24 July 2016

Monitoring the upcoming election via electoral votes

Personally,  I'm sick and tired of American politics.  Sick and tired of the way it is conducted, and sick and tired of reading about it.

But it is unquestionably important, and the outcome of the November elections will impact everyone's lives for the next 4+ years.  Michael Moore has recently opined publicly his "five reasons why Trump will win," and national polls show the race to be neck-and-neck.

National polls, however, don't decide the presidency, because the convoluted electoral system takes precedence (as Bush-Gore clearly showed).  The site I use to monitor trends in the electoral map is at Real Clear Politics (current map embedded above).

That link uses all available polls to indicate which states are "solid" (a subset of "likely" in the table above the map), "likely," "leaning," or a "toss-up."  It obviously is not predictive of the future, but it seems to be a reasonable reflection of best-available current data.  I don't know how often it is updated (hopefully every time a new poll result is added in the table under the map at the source).

There are undoubtedly other similar resources.  Please offer any suggestions in the Comments.

Addendum:  An anonymous reader correctly pointed out that I failed to mention Nate Silver's FiveThirtyEight website.  Here's the most recent electoral map from there:

538: "We'll be updating our forecasts every time new data is available, every day through Nov. 8."

Addendum:  Here's one more important map to monitor:

Updated versions are online at RealClearPolitics.

Addendum #2:  And finally (?TMI), the New York Times offers The Upshot, a frequently-updating page that looks at the Presidential race from a wide range of aspects. 


  1. The problem in dissatisfaction largely isn't politics. You see, politics is always about comprise, this compromise leads to dissatisfaction on both sides.
    The real problem is how much industry that our government controls and/or influences. This leads to more of industry needing to keep in close contact and influence politicians. This of course leads to a high level of lobbiest and to and back room deals. This is the recent (past 50 year) growing development that has lead to higher and higher dissatisfaction levels in politics...
    This general concept is a part of politics and cannot be eliminate. What can be eliminated/and greatly reideced is the amount of old industry that government affects..
    The left is the pull for more government, the right is the push against government (by definition). It is logical to conclude that the voting American public who is highly dissatisfied with government is idiotic for voting for more and more government, and not throwing the bulbs (both institutional Dem and Rep) out of office...

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. The problem with phrasing the debate as more government vs less government is that it deliberately ignores what the government is intended to do. No-one wants more government for its own sake - we all want as little as necessary to get the job done.

      To liberals the point of government is protecting citizens from industry, wealthy individuals, foreign entities, etc. who would attempt to exploit them. Our country has companies like WalMart instructing their full-time workers to apply for food stamps. It's a nice idea that an unregulated market won't result in exploitation, but it's been shown time and time again that given the opportunity to exploit people, some businesses will do so. You are being willfully naive to think that's not the case.

      It's not more vs. less government, it's more vs. less protection of the American dream of making a reasonable living under reasonable working conditions for all people. Not just the wealthy upper class that the founders envisioned.

      That is the politest answer I can muster this morning.

    3. It's strange that the right, allegedly pushing against government, has introduced (and largely passed) more legislation regulating abortion clinics, who can vote and how, and who can use which bathroom.

  2. No one has mentioned the lobbyists and the purchasing of votes by contributing to representatives' and senators' campaigns. The only solution I can see is the public financing of elections. However, those who buy the votes will never allow that.

  3. There are so many issues at stake in this election, starting with the possibility of appointing up to four Supreme Court justices.

    The economy is another important issue -- whether to continue with trade agreements that heavily affect American jobs. Not only the movement of more manufacturing to other countries, but also American compensation and benefits for those jobs remaining here in this country. So far globalization has only hurt the American economy, reduction of jobs is effectively eliminating the American middle class, thus there are more workers available than there are well-paying jobs with benefits, leading to less consumer shopping and more workers having to select and pay for health insurance that used to be provided by employers at a lower cost. Fewer consumers with dental insurance leading to lowered dental care because workers simply can't afford to pay for it.

    Approval of the Citizens United Bill by the Supreme Court now allows wealthy individuals and corporations to effectively buy Senators and Congress people, thus the average individual has little to no leverage in the types of legislation being passed by legislatures, reduction of power by banking regulators and the EPA. The average voter is becoming more frustrated that their vote counts for less and less today.

    Polls have always been inaccurate since the results can be manipulated by what questions are asked and how the questions are worded. And the fact that no one in my family or circle of friends have ever been contacted by any poll makes me wonder where the polls are conducted and what types of people are approached to be questioned.

  4. I also use RealClearPolitics as about the best of the polls, since they summarize a large number of polls. I would also recommend fivethirtyeight.com (Nate Silver's site) as a very good site on turning the polling data into probable results.

    The one think I don't like about the realclearpolitics site is they tend lump polls of "all persons" "registered voters" and "likely voters" together. You can get quite different results from the three groups. Nate Silver's site is about the best in doing this next step in interpreting the poll results. There are several other sites as well that go into different versions of the models which predict electoral results from the polling data, from different parts of the political spectrum. Nate Silver tends left, but he focuses on the modeling data which is my preference. Carl Rove has some interesting things to say from other side on modeling the electoral results, if you dig it out of the usual political verbosity. And there are others across the spectrum.

    1. I totally forgot about fivethirtyeight while writing that post. Post amended. Thanks, anon.


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