Senate and House Tracking Starts Today
The primary season is almost over. On Sept. 14 we have Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York,
Rhode Island, and Wisconsin. Then Four days later we have Hawaii and we are pretty much done with the primaries.
Still, even with the candidates unknown in a few key races (Delaware and New Hampshire Senate races, for example),
the big picture is pretty much clear now. Consequently, we are starting to track the House and Senate races on a daily basis,
as in previous years.
The map above reflects the current state of all the Senate races except NYA, in which Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is going to
coast to an easy victory, so the map will just show NYB (Kirsten Gillibrand vs. the winner of the GOP primary in New York).
The algorithm used is the same as in 2008, which got 33 of the 35 Senate races right. The two it missed were Minnesota (Franken vs. Coleman),
which ultimately was decided by the courts after 6 months of wrangling, and Georgia (Chambliss vs. Martin), which required a
runoff. The algorithm is explained on the page linked to the "Map algorithm explained" link below the legend to the lower
right of the map. Basically, the most recent poll is always used and if there are other polls within a week of it, all of
them are averaged equally. The algorithm also did pretty well with the presidental vote, predicting all states correctly
except Indiana (which Obama won by 1%) and Missouri, which McCain won by 0.1% The projected electoral vote was 353 to 174 (with Missouri projected as a tie).
The actual electoral vote was 365 to 173.
The map is active, as in the past. If you put the mouse cursor on a state, you get a pop-up box telling what the score is there.
Clicking on a state brings up a graph of all the polls for that Senate race for all of 2010.
Model Developed for the House Races
In principle, the same algorithm is being used for the House. The problem is that while there are polls galore for all the
Senate races, only 28 of the 435 House races have been polled to date. While that will no doubt increase during the next
few months, it is hard to make a projection when 94% of the races haven't been polled. To get around this problem, we have
developed a model for predicting them, based on the district's PVI, the 2008 election, and other factors. The model is
a bit complicated, but is described in detail on the House races
link to the right of the map. This page also lists all 435 House races along with their parameters. If you don't like
the model, feel free to download all the data and make your own. Use the
Downloadable polling data link to the right of the map to
get all the data in various formats.
Details about Many Races Available
on the menu below the map lead to pages discussing all the Senate races, the most competitive House races, and all the
governors' races, with photos of the candidates, links to the home pages, and much more. The other menu items are in the
process of being updated.
RSS and Twitter Feeds Available
In case you weren't aware of it, there are RSS and Twitter feeds available. Click on the XML icon above for the former and the
bird icon for the latter.
As in the past, the headlines in the Political Wire box are clickable and take you to the corresponding story.
Donations to help publicize the site are welcome using the PayPal icon at the right but in any case, if you like the site,
please tell your friends. Word-of-mouth publicity is the best of all.
That's probably enough for right now. Go explore the new map, graphs, tables and more.
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-- The Votemaster
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