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Predicting how Congress will vote on immigration reform

by Take Two

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(L-R) U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), and Senate Majority Whip Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL) listen during a news conference on a comprehensive immigration reform framework January 28, 2013 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. A group of bipartisan senate members have reached to a deal of outlines to reform the national immigration laws that will provide a pathway for the 11 million illegal immigrants in the country to citizenship. Alex Wong/Getty Images

During the last presidential election, traditional pollsters were challenged by a relatively new breed of election gurus who used mathematical models to predict the outcome. For the most part, these "modelers" did a better job of divining how people would cast their vote than did big name firms like Gallup.

Tom K. Wong, a political scientist at UC San Diego, is using the technique to predict how members of Congress will vote on the immigration bill.

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