Now that more than a full week has gone by since the end of the Democratic convention, it's a good time to take another survey of Electoral College tracking / prediction / projection / forecast / scoreboard / map sites to see if we can find any indication of a change in Kerry's status as a result of that confab.
It's been less than a week since my last survey, but already there have been 30 new state polls, and even though 12 of them are the next-to-worthless Rasmussen 1-month monstrosities, another 15 of them are in the 22 states that I consider to be swingers -- and most sites have registered significant changes already. Let's see what they are.
This time, for the first time, I won't start with my own prediction, but simply include it in the list. Another change -- I've dropped Charlie Cook and Larry Sabato, because their projections are well out of date now (I'll reinstate them when they see fit to update their predictions), and I've also dropped the National Journal as well since free access to their Hotline website won't be available again until the Republican convention, at which time I'll put them back too. (If someone with a sub to NJ wants to send me their numbers, I'll add update the list with them.)
Now, here are the predictions and projections:
[Note: From each of these websites I've taken the most comprehensive set of numbers offered, if possible without a "toss-up" category or other caveats, just Kerry versus Bush. Many of them differentiate between "solid" or "strong", "slightly" or "weak", and "leaning" or "barely" states, but I've combined them all together in order to present numbers which are as comparable as possible. I encourage everyone to use the links and check each site for the specifics of that site's methodology and presentation. -- Ed]
*To do this conversion I've assigned any state in which the value of the Bush-wins contract is over 50 to Bush, and any state under 50 to Kerry. For alternatives see this comment thread. Update: Bruce D. Kothmann has more on the subject here.
Tripias (8/6): Kerry 296 - Bush 242 (was: 306-232)
Sam Wang (8/6): Kerry 307 - Bush 231 (was: 300-238)
Kerry winning: 22 (was: 18 - one dropped site had Kerry winning) Kerry ahead: 5 (was: 6 - one dropped site had Kerry ahead)
Bush winning: 3 (was: 3) Bush ahead: 0 (was: 1 - one dropped site had Bush ahead)
Kerry gained: 16 (was: 4) Kerry lost: 4 (was: 12)
Bush gained: 4 (was: 12) Bush lost: 16 (was: 6)
?? gained: 0 (was: 6) ?? lost: 7 (was: 2)
No change: 3 (was: 4) Not updated: 1 (was: 3) New: 5 (was: 4) Temporarily dropped: 3
ALL SITES MEAN: Kerry 287 - Bush 230 (remainder: 21) (was: 273-236-29)
MEDIAN: Kerry 296 - Bush 231 (remainder: 11) (was: 276.5-240.5-21)
MODE: Kerry 296 - Bush 231 (remainder: 11) (was: 264-246-27)
SITES WITH NO ?? MEAN: Kerry 297 - Bush 241 (was: 288-250)
MEDIAN: Kerry 298.5 - Bush 239.5 (was: 290-248)
MODE: Kerry 296 - Bush 242 (was: 291-247)
Whether you want to call it a "convention bounce" or not, clearly those who do their best to track the status of the Electoral College have determined that Kerry is doing better right now than he was in my last survey less than a week ago. Although he was clearly ahead then, he has fortified his position now, gaining votes at the expense of Bush and winning previously unassigned states.
There is not complete unanimity: 3 sites still have Bush winning, but it's worth noting that 2 of those sites are the result of the cumulative activity of a large number of people (either trading in predictive contracts or posting personal predictions), and therefore would reasonably be assumed to move more slowly in responding to changing circumstances. In addition, the third of these sites is the only one included that hasn't been updated since the last survey.
Although I hesitate to offer it (because it happens to be my own prediction at the moment) the averages seem to suggest that a good ballpark estimation of the current state of the Electoral College is:
Kerry 296 - Bush 242.
As always, if anyone has links for any other sites that regularly track Electoral College status, please feel free to send them my way and I'll be glad to add them to the list. I'm also more than happy to hear from the proprietors of any of the sites surveyed here, should they have any complaints, comments, or suggestions for improvements.
Also, it's embarassing to admit, but I didn't realize that Zogby actually made a projection in their notes to the latest Battleground poll report, so I've included it as well, and updated the summary.
Another site I've just run across, Young Conservatives hasn't been updated since 7/23, before the Democratic convention. I'll keep an eye on it, and if it updates by the time I prepare the next survey (in a week or so), I'll include it then. (Their last result was Kerry 190 - Bush 278 - ?? 70.)
I've also made a pass through all of the sites, checking to make sure that I've got the latest figures from all of them (and in the process correcting some typos regarding the dates I put down for some of them). As of 11:20 EDT, I believe that they're all current.
Update (8/8):Our Campaigns bills itself as a "collaborative political news site." It certainly has a lot of information contained in its many pages, but I found the presentation of it rather confusing, and grew very weary of having to do multiple click-throughs to find what I wanted. The site allows members to assign each state in the presidential election as "slight," "leaning," "strong," and "safe," for all the candidates on the ballot in that state, and you can find the totals for each state on a seperate page, but there was no place that I could find that all the totals for all the states in the country were presented at once. As a result, unless I'm missing something (and I looked very assiduously), to get their collective wisdom on the outcome of the Electoral College you have to look for (click ... click ... click ... click ... click ...) and add up the totals for all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
This I was not willing to do, but my list of 22 swing states is probably the most inclusive of anyone's, so I did take the time (a considerable amount of time, actually, almost as long as doing the rest of the survey) to collect their totals for those states. Assuming that there were no suprises in the other 29 predictions, the collective wisdom of their 140 or so members was:
This, of course, matches up precisely with the results of the two other collective sites, Tradesports and the Leip Atlas, and probably represents the same kind of lagging response as they do.
(Perhaps I should divide the survey up into collective sites and individual sites, since they seem to come to such different conclusions.)
I'm not going to include Our Campaigns in the survey, because of the great amount of work it represents to collect its information -- unless, that it, someone clues me in on an easier way to get it, or a page that I'm somehow missing. Should that happen, I'll be glad to include it in the future.
(In case anyone's interested, I've checked, and including both Young Conservatives and Our Campaigns in the survey would not have changed the averages appreciably. The mean for all sites would change slightly from 287-230-21 to 283-233-22, but the mode and median would stay the same. In the summary, of course, there would be 5 sites with Bush winning instead of 3.
Please note that I have most assuredly not excluded these sites because of their results, but for the reasons given here, and I'll happily include them next time if those conditions change.)
Update (8/10):MyDD has a proportional electoral vote map keyed to the latest poll results now up in the right-hand column of the site. You can get to it directly here, but that would mean missing out on all the other good stuff that Jerome and Chris and the rest of the crew provide.
I'll be adding it to the survey as of the next iteration (most probably Sunday night/Monday morning).
BTW, I may be thick, but I guess I can see through a brick wall given enough time. It's occured to me that I can fairly easily get the Our Campaigns electoral vote total by looking at the map generated by "member average prediction" and then using one of the many graphic electoral college calculators to add up the votes -- that's assuming that the map actually updates in the way that it's labelled to do. Since that's fairly easy, I'll including the site in the next update.
On the other hand, as of now Young Conservatives still hasn't updated its prediction, so its status is still uncertain.
One final note, Thomas B. Fagan is the former editor-in-chief of ElectNet.org and a contributing editor at a site called Rumor Mill News (which seems to be accompanied by a large number of annoying pop-ups), where his articles are slugged "Electline." He's sent me his electoral vote analysis, a handicapping system in which:
each race projects an under/over point spread between the first and second place finishers in each race. It works just like football and basketball point spreads. In a two man race, a “-4” , for example, means I am projecting a 52-48 final result.
The system depends very little on polls, but heavily on previous results, demographics, voter registration, and miscellaneous details relevant to the candidates, issues, and the region. Incumbency is a relatively heavy factor in U.S. House races, but less for Presidential, U.S. Senate, and gubernatorial contests.
He includes his figures for each state, with a very brief analysis for each, and then concludes:
This projects to Bush 300 to Kerry 238. However, 94 of Bush’s electoral votes and 70 of Kerry’s are in states projected as closer than 5 points. Minor swings in fortune could elect either man.
Unfortunately, Mr. Fagan's analysis is not linked to any particular web address (and, in fact, I couldn't find it on the Rumor Mill News site either), so I'm hesitant to include it on the survey, since there's no place for people to look at his work and check out his methodology. He's promised to keep me updated.
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lacking in empathy
lacking in public spirit
out of control
Thanks to: Breeze, Chuck, Ivan Raikov, Kaiju, Kathy, Roger, Shirley, S.M. Dixon
i've got a little list...
Steven Abrams (Kansas BofE)
Howard Fieldstead Ahmanson
Roger Ailes (FNC)
Alan Bonsell (Dover BofE)
Bill Buckingham (Dover BofE)
George W. Bush
Bruce Chapman (DI)
The Coors Family
William A. Dembski
Leonard Downie (WaPo)
John Gibson (FNC)
Fred Hiatt (WaPo)
James F. Inhofe
Philip E. Johnson
by Joel Pelletier
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Stephen C. Meyer (DI)
Judith Miller (ex-NYT)
Sun Myung Moon
Elspeth Reeve (TNR)
Martin Peretz (TNR)
Richard Mellon Scaife
Susan Schmidt (WaPo)
John Solomon (WaPo)
Richard Thompson (TMLC)
Bob Woodward (WaPo)
All the fine sites I've
Be sure to visit them all!!
Arthur C. Clarke
Daniel C. Dennett
Philip K. Dick
Stephen Jay Gould
"The Harder They Come"
Ursula K. LeGuin
The Marx Brothers
Michael C. Penta
Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger
"The Red Shoes"
"Singin' in the Rain"
Talking Heads/David Byrne
Hunter S. Thompson
"2001: A Space Odyssey"
If you read unfutz at least once a week, without fail, your teeth will be whiter and your love life more satisfying.
If you read it daily, I will come to your house, kiss you on the forehead, bathe your feet, and cook pancakes for you, with yummy syrup and everything.
(You might want to keep a watch on me, though, just to avoid the syrup ending up on your feet and the pancakes on your forehead.)
Finally, on a more mundane level, since I don't believe that anyone actually reads this stuff, I make this offer: I'll give five bucks to the first person who contacts me and asks for it -- and, believe me, right now five bucks might as well be five hundred, so this is no trivial offer.