Princeton Election Consortium

A first draft of electoral history. Since 2004

Politics & Polls #67: What happened in Virginia? with Larry Sabato and Geoffrey Skelley

November 17th, 2017, 9:48am by Sam Wang


Democrats scored big wins last week in New Jersey and Virginia elections. Julian Zelizer and I chew it over with Larry Sabato and Geoffrey Skelley. Plus a tiny bit about whether Alabama will elect a child molester as senator, or choose a Democrat who prosecutes KKK terrorists. Life is full of hard choices. All in the new Politics & Polls.

→ 4 CommentsTags: Politics · Senate

Fall Football Lecture: Can Math Help Fix Bugs in Democracy?

November 11th, 2017, 12:14pm by Sam Wang


During college football season, the Princeton Alumni Association hosts fall lectures for people who come back to campus for the home games. This morning I gave the pregame lecture for the Yale game. My topic: can math help repair partisan gerrymandering and the Electoral College? Great audience, great questions.

There is no video available. However, the slides are here. The real-life experience is possible, but only if I come visit!

→ 1 CommentTags: President · Princeton · Redistricting · U.S. Institutions

Politics and Polls #66: Year of the Trumpquake

November 9th, 2017, 8:10pm by Sam Wang


Our podcast is ranked #12 in News and Politics on iTunes! Which is pretty cool.

Here, Julian Zelizer and I look back on the last 12 months, including what we did and didn’t foresee after last November’s Trumpquake. Added bonus: I do impression of Russian spy. All in the new Politics & Polls.

→ 2 CommentsTags: 2014 Election

Tuesday election trackers

November 6th, 2017, 9:50pm by Sam Wang


The DailyKos Elections tracking spreadsheet is here.

The New Jersey governor’s race is a foregone conclusion – the winner should be Phil Murphy (D), which would give Democrats full control of government.

Virginia governor’s race looks close: Northam (D) leads Gillespie (R) by 2.5 +/- 0.9 % (median +/- SEM, n=4). It’s closer than expected, given that in Virginia, the President’s party (R) usually underperforms the previous year’s Presidential-election performance – and Hillary Clinton won Virginia by 5 percentage points. Note that all of the Virginia House of Delegates (the lower chamber) is up for election. The Virginia Senate, which is narrowly controlled by Republicans, doesn’t have any seats up this time around – that happens in 2019. If Gillespie wins, that raises the possibility of total Republican control over Virginia’s redistricting in 2021. For these reasons, Virginia is worth watching – and getting out the vote. Turnout is key; to follow that, here’s a tracker!

4:48pm: As of 4:00pm, median turnout in the NextGen America precincts has already matched total 2013 turnout. Polls close at 7:00pm.

10:00pm: In Virginia, Northam’s win is headed for 8-10%, larger than expected from polls. It’s a large error, over 6 points…but then again, it would have been weird if Northam had *not* outperformed Clinton’s 5-point win last November. Some in the press are saying it was a huge blow to Trump and the GOP, but as far as I can tell, it’s just a continuation of the longstanding Virginia trend of going against the President’s party one year later.

→ 15 CommentsTags: governors

Tomorrow on WPRB w/These Vibes Are Too Cosmic

November 6th, 2017, 9:17pm by Sam Wang


Tomorrow (Tuesday) at 6:45pm, I’ll go on WPRB Princeton 103.3 FM with Stevie Bergman, host of These Vibes Are Too Cosmic. Long-form college radio. She and her co-host Brian get great guests on scientific topics ranging from the paranormal to how alliances form on social media. It should be fun. NJ/PA area listeners and online WPRB fans, tune in!

→ Post a commentTags: 2018 Election · Redistricting

Today on WHYY Radio Times

October 19th, 2017, 5:18am by Sam Wang


Today at 10:00am Eastern, WHYY Radio Times host Marty Moss-Coane will have me on to talk about partisan gerrymandering. Her other guest is Carol Kuniholm of Fair Districts PA. Pennsylvania is the largest gerrymandered state and there are several lawsuits brewing, so our discussion will be most timely.
Listen to the show here!

Comments OffTags: Redistricting

Politics & Polls: What I saw in the Supreme Court

October 12th, 2017, 5:16pm by Sam Wang


Julian Zelizer and I talk about partisan gerrymandering, what I saw when I attended oral argument in Gill v. Whitford, and what it means for reform efforts nationwide. All in the new Politics & Polls.

→ 12 CommentsTags: Redistricting

Data Science in 30 Minutes: Partisan Gerrymandering

October 11th, 2017, 8:59pm by Sam Wang


Here’s a webinar on how data nerds can help fight partisan gerrymandering: You can help by joining state-level efforts, and by supporting our work.

→ 1 CommentTags: Redistricting

Support our gerrymandering work!

October 11th, 2017, 7:19am by Sam Wang


We are engaged in nonpartisan analysis to help understand the causes of partisan gerrymandering, and develop tools to fix it through court action and through citizen-led reform efforts in states. For example, our amicus brief in last week’s Supreme Court case may be useful to them as they write their decision – and, depending on that ruling, to lower courts as the decision is implemented.

To learn more about our analysis, which meets legal constraints set in place by the Court (and even addresses objections by conservatives such as Justice Samuel Alito), read our amicus brief or watch our great explainer video. For a deep dive into why partisan gerrymandering has soared, see our piece in The American Prospect.

If you are interested in supporting the project, there are two ways to contribute:

  • Visit our Benefunder page to learn about what we plan to do next, and to donate; or
  • Contact Princeton University Development officer Thomas Roddenbery, who can help you.

→ 2 CommentsTags: Princeton · Redistricting

Making Every Vote Count: Election reform and the National Popular Vote Compact

October 7th, 2017, 11:02am by Sam Wang


This morning I was on CNN (watch it here) with Mike Smerconish to talk about replacing the Electoral College with a national popular vote. There’s a practical strategy for doing so: state-level legislation, in the form of the National Popular Vote Compact.

Some of the reasons for implementing a national popular vote may surprise you. One big reason is security. Today’s Electoral College opens a giant security hole. Hackers can target as few as five states to swing an election.

Another reason has to do with the fact that many communities are not represented in the swing states. To name a few: Mormons, Southern Baptists, and Americans of Puerto Rican descent all get left in the cold. Also, despite what you may believe, small states are mostly left out of influence.

Read more at Making Every Vote Count. Washington-area people, the national rollout occurs this Thursday morning at the National Press Club.

→ 7 CommentsTags: President · U.S. Institutions