February 21, 2015
Just how close is it? FiveThirtyEight developed a model based on a 25-year accuracy rate for several award shows leading up to the Oscars that serve as possible predictors.
The success of the model is about 63 percent in cases when the difference between the winner and runner-up was less than 1 polling point. The projected difference between this year's perceived leaders falls just outside the top five closest races of the past 25 years.
Occasionally, there have been cases when neither of the top two frontrunners won Best Picture. 'Million Dollar Baby' (2004) and 'Braveheart' (1995) both pulled off upsets that defied the models, providing a reminder that the quirks and opinions of voting Academy members can sometimes be enough to throw the race.
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