An (un)ghastly prediction for this evening

Dean Karlan successfully pulls me aside at the Yale poli sci election night event to blog this seminal 2008 election prediction paper:

We conducted experiments during trick-or-treating at Halloween, four days prior to the 2008 presidential election. We decorated one side of a porch with Obama material and the other with McCain material.

Some children are asked to choose a side to get an equal quantity of candy, whereas other children are offered more candy to go to the McCain side. At the candy table, each child chooses between a clear plastic bag and a brown paper bag, thus revealing their level of trust or comfort with ambiguity.

We find that, in a predominantly liberal neighborhood, children choose the Obama table and continued to do so even upon the promise of more candy at the McCain table. We also find that Obama supporters, identified as those who choose the Obama table, are more likely than to take the brown bag of candy than the McCain supporters, identified as those who choose the McCain table.

These results mimic results from the General Social Survey in which supporters of Kerry over Bush in 2004 are more trusting.