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Tags political predictions , VoteCastr

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Old 24th September 2016, 08:19 AM   #1
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VoteCastr journalist plan to release real-time projections on Election Day

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/11/us...ting.html?_r=0

VoteCastr plans to use computer models to predict statewide results based on select precincts in important states. The models have been used by each party to project winners on Election Day and are now considered quite accurate. Since the 1980's news agencies have sat on this information until polls close, but VoteCastr plans to release it in real time. They are also expected to release the results of the early-voting ballots of states at 6:00 AM EST.

Some analysts have asserted that releasing East-Coast results (and calling those states) while West-Coast polls are open will not hurt voter turnout and will not have a large impact on down-ballot races.

ETA
http://www.slate.com/articles/news_a..._election.html
....Everything about election-night journalism has gotten flashier over the generation since—except the scoops. The networks’ early calls prompted a congressional inquiry into whether they had depressed West Coast turnout. The three broadcast networks rejected demands that they wait until everyone in the country had voted to report or forecast any results. (There was scant evidence that NBC’s early call had exerted any influence on voter behavior or outcomes.) As a concession, however, the networks promised not to use their exit polls to project the race in a given state until polls had closed there. In the years that followed, other news organizations that had not been subject to the same political pressure—radio stations, newspapers, wire services, cable networks, and websites—nonetheless accepted it as a controlling precedent.

Now a de-facto self-imposed gag order hangs over the daylight hours of the year’s biggest news event, sequestering the civic exercise of Election Day from the media spectacle of election night. This distinction is enforced only by the pieties of good-government advocates who, in the wake of the 1980 episode, paternalistically argued that voters cannot be trusted with live information. ....Once the polls close, there is intense competition for their decision desks to call states, but up until that point news organizations enforce what amounts to a cartel of silence.
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Old 24th September 2016, 08:27 AM   #2
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http://www.votecastr.us/
On Election Day, VoteCastr’s data collection teams will fan out across the battleground states streaming data through our mobile app. That constant stream will be checked against our proprietary precinct, county, and statewide database models to generate minute-by-minute projected outcomes.

This data stream will form the backbone of a live day-long broadcast out of Brooklyn, New York starting when the first poll opens in Florida and ending when the last poll closes in Nevada.

For the first time in the modern political era, Americans will see what the network executives and campaign insiders have seen all along: the game as it unfolds.
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Old 25th September 2016, 09:41 PM   #3
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They hope to have enough information to call the election by 7:00 EST (4:00 West Coast).

Actually, they hope to have enough information to call it before 7:00 PM, but they announced that 7:00 was the earliest they would publicly announce a projected winner.

I think calling an election 4 hours before California polls close is a big thing. Am I alone in that?
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Old 25th September 2016, 09:44 PM   #4
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I think it is a bad thing. Especially if they are wrong.
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Old 25th September 2016, 11:39 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by thaiboxerken View Post
I think it is a bad thing. Especially if they are wrong.
I agree. Won't matter so much here in Oregon since we have mail-in ballots but it could possibly keep a cutting it close voter from making it to the mail box or the voting box. Wait until the damn polls close in Hawaii, for pity's sake!
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Old 26th September 2016, 05:13 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Ladewig View Post
They hope to have enough information to call the election by 7:00 EST (4:00 West Coast).

Actually, they hope to have enough information to call it before 7:00 PM, but they announced that 7:00 was the earliest they would publicly announce a projected winner.

I think calling an election 4 hours before California polls close is a big thing. Am I alone in that?
It's terrible. I can't for the life of me envision anything positive to come out of this. It's a fiasco waiting to happen.
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Old 26th September 2016, 05:14 AM   #7
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Glad in my country that the broadcasters can't do this sort of thing on polling day. Mind you we don't have multiple time zones to deal with.
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Old 26th September 2016, 05:33 AM   #8
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Seems like a recipe for self fulfilling prophecy at best, election rigging at worst.

If this is happening, why worry about Russia at all?
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Old 26th September 2016, 06:02 AM   #9
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As absurd as it sounds, could the networks simply not report Eastern / Midwestern polls results until the West Coast finishes up?
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Old 26th September 2016, 06:05 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by NoahFence View Post
As absurd as it sounds, could the networks simply not report Eastern / Midwestern polls results until the West Coast finishes up?
Reporting polls as they happen is one thing. "Projecting" polls always seemed dangerous to me.
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Old 26th September 2016, 06:06 AM   #11
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Reporting polls is already bad enough
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Old 26th September 2016, 06:13 AM   #12
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It would be helpful to know whether or not I should vote. No point in standing in line if the results are already clearly running one way or the other. I could just go home instead.

They need to make voting completely vicarious. Like other important things, I prefer to watch them happen on CNN while enjoying some Cheese Whiz on Ritz crackers.
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Old 26th September 2016, 06:26 AM   #13
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Have Slate/Votecastr announced which "key states" they will be reporting? They said there will "only... a few key swing states". By that, one assumes the major swing states of PA, OH, FL, NV, CO, VA, NC..., particularly since they actually used the word "swing".

I think I'm against them doing this. I could be sold on it, but I don't agree that "there's no evidence that early reporting suppresses voting" - there simply isn't enough info.

Can individual states file suit and block this? Which party is more likely to try to block it? Is either making noises about doing so?
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Old 28th September 2016, 01:10 PM   #14
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I'm quite amused by the notion that they are really going to be good at this. Check out this bit from the Times' article:

Quote:
Exit polls are based on surveys of voters as they leave polling stations, and they are considered a polling gold standard because only people who voted are questioned.
Anybody remember the 2004 election day fiasco, when exit polling showed Kerry winning easily?

Quote:
The new $10 million polling system used by many news organizations to predict the outcome of the presidential race had a number of problems that led to the early erroneous impression that John Kerry was heading for victory, according to a report prepared by the system's architects.
I see that exit polls are not going to be used here:

Quote:
On Election Day, hundreds of employees and volunteers will be dispatched to designated precincts in their key counties to report turnout. If turnout exceeds their modeled expectations in an area solidly for Mrs. Clinton, for example, they can deduce that she is overperforming in the percentage of total statewide votes coming from similar areas and is therefore likely to outperform in total vote expectations statewide.
I can see the fly heading rapidly towards the ointment there. First, how do they decide which areas are solidly for Hillary? Second, what if the weather is not the same in those "similar" areas? Third, we often hear that Republicans vote earlier in the day, while working-class Democrats show up after finishing their shift at the steel mill. And this election, at least, it appears that Trump may be getting more of the blue collar vote, while Hillary may outperform among the college-educated voters.

In short, I see this as a bad idea that may backfire.
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