The blood is barely dry from the 2014 midterm elections, but that means everybody’s eyes will be turning rapidly toward 2016, and therefore as I did in 2008 and 2012 I am spinning up my own election analysis site:
What you will see there is NOT a prediction. Everything represents “if the election was held today”. Until we get to Fall 2016, things will probably be very different by the time we get to the election. We don’t even know who the candidates will be yet! But it doesn’t have to be a prediction to be useful or interesting. Where things stand NOW still gives insight into how much work each candidate has to do, and where that effort needs to be spent. You will be able to see the ups and downs of the race as it develops. It isn’t only the end that matters, watching how we get there is fascinating too.
Those of you who follow me on Twitter know that I’ve been working on this since early 2013. Why? The 2012 elections left me physically and mentally exhausted. At the time everything was done via lots of manual effort in Excel, image editing programs, and on my wiki pages. It became close to a full time job in the last month. I decided that while I had a blast, if I was going to do it again, I needed to automate most of the more tedious tasks.
So, for the last couple years, with a few hours here and there as time allowed, plus some vacation days burned recently to concentrate on it, I’ve put together a site that does all of what I did manually in 2012, and more. I just update a single data file with the raw poll data, and everything else is generated automatically… even automated tweets at @ElecCollPolls when new polls are added, or for notable status changes. I’ll still have to write blog posts by hand though. :-)
In addition, since I’m jumping in early, and it didn’t exist anywhere else yet, this site seems to be the single most authoritative source on the Internet for state level 2016 presidential polls. For the moment. I’m sure that won’t last as the “big boys” jump in over the next two years, but right now, if you want this info, my site is the best source.
And don’t worry, once we get to 2016, I will be adding analysis of the delegate races. But there won’t be data for that until the Iowa caucuses, so that will wait another year or so. Believe it or not though, there are already TONS of 2016 polls. As of today, I have 745 separate poll results in my database… and we hadn’t even gotten to the midterms yet!
This is the first of four introductory posts I have scheduled for today. The others will be a “tour” of the features on the site, FAQs for those interested in details, and a post looking at where things stand today, at the “starting line” for 2016.
So… here we go!
[Edit 2015-08-23 10:45 UTC to reflect new domain.]
[Edit 2016-01-24 23:02 UTC to point to electoral college stuff specifically since delegate tracker now launched as well.]