Electoral Vote Predictor 2004:   Kerry 247   Bush 285

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Battleground states
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electoral college strong kerry Strong Kerry (84)
electoral college weak kerry Weak Kerry (119)
electoral college barely kerry Barely Kerry (44)
electoral college tied Exactly tied (6)
electoral college barely bush Barely Bush (71)
electoral college weak bush Weak Bush (67)
electoral college strong bush Strong Bush (147)
Needed to win: 270

News from the Votemaster

If you are new to the site today, greetings. You might want to look at the Welcome page. It contains an overview of the many maps, charts, graphs, tables, articles, history, political cartoons, and other election material on the site.

In contrast to previous Mondays, there are many new polls today, with 19 states getting new numbers (although most didn't change sides). In addition to the ususual polls, Zogby has begun daily tracking polls in 10 battleground states, which I will also toss into the hopper. According to Zogby's polls, conducted Oct. 21-24, Bush is currently leading in six states (FL, NM, NV, WI, IA, and OH), while Kerry is leading in four states (CO, MN, PA, MI). Some of these results are very surprising. Is Kerry really leading by 4% in Colorado? Is Bush really leading by 5% in New Mexico? I don't believe either of those. They are in conflict with too many other polls. Another example: the current Ohio University poll gives Kerry a 6% lead in that state, whereas Zogby puts Bush ahead by 5%. The MoE on these polls is 4%, so an 11% change in a couple of days in a state with so few undecideds is impossible. I think there are serious problems with all the polls.

Speaking of undecideds, here is another article on how they have broken in the past (summary: they go heavily for the challenger, who always does much better than the final polls suggest).

A new poll in Maine shows Kerry leading Bush there 50% to 39%. This new Zogby poll, conducted Oct. 20-21, is the first one I have seen that breaks the state down by congressional district. Kerry is well ahead in both CDs. Since Nebraska is overwhelmingly Republican, neither of the states that split their votes in the electoral college by congressional district will, in fact, do so. The referendum to split Colorado's electors in proportion to the popular vote is currently behind. Other surprising polls are ones showing Bush ahead in Hawaii by 1% and Arkansas being tied at 48% each. The Zogby polls put Bush ahead in Florida and Ohio, so his lead in the electoral college has increased today. It is going to be a wild ride this week. Stay tuned.

Legal news: The Supreme Court has rejected Ralph Nader's appeal to be placed on the Pennsylvania ballot. His Ohio case is still pending.

Senate news: For an informative rundown on the Senate races, see this article from a Pennsylvania newspaper. One race that is getting a lot of unexpected attention is in Kentucky, where the incumbent, Sen. Jim Bunning, broke his agreement to debate challenger Dr. Daniel Mongiardo in Kentucky and debated instead from the RNC in Washington by satellite so he could read his opening and closing statements from a TelePrompTer. This event and some of his more outrageous statements (like little green men working for Mongiardo beat up his wife) have led to speculating that he has Alzheimer's disease. Nevertheless, a new Bluegrass Poll puts Bunning ahead 49% to 43%. Zogby is checking the Senate races in the 10 battleground states he will be polling daily, and we will update the Senate page with all the new data. Based on the current data, the new Senate will be 50 Republicans, 49 Democrats (including Jeffords) with South Dakota an exact tie right now. In reality, about 8 or 9 Senate races are tossups.

Conservative news: A surprising number of prominent conservatives, including an editor of the The American Conservative, have endorsed Kerry saying that Bush does not believe in basic conservative principles such as balanced budgets and small government. So far I haven't seen any prominent liberals or editors of liberal magazines endorse Bush.

Yesterday's Washington Post picked up the story about the Univ. of Maryland report that I reported Friday. This report concluded that Bush and Kerry supporters live in different worlds with different facts. For example, 75% of Bush supporters believe that Iraq was involved in the 9/11 attacks by supporting Al-Qaida (vs. 30% of Kerry supporters), despite the bipartisan 9/11 commission concluding that Iraq was not involved in the attacks. Similar disparities exist on whether Iraq had WMD, whether the world approves of the war in Iraq and more.

If you missed yesterday, a new magnified plot was introduced for the graphs of the swing states. All the state graphs can be reached from the State poll graphs page.

Thanks to all of your generous donations, I have now placed ads on 90 blogs and the websites of 24 college newspapers in swing states. The list is on the donations page.

Don't like Bush or Kerry or Nader or Badnarik or Cobb or any of the others? Maybe YOU should be president. Simcountry is a multiplayer Internet game in which you are the president, commander in chief and industrial leader. You decide how to allocate the federal budget, which products to manufacture, where to build schools and infrastructure, and which countries you want to invade. If you can beat the other presidents, you can win cash awards. Playing the game is free, but be warned, it is addictive.

Projected Senate: 48 Democrats, 50 Republicans, 1 independent, 1 tossup
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Statistics Collector (via University of Kentucky)