(from Greek psephos ψῆφος, ‘pebble’, which the Greeks used as ballots) is a branch of political science which deals with the study and scientific analysis of elections. Psephology uses historical precinct voting data, public opinion polls, campaign finance information and similar statistical data. The term was coined in the United Kingdom in 1952 by historian R. B. McCallum to describe the scientific analysis of past elections.
“Only one number mattered to the data analysis aficionados watching the presidential election results on Tuesday night. That number, 538, is Nate Silver’s blog (now under the New York Times auspices). Silver, by using predictive analytics applied against a range of polling and related data, hit a perfect 50 for 50 in his state-by-state predictions.”