18 September 2008

Electoral Eye Candy

From FiveThirtyEight.com:

The job of our model is to see the signal through the noise. There is quite a bit of noise, with so many pollsters in the field in so many different states, and so many different factors affecting voter preferences. Everything from national news events to advertising blasts in individual states will impact these numbers -- a really heavy ad buy in a particular state can sometimes move the numbers there by a couple of points, often only for no more than 24 hours.
I'm not sure how their model works, nor how adjustments are made to make the model more sensitive to individual poll results, nor exactly what they mean when they refer to "Penumbra states" or "Penumbra tables"; those on the periphery? Taking the site as an aggregator, though, I'm fascinated by the daily movements and the multiple scenarios, plus percentages and likelihoods, at any given moment. And all those charts and graphs, ooooh . . . so much eye candy.