How I will be rationalising US election day results

on October 31, 2020, 6:29 am

Assuming Biden doesn't beat his polls and win in Texas (pretty much guaranteeing a Trump loss), these are the states I'll be watching on Wednesday (with the current 538 polling average margins in brackets).

  • North Carolina (Biden +2)
  • Arizona (Biden +3)
  • Florida (Biden +2)
  • Georgia (Biden +2)
  • Pennsylvania (Biden +5)

So basically Trump needs all these states to win. For the first four, a pretty minor polling error in Trump's favour gives him a second term. However, he'll also need a historically large (though certainly not unprecedented) polling error in his favour in Pennsylvania to win.

In 2016 Hillary Clinton under-performed her polls (in Pennsylvania) by 1.39% while Trump was over-performing his by 3% (a net polling error of 4.39%). So a 2016 magnitude polling error will make the election pretty close (though not re-count close) but we'll probably still get a president Biden in 2021.

So assuming those first four states are called before Pennsylvania, I'll only start freaking out if we see Trump wins in those states with 2-3% victory margins.

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Electoral College Screensaver 1.4

on November 16, 2008, 12:00 am

Because I needed to splice my install directory into the system path to implicitly link to the OgreMain DLL and I figured that NSIS (my install packager of choice) would either provide the functionality natively, or have some code I could use to do this. The later was true and I found some horrible NSIS assemlbyish code to do what I wanted. It came from the NSIS wiki and I felt like I could rely on it.

Sometime after I put up my first version, I discovered that in very rare cases, this code would erase the system path rather than appending to it. It took me some time to discover that the bug occured when a maximum string length in NSIS was exceeded. So the solution was to rebuild the NSIS compiler with a longer maximum string length and for those cases were that maximum was exceeded, handle the error rather than erasing the path.

I have since added a warning to the NSIS wiki, but might be checking out Inno installer for my next project

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Electoral College Screensaver 1.3

on October 30, 2008, 12:00 am

Added support for election day morning. Previously I handled polling data for every state, but on election day, obviously everything will be up in the air and I will be using actual voting data instead of the polls on Electoral Vote. As the results come in on election day I will update my XML in real time.

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Electoral College Screensaver 1.2

on October 24, 2008, 12:00 am

Fixed up states that were exactly tied to show up purple (previously they were displayed blue, no Democratic bias here).

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Electoral College Screensaver 1.1

on October 15, 2008, 12:00 am

Made some cosmetic changes to the main Electoral Vote count bar and the per state info in the corner.

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