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Five thirty eight
» Home : Blog : October 2008
We are in full swing now in the presidential campaign, and we are constantly bombarded with poll numbers. Funny thing is, most of those polls are just national polls, a prediction of how the nation-wide popular vote will turn out. But as the 2000 election underscored, that doesn't matter at all: what matters is the electoral vote. To predict that, you'd have to track individual state-by-state polls to see who wins the popular vote in each state, and compute the electoral vote totals. Sounds like a lot of work, but FiveThirtyEight.com (Electoral Predictions Done Right) has done all the work already. They also run statistical simulations to predict the likelihood of various outcomes (for example: the chance of McCain losing the popular vote but winning the election is 1.7%).
Add extensive tables of data detailing the poll data, the simulations, their predictions, maps of outcomes, more of the same for congressional races, and so on, and you have a quantitative political junkie's dream site.
BTW, as of this moment, they predict an Obama win, with 339 electoral votes to McCain's 199.
tagged: politics» 4 reactions