Electoral vote projections


There are a couple of fascinating web efforts to track the polls in individual states, in order to put together a clearer picture of the presidential election as it is actually conducted, not as a single nationwide race, but as 53 separate contests. (That's 49 winner-take-all states, plus the District of Columbia, plus the state of Maine, where separate elections for elector are conducted in the state's two congressional districts, and two at-large electors awarded to the statewide winner.)

The Electoral Vote Predictor updates the electoral map daily with new state poll results. The "Votemaster" (I can't find anywhere on the site where he identifies himself) admits to being a Kerry supporter, but he seems pretty scrupulous about sticking with hard data. Right now he has Bush at 327, Kerry at 211.

The daily update includes analysis of the day's new polls, plus a lot of intelligent discussion of the challenges faced by pollsters, like today's update which deals with the impact of the increasing use of cell phones on phone polling. If you want to play around with the numbers yourself, you can download the raw data in Excel format. There's even a way to look only at the polls done by a particular pollster.

And the Votemaster has a projection of how the votes will come out on November 2nd, using linear regression to predict the outcome in each state. He cautions that the data is still pretty "noisy" and won't be very useful until October. At the moment, his model has Bush at 315, Kerry at 172, with 51 votes in states (New York, New Jersey, and New Mexico) that are projected to be exact ties. Again it's early, and his projection has Kerry winning Tennessee.

This site is an example of what the Internet can do so much better than the traditional news media -- provide a quick overview if that's all you want, but allow you to drill down as deep as you care to.

Election Projection is another site devoted to tracking individual state polls. Scott Elliott, the self-styled Blogging Caesar, is an unabashed Bush supporter. He updates his site's projection once a week, but you can subscribe to a daily update for $40. He also posts regularly to a blog on his homepage.

Electoral Vote Predictor links to a fascinating page on the comprehensive political website Politics1 which shows the ballot access status of all minor party candidates. Oklahoma has only one possible minor party ticket -- the Libertarians, if they win their court challenge to Oklahoma's very stringent ballot access law. The list of every known major and minor party and its nominees, with links to more detailed bios and analysis can be found here. The bottom of that page has links to many other useful and interesting political resources on the web.

I should also mention the site of University of Virginia polisci prof Larry Sabato, which covers races for Governor, Senate, and House, as well as the presidential election map.

And I can't close an entry on politics without reminding you of one of my daily reads: SoonerPolitics.com, by OU polisci professor Keith Gaddie. He is overseas and hasn't been updating lately, but if you haven't visited before, it's worth reading back through his archives.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on September 19, 2004 12:44 AM.

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