Projected election outcomes

Using the data provided here (which you should visit for all of the data caveats and other interesting findings), I’ve constructed a plot of projected general election outcomes, depending on whether it is Obama or Clinton facing McCain in November. As the story tells us, survey data indicates a Democratic victory either way, but based on the location of each Democratic candidates projected potential victories, electoral college outcomes could be somewhat different. As such, I’ve constructed a basic scatterplot of McCain’s margin in the survey over Clinton and Obama. At a glance, this depicts the states in which McCain has a clear advantage over both Democrats (bottom left, more red), the states in which either Democrat is heavily favored (upper right, cyan), and the states in which Clinton has more of an advantage than does Obama (upper left, more blue/purple), or vice-versa (lower right, more green/yellow). It is easy to see, for example, that Clinton has a sizable advantage over McCain in Florida (with a large number of electoral votes), while Obama has a negative margin there in the survey data. On the other hand, Obama fares better in Michigan and Texas (where both still trail McCain). Anyway, thanks to for providing the spreadsheet, and let me know if you come to any interesting conclusions from looking at the scatter.


One response to “Projected election outcomes

  1. All of these Electoral College projections are fun to do. However, we should get rid of them. What we need is a direct national popular vote for President.

    If every vote actually counted in a presidential election, the whole notion of “swing” and “safe” states would be a thing of the past. It would no longer be important if McCain or Clinton or Obama won Ohio. What would be significant is how many actual votes they received there and in every state. A vote in Idaho becomes as relevant as a vote in Florida.

    A nation wide effort to make this long overdue change is underway. The states of Maryland and New Jersey have already signed on and it’s on the Governor’s desk in Illinois. The plan doesn’t go into effect until states with a combined total of 270 or electoral votes sign-on to it.

    Check your state legislative website or visit the groups webpage at

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