Princeton Election Consortium

A first draft of electoral history. Since 2004

Time to double the number of deaths Monday, April 6: US 4.3 days, NJ 3.9 days, NY 3.7 days

Fixing Bugs In Democracy: A Conversation with Ellen Weintraub

April 3rd, 2020, 11:55pm by Sam Wang

Here’s the first conversation in our series Fixing Bugs In Democracy. Yesterday, Federal Election Commission member Ellen L. Weintraub.

Keep track of future events at Coming up: Katie Fahey on Friday, April 10, and Dave Daley on Friday, April 17!

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Bending the Curve on Covid-19: Doubling Times as a Simple Metric

April 2nd, 2020, 8:27am by Sam Wang

Click here or on the right sidebar for automatically-updated versions.

How will we know if we’re making progress on containing the coronavirus epidemic? One of the best measures, relatively free of biases that can creep in, is how long it takes for total deaths to double.

When this “doubling time” is 3 days or less, that’s been an indication of runaway spread of coronavirus. If it gets longer, that indicates a slowdown – either because shelter-in-place is starting to work, or someday, that the virus is spreading less efficiently (through changes in weather, improved treatments, vaccination, and inoculation).

First the key graph:

Doubling time of deaths by region

And now, an explanation. [

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A Virtual Town Hall with Former FEC Chair Ellen Weintraub

April 2nd, 2020, 1:00am by Indraneel Purohit

Join us! Also, check out the rest of our Fixing Bugs in Democracy series: Katie Fahey, Dave Daley, and more. Lots happening this month at Princeton!

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Virginia is one step closer to having the South’s first redistricting commission

March 6th, 2020, 6:21pm by Aaron Barden

Source: Graham Moomaw, Virginia Mercury (@gmoomaw)

Following a close floor vote in the House, Virginia’s General Assembly has now passed its constitutional amendment, SJ18, creating a 16-member bipartisan, hybrid redistricting commission. As a result, this amendment will head to the voters this November to be considered as a ballot question. Huge steps towards reform in the Commonwealth!

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National and Southern organizations speak in favor of reform in VA

March 2nd, 2020, 10:52am by Aaron Barden

Last week, the Princeton Gerrymandering Project, in conjunction with other redistricting reform organizations, sent two letters to Virginia Speaker of the House Eileen Filler-Corn, imploring her to introduce the reform amendment, SJ18, on the floor of House of Delegates. The introduction of, and eventual floor vote on, this proposal is key to ensuring that redistricting is done in a fairer and more transparent way. With a Committee vote on SJ18 set for later this afternoon, the House’s consideration of the amendment starts as the General Assembly begins its final week of session.

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February 15th, 2020, 12:47am by Sam Wang

A reader asked the following question in comments:

Let’s get right to it (aka the $64K question): Who has the BEST chance to beat Trump? Your personal opinion and/or statistically.

The answer is that as far as I can tell, basically it doesn’t matter. [Read more →]

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As bills switch chambers, a close vote for redistricting reform in Virginia

February 12th, 2020, 11:06am by Aaron Barden

On Tuesday, both chambers of the Virginia General Assembly were hectically busy as they raced to pass legislation before the “crossover” deadline, by which bills must switch from one chamber to the other. Only a few redistricting form bills are left standing after crossover, but two paths remain: the constitutional amendment (HJ71/SJ18) and its enabling legislation (HB758/SB203), and the alternate statutory commission bill (HB1256) with an accompanying fairness-criteria bill (HB1255/SB717). Both of these paths contain fairness criteria, including doing away with prison gerrymandering. These paths remain open as the bills move from one chamber to the next.

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Sanders v. Buttigieg?

February 11th, 2020, 8:55pm by Sam Wang

The New Hampshire primary is coming in as expected from last week’s polls. Like I said Saturday, past patterns suggest that the most likely nominee will be Sanders or Buttigieg.

Based on the fact that the past pattern has only been observed across 9 nomination races, the probability of an exception might be around 1 in 10. (It reminds me of what Laplace said about the probability of the sun rising tomorrow – depends on how many times we’ve seen it before. Though in the case of sunrise, there are major logical problems.)

Regarding Bloomberg and Klobuchar: Those are probably transient surges. Recall the life cycle of minor candidates. They rise, they get scrutiny, stories come out, and then they fall again. The whole cycle takes two months.

Bloomberg is due to peak about now. If he can keep up his rise, we’ll find out in the next 1-2 weeks. If New Hampshire is good for Klobuchar, we’ll find that out too.

→ 3 CommentsTags: 2020 Election · President

Moneyball politics: Florida (Part II)

February 9th, 2020, 8:36am by Sam Wang

A few days ago, I wrote about how focused effort in a handful of Florida state legislative districts could lead to outsized consequences lasting for the next decade. Here are those districts – and ways to focus on them. [Read more →]

→ 1 CommentTags: 2020 Election · House

Did Iowa turn Biden and Warren into longshots?

February 8th, 2020, 3:09pm by Sam Wang

Last week I pointed out three past criteria that have described the eventual nominee of either party. With the New Hampshire primary just three days away, current polls make it look like two people meet all the criteria: Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg.

After the fuss over difficult tabulation in the Iowa caucus, there was some question of whether it would affect the dynamics of this year’s Democratic nomination. If not, all that fried-butter-eating, or whatever it is that candidates do, would go to waste.

Now we can see the net effect, which is to make Joe Biden’s odds substantially longer. [Read more →]

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