Welcome to Nonrival, the newsletter where readers make predictions.
How it works
- Read the newsletter
- Make a forecast by clicking a link at the bottom
- In the next email, you’ll see how your forecast compares to other readers’
- Over time, you’ll get scores based on how accurate your forecasts are
In this issue
- Follow-up: Readers don’t think Elon will lay off most of Twitter
- Make a forecast: Will Democrats hold the Senate?
Thanks for forecasting. Send feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don’t bet on Elon laying off most of Twitter
Elon Musk owns Twitter now, and the firings have begun: CEO Parag Agrawal and several other top executives have already departed. There was also apparently a stunt where actors pretended to be laid off Twitter employees, carrying around boxes outside the office. But Musk has assured employees that he does not, in fact, want to lay off 75% of the company — as the Washington Post had reported last week.
And Nonrival readers believe him: Most of you think there’s very little chance that half or more of the staff is laid off by April.
Most readers put the chance at <15%:
But a few readers thought it was more likely than not, dragging the average forecast up to 27%:
How your forecast compares
- You said there was a [102322_FINAL GOES HERE]% chance of Twitter laying off half its staff or more.
- You predicted that the average of readers' forecast would be [102322_CROWD GOES HERE]%. The actual average was 27%. You were closer than [102322_CROWD_RANK GOES HERE]% of readers.
Programming note: I’ve tried this follow-up section both as part of the Sunday email and on its own. I think it worked better as its own email so expect this to come separately going forward. Sundays will continue to be a new forecast, and the follow-up will come a few days later.
Will Democrats hold the Senate?
Make a forecast by clicking a link at the bottom of this email.
The US midterm elections on Nov. 8 will determine the composition of Congress for the next two years. The Senate is currently split 50-50, with vice president Kamala Harris providing Democrats the tie-breaking vote. 35 Senate seats are on the ballot—if Republicans pick up even one seat, they’ll hold the majority. (Republicans are favored to win a majority in the House.)
The president’s party almost always loses seats in the midterms. “Since the end of World War II, the president’s party has lost House seats in all but two midterms,” per Fivethirtyeight. But “the pattern is a bit more inconsistent in the Senate. Since World War II, the president’s party has either gained seats on net or at least avoided losing ground in six out of 19 midterms.”
Polls tilted toward Democrats over the summer, but that trend is fading. The Supreme Court's abortion decision and falling gas prices have been cited as explanations for Democrats’ polling surge; concern over inflation and a cooling economy could explain Republicans’ fall resurgence.
Senate control will likely come down to close races in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Nevada, and Wisconsin. Republicans have put forward several inexperienced, scandal-ridden candidates like Herschel Walker.
Nonrival collected eight different forecasts that use different methods, from betting markets to statistical models to pundits' opinions, and put them in one chart:
How likely is it that Democrats maintain control of the Senate (50 seats or more)?
Deadline: Make a forecast by 9am Tuesday Nov. 1
Fine print: In the case of any ambiguity here I’ll follow Good Judgment Open’s decision on resolving this question.
Want to learn more about Nonrival and about crowd forecasting? Click here.