Resources for following the election

So the conventions are over, the VPs are chosen, and it's now less than two months until election day. Here are some resources to help keep up to date with developments. Let us know other sites you find useful

Two excellent sites to follow for polling data are Electoral-Vote.com which graphically displays the results of the latest polls state-by-state. FiveThirtyEight.com, run by two guys that Malcolm met at the DNC, goes further by using some sophisticated maths to forecast the outcome based on the latest polling data. It currently predicts gives Obama a 71.3% probability of winning, which is encouraging, and a 20% probability of wining with a landslide (>375 electoral votes). Unlike the primaries, in the main election, the candidate who wins the most votes in each state gets all the "electoral votes" for that state (ranging from 3 for Alaska to 55 for Calafornia). There are a total of 538 electoral votes available, and so 270+ are needed to win the election. As you can see, most of the states are firmly Republican or Democrat, and many have been for years, and so it's very unlikely that the other party could win them. This is why much of the focus of the campaigns and media attention is on the "swing states" which could go either way and hence determine the outcome, as Florida did in 2000. Another site worth following show the average probability of winning implied by the odds given by 14 of the main betting sites.

The Guardian newspaper and the BBC both have excellent coverage, for a perspective from abroad. For some light relief check out the Daily Show's satirical take on the elections.

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