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One and only Polling/Electoral Vote Projection Thread

Old 09-10-08, 02:36 PM
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One and only Polling/Electoral Vote Projection Thread

Okay we need one of these as a good way to keep track of what the polls are saying because it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to talk about it in the other threads.

I'm going to try and make wendersfan jealous and include charts of this sort of stuff.

Here is my "methodology". I'm taking 3 websites (electoral-vote.com, www.fivethirtyeight.com, and realclearpolitics.com) getting their current electoral vote/polling numbers and then averaging the three sites electoral vote counts. I'd like to use pollster.com but they have too many "toss-up" states to provide any meaningful data. The other sites all assign electoral votes unless there is a statistical tie.

Here is the chart:



I'll be periodically updating the chart here in the first post so we can watch as the polls change. I also figured starting today was a good starting point since both conventions have happened and (at least some) polls have come out reflecting those developments.

I'm not really concerned about national polling numbers because they don't mean anything in the grand scheme of things but feel free to post information about them.

Last edited by Mordred; 09-11-08 at 10:42 AM.
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Old 09-10-08, 02:36 PM
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Last edited by Mordred; 09-10-08 at 02:41 PM.
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Old 09-10-08, 02:37 PM
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If you guys have other EV websites that don't throw tons of states into the toss-up category I'd be more than willing to add them in at any point. Just let me know.
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Old 09-10-08, 02:43 PM
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Can you put a line up for the "needed to win" value?

Actually there should probably be two. One for how much Obama needs to win and another for McCain. Or has affirmative action been officially abolished?
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Old 09-10-08, 02:46 PM
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Great thread, Mordred, and thanks for volunteering to do the PITA work of keeping that graph reasonably up-to-date. By the way, your graph is missing the orange line at 270.

There are also electoral maps at 270 to Win and Real Clear Politics. Neither one meets your criteria of not having a lot of toss-up states, but I thought others might be interested in the links.
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Old 09-10-08, 02:48 PM
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How does 538 give partial electoral votes?


Also, if some of the sites use the same polls, doesn't that give those polls unfair weight? I think the idea of just avging the three sites together may not be so good. We need our own DVDTalk Politics Forum Electoral Vote Projection Committee
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Old 09-10-08, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Mordred View Post
I'm going to try and make Wendersfan jealous and include charts of this sort of stuff.
It's all lowercase!!!!

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Old 09-10-08, 02:48 PM
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You could use the RCP site. But isn't the issue that you're aggregating polling sites that are aggregating polls, leading to a significant overlap of voters between sites? That seems like it would bias your results.

edit: Venusian beat me to it.

How are the methodologies of these sites different?
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Old 09-10-08, 02:49 PM
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270 to win was a weird site that I looked at. You can alter the map by clicking on stuff. I couldn't tell exactly how it worked so I threw it out.

I just found out that RCP does have a view where they get rid of the toss up states. I've swapped that one in for Election Projection which I became a little less sure of after looking at their site a bit more. Image has been updated to reflect this change.
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Old 09-10-08, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Thor Simpson View Post
Can you put a line up for the "needed to win" value?

Actually there should probably be two. One for how much Obama needs to win and another for McCain. Or has affirmative action been officially abolished?
There actually is a line (you can see it in the legend), but you won't see it until tomorrow because I took out the markers.
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Old 09-10-08, 02:52 PM
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Another approach that might work well would be to have multiple red and blue lines, a pair for each site. That would prevent overlap.

Thanks for doing this.
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Old 09-10-08, 02:53 PM
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Question on Nevada. Is it really that purple? Many suggested that Romney as VP would make it red, are people thinking there are Mormons there that won't be voting for McCain that would have if Romney as on the ticket? Aren't Mormons fairly Republican?
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Old 09-10-08, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by matta View Post
You could use the RCP site. But isn't the issue that you're aggregating polling sites that are aggregating polls, leading to a significant overlap of voters between sites? That seems like it would bias your results.

edit: Venusian beat me to it.

How are the methodologies of these sites different?
I am now. Some of the sites, aggregate, some don't. They all have differing methodologies. I'm averaging them in the hopes that will smooth out some of the noise and possibly give a more accurate picture. Plus it gets rid of people saying that RCP is pro-McCain or EV is pro-Obama or whatever.

If you've got a better idea, I'd love to hear it. I'm not an expert in statistical analysis (and others obviously know more) so I'm open to suggestions. For now though, this is how I'm doing my chart.
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Old 09-10-08, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Venusian View Post
Question on Nevada. Is it really that purple? Many suggested that Romney as VP would make it red, are people thinking there are Mormons there that won't be voting for McCain that would have if Romney as on the ticket? Aren't Mormons fairly Republican?
Bush never got more than 52% of the vote in '04 or '08.
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Old 09-10-08, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by matta View Post
Another approach that might work well would be to have multiple red and blue lines, a pair for each site. That would prevent overlap.
That was how I was originally going to do it, but I was afraid it would clutter the chart way too much. I'll try it out and see what it looks like.
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Old 09-10-08, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Venusian View Post
Question on Nevada. Is it really that purple? Many suggested that Romney as VP would make it red, are people thinking there are Mormons there that won't be voting for McCain that would have if Romney as on the ticket? Aren't Mormons fairly Republican?
I don't particularly like Obama's chances in NV. Nor do I like his chances in OH. I think McCain is the favorite in VA. I think Obama holds all Kerry states except maybe NH.

If he wins, I think it will be because he picks up IA, CO, and NM. That would be a gain of 22 which would make losing NH moot - (he'd either be at 270 or 274). Iowa is a lock IMO. I like his chances in NM. I really think it all might come down to CO.
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Old 09-10-08, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by wendersfan View Post
It's all lowercase!!!!

Sorry wEndersfan!
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Old 09-10-08, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Red Dog View Post
I don't particularly like Obama's chances in NV. Nor do I like his chances in OH. I think McCain is the favorite in VA. I think Obama holds all Kerry states except maybe NH.

If he wins, I think it will be because he picks up IA, CO, and NM. That would be a gain of 22 which would make losing NH moot - (he'd either be at 270 or 274). Iowa is a lock IMO. I like his chances in NM. I really think it all might come down to CO.
I agree with you, except that I see Obama picking up VA.
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Old 09-10-08, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Tracer Bullet View Post
I agree with you, except that I see Obama picking up VA.
Yeah but I know VA a lot better than you do.
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Old 09-10-08, 03:02 PM
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I think Obama will pick up Ohio before Virginia. If he wins Virginia it's game over, man.
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Old 09-10-08, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by wendersfan View Post
I think Obama will pick up Ohio before Virginia. If he wins Virginia it's game over, man.
Probably.
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Old 09-10-08, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Red Dog View Post
I really think it all might come down to CO.
I'm playing around with the map on 270towin.com...I can see it coming down to CO as well.
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Old 09-10-08, 03:14 PM
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If he wins two out of Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania, I think Obama's got it in the bag.

This is eerily reminiscent of 2000 and 2004.


As for NV, no one really knows what's going on out there. The last poll I see was between conventions, when Obama was way up in all the polls. Someone needs to get out there and take a more accurate poll. With Rasmussen's automated system, I'm really surprised they're not polling every state every week. As long as they sign up for Vonage, it's free long distance.
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Old 09-10-08, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by scc15 View Post
I'm playing around with the map on 270towin.com...I can see it coming down to CO as well.
I can see that. If McCain carries FL and OH, and Obama carries PA, then it comes down to NH and CO from what I've seen. If McCain carries either, he can start taking measurements in the Oval Office.
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Old 09-10-08, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Mordred View Post
That was how I was originally going to do it, but I was afraid it would clutter the chart way too much. I'll try it out and see what it looks like.
It looks like this (with bogus data for tomorrow):


Let me know what you think.
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