Election Day is only three days away, and this is what could be the final edition of the unfutz survey of Electoral College tracking / prediction / projection / forecast / scoreboard / map sites. (I hope to do another on Monday, depending on the quality of web access I have in London.)
Since I've been publishing the survey, my traffic has increased tremendously (pushing it right up to #139 in the Truth Laid Bare listing), a situation I'm sure will be reversed once the election is over, if only because at least half of the people who drop by here are of the opposite political ideology from me. Still, I hope that a few folks will want to stop by again and see what's here once I return to normal blogging.
I'd like to thank everyone who linked to the survey or helped to promote it, including Larry Allen, Chris Bowers, Chuck Buckley, Dales, DavidNYC, Scott Elliot, Taegan Goddard, John Orr, Alcon San Croix, TruthIsAll, Sam Wang and David Wissing. (My apologies to anyone I may have inadvertantly overlooked.) My thanks also to those who offered tips, advice and opinions about the survey -- I appreciated them all.
Here's where we are as we come down the home stretch:
ELECTORAL COLLEGE TRACKING SITES
Larry Allen (10/27 - not updated since last survey): Kerry 243 - Bush 237 - ?? 58 (FL, IA, OH, NH) (not updated)
Boston Globe (10/29): Kerry 171 - Bush 218 - ?? 149 (was: 188-192-108)
MODE: Kerry 262 [n=4] - Bush 276 [n=5] (was: 242-222-74)
JOINT MODE: Kerry 262 - Bush 276 [n=4] (was: 207-222-107)
Sites without unassigned states MEAN: Kerry 266 - Bush 272 (269-269)
MEDIAN: Kerry 264 - Bush 274 (was: 267-271)
(For what "mean", "median" and "mode" are, see "Notes" below.)
RANGE Kerry max: 321 (321) Kerry min: 153 (153)
Bush max: 311 (310) Bush min: 168 (166)
According to the evidence of the Electoral College trackers, the race continues to be quite tight, but Bush has managed to maintain and increase his lead over Kerry.
Bush has 256-263 votes (a gain of 4-6), while Kerry has 245-246 (a drop of 3 to 9 votes). Bush's lead over Kerry, which was 2-4 votes, increased to 11-17.
(They are more closely positioned when considering only the projections of sites which don't show unassigned -- i.e. toss-up or tied -- states: Bush 272-274 vs. Kerry 264-266.)
Bush continues to maintain an edge in sites showing him winning, sites showing him ahead, and sites showing him ahead or winning, but the margins are all almost precisely the same as last time. Bush was also, again, slightly ahead in sites where he gained votes from last time, and in sites where Kerry lost votes, but, again the margins are virtually the same as the survey done several days ago.
It begins to seem definitive, here quite near the end of things, that the collective wisdom of the Electoral College trackers is not going to give us a clear answer to the question of who is going to win the election. The evidence seems to be that the race is tied, with a modest advantage to Bush. The questions for partisans of both sides would then seem to be:
Will Bush's incumbency be to his advantage, wielding the power of the status quo, fear of change, and not rocking the boat, or will the "incumbent rule" hold true and the bulk of the undecideds go for Kerry, giving him the margin he needs?
Which party will be most successful at getting their people to the polls, and will the various factors which serve to suppress votes (complaceny, legal maneuvres and dirty tricks) play a significant part in determining the balance of voters?
UPDATES & CORRECTIONS
I'm leaving for London later today, so I won't have a lot of opportunity to update this edition of the survey (although (I'll try to do a little before I go). This may or may not be the last edition of the survey, depending on the quality (and cost) of the web access I'll have. If possible, I'll put out another one on Monday 1 November from the U.K.
(10/30 2pm) I've gone through all the sites and updated quite a few of them -- due to time contraints I'll list them here instead of marking them individually: Dales, DC's, Election Projection, Elector-vote, Leip, Moro, NYT, Race2004, TruthIsAll, Wang, Wissing, NowChannel. I've updated the averages and other states and rewritten the summary to reflect Bush's slightly larger gain over Kerry than before the updates.
(10/31) Andrew Howard has a site, new to the survey, similar to Andrea Moro's, in which the user can specify what poll data to use to run simulations with. Using the data that Howard himself provides, on 10/31, the results are Kerry 280-284 - Bush 254-258. If I'm able to do an update tomorrow, I'll include this site in it.
(10/31) After having some FTP problems, Alcon San Croix has updated his site. Results as of 10/30: Kerry 227 - Bush 284 - ?? 25 (OH, ME-2, NH). I'll restore his site in the next survey, if there is one.
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. Two weeks has been the allowance for keeping a "stagnant" site in the survey, but that changed to 10 days begining with this iteration. This will tighten to one week and then, just before the election, I may choose to make it even more restrictive.
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.
"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.
A note on my own numbers
I want to make it clear, just in case it isn't already, that the numbers I publish here under my own name (Ed Fitzgerald) are the result of my own methodology, and are not in any way connected with the results of this survey, except that they constitute a single pair of data points in it. That is, neither my current estimation of the system's status, nor my prediction about its final state on Election Day, are meant to illustrate the collective wisdom of the Electoral College trackers, which can be found in the "Summary" section above and the graphs connected to it.
The following site which appeared in the previous edition of the survey were removed, for the reasons indicated:
AP (10/23 - not updated since last survey): Kerry 207 - Bush 222 - ?? 109 (out of date)
Business Week (10/22 - not updated since last survey): Kerry 242 - Bush 234 - ?? 62 (FL, OH, NM, WI) (out of date)
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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.