The Elegant Vote Predictor

Election 2004 | Visual Design
In spite of the convention hoopla over blogs, there’s still some terrific non-blog sites out there for the campaign. Have you seen Electoral Vote Predictor 2004? 72,000 people did the other day. It’s the one political website I read everyday. Now, the NYTimes has a slick interactive electoral map that gives a slew of information about not just the Presidential race, but House, Senate and Gubernatorial (I love that word; they don’t use it) races. Not to mention a key map of the Nader factor — which stage Ralph is at in getting on the ballot in each stage. But, interactive as it is, it doesn’t tell me anything new.

The EVP website posts a map showing the how the electoral vote would turn out today, if the most recent polls for each state are used. Today it shows Kerry with a 301-213 lead (with three states dead even). The map is accompanied by witty and insightful comments each day from the anonymous “votemaster”.

Witty: on August 12, the votemaster reported “It has been remarkably quiet on the polling front this week. Maybe everybody is at the beach and the pollsters are tearing their hair out trying to find someone to interrogate.”

Insightful: Tuesday the 17th the votemaster reported readers that in Colorado a referendum is ceritfied to be on the ballot to apportion the state’s 9 electors according to the proportion of the vote for each candidate. The votemaster explains: “If it passes, probably Bush will get five electoral votes, Kerry will get four, and the Supreme Court will get a world-class headache. Badly polarized as it is, the Court probably does not want to decide another election.” Meanwhile, on Wednesday Colorado went dead even.

A little of both: Commenting on the ability of the libertarian candidate to register 3% in Nevada, the votemaster snaps: “If the pollster names a name, the person gets a couple of percent of the vote. If I had $15,000 to burn, I might commission a poll in New York asking whether people are planning to vote for John Kerry, George Bush, or Yogi Berra, just to see what came out.”

The EVP site is compact, so compact you can sneak a peek at work. None of that run-on format that you see in the blogs (though you can click back to see previous days). Like the candidate’s he’s tracking, the votemaster keeps on message: numbers, votes, polls. It keeps me coming back. Bookmark it.

Aha, but who is the votemaster? I intend to find out!