Posted Aug 31, 2012 at 11:29 AM by Maurice Berger
PollTrack will periodically re-post this tutorial to accommodate new visitors:
For new visitors or for old visitors who would like a refresher course, here is a guide to PollTrack's unique mapping system. Remember, both Today's Map and Tomorrow's Map will be changing continuously throughout Election 2012, so check back often.
First, an overview: our innovative presidential election maps offer a snapshot of where things stand and where they are headed in the state-by-state hunt for electoral votes. Armed with public opinion polls, the history and demographics of each state, knowledge of the nation’s geographic and cultural diversity, and common sense and intuition, political director Maurice Berger offers continuous updates and a blog (below map) on the state of the presidential race. Today’s Map Today monitors its current status. Tomorrow’s Map Today charts its momentum in the coming days or weeks. And Election Day Today records the actual outcome of the 2012 presidential race.
Here's a guide to each map:
Today's Map Today: This map
monitors the current status of the race. It gauges the relative strength
of each candidate within each state as it presently stands. Each state is
marked with its abbreviation and number of electoral votes. Click on a state for commentary in the ongoing PollTrack blog.
States are called on an ongoing basis: Blue and Red for “Safe” Democrat or Republican respectively, Light Blue or Light Red for states currently “leaning” toward one party or another. Determinations are based on a combination of factors, including poll averages, trends in most recent polling that contradict or call into question the accuracy of these averages, and on the ground reports and information. For diehard red or blue states (like Idaho or DC), little polling may be available, so the state will be called on the basis of on the ground reports and/or its stable voting history.
Tomorrow's Map Today: This map charts the momentum of the race. It tracks the hunt for electoral votes in each state as it might play out in the coming days or even weeks. States are called on an ongoing basis: Blue and Red for trends that suggest “Safe” Democrat or Republican respectively, Light Blue or Light Red for trends that suggest a state is “leaning” toward one party or another. Determinations are based on a combination of factors, including movement in the most recent polling, a state’s demographics and voting history, on the ground reports and information, and news about a candidate's state-wide political activities.
Election Day Map Today: This map forecasts the outcome of the 2012 presidential race. Win Democrat or Win Republican respectively. Determinations are based on a combination of factors, including long term and recent trends in state-wide polling, a state’s demographics and voting history in relationship to these trends, on the ground reports and information, and news about a candidate's state-wide political activities. States are called on an ongoing basis, with Blue (Democrat) and Red (Republican) indicating PollTrack’s long-term prediction for a state. NOTE: calls are made only when voter opinion begins to solidify in each state, thus this map will fill-in slowly over the next two and half months.