Princeton Election Consortium

A first draft of electoral history. Since 2004

Entries from October 27th, 2004

Three Reasons for Surprising Polls

October 27th, 2004, 5:30am by Sam Wang

Hawaii has been added because of two recent polls showing possible leads for Bush. This seems very unlikely. In any event, what is really needed is a third poll. With that, let’s think about a favorite subject of mine: why individual polls seem surprising or contradictory. I can think of three reasons: 1. Reporters often [...]

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Tags: 2004 Election

National Polling Update

October 26th, 2004, 11:00am by Sam Wang

Statistically based analysis of the Electoral College is featured in today’s Wall Street Journal. Welcome to new readers! The overall raw polling outcome (decided voters only) is still a statistical tie. This is true even with more than 100 polls used in today’s calculation. Bush has tiny leads among decided voters in Florida and Ohio, [...]

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Tags: 2004 Election

Newsday Coverage; Dropping out the Undecideds

October 25th, 2004, 6:30pm by Sam Wang

First, I apologize for the relative lack of updates and commentary! I face logistical hurdles, including my professional society’s annual meeting (where I am), intermittent Internet access, and university mail system failures. This site is mentioned in an article on polls in today’s Newsday. However, there is one error – my margin of Bush over [...]

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Tags: 2004 Election

E-mail Troubles

October 24th, 2004, 8:00pm by Sam Wang

A story in today’s Washington Post confirms what I am suspecting: the Bush campaign is in trouble, and Bush-Cheney campaign insiders recognize this. It’s consistent with the defensive move of pulling out of Ohio for a last stand in Florida. By the way, I am having email troubles on the university server. To reach me [...]

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Tags: 2004 Election

Looking Towards Next Week

October 23rd, 2004, 10:00am by Sam Wang

I am working on a reference sheet to give you late next week. In addition to bottom-line predictions, this reference will give you a list of things to watch for on Election Night, along with key combinations that Kerry and Bush need. The content will change a bit in the coming week as the last [...]

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Tags: 2004 Election

Florida: A Must-Win State for Bush

October 22nd, 2004, 3:30am by Sam Wang

At Slate, Will Saletan points out that based on Bush’s travels, his campaign may consider Florida more of a must-win state than Ohio. Looking at today’s decided-only numbers, this has merit. If Bush takes Ohio his win probability is 72%, but if he loses then this drops to 40% – not even a twofold difference. [...]

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Tags: 2004 Election

More on Allocating Undecided Voters

October 20th, 2004, 4:00pm by Sam Wang

I’ve received lots of feedback on undecided voter assignment, much of it constructive. This has led me to rearrange the way the results are presented. First: the calculation is now set to its old definition from two days ago. Many of you are very familiar with the raw (decided voters only) calculation by now. Switching [...]

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Tags: 2004 Election

Calculation Change; Getting Out the Vote

October 19th, 2004, 12:00pm by Sam Wang

Today I implement the first major change to this calculation – I am allocating undecided voters. To do this I use past presidential election voting patterns, specifically the incumbent rule as described by Charlie Cook of the National Journal. This gives a more accurate snapshot and is a step toward making an actual prediction. Rationale: [...]

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Tags: 2004 Election

Evaluating National Polls

October 18th, 2004, 12:00pm by Sam Wang

Although I don’t analyze national polls, I am asked about them frequently. For instance, how to interpret the latest Gallup poll reporting a Bush-Kerry margin of 8%? My brief reply: if you look carefully at all available polls, the race is closer than this single poll indicates. Consider the following. Imagine that the race were [...]

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Tags: 2004 Election

Voting for Nader

October 15th, 2004, 12:00pm by Sam Wang

Colorado Democratic Senate candidate Ken Salazar has come out clearly against Amendment 36, the electoral vote splitting initiative. It seems likely to fail. I have been asked to evaluate a tactical-voting idea proposed by Nader supporters, votepair.org. The idea is for swing state voters to agree to change their Nader vote in exchange for a [...]

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Tags: 2004 Election