Follow the Electoral College Presidential Projections

Aug 23, 2008: 8:06 PM CST

Various sites have popped up which track daily polls and update in real time the current and projected winner of the US Election via the Electoral College vote, and I wanted to share some of those sites with you if you’re interested in keeping up with who’s ahead or behind, and learning more.

Whether Americans choose Barack Obama or John McCain as President in the upcoming November election, both prospective administrations will likely affect the economy and thus the stock market differently. While a discussion of how each administration would affect the economy is far beyond the scope of this site, I do keep up with the current trends and news on the political scene, and find it quite interesting in terms of the state-by-state updated polls.

If you want to keep up with the current count, or want to project your own Electoral College count (it takes 270 votes to win the Presidency), some of the following sites may be of great interest to you.

Each day, I view the latest updates on Electoral-Vote.com, which provides daily commentary and also tracks the Senate and House polls as well.

Also, if you want less commentary and want a more statistical or mathematical approach, be sure to visit Election-Projection.net. This site allows you to run multiple simulations based on probability inputs on each state for a more accurate result, which generates aggregate figures of probable outcomes and presents them in percentage and distributions.  “FiveThirtyEight.com” lists similar multiple simulations and data, but provides frequent daily updates and links to breaking news stories.

What’s the current projection?  The map below is courtsey Pollster.com, which uses various colors (shades) to show candidate strength, and also utilizes yellow to indicate “toss-up” states which current polls show could go either way.

The map looks wild, but the two shades of blue represent Democrat Barack Obama, while different shades of red represent Republican John McCain.  The election will likely be decided by these yellow “swing-states,” which will likely flip back and forth until November as new polls come out and the campaigns take new and potentially interesting twists and turns.

The easiest way to view all these sites at once is to view “Three Blue Dude’s” Election Projection Database, which lists over 65 blogs and websites that run the gambit from partisan sites, independent sites, and professional news sites (such as CNN’s projection, which looks almost identical to Pollster’s map above).

If I had to inject my opinion now, I would say the main swing states that will determine the election will be Ohio (20 electoral votes, Virginia (13 votes) and Colorado (9 votes).  It’s likely that whichever candidate wins two of these three states (or even sweeps them all) will win the election.

However, so much can change before November, which is of course also true with the markets, and the Political Conventions taking place over the next two weeks could alter the map above.  Then, the candidates will engage in three debates, which could shift trends as well.

If you have further interest, check out some of the sites mentioned above, and especially the Projection Database for links to a plethora of sites with far more information on this topic.

Oh, and just for fun, as of Saturday, August 23rd, The Projection Database reports that 57 linked web or blog sites with frequently updated electoral vote projections have Democrat Barack Obama winning in November, 8 sites list Republican John McCain as the winner, and 2 sites list an exact 269 vote tie.

1 Comment

One Response to “Follow the Electoral College Presidential Projections”

  1. Alex Says:

    I’m a big fan of fivethirtyeight.com . Very mathematical. Check it out Corey, I think you’d like it.

    Love your site (found via bonddad).