Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Horse race

Back in the early summer a friend and I were lamenting how the presidential race was all but decided already. Now, here we are 6 days before the election and it's a horse race. We're tracking close states and what the likelihood of either candidate winning various states. There are a few very interesting spots to get a bead on state by state polls and add it up for electoral college results:
  • The LA Times has a pretty straight forward map representing the numbers based on "locked up" states where there is no real challenge. It doesn't make guesses about states where the polls are too close to call. Here, the white states are the ones too close to call.
  • Slate has a much more in depth analysis which includes numbers from various polls. This tracker not only adds up "locked up" states, but also includes iffy states where polls are close, but using various methods, can be predicted to go one way or the other. In this one, the white states are "locked up" and the red or blue states are varying certainty.

Of course, it's dangerous to make predictions. Afterall, I still remember going out on election evening in 2000 thinking that Gore had won only to learn it had gone the other way by the end of the night. But these scorecards are interesting alongside reports about campaigning. It's interesting to see campaign strategies changing based on whether a state is locked up or not. In fact, Hawaii, Arkansas, and West Virginia are in play again and the campaigns are taking note.

In any case, I'll soon post my feeling on how this election is going to run. I highly doubt we'll know the winner next Wednesday because of litigation. And even after litigation is settled, I think people will really be in doubt about the winner's legitimacy - mainly because of questions about election day voting locations. Come back soon for the skinny!

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