The Lazer Lab, with support from the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), has embarked on an ambitious effort to predict the outcomes of national executive elections across the globe, select local elections in Latin America, and major referenda in Latin America. The project launched in 2012, and has already produced a model for predicting global executive elections that is correct in about 80% of out-of-sample elections. Our prediction model is now running in real-time, with predictions posted on the Complexity and Social Network Blog at regular intervals.
The purpose is this research is to investigate what kinds of communication technologies different types of people use to maintain different kinds of social relationships, such as friends, family members, and coworkers, and how communication varies with context (e.g., normal vs emergency situation).
In 2010, the Supreme Court ruled the First Amendment prohibited the government from restricting independent political expenditures by corporations and unions. Political action committees that do not contribute to or coordinate with candidates or parties can accept unlimited contributions from individuals, corporations, and organizations. Many of these Super PACs are required to disclose the type and amount of their expenditures to the Federal Election Commission. However, disclosing the sources of their fundraising is optional.