Princeton Election Consortium

Innovations in democracy since 2004

Outcome: Biden 306 EV (D+1.2% from toss-up), Senate 50 D (D+1.0%)
Nov 3 polls: Biden 342 EV (D+5.3%), Senate 50-55 D (D+3.9%), House control D+4.6%
Moneyball states: President AZ NE-2 NV, Senate MT ME AK, Legislatures KS TX NC

Comment thread #1 – and a little live blogging

November 6th, 2012, 7:39pm by Sam Wang

9:34pm. CBS: New Hampshire called for Obama. Erm, election’s probably over. And unskewers are full of it. On the same note: Florida is Obama 50.01%, Romney 49.99% with 81% counted. <0.5% is recount territory (Brennan Center).

9:25pm. totally overwhelmed. We were gone, back now.

Indiana Senate race Donnelly over Mourdock 48-46% with 63% counted. Right in line with poll medians. We’re headed for Democratic gains in the Senate.

9:19pm. Pennsylvania for Obama. Evidently pollster skew is less than 5%. (Plot it in the Geek’s Guide!)

8:25pm. Florida appears to be 50-50 with 50% counted. If that holds up, it’s right in line with polls. Recount, ZOMG!!1!!eleven! But not much to reassure those who think pre-election polls are skewed.

8:20pm. Big margins in OH (for O, early voting) and VA (for R, GOP counties) not informative. However, Donnelly (D) 50-44 over Mourdock with 27% counted in IN? Hmmm, that’s interesting.

8:14pm. Watching ABC, reminded how much I hate TV coverage on Election Night. We know more the day before (polls) and the day after (full results). Halfway-counted Virginia? Watching Anderson Cooper’s discussion. No offense to Henrico County, don’t care…

7:40pm. OK, guys – listen…Exit polls don’t tell you anything – they can be off, and get adjusted later to match actual returns. They are a research tool for the media to construct stories.

Also, large states like VA – these are too large to give accurate results in the early evening. Watch NH as fast-counting indicator of national result. See Geek’s Guide.

Tags: 2012 Election · President

147 Comments so far ↓

  • MoldyOregonian

    watching, watching, watching. eeeeeee

  • skmind

    HuffPo is nuts! They have called SC for Obama.


  • dhogaza

    It was, they just flipped it. As I was watching, thanks for the heads up!

  • clayton

    They also screwed up their state alphabetization – Alabama is definitely before Alaska.

  • kathy

    Glad for the reminder that exit polls don’t tell us anything – but I’d still rather have them be favorable to my pov than not.

  • Random Interloper

    The news sites are nuts. They’re reporting states as locked up with hardly any precincts reporting.

    Proof that being first is nothing in comparison to being right.

    • Craig

      …because there’s a chance that Obama wins Kentucky?

      If that happens, the story is not going to be that the networks called it wrongly.

  • dhogaza

    “They’re reporting states as locked up with hardly any precincts reporting.”

    In some states one candidate has such a huge lead in the polls that barring alien intervention the state’s going to follow the polls.

    • Random Interloper

      I see your and Craig’s point when it comes to heavily tilted states, but I’m watching some news pages where they’re including the EC votes from states that I think are fair to say are a little more “contestable.” That makes it feel like the sort of horse race journalism hype-fest that I’ve always found to be really irresponsible.

  • Howie Weiner

    Fired up! Ready to go!

    I loved the emotional President last night. Reminded me of 2008!

  • Rusty

    Watch NH and VA. If Sam’s projections turn out to be right there, open the champaign.

  • Donn

    My stomach is in knots! :o/

  • Mostly lurking

    More blogging! We need more blogging! Thanks ;)

  • dhogaza

    CNN has FL at 51% O 48% R with 37% in.

    Now, where are those 37%? It’s early but it’s not depressing, so far …

  • Bo Levard

    Here quietly watching, reading, absorbing, appreciating. Thanks to everyone and particularly Dr. Sam for keeping me as calm as I can be. I’ll be quiet now.

  • Dgarr

    This is so great! Thanks for the links.

  • Nervous wreck

    I’ve never posted anything here but I follow Sam and Nate daily. I’m a nervous wreck right now.

  • chris e

    just wondering: why is NH so key to watch?

    • BrianTH

      Close in the polling, small, quick to count. It will give us an early sense if the state polling was systematic biased in Romney’s favor by a large amount or not.

    • Dick H

      Because New Hampshire has been tight in the state polls — leaning Obama — and how it goes may give the first hint about the validity of the projected aggregate results among several other key battleground states.

    • Ben

      Relatively small state so full result will be quicker to arrive, which we can then compare with what was predicted to see whether it was accurate or discintly leaning in a particular direction

    • Sam Wang

      yes, exactly!!

    • Jeff

      Because the mainstream media says it is.

    • Jay Bryant

      I’ve been telling my friends that NH is the canary in the coal mine; it’ll validate or invalidate polling. Not that there can’t be surprises, but they’re less likely if NH comes in as the polls project.

  • Mostly lurking

    DO NOT like this : Romney-49

    I know, I know, it’s early.

    • dhogaza

      Don’t worry, NY will come in before too much time goes by.

      And the evening ends with polls closing in CA, OR, and WA giving Obama 74 electoral votes (if I’ve counted correctly), with NV maybe being sugar on top.

      OK Romney gets AK but Obama gets his home sweet home state.

    • dhogaza

      Just think good thoughts in Ohio’s direction and ignore much of the rest …

    • dhogaza

      See? Obama’s at 64, Romney at 40 according to whatever source the Guardian’s using.

      MA, NJ, and NY will come rolling in before too long.

    • RandyH

      dhogaza NJ wont have full results until Friday because of Sandy.

    • Carolyn

      They just called pa for o’bama

    • DaveM

      So…voters 1, Republican Secretaries of State 0.

    • dhogaza

      Sigh, you beat me to it (though mine’s above yours on the page!). Beat me by 5 min. Good job!

    • Carolyn

      NH called for Obama

  • Carsten

    I just can’t believe it’s this close

  • dhogaza

    “just wondering: why is NH so key to watch?”

    Because it’s close there, and tests the Republican story line that the polling data is systematically biased in favor of Democrats. It also tests the data-driven projections by people like Sam and Nate Silver.

    If it comes in close to the quants’ projections, then the Republican hypothesis that a bunch of close states leaning towards Obama will flip and give Romney the eleciton is weakened.

    That’s my take.

    • Mostly lurking

      Thanks for the calming words. You’re right and I’m now going to calm down. Well, maybe not RIGHT now, but soon. I was born in Ohio and have been a Floridian for 30 years. I somehow feel responsible. lol

  • Grateful

    Guardian’s doing a great job with covering the election so far.

  • wheelers cat

    Here’s the prediction wrap via Human Intrade excitable andy.

    O Sean. so lame. im reminded of the clinic i took as a tween from George Morris, the greatest chef d’equipe the US equestrian team has ever known.

    *tentative*!!! (screaming)
    I HATE tentative.
    show some gosh-darned conviction.
    *commit*, gawddammit.

    lol, ima hang right here, in the shelter of Dr.Wangs uberl33t Maths.


  • Albert Ericson

    Thank you for this site! I would be a nervous wreck without it.

  • RandyH

    Gonna be a long night.

  • George

    I know Sam says ignore exit polls – but he has NH +2 Obama, and exit polls have NH …….. +2 Obama.

  • Donn

    MSNBC has Obama 64, Romney 82 but several are southern states so that’s not a surprise.

    • Emerald

      And the southern states will come in first, ’cause Romney will win there so easily (except for the swingers).

      And yes, this site is keeping me sane. I’m not turning on the TeeVee until Sam says it’s safe.

      Science. It works.

  • LTM

    Too nerve racking to watch. Decided to put a few “Chuck” DVD’s on instead for distraction. For some reason, it calms me.

  • bks

    I have a horror movie on the tv and The Guardian on my computer. Perfect.


  • NickP-LA

    Sam and Nate both predicted O to win VA then why is R pulling ahead there? I know it’s early and maybe some democratic precints have yet to report.
    Damn, I have no more nails to bite and it’s still early!

  • mediaglyphic

    Turnout looks even better than Michael Mcdonald was saying yesterday.

    More people voting is good for our side but also in general. Democracy works when more people participate.

  • TimG

    No surprises yet – too bad that the small Southern states get into the count first.

  • Nathan Duke

    Don’t worry about Virginia yet. Most of the strong Obama counties get counted at the very end.

  • Stephanie

    OK I live in FL and the county results are blowing my mind. Nothing makes any sense.

    I mean Obama just won Liberty County which was 71% McCain last election. What is going on? Are the wrong numbers being reported.

    • Donn

      What? That would mean very good news for the president if that’s true but sounds like something is wrong.

  • Nervous wreck

    So according to huffington post fl is leaning Romney?

    • Stephanie

      As a FL resident. I’m seeing a bunch of strange things.
      Miami Dade, Broward, and Osceola haven’t reported more than 0% yet so that’s why Obama is behind.
      But Obama blew out McCain in Leon last election but is losing now and yet has won Liberty. These are small counties but such large shifts have made me confused.
      Not to mention Lee County. 37% reporting with 55% for Obama. But in 2008 it was 55% for McCain.

    • WhyDaddyDrinks

      Almost all the early results from FL are from early voting. The counties will probably start making more sense once today’s counts come in.

  • Khan

    Ari Fleischer (Bush spox) is attacking exit polls in Ohio claiming they’re oversampling Dems. LOL.

    Cannot make this stuff up.

  • wheelers cat

    i live in colorado guys.
    lets do rounds

    sing along?

    “Ten Rounds With Jose Cuervo”

    When I walked in the band just started
    The singer couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket.
    Was on a mission to drown her memory but
    I thought no way with all this ruckus.

    But after one round with Jose Cuervo
    I caught my boots tappin ‘long with the beat.
    And after two rounds with Jose Cuervo
    That band was sounding pretty darn good to me.

    Then some stranger asked me dance
    And I revealed to her my two left feet.
    Said, Don’t get me wrong I’m glad you asked
    But tonight’s about me and an old memory.

    Then after three rounds with Jose Cuervo
    I let her lead me out on the floor
    And after four rounds with Jose Cuervo
    I was showin’ off moves never seen before.

    Well, around five or round six
    I forgot what I came to forget.
    After round seven or was it eight
    I bought a round for the whole dang STATE!

    After nine rounds with Jose Cuervo
    They were countin’ me out and I was about to give in
    The after ten rounds with Jose Cuervo
    I lost count and started countin’ again!

    One round with Jose Cuervo
    I went two rounds with Jose Cuervo
    Three rounds with Jose Cuervo
    Five rounds with Jose Cuervo or was it four?
    Six rounds with Jose Cuervo
    Eight rounds with Jose Cuervo
    Ten rounds with Jose Cuervo…

    • Grateful

      Jose Cuervo, you are a friend of mine-
      I like to drink you with a little salt and lime…
      Did I kiss all the cowboys?
      Did I shoot out the lights?
      Did I dance on the bar?
      Did I start a fight?

  • NEPAblue

    Polls were closing here so I went to get my D political signs from the lawn in front of the polling place – O was missing. Should have left it in my front yard instead of lending it out. Other D signs were still there. No R signs were missing either. Oh well, hope it was a fan that took it.

    Again, thank you Dr Wang. I am not freaking out like some here, and have not done so since I found your site.

    Trust the math, folks, trust the math.

  • don in fl

    stephanie,where is liberty county located county seat?

    • Stephanie

      This is the panhandle. Leon in the panhandle has also reversed.
      Lee County in the SW is also recording a twenty point swing for Obama with 37% reporting.

    • Stephanie

      OK never mind Lee County. Huffpo had mistakenly listed it as for Obama.

    • dhogaza

      HuffPo also had SC for Obama for awhile. Maybe they’re not reliable :)

  • jd351

    Got rid of cable over a year ago, so no watching at my house…. I must say I don’t miss the TV at all…. Taking everything in here at PEC. keep the updates coming

  • Khan

    Thought people would like to know this.

    Chesterfield County is the 4th largest county in Virginia and a GOP stronghold in elections. More than 75% of their votes have been tallied and Romney is only at McCain’s mark from 2008.

    That does not bode well for Romney.

    • Grateful

      Any numbers for Gary Johnson?

    • Khan


      It’s looking like Johnson might pull a full percent of the total vote away from Romney.

      Hard to tell though with early reported voting since reporters tend to forget he’s in the race.

    • Ben

      Goode pulling 0.5% (predominately from romney in all likelihood) as well, every little helps

  • AT

    Adore this site and I am soooo not a numbers girl. Sam, contributors & commentors, thank you for your insights. Has helped me stay sane since Sam’s NPR interview. I feel sa though I’m getting smarter just by browsing.

  • Eagle's Splendor

    When they call New Hampshire for Obama, would it be right to declare Joementum? (Biden)

  • Dannyboy

    Why is PA showing red on Huffingtonpost?

    • Ben

      No need to worry only ~1,400 votes are in, they just happen to be romney leaning

  • mediaglyphic

    i know FLA is large but a 300 basis point lead with more than 50% in. and Miami Dade and Broward (heavy Democratic) lag in reporting.

    Hurray Hurray with fife and drum

    • Stephanie

      Not so fast. Obama’s margins are lower than in 2008. He’s already behind Romney in Volusia and Flagler Counties on the NE coast, two counties he won in 2008.
      It’s actually very close.

    • Craig

      I think the city of Miami might have more voters than those two counties by itself. I predicted a Romney victory in FL, but its looking like I was wrong.

  • InDecided Voter

    BBC are reporting Obama up on 2008 in many counties in Florida! 332 is on the cards!!

  • Khan

    Chris Murphey out of nowhere just beat Linda McMahon.

    Race called.

  • Bertatema

    Just want to thank everyone who has posted. This has been so much fun, reading all the posts and trying to understand all the math. I think all of you are terrific. Republican or Democrat we are all so lucky to be part of this experience!

  • Nervous wreck

    I’m a girl. I noticed someone said we needed more girls

    • Mostly lurking

      Girl here as well. Do I win something?
      A new bra? Tampons? Tequila?
      Well, if Obama wins that will be quite enough for me!

  • Elizabeth

    Just peeked at the NY Times and won’t do that again for a few hours. Am trying to breathe slowly……

  • Eric in Oregon

    While my vote doesn’t really count for anything, being an Oregonian and all, I’m excited about tonight nonetheless. Having this site helps.

    Thanks all!

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