Electoral Obsession: FiveThirtyEight.com

Assuming this election goes moderately according to plan, I should be waking up tomorrow to the results. In the meantime, though, I’m addicted to FiveThirtyEight.com,  a beautifully obsessive polling aggregation blog. From the FAQ:

What is the mission of this website? Most
broadly, to accumulate and analyze polling and political data in way
that is informed, accurate and attractive. Most narrowly, to give you
the best possible objective assessment of the likely outcome of
upcoming elections.

*
How is this site different from other compilations of polls like Real Clear Politics? *
There are several principal ways that the FiveThityEight methodology differs from other poll compilations:


Firstly,
we assign each poll a weighting based on that pollster’s historical
track record, the poll’s sample size, and the recentness of the poll.
More reliable polls are weighted more heavily in our averages.


Secondly,
we include a regression estimate based on the demographics in each
state among our ‘polls’, which helps to account for outlier polls and
to keep the polling in its proper context.


Thirdly, we use an
inferential process to compute a rolling trendline that allows us to
adjust results in states that have not been polled recently and make
them ‘current’.


Fourthly, we simulate the election 10,000 times
for each site update in order to provide a probabilistic assessment of
electoral outcomes based on a historical analysis of polling data since
1952. The simulation further accounts for the fact that similar states
are likely to move together, e.g. future polling movement in states
like Michigan and Ohio, or North and South Carolina, is likely to be in
the same direction.
If you happen to be a stats/methodology nerd, he goes on to flesh out all the data, regressions,  assumptions, and mathines behind the pretty graphs. Speaking of pretty graphs, heres the sites take on things, as of 11:15am JST.

Way more graph`n goodness here, at the FiveThirtyEight.com main page. On another note, the InTrade prediction market is selling “Barack Obama to win 2008 US Presidential Election” contacts at 91.6. Life is hopeful in electionville.