Presidential Race Maps Writing on the Wall

Do Democrats Have An Advantage In The Electoral College?

Posted Jan 23, 2014 at 12:46 AM by Maurice Berger

According to Dan Balz, the bar may have become higher for the Republican party in the search for electoral vote. He writes: "A recent conversation with a veteran of GOP presidential campaigns raised this question: Which, if any, of the recent battleground states are likely to become more Republican by 2016? The consensus: very few. . . .That reality highlights one problem Republicans face as they seek to regain the White House after six years under President Obama. Lots of factors affect elections: the quality of the candidates, the state of the economy, the effectiveness of the campaigns. But in a country whose demographics continue to change, Republicans will begin this campaign with one significant disadvantage."

Democrats In Command Of Electoral College?

Posted Apr 10, 2013 at 9:38 AM by Maurice Berger

Mike Murphy argues that the Democrats now hold a structural advantage in the Electoral College: "The GOP's greatest challenge is the fact that Democrats begin each presidential election with a near lock on the Electoral College. Twenty-one states and the District of Columbia have given their electoral votes to the Democratic presidential nominee in at least five out of the last six elections. These states represent 257 electoral votes out of the 270 needed to win the presidency. Under current trends, the GOP nominee has to pull the equivalent of drawing an inside straight in poker to get to the White House."

Colorado Now Leaning Democratic

Posted Oct 26, 2012 at 4:17 PM by Maurice Berger

With a number of polls out over the past few days in Colorado, PollTrack moves the state from Too-Close-To-Call to Leaning Democratic. Obama now leads in 290 Electoral Votes, Romney in 235, and 13 EVs (Virginia) remain Too-Close-To-Call (VA moved back from Leaning Democratic to TCTC late last night based on two days of polling suggesting that the race is virtually tied in the state).

National Polling Average: Obama-47.5% to Romney-47.5%

Posted Oct 23, 2012 at 5:19 PM by Maurice Berger

PollTrack's second wave aggregate of today's national polls in the presidential race continues to report an extremely close race. As of 5:00 PM EDT, President Obama now stands at 47.5% and Mitt Romney at 47.5%--for a perfect tie. PollTrack continues to believe that the fundamentals of the race favor the president, who now stands at 281 electoral votes to Romney's 235 EVs on Today's Map. 22 EVs remain too-close-to-call.

A PollTrack Tutorial: How The Maps Work

Posted Jul 20, 2012 at 12:34 AM by Maurice Berger

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.

Presidential Electoral Maps: Today/Election Day

Posted Dec 12, 2011 at 1:09 AM by Maurice Berger

PollTrack has made changes to both the "Today" and "Election Day" presidential maps that reflect somewhat improving numbers for President Obama in several key battleground states--numbers helped by the muddled and uncertain GOP field. In "Today's Map," the president has pulled even with the GOP in terms of relative electoral strength across the 50 states and DC. Similarly, "Election Day's Map" shows the president in a near tie with a generic GOP candidate, with more than 80-electoral votes projected to be too-close-too-call on Election Day 2012.

Majority Of Americans Favor Abolishing Electoral College

Posted Oct 26, 2011 at 4:19 AM by Maurice Berger

A new survey by Gallup reports that 62% of Americans favor amending the U.S. Constitution to replace the Electoral College with direct election presidents via a popular vote system. Just 35% say they would keep the Electoral College .

Obama Will Probably Pass The Magic Number at 11:00 PM EST

Posted Nov 04, 2008 at 2:40 PM by Maurice Berger

Barack Obama will most probably become the next president of the United States within the next half hour, with California and Washington placing him over the 270 EV threshold. A very historic moment is upon us, after one of the most amazing US presidential cycles of the past half century. PollTrack has been honored to guide our loyal and enthusiastic visitors, to listen to what you have to say, and together producing a new and exciting website all about understanding the complexities of a very complex election.

A Red Flag Out Of The McCain Campaign

Posted Oct 17, 2008 at 3:44 AM by Maurice Berger

In a sign that republicans may be worried about Obama's inroads into Republican leaning states--such as Virginia, Florida, North Carolina, Indiana, and Missouri (where several new polls indicate a modest Democratic lead)--the McCain campaign appears to be giving up on the idea of competing hard in most, if not all, of the states that John Kerry won in 2004. In other words, the Republicans are now plotting a very limited path to victory, one that includes most of the 2004 red states and a handful of blue states not now in play, such as New Hampshire and Pennsylvania: "Confronting an increasingly bleak electoral map," the campaign of Sen. John McCain is "searching for a 'narrow-victory scenario' and [will] focus in the final weeks on a dwindling number of states, using mailings, telephone calls and television advertisements to try to tear away support from Sen. Barack Obama." Barring a dramatic turnaround in McCain's numbers--one that would narrow the national race down to a point or two--the Republican's electoral deficit at this point in the campaign will be very difficult to overcome.

Today's Map: Obama Passes The Magic Number

Posted Oct 12, 2008 at 4:00 AM by Maurice Berger

For the first time since PollTrack's launched in late-August, one candidate--Democrat Barack Obama--has met the 270 electoral vote threshold on Today's Map. (The Democrat is now at 273EV.) Tomorrow's and Election Day Maps have Obama at +277EV and 273EV respectively, suggesting significant momentum at this point in the campaign.

Electoral Math: Another Positive And Important Sign for Obama

Posted Oct 09, 2008 at 1:55 AM by Maurice Berger

With Obama's numbers up nationally and leaping in many battleground states, it's worth nothing another barometer of the Democrat's success of late: the rapid and steady rate with which states have moved into the safe Democrat column on Today's Map. Generally, if a candidate is ahead in a state in early-October by a percentage outside the margin of error, he wins the state in November. (The margin of error is the numerical fluctuation that accounts for statistical error in a poll, as much as +5% in either direction). To lead Safe in PollTrack's assessment is to cross a far higher threshold: a PT safe advantage is usually +10%, well outside the margin of error.  PollTrack relies on more than just numbers and mathematical formulas (a problem with most other electoral websites--they make determinations based on formulas, not a deeper assessment that includes events on the ground, demographics, and historical precedents.)  So a safe designation on PollTrack implies  a truly solid lead, based on polling data and history and  supported by recent demographic and voting trends in the state.On Today's Map this morning, Obama has 206 safe electoral votes; McCain has 158. More significant: McCain has NO safe votes in battleground or swing states. Obama, on the other hand, maintains safe leads in three: Pennsylvania, Minnesota, and Iowa. Additionally, another six swing states are "Leaning Democrat." Discounting the Obamican/50-state theory--the argument made early on by the Obama campaign that it could dramatically flip Republican and independent voters in traditionally Republican states--historically red states are not battlegrounds. And it is only in these states that McCain leads. Only West Virgina can bee seen as a marginal battleground, though it's gone Republican in the past two cycles. The upshot: McCain has a difficult, uphill battle. Right now he has little traction on traditional Democratic turf (Obama now leads in all the states won by Kerry in 2004 and Gore in 2000, including the three that flipped: New Mexico, New Hampshire, and Iowa). McCain is struggling even on traditional Republican turf (take Indiana and North Carolina, for example). Is a McCain win impossible? No: the national numbers suggest that Obama is not walking away with this election and enough swing states remain competitive to keep the race relatively close. Still, though national polls may be tightening, so is McCain's electoral playing field.

Election Day Map: Obama-273 McCain-225 TCTC-40

Posted Oct 06, 2008 at 11:00 AM by Maurice Berger

Check out PollTrack's just updated Election Day Map, now: Obama-273 McCain-225 TCTC-40. For the first time, one  candidate--Obama--makes it over the top in PollTrack's Election Day projection. Keep in mind, this map predicts the outcome of Election 2008 based on the state of the race today as well as clear trends in individual states. Check back for updates: the map will change as numbers and trends change.

Five Weeks Out: Who Is In A Better Position To Win?

Posted Sep 28, 2008 at 2:28 AM by Maurice Berger

PollTrack's state-by-state analysis of the electoral map suggests that Obama is now in a better position to reach 270 electoral votes. Why? Because most of the states that are now rated "Too Close To Call" have gone Republican in recent cycles (FL, VA, IN, OH, CO, NV, NC) versus two that have gone blue (MN, PA) and one more that has flipped in the last two presidential races (NH). Furthermore, at this point, Obama is in a slightly better position in the two blue swing states than McCain is in most of the red, where the Republican now leads in six, but by just a few points, and trails in the seventh (CO). This suggests--at this point in time--that Obama is having an easier time holding onto his turf than McCain. Can this electoral equation shift? Absolutely, and did in the weeks following the Republican convention, when McCain pulled into the stronger position. The danger for McCain, however, is that the race has returned, more or less, to pre-convention numbers that had remained stable since June. In other words, with the race back to where it was--with Obama holding a modest but discernible lead--it is possible that the wave of support that the Democrat has ridden for all but a few weeks could solidify, making it much more difficult for McCain to reclaim the momentum. For Obama, the danger lies in the electoral math if the race should remain close: even if he wins all of the states won by Democrat John Kerry in 2004--including NH, where the race is now a virtual tie--he will still need to pick off Ohio or several other states that have gone Republican in recent years. The next few weeks will be very important for both candidates.

How the Maps Work

Posted Aug 22, 2008 at 7:47 AM by Maurice Berger

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 the election cycle, 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.