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Predict election's outcomes with Pivit

By CNN Staff
updated 10:45 AM EDT, Sat November 1, 2014

Washington (CNN) -- CNN readers can predict this year's midterm election -- and on whether their friends and colleagues' expectations will shift between now and Nov. 4 -- in a new game called Pivit.

Some of the year's key Senate races -- in Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas and Kentucky -- as well as whether Republicans will take control of the Senate are among the questions Pivit users can weigh in as the elections unfold. The Florida governor's race, though, is the biggest toss-up, according to Pivit's prognosticators, with a nearly even chance that either candidate will win.

The game is like playing the stock market: You win or lose points based on how well you can forecast the results and when a candidate's fortunes will change.

Take, for example, the question: Will Republicans win control of the U.S. Senate?

Yesterday, the GOP had an 88% chance under a formula based on players' clicks and Pivit experts' analysis. The game gives you two options: Click the "up" arrow if you expect that percentage to rise, or the "down" arrow if you expect it to drop.

Say you're bullish on the Republicans this year, but three days before the election, you think that races will get closer before they are won. In that scenario an 88% chance is too high. Today the chances have gone down to 86%. If you had clicked the "down" arrow, betting on that figure to drop — you'd have been rewarded with points. You can change course later and go all in with the GOP to rise to 100%.

If Republicans do take the Senate, everyone who bet in their favor can earn points -- but a player who picked the GOP when their odds were at 86% can earn more points than one who went with them at 88%.

Every player can express the conviction of their opinions on Pivit. Bet one time if you think the chances might go higher, or bet 10 times if you're positive the chances will go higher. Win more points for having more conviction, but be careful -- you'll lose more points if you're wrong. The more often you change your mind, the more points you can win.

For example, if you bet 10 times on the Republicans winning the Senate when that figure is 86%, and other users later drive it up to 90%, you'd win 40 points.

When you think the tide's about to turn, you can always "collect your points" or "cut your losses."

The game is just for fun -- and bragging rights. You won't earn money, but you can beat your friends and coworkers as you climb the leaderboard and establish yourself as the next great political expert.

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