News from the Votemaster
I will stay up all night election night and update the site in real time. I am NOT promising to stay up until we know who the president is. I would definitely like to go to bed sometime during the month of November.
We have another bumper crop of polls today, 50 in all. Since Sept. 1, the total number of polls in the Polling data file is 937. Toss in another 252 polls from May 24 to Aug. 31 and we have the most studied election in the history of the world. And what's the conclusion? Nobody knows. If we just look at the most recent poll in every state, John Kerry will be elected the 44th President of the United States tomorrow with 298 votes in the electoral college vs. 231 for George Bush, with New Mexico and New Hampshire exact ties. However, even if Bush carries both of these states, Kerry still wins 298 to 240. But again, a caution is in order, Kerry's margin is razor thin in Pennsylvania, Florida, and Ohio. Pennsylvania will probably go to Kerry. Ohio is more iffy. Bush won it in 2000 and stands a decent chance of winning it in 2004 although he trails by 2% using the average of the Zogby and Gallup polls taken Oct. 28-31. Thus after 4 years of campaigning, more money spent on attack ads than the gross national product of small countries, and an exhausted electorate, what do we have? In the immortal words of Yogi Berra: "It's deja vu all over again." The whole thing comes down to Florida where Kerry currently holds a tenuous 48% to 47% lead according to the most recent poll, from Zogby. The reality is that everything depends on turnout, how many voting machines fail, and how much monkey business happens. Oh, yeah. And there are those 10,000 lawyers ready to do what lawyers are trained to do--file lawsuits.
If Bush picks up Florida and the two states that are tied (NH and NV), then Kerry wins 271 to 267, the same margin Gore should have lost by last time. Actually, he lost 271 to 266 because one Gore elector from D.C., Barbara Lett-Simmons cast a blank ballot in protest of D.C.'s not having representation in Congress. It could be a long night, especially if Bush picks up either Florida or Ohio and a couple of small Kerry states in the East or Midwest, so everything depends on New Mexico.
As I have discussed repeatedly, normally people with a cell phone but no landline are not polled. Most of these are in the 18-29 year old group. Up until now, no one has known how their absence from the polling data might affect the results. Zogby has now conducted a very large (N = 6039) poll exclusively on cell phones using SMS messaging to get a feeling of how they will vote. The results are that they go strongly for Kerry, 55% to 40%, with a margin of error of only 1.2%. If they all vote tomorrow, the pollsters are going to spend the rest of the week wiping egg from their faces. But historically, younger voters have a miserable turnout record, so the pollsters need not yet stock up on paper towels.
Here are some things to remember about voting. Read carefully. Your vote could decide this election.
1. Find out today where your polling place is by calling your county clerk or checking www.mypollingplace.com
2. Alternatively, call 1-866-MYVOTE1 to find your polling place.
3. Check the hours the polls are open with your city or county clerk.
Print the League of Women Voters' card in English or Spanish and put it in your wallet or purse.
4. Bring a government-issued picture ID like a driver's license or passport when you vote. Some states require it but if there are problems, you will certainly need it.
5. If you have a cell phone, take it to call for help if need be.
6. As you enter the polls, note if there is an Election Protection person outside the polling place.
7. If you are not listed as a registered voter, try to register on the spot. Some states allow that. Otherwise, talk to the Election Protection person if there is one or call 1-866-OUR-VOTE for instructions. If neither of these helps, ask for a provisional ballot, but you will need a picture ID to get one
League of Women Voters website
As I post this, it's Kerry 298, bush 231. In the end I predict Kerry will win with 307, or more. Why? because I think the polls have been skewed in bush's favor for months.
I think a lot of poorer people are gonna vote this time around, I think a lot of younger people will too, and neither of them have phones. So they couldn't be polled anyway. Remember cell phone owners aren't polled...