Electoral Vote Predictor 2004: Kerry 260 Bush 274
News from the Votemaster
Another slow news day. Ohio switched to Bush because the Rasmussen tracking poll there is now one day newer than the ARG poll that was most recent yesterday. See the Polling data link to the right of the map for all the raw data. Again we see that which pollster is most recent matters. See the Compare the pollsters link under the map for a detailed comparison.
Other than the Rasmussen tracking polls, which average data over 7 or 14 days and thus don't move quickly, the only poll today is the 13th poll in Oklahoma since Sept. 1. And like the other 12, it shows Bush with an unshakable lead, this time 50% to 38%. Perhaps you are wondering why are they polling like crazy in Oklahoma when everyone knows the result with 99.999% certainly right now and not polling at all in Kansas, which is equally sure to go for Bush. The answer is simple: control of the U.S. Senate may hinge on the race between Brad Carson (D) and Tom Coburn (R) there. The polls are really about the Senate race, but once you have ordered a poll (typically for $10,000 to $15,000) depending on the number of questions, asking about the presidential race doesn't add much to the cost. Carson is currently slightly ahead, but it is very tight.
Based on today's polling data, it looks like the new Senate will be 51 Republicans and 49 Democrats (including independent Jeffords who caucuses with the Democrats). But there are half a dozen or more tight races as described on the Senate page. While I don't talk about the Senate races every day, there are almost-daily updates to the Senate page. It is now listed on the menu as well as at the bottom of the page. The battle for the Senate may motivate many people to vote in states where the presidential race is a done deal, such as Oklahoma, South Dakota, Alaska, and others. There is also a huge battle for the House, but senators are more fun to watch in action.
For a good article about how to understand the polls when an incumbent is running, click here.
The site has had technical problems repeatedly in the past several days and has been down several times. I didn't want to discuss this, but I don't want anyone to think the problem was an incompetent hosting service. Just the opposite. The site has been subjected to a full-scale, well-organized, massive attack with the clear intention to bring it down. The attackers have tried repeatedly to break in, but the server is a rock-solid Linux system which has stood up to everything they threw at it and hasn't crashed since I got it in May. While our troops are fighting and dying to bring freedom of speech to the Iraqi people, there are forces in America who find this concept no longer applicable to America. I don't know who is behind this attack yet (although we are working it), but it is too professional to be some teenager working from a home PC. Given that all the hate mail and threats I get come entirely from Republicans, I can make an educated guess which side is trying to silence me, but I won't say. And I won't surrender to cyberterrorists.
Staving off yesterday's attack was relatively easy. For $150, I upped my server capacity by adding an additional Pentium 4 with lots of bells and whistles. I have a few more tricks up my sleeve too. I must say the hosting company I am using, HostRocket has been fantastic. I burned through half a dozen web hosting companies before finding them. The others all promised the moon in their ads but the promised service vanished instantly as soon as they got paid. Hostrocket is a big company, with tens of thousands of customers, many of them large companies, and the technical staff is knowledgeable and very oriented towards helping the customers. They have done a wonderful job dealing with this attack. If you need a web hosting company for your business where reliability and customer service are top priorities, I recommend them very highly.
I am sure the attack will continue. In the event that the site goes down again, one way to at least get the score and the daily commentary is via the RSS feed. That is very difficult to take down. I would suggest going to the RSS information page now and print it out for future use. If the site goes down, you won't be able to get to it then. More on countermeasures in a few days. I will not let the forces of censorship win.
There was some mail about the projected map. It is still there, but you have to go the actual file each day. Today's file is at www.electoral-vote.com/fin/oct/oct12p.html; tomorrow will be .../fin//oct//oct13p.html, etc. As I said yesterday, I think the current map is actually a better predictor of the outcome than an average of the past 30, 60, or 90 days, no matter how weighted.
Media news: The Sinclair Broadcast Group, which reaches about 1/4 of all American homes, has ordered its stations to pre-empt regular programming just before the election to run a long attack ad on John Kerry thinly disguised as a documentary on Vietnam. www.politicalwire.com has the story, including links to articles in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Washington Post. For big companies, freedom of speech is still applicable.
Projected Senate: 47 Democrats, 51 Republicans, 1 independent, 1 tossup
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