The days grow short as the election approaches, and I'm going to try my very best to start presenting this survey of Electoral College tracking / prediction / projection / forecast / scoreboard / map sites on a biweekly basis from now on. At the same time, I'll also be tightening up my criteria for how long I'll keep in the survey a site which hasn't been updated. Two weeks is the current allowance, but that will change to 10 days for the next iteration, and then for the next one, one week. Just before the election, I may choose to make it even more restrictive.
It's also worth mentioning that I'll be flying to London for business late in the evening on October 30th. That's where I'll be for Election Day, and whether I'll be able to do a survey while I'm there depends on my work schedule and the availability of internet access. I'll certainly do everything I can to put something together, but there's always the possibility that October 30th will be the last survey I publish.
I believe all this means that if everything works out just perfectly, I'll be putting out surveys on Thursday 21 October, Sunday 24 October, Wednesday 27 October, Saturday 30 October (in the a.m.), and possibly on Monday 1 November from London.
Be that as it may, here's this week's edition:
ELECTORAL COLLEGE TRACKING SITES
Larry Allen (10/15 - updated) Kerry 243 - Bush 268 - ?? 27 (IA, ME, MO, NV) (was: 247-278-13)
AP (10/16 - restored): Kerry 217 - Bush 222 - ?? 99 (was: 211-237-90 on 9/14)
Bloomberg (10/17): Kerry 164 - Bush 178 - ?? 196 (no change)
(Note: I believe there is a arithmetical error in Schak's numbers, because his votes add up to more than 538. I've taken his list of states and added up their electoral votes to come up with the numbers here.)
Search The Links (10/15): Kerry 238 - Bush 261 - ?? 39 (NH, NM, OH, WI) (was: 254-266-18)
MODE: Kerry 247 [n=6] - Bush 291 [n=4] (was: 247-264-27)
JOINT MODE: Kerry 247 - Bush 291 [n=4] (was: 247-291)
"Mean" is what is colloquially called "average." All items are added up and divided by the number of items.
"Median" is the center point, the middle value in a list. There are as many values larger than the median as there are values that are smaller.
"Mode" is the number in a list which appears the most times. The "n=" number indicates how many times the number listed appears.
"Joint Mode" is the combination of Kerry and Bush counts which appears most frequently in the survey. The "n=" number indicates how many times it appears.
RANGE Kerry max: 327 (325) Kerry min: 164 (153)
Bush max: 303 (311) Bush min: 157 (167)
The gap between Bush and Kerry continued to close this week, but at a slower rate than last week, and primarily due to losses by Bush and not gains by Kerry. Kerry stayed essentially where he was, with 247 to 250 electoral votes, but Bush lost around 8 to 11 votes and ended up at 253 to 255. The net result is that Bush's roughly 50 vote lead of two weeks ago (which had been reduced down to about 15 votes last week) shrank once again, and Bush now leads Kerry by only 5 or 6 votes. However, neither candidate has enough votes to be the clear winner at this point.
Bush and Kerry are basically tied in the number of sites that list each as winning (20 for Bush, versus 19 for Kerry), but Bush has an edge in the number of sites listing him as ahead (15, versus 8). The 27 sites that showed Kerry ahead or winning was an improvement over last week for him (when he had 16 sites), while Bush's 35 sites was a slight drop from last week (38).
(Please see the note in "Updates" below concerning the original text of this summary.)
UPDATES & CORRECTIONS
For a few days after I publish the survey, I'll update figures, make corrections, and add new sites that come to my attention. I'll note these changes here, and mark the entry for each altered site when appropriate.
As I wrote in the introduction, my hope is to go biweekly, so the next iteration of the survey is planned to be on Thursday 21 October.
(10/18) A number of sites updated after I originally posted earlier this evening, so as I've come across them I've marked them as updated, changed their numbers, refigured the averages and re-written the summary to match.
(10/18) If I may interject an editorial comment, one wonders what, exactly, has to happen for Larry Sabato to make a change in his projection.
(10/18) I made an egregious error in the original text of my summary (and then Blogger compounded it by somehow swallowing the correction I wrote) -- I wrote that approximately equal numbers of sites showed Bush and Kerry ahead or winning. This was not true at the time I wrote it (before the various sites were updated), nor is it true now. Bush at the time of the original posting had 24 sites showing him winning and 12 showing him ahead, for a total of 36. Kerry, on the other hand, had 17 showing him winning and 10 showing him ahead, a total of 27. Somehow I took 17 and 10 and added them in my head to come up with 37, which just ain't right. I've now rewritten the summary to correct the error (for the second time), and I apologize for the mistake.
(10/19) Sam Wang has started to include the effect of the split of undecideds into his meta-analysis, and apparently I inadvertantly took the wrong set of numbers (without undecideds) off his site. Since this is in the nature of a correction, I've updated his entry and revised the averages and summary.
(10/19) The new Zogby interactives came out today, and their analysis puts things at Kerry 264 - Bush 274. This will be included in the next iteration of the survey, just a few days from today.
(10/20) Here's something interesting: back when I first started providing averages, I posted two sets, one for all sites, and one for sites without unassigned states (i.e. no ties or toss-ups). Later I dropped the second set, but I'm toying with the idea of bringing it back, in order to give more of a sense of where we stand once "leaners" have been accounted for. Looking at this particular survey, the "sites without ??" mean is Kerry 269 - Bush 269, and the median is Kerry 267 - Bush 271, which, I think, underlines what we already knew, that the race at this point is all but tied, with Bush very slightly ahead.
From each website 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.
My convention is that Kerry is listed first and Bush second, bold type indicates a winning candidate (i.e. 270 electoral votes or more), and italics or underlining indicates a leading candidate.
Sites which haven't updated in a while will be temporarily removed from the list until they're freshened. For the first half of October I'll keep a "stagnant" site in the survey about 2 weeks. From the middle of October until the election, that will tighten up to a week at most, and perhaps less.
One-time Electoral College analysis articles from the news media (as opposed to ongoing features) will be included, but only for a single iteration of the survey (or one week, if I ever start doing it more often than once a week), unless replaced by a new article.
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.
The following sites from the last survey have been removed for the reasons indicated:
ABC (The Note) (10/11 - news report): Kerry 231 - Bush 213 - ?? 94 (one-time news report)
The Gadflyer (average of 18 predictions; 9/30 - news report): Kerry 284 - Bush 254 (one-time news report)
hostile to science
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
(click on image for more info)
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.