8/13/08

Electoral College Cartograms Update
By: Mark W Adams


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Slight change from this weekend's vote count, big change in the shape of the map since I've been playing with it. Thanks to everyone who offered suggestions on making it look better. You can see many of your changes were incorporated. Note the Rocky Mountain and Great Plains States are now more accurately positioned. Adding the abbreviations and Electoral College vote count was always in the works. Some more "smooshing" could be done, but only by putting Iowa next to Nevada, and we just can't have that. (How would we ever get 'em back on the farm once they've seen the Eiffel Tower in Vegas?)

Alaska is trending in Obama's direction and is an unfamiliar shade of yellow, no doubt due to the corruption saturation in the State's Republican Crime Syndicate. Obama is up 45% to 40% for McCain in the latest survey. In every previous poll, McCain was leading.

Pollster.com now has AK as a true Toss-Up with Obama 5 points ahead upon the heels of a poll from Hays Research (funded by the Democratic leaning IBEW Union). Looking at the numbers, Obama is consistently polling between 41% to 44% in other Alaska polls and McCain has been in the 44%-51% range. This one still has Obama in the mid 40s, just one point higher than usual. The 5 to 10 point crash in McCain's support, however, is dramatic. Note that Ralph Nader was included in this poll, but at 1.5%, he's a non-factor. It's a small sample poll, only 400 "Adults" (not screened for likely or registered voters). This could be an outliers as far as I'm concerned, but the experts at Pollster.com think it's enough to trend the race there as a dead heat.

Realistically a trend move from "Lean McCain" to "Toss-Up" in a State only boasting 3 electoral votes is rather insignificant, but it's nice to see a little less red on the maps, especially the ones the "old media" uses which shrink it to fit in a corner yet still draw Alaska bigger than Ohio and so many other states that have so much more influence on the numbers that really count. Perhaps this might make them start acknowledging what the pollsters, and even Karl Rove already know: this thing ain't even close right now.

McCain must shore up all those pink states that lean his way, capture every single toss-up state and take either Ohio or three of the four other states that are in the lean Obama category. We still got a ways to go, and all the usual caveats apply to polling analysis, but if you look at another polling aggregator, FiveThirtyEight.com (who doesn't do toss-ups and considers the Hays Alaska Poll an internal Democratic poll and won't include it in his analysis, keeping AK red for now) has Obama winning the Electoral College 65.4% to 34.7% (299-238) while only winning the popular vote nationwide by 2 points, showing how a small popular vote margin translates into an electoral tsunami.

(If you're wondering about the weird looking map above, the relative size of each state has been enlarged or shrunk to reflect their influence on the electoral college. Click for previous versions and some different representations as well as a better explanation and analysis.)


2 Comments:

Terry Karney said...

Only semi-relevant, but a map showing the respective weight of individual voters (last time I did the math the numbers, IIRC) had Wyoming voters worth something like 1.7 Calif. Voters), and the odd effects this has on what happens.

Mark W Adams said...

Now that sounds like an interesting project. No doubt it would end up being the reverse of this map. Probably handy to do this by congressional district.