I know a lot of people like Electoral Vote Predictor 2004. And it is indeed a handsome site that provides much valuable information.
However, there are some problems with it that, for me, reduce its usefulness and reliablity.
1. It is only updated once a day and the data are frequently a bit stale.
2. It does not provide links to the original, full data from a given poll.
3. Its EV calculations do not favor RV data over the more problematic LV data.
4. Its EV calculations include polls from the notorious partisan polling firm, Strategic Vision.
5. Its EV calculations include polls conducted over the internet, which have yet to prove their reliability.
6. Its EV calculations mix tracking polls in with regular polls which, since they come out every day (e.g., Zogby’s ten battleground state tracking polls), are highly likely to be the most recent polls in a given state and hence push that state’s EVs in whatever direction the tracking poll’s going. Such an approach gives too much influence to the polling firm(s) doing the tracking and should be avoided.
So where can you find a site that corrects for all these problems? You’re in luck: just trot on over to Bob Poulsen’s 2.004k.com (recently renamed NowChannel.com) and dive right in. Poulsen’s site is updated frequently, always provides links to the original data and uses a solid methodology for its EV counts:
If results with “Registered Voters” are available, those results are used. If not, “Adults” are used, or, as last choice, “Likely Voters”.
Note: Pollsters’ methods of determining “Likely Voters” are arbitrary and subjective.
Not Included: Polls from partisan polling firm Strategic Vision
Not Included: Polls from online-based surveys, including WSJ/Zogby Interactive
Methodology change on October 10: mid-date of poll is now used to determine chronological order.
Trend/Margin/Leader, and Electoral College tally, based on the most recent poll (only).
Beware, this is an imperfect system, and a single outlier state poll can make a dramatic change if it is the most recent.
For the best concept of a possible outcome, one must skeptically study each state poll for each battleground state.
Q. Where are the current Zogby Battleground State Polls, and the Detroit News/Mitchell Research Polls?
A. At the Daily Tracking Poll page.
Q. Why aren’t the daily tracking polls included among all other state polls?
A. Because these polls are published daily, including them would give too much advantage to a single polling firm (since their polls would always be the most-recent poll).
Exactly. Note that, even though Poulsen doesn’t use the state tracking data for his EV calculations, he still provides all those data, neatly and crisply arrayed on his very nifty Daily Tracking Poll page, along with all the national tracking polls, also very neatly organized.
You’ll find navigating his site very easy to do (the latest data, both nationally and from the states are all available on one page, each state has its own page, etc.) and the original data from a poll are always just a mouse click away. And he puts his latest EV calculation on the bottom of each page, along with a link to the state data being used for the calculation.
It may not be as pretty as the Electoral Vote Predictor site. But the data are better and superbly organized. I urge you to make it a frequent stop as we wind down to election day.
Corrections: Votemaster over at Electoral Vote Predictor 2004 informs me that RVs are now favored over LVs in calculations and Strategic Vision is excluded from “averaged” poll readings for states.