Tuesday, September 16, 2008

State polls electoral vote trends

This is just a graph inspired by the assiduous data collection at electoral-vote.com and the superior graphicalization at EVStrength.com. The data is from http://www.electoral-vote.com/evp2008/Data/scores-2008.csv

This is an Excel graph; my first attempt with OpenOffice.org was too ugly to look at (inducing epileptic seizures in viewers not wearing protective eyewear). I am test-driving OpenOffice.org 3.0 beta, an Aqua version for the Macintosh, after abandoning the newest version of NeoOffice, which didn't work at all.

I think this is just a one-off. I don't plan on doing this regularly. I wanted to see what it looked like and what I could do with ooo (Answer: a lot, but Excel was better). Click on it for the full-size image. If it makes no sense to you at all, go to electoral-vote.com and EVStrength.com for a better explanation of the key (AKA legend) and methodology.

Briefly, Strong is a 10%+ lead, Weak is a 5-10% lead, and Barely is a less than 5% lead. Tied are within 1% in polling. The stacked percentage bar graph reports percentages, but 100% is 538 electoral votes. 50% is 269. Each 10% line is 53.8 electoral votes, and the 2% tick marks therefore indicate 10.76 EVs. Since there are 50 states, the 2% marks also indicate an average (nonexistent) state with 10.76 electoral votes. IN, TN, MO and WA are closest to average with 11 EVs each, so you can think of a 2% tick mark as indicating one of them. Coincidentally, these 4 states lie (today) in 4 different states of confidence (of the 7 bands represented).

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