Ed’s Weblog

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US Electoral Vote

Posted by Ed on September 30, 2004

The Electoral Vote website predicts the results of the US election based on recent polls. The predicted result differs from what the polls show because of the electoral college system, whereby voters actually choose electors, rather than voting directly for the president. This is the mechanism by which Bush won in 2000 despite receiving fewer votes than his Democrat rival.

Placing your mouse over the map of the states shows the results of the latest polls. The really scary part, though, is the predicted final result, which shows Bush winning by 350 to 178 electoral college votes. I don’t know what the accuracy of the prediction is, but some states differ by less than 3%, which I think is about the best accuracy that opinion polls can reach (I couldn’t find any data on this). There’s still a lot left to play for, but things are not looking too good for Kerry.

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2 Responses to “US Electoral Vote”

  1. Rudolph said

    Ed,
    The problem with those predictions (extrapolations from now to Nov 2nd) are that they are based on simple linear least squares regression on all historic polling data. Now, clearly, most polls does not really fit a linear model. Efects such saturation, hard ‘ceilings’ and ‘floors’ due to solid base blocks on both the DEM and REP sides are not captured at all in the linear trends used on that site. I would say the more useful info contained there is simply the relative change or movement (momentum) of a candidate in any specific state at the current moment… especialy in the “battle ground” states such as Florida, Ohio, Oregon, etc. And lastly, wait for the next batch of “post debate” polls to come in… I guarentee you Kerry is going to get a BIG jump in the polling numbers.

  2. Ed said

    I hadn’t realised that they were simply linear regressions, but it is shown here.
    There could be quite a big jump after the VP debate on Tuesday too, as Cheney is a bit of a loose canon. Might be entertaining though.

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