Sunday, November 07, 2004

General Elections Thoughts

Needless to say, as a yellow dog Republican, I'm pretty happy with the results. President Bush was re-elected ... or perhaps unredefeated ... and we expanded our majorities in both Houses. My election prediction was a overoptimistic by two states (WI, MN) for the President and overpessimistic by two states (AK, LA) in the Senate. Not too bad.

I had a lot of fun on election night. Although the early exit polls had me nervous at first, as I read more about the process of exit polling, the less concerned I was. The raw data of the exit polls seems to mean very little -- they're really design for after-the-fact analysis, not prediction -- and there is some process of weighting the results of the poll against the actual returns that eventually happens.

I was also aided by my role as one of Jay Cost's Hawkeyes for his Horserace Blog. Basically, a group of about fifty or so readers volunteered to monitor elections returns in eight states (it would have been nine, but New Hampshire reported its data in a way we weren't expecting) throughout the night. Jay had provided data sets for the 2000 election for us to compare against. I was assigned to monitor West Central Ohio (basically the 3rd, 4th, and 15th Congressional districts). We were a bit ahead of the curve in determining when there weren't enough votes left in Ohio for Kerry to have a reasonable shot at catching up. It was a lot of fun.

The only part of the evening that I wasn't too happy about was my own congressional district. Even though I knew that Congressman Moron would probably be re-elected, it would have been great if he hadn't been.


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