Polls polls polls!
Yes, we have been inundated with them. However, I have become increasingly fascinated by the intellectual and mathematical wonder of FiveThirtyEight.com.
To the left are the site’s final election projections. While the fractions of electoral votes are a mere mathematical technicality in their calculations, what is more intriguing is the overwhelming landslide margins projected.
While the disparity between these projections and what you see on news sites on MSNBC may be alarming, there is a simple explanation. In an attempt to be modest in their predictions, MSNBC and other sites have left nearly 100 electoral votes in the swing category. FiveThirtyEight.com, meanwhile, has not.
So is the site a bit presumptuous? I must admit, my bias hopes it is not, for a 98.9% win percentage is quite to my liking! To be fair, their popular vote estimates are actually on par with many recent tracking polls, which show Obama with a 6-7 point lead on average.
Below is a snippit from an article on FiveThirtyEight.com regarding their final predictions:
Our model projects that Obama will win all states won by John Kerry in 2004, in addition to Iowa, New Mexico, Colorado, Virginia, Nevada, Florida and North Carolina, while narrowly losing Missouri and Indiana. These states total 353 electoral votes. Our official projection, which looks at these outcomes probabilistically — for instance, assigns North Carolina’s 15 electoral votes to Obama 59 percent of the time — comes up with an incrementally more conservative projection of 348.6 electoral votes.