to explore other factors.”
Froehlich, O’Donnell and Beurelein are attempting to emulate the building blocks of Silver’s 538, but are also intent on developing their organization to fit the needs of a college campus.
The main overarching goals for “1809” include predicting student government elections, tracking approval ratings for organizations around campus and looking at the university’s budget.
Froehlich is excited to see how 1809’s first polling numbers land with the final results from this week’s student body elections.
“The past week and a half, Craig and Molly have been going to different locations to poll people about the election,” Froehlich said. “We made a survey and the first question is just, ‘Did you know there was an election, actually?’ because we think that’s just as important as who people are going to vote for.”
Currently, 46 percent of the roughly 630 students polled are undecided. The Boster/Kennick ticket holds 18.4 percent, the Gale/Rose campaign is at 17.9 percent and Murtagh/Smith is predicted to come in at 17 percent.
“We wanted this election to be our first big project to get our groove, and after this the runoff election,” Froehlich said.
From there, Froehlich said, they will decide whether or not to partner with another publication or student organization.
For further information about 1809 and its impact on the 2018 student body president election check out Froehlich’s analysis in our Opinion section.