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About this Site

Welcome to Electoral Vote Predictor, which in 2004 tracked the electoral vote state by state. This year it is tracking the U.S. Senate races. The site was immensely popular in 2004, ranking in the top 1000 Websites in the world and the top 10 blogs in the world, with about 700,000 visitors a day. In some surveys, it was the most popular election site in the country. Although the name "Electoral Vote Predictor is not relevant in 2006, it seems a shame to throw out a well-known brand name, so it remains EVP.

The website is dedicated to tracking the 33 Senate races by examining the state-by-state polls. As new state polls are released, the maps, spreadsheets, tables, graphs, etc. will be updated. In the maps, the states with white centers are essentially tossups and are subject to rapid fluctuations.

Of the 100 Senate seats, 33 are up for election this year, 18 held by Democrats and 15 held by Republicans. One of the 18 is held by Independent Jim Jeffords of VT, who is likely to be replaced by another Independent, Rep. Bernie Sanders. Since Jeffords caucuses with the Democrats in the Senate and Sanders caucuses with the Democrats in the House, for simplicity, we will just treat them as Democrats, with apologies.

The Democrats have 27 holdovers not up for reelection and the Republicans have 40 holdovers, which means to capture the Senate, the Democrats have to hold all of their own seats and pickup 6 Republican seats. For the Republicans, all they have to do is win 10 of the 33 contests to have 50 seats so Vice President Dick Cheney can cast the deciding votes.

The main page contains a map showing the state of the polls. Putting the mouse on a state pops up information about the polls there. Clicking on a state goes to a graph of the polls.

To the right of the map are several links, as follows:

Link name Description
Polling data in Excel Who conducted each state poll and when
Battleground states Tells where the action will be
Previous report Link to yesterday's page
Next report Link to tomorrow's page (except for today)
News Today's commentary by the Votemaster

Polling methodology and using polls is not as simple as you might think. The Polling methodology file explains polling and the methodology used here in detail. The site is updated once a day, generally by 7 a.m. EDT. For this reason, polls released during the course of a day will not show up until the next morning. Morning newspapers have the same timing cycle.

Before sending e-mail, PLEASE, PLEASE read the FAQ first. Your question may be answered there. Please DO NOT send e-mail announcing a new poll until you have checked the site the next morning. Getting 1000 e-mails about a poll I already know about is not so much fun.

I voted for John Kerry. I am open about that. Despite my political preference, I have bent over backwards to be scrupulously honest about all the numbers, and have carefully designed the main page to be strictly nonpartisan. Only the political humor page is partisan. If you are a Democrat, an independent, or a moderate Republican who is fed up with the President's fiscal and other policies or even a conservative Republican who feels betrayed and who has a sense of humor, you will probably enjoy the political cartoons there. If you want an election site that has a pro-Republican bias from beginning to end, including all over the main page, try www.electionprojection.com.

Site Map

Menu item Description Category
Welcome This page Nonpartisan
General FAQ Frequently Asked Questions Nonpartisan
Polling FAQ Questions and answers about polling methodology Nonpartisan
Votemaster FAQ Who is this Votemaster guy, anyway? Nonpartisan
Donations If you like this site and would like to help out Nonpartisan
All Senate races Information on all 2006 Senate races Nonpartisan
Hot House races Information on key 2006 House races Nonpartisan
More election data Additional data about this and previous elections Nonpartisan
Senate info Information about the Senate Nonpartisan    
Political websites Links to many political websites Nonpartisan    
Articles and books Articles and books about politics and the election Mixed
2004 election The 2004 data; click on Previous report to go backward Nonpartisan
EVP track record Analysis of how good the 2004 predictions were Nonpartisan
Political humor Cartoons and jokes about politics Pro-Democrat   
Enhancements Miscellananeous enhancements to the site Nonpartisan
Contributed pages How to contribute a page to the site Nonpartisan


The primary host for this site is at HostRocket.com. They have fast servers, redundant fiber-optic connections to the Internet, and a knowledgeable technical staff. I recommend them highly, especially for business applications where reliability and customer service are important.

We are also starting an experiment using CoDoNS and CobWeb software on PlanetLab as well, which should give improved performance under heavy load. Thanks to Emin Gun Sirer for helping with this.

The nice colored maps with the pop-up boxes are produced completely automatically from each new day's spreadsheet by code written by Eric Paulson of Viking Web Development. The code uses a library written by Walter Zorn.

Rick Wexler and Lila Lundquist kindly help me every day collecting the polling data from many sources.

Thanks to Herb Weisberg of Correlation Research for statistical consulting.

Colleen Shannon of CAIDA provides the daily animated map. Thanks.

Eric Butler helped me collect the data on how the various interest groups rate all the senators.

I would like to thank Tim Bray, one of the co-inventors of XML and a popular blogger for introducing me to RSS feeds and helping me get a feed going. With today's information overload, feeds are fast becoming an excellent way to manage the flows.

I would also like to thank 'Grumpy' for producing the software that makes much of the statistical information.

R.J. Parsons provided lots of Excel expertise to make the spreadsheets have pretty colors that change automatically as the polls go up and down and other useful features.

Brad Barrett has helped me get his web analysis program webalizer running.

I would like to thank Calin Plesa for designing the favicon.ico icon.

Cathy Thomas compiled the list of books by the Senate candidates and built that part of the Web page.

Thanks to Kelly Marks for poster 1 and the people at SnapFood.com for poster 2.

Back to the main page.
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