Horse race political polls got its name from the view that the volume of wagers staked on horses before a race starts, reflects the odds of winning on horses. Although this polling method was devised as a political tool, it later evolved in the world of politics as a strategy. The idea is to sway the votes of the majority by making it appear that candidates emerging at the top of the poll results are the likeliest and most favored to win

Yet as a method of political journalism, horse race polling is being criticized because many will simply make voting decisions based on “who is winning?” or “which party has the most votes?” Since big data is now available and easily accessible, the calls are for news media to engage in responsible journalism, by conducting polls that provide additional info, which the public can use for better decision making.

Where millions of people make a choice based on who is up or who is down at the polls, those opposed to horse race political journalism contend that responsible poll coverage must aim to give voters a more comprehensive basis. They assert that political polls should have greater clarity by including other information related to each poll result.

Examples of such information include outcomes based on the type and size of demographics of supporters, educational attainment of supporters (college or high school level), of the party affiliation to which supporters identify, as well as the size and sources of political donations, which is just to name a few.

Although political pundits say that the results of a horse race political poll weigh heavily if the policies and political agenda of the candidates are similar, there is more meaning to poll results if they can steer voters’ decisions toward a candidate who will likely make good on their campaign promises.

Actually, these same views are applicable in nearly all aspects of modern life, including horse race betting since the activity is central to what is happening off track. Wagering on horses, after all, increases the excitement of watching horses best each other in a racing competition.

Adoption of Big Data in Horse Betting Can Help Promote Growth in the Horse Racing Industry

When bettors on horse race competitions pay attention to the larger scope of information about the horses who will be running, the benefits extend to the entire racing industry and not only on the betting sector.


The adoption of big data is also seen as a way of making racing activities safer for the horses. Big data will allow bettors to look into the reputation of horse breeders, trainers, the frequency by which horses compete and such other information that will provide indicators about the well-being of a horse, particularly at the time of competition.

Recently, the welfare of race horses has drawn the attention of animal activists that took notice of the increasing number of horses being euthanized after getting injured in a horse race. Issues of doping horses and of running down the animals beyond their physical capabilities should also be of significant importance to horse race bettors. Such factors may increase the odds of winning because the horse could be running in an injury-prone condition or in an already at-risk state of health.

Past the Wire has noted that while the Daily Racing Form contains small data, such as the name of the jockey, the post position and the weight of the horse, Equibase also provides additional information such as equipment changes, race track conditions, training periods and methods, including horse attitude as they are relayed by the rider to the trainer, can help punters assess the chances or the odds of winning from a particular horse.

In the article Fuels A Statistical Data Driven Sport at A cost – Past The Wire blog contributor commented that it is also important for the race horse data provider to update and upgrade its data collection platform.