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This Week in Freudenfreude: Happy Birthday to... Us

Boy, how time flies. It was 20 years ago today... that Sgt. Pepper taught his band to play? Nope. In fact, exactly 20 years ago, this site went online. If you click through, you'll see that all we had that day was a map, and a prediction of 281 EVs for George W. Bush and 257 EVs for John Kerry (actual: 286 for Bush and 251 for Kerry, so not a bad start at all). The first day we had any actual text, beyond the map, was June 6, and the first time we had political analysis of any sort (a comment on that day's poll of Louisiana) was June 7.

One astute reader figured it out in advance, and sent us a birthday card of sorts. Here's M.G. in Boulder, CO:

May 24th is's 20th anniversary. began in 2004 as a source for poll analysis to project election outcomes, and at some time close to that a co-worker recommended it to me as a site written by some young guy, probably a smart poly sci grad student, who produced pretty unbiased information written in a style that was understandable and fun to read. At that time it appeared and disappeared without warning. As an election heated up, I'd think, "I wonder if that kid is back," and like magic, would appear. (Z) joined (V) in 2015, and in 2016 their work began appearing daily, expanding to include political articles and analysis. It wasn't until about 3 years ago that I thought to look for background information. I should have realized that after 17 years, the "bright grad student" would have become an intelligent middle-aged faculty member, but Wikipedia told me that I'd been really off base about (V) for the whole time that I'd been reading the column. Sometimes you think what you see is the whole picture, but when you see a more complete picture, it's much more impressive.

(V), thanks for a lovely 20 years, and thank you, (Z), for 9 years of added excellence. I'm looking forward to many more.

Thanks, M.G.!

We wanted to mark the actual anniversary, for obvious reasons, but next week we'll have some stuff that continues the commemoration. To help with that, we would like to ask readers to submit images (or links to images) from the last two decades that would have been shocking to you if you could send them back in time to the 2004 version of yourself. Please send them to, ideally with subject "Unbelievable Image." Obviously, we welcome a few sentences of explanation and/or commentary.

Naturally, this is an ideal time to thank the people who make this site possible, among them the two people who help input polls for us, the two who help us with tech support, the dozen who serve as copy editors, the person who helps apply all the corrections each day, and, of course, all the readers, without whom it would not be possible. Or, at least, without whom it would not be worthwhile. It's an honor and a privilege, and here's to many years more! (V & Z).

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