Projected New Senate: 48 Democrats 52 Republicans
News from the Votemaster
Welcome (back) to electoral-vote.com. As many of you know, during the 2004 election, this site tracked the 50 state polls + D.C. on a daily basis, reporting on the electoral vote count continuously. The site was the most popular election site in the country, drawing almost 700,000 visitors a day. It was in the top 1000 Websites in the world and the top 10 blogs in the world. The 2004 data and maps are still online. Just click on "2004 Election" above to travel backward in time.
Due to popular demand, we are back in operation again, now tracking the Senate 2006 races and to a lesser extent, the House. There is a wealth of new data, links, and other information, some of which may surprise you. For example, which party controls the governor's mansion in the six bluest states? (Hint) The links in the menu below the map lead you to a large collection of Web pages about politics in general and the upcoming congressional election in particular. It is suggested that everyone read the Welcome page and General FAQ in any case.
One obvious difference with 2004 is that then there were only two major candidates. This time around we have 66 Senate candidates and 80 House candidates on the site, complete with pictures, all of which are linked to the candidates' home pages. Also new is that the candidates names are linked to their entries in the Wikipedia. The (D) and (R) entries are linked to the state parties. Offsite links open in a new window. To close the window, type CTRL-W in the window. The whole site has over 1000 links to interesting political pages. It should be enough to keep the average political junkie happy for at least a couple of hours. The site has been optimized for Firefox but should work with most browsers.
While most people are only starting to pay attention to the election, we have been hard at work and have already collected over 300 polls about the 2006 Senate election.
The basics of this election are as follows. Senators are elected for six-year terms, so in every even year 1/3 of the 100 senators are up for re-election. In 2006, there are 17 Democratic, 15 Republican, and 1 Independent seats up for re-election. Since the sole Independent, Jim Jeffords (I-VT) caucuses with the Democrats, and his likely successor, Bernie Sanders (I) will also do so, for simplicity on this site we will consider them Democrats. The 67 senators not up for re-election break down as 27 Democrats and 40 Republicans. Thus all the Republicans have to do to hang onto the Senate is win 10 of the 33 Senate races (because in the event of a tie in the Senate, Vice President Dick Cheney would break any ties in favor of the Republicans)
A year ago anyone who suggested that the Democrats had even the faintest chance of capturing either house of Congress would have been declared nuts. Now most professionals are expecting the Democrats to pick up ca. 20 seats in the House, which would give them the narrowest of majorities. They are also expected to make gains in the Senate, but it will be nip and tuck all the way to see if they get 51 seats. The current state of the Senate races will be reflected in the map presented on this site every day. If you move your mouse over a state, a pop-up box gives you the current status. Note that if you see a "+" sign in the Source field, multiple polls were taken within a week and the value shown in the box is the average. If you click on a state, you get its polling history.
There has been one major methodological change since 2004 based on the experience gained last time. Instead of basing the map on the most recent poll, we now use the most recent poll and any other polls taken within a week of it. The last-poll-only rule led to wild and meaningless fluctuations that caused manic-depressive behavior in many visitors, with their candidate gaining or losing 50 or more electoral votes several times a week. This year's results will be much more stable due to (1) the smoothing effect of averaging the data and (2) the fact that Senate polls are not taken as often as Presidential polls. A second (smaller) methodological change is that the partisan pollsters who work for one of the parties are not counted this time. Thus please don't tell me I missed Strategic Vision (R) or Lake Research (D). It is intentional.
The banner ad on top of most pages goes to a Website that allows Americans overseas to register to vote. There are an estimated 7 million of them and until now, requesting an absentee ballot was too complicated for most of them. Now it is easy. If you are an American overseas or know one, give this site a try.
The main host is a dedicated Linux server at Host Rocket in upstate New York. For the record, I have had excellent experience with Host Rocket and can recommend them highly to any company or individual looking for a reliable hosting company with very competent technical people and excellent service.
OK, that's it for now. Go play with the map and explore all the data. Come back tomorrow for new polls.
This site has far more about the election than just the map. See the Welcome page for more details. If you like the site, please link to it to improve its Google PageRank and tell your friends about it.
-- The Votemaster