A World of Data Analytics

Slate breaks the traditional information embargo on election coverage with estimated results throughout the day.

By WhyskyJack, a Trail Mix Contributor

dataoverloadIt is why the Cubbies are no longer the lovable losers and why my Royals won last year.

It is at the heart of the Clinton campaign decision making.

And in a controversial move Slate is going to use it to give us real time estimates on who is winning throughout the day.

From Slate:

Here’s a longer description of how this whole thing works. The project can be broken down into two phases: what happens before Tuesday, and what happens on the day itself. In the lead-up to Election Day, VoteCastr conducted large-sample surveys in eight battleground states. Unlike a typical media poll that might ask hundreds of respondents dozens of questions, these surveys presented thousands of people with just a handful of queries each. The results were then run through predictive models to determine the probabilities of each voter in each of the eight states casting a ballot for Clinton, Trump, Gary Johnson, or Jill Stein. (VoteCastr did not include Evan McMullin in its models. The independent candidate is only on the ballot in two states we are tracking, Colorado and Iowa.)

The other piece of the pre–Election Day puzzle is early voting, which now accounts for an estimated 30 to 40 percent of the general election vote. Local officials collect and report information about who voted early in each state in advance of the election, and VoteCastr then compares that public info with its own private voter files. To understand how this works in practice, consider my early ballot, which I cast in Iowa City last week. Though VoteCastr doesn’t know who I voted for, it can make an educated guess based on the things it does know about me: my age, race, and party registration. Our friends at VoteCastr tell me the model believes there’s a 97 percent chance I voted for Clinton. When my name shows up on the list of people who voted early in the Hawkeye State, VoteCastr will use that number to fill in the blank. These voter preference estimates allow VoteCastr to make more specific forecasts about the early voting split than most other modelers, which simply sort returned ballots by party registration.

Slate is taking a lot of criticism for doing this while the polls are still open, but if they go ahead with it and it works (a risk in itself) then the flood gates are open.

Is it good? Is it bad?

Eh, I don’t know but I really don’t see how anyone can stop it.

Slate’s Votecastr page:

More Posts by WhskyJack

VoteCastr Estimates (4:40pm ET)



92 thoughts on “A World of Data Analytics”

  1. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, center, is joined on stage by first lady Michelle Obama, left, President Barack Obama, second from left, Chelsea Clinton, second from right, and former President Bill Clinton, right, after speaking at a rally at Independence Mall in Philadelphia, Monday, Nov. 7, 2016. AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

  2. some stuff about last night’s rally from business insider:

    After Springsteen’s performance, the crowd alternated between chants of “I’m with her. She’s with us.”

    Chelsea Clinton and Bill Clinton took the stage after, with the former president noting the symbolic venue.

    “This country began here,” Clinton said, declaring that on Election Day, Americans will have another chance “to form a more perfect union.”

    First Lady Michelle Obama, who has been criss-crossing the nation in the last few weeks on behalf of the Clinton campaign, opened her remarks with soaring words: “We are one day away from once again making history.”

    “Speaking here tonight,” the first lady said, “is perhaps the last and most important thing I can do for my country as first lady. … We have a duty to ensure that this country is handed over to a leader that we all can trust.”

  3. wapo 1st results report: Clinton wins Dixville Notch, N.H., with 4 votes to Trump’s 2

    The first actual results of the 2016 presidential election are in: Voters in Dixville Notch, N.H., cast 4 votes for Democrat Hillary Clinton, 2 for Republican Donald Trump and one for the Libertarian Party’s Gary Johnson

    Mitt Romney, the GOP’s 2012 presidential nominee, got a single write-in vote in the country’s “First in the Nation” balloting.

    Two other New Hampshire towns claiming “First” status, Hart’s Location and Millsfield, cast and counted their ballots after midnight Tuesday as well. The grand total for all three gave Trump a 32-to-25 edge over Clinton.

    Clinton got 4 votes in Dixville to Trump’s 2; 17 in Hart’s Location to Trump’s 14; and 4 in Millsfield to Trump’s 16.

  4. the Slate thing looks stupid.  I went to the site and there nothing but basically an ad for slate and who people who write for slate voted for…meh

    I just read their piece on legalizing pot and frankly I wouldn’t go there to read anything what a piece of crap

  5. Jack…

    IMO, the flood gates will only be open if the television news media start doing it.  Most people still rely on the major networks to get their news.  But a few years down the road…  all bets are off.

  6. The real problem is going to be at 6pm eastern when they will know but the polls will still be open in California and other western states

  7. I hope I neve have to hear this political whore again

    a captured interest of a single hedge fund manager

    Her client list is horrible but so is she

  8. KGC

    Patsi would love today and I do miss her.  At the end of the evening once all the statistics are out, I will be watching to see how the women voted.

  9. slate.com/votecastr thingie not open yet, too early to analyze data until their field workers start reporting turnout numbers: “VoteCastr will have hundreds of field workers stationed at preselected precincts around the country. Those field workers will be reporting official turnout numbers as they’re provided to them by poll workers throughout the day. By selecting a representative mix of precincts, VoteCastr will extrapolate the turnout in similar precincts that aren’t being tracked.”

  10. I still say pfttt     They allege they have all the early voting data so where is that   still think it is crap  their first call is supposed to be at 11 eastern

    with a few phone calls and reading local papers  I probably could make a better call

  11. Well, I drove over to the 4H barn this morning to cast my vote (I went electronic this year – it’s really kinda a hybrid since the entry is electronic but it prints out a paper ballot, all filled in with my choices.) The line was incredible – there were 4 people in front of me (but only 2 in the A-L line), and the town must be getting bigger because I only knew one of them.  I had to wait almost 4 minutes to vote after the grueling two minute wait to check in. Three other folks I know drifted in while I was there – my Mormon lawyer friend, the owner of the town’s best liquor store and the dad of one of LP’s best HS buddies – who I learned broke his collar bone at football practice at LP’s last year’s college).  Things just aren’t the same this year.  There were no doughnuts or coffee on the table outside the room we voted in. And the pressure was crushing – I had a very difficult time deciding whose votes I would cancel – there were so many options.  I did get a chance to get a good look at the woolly rhinocerous skeleton suspended from the ceiling in the big event room upstairs – damn thing is probably 30 feet long – wouldn’t have wanted to run into one of those back in paleo times.  And since county and state offices are closed, there were plenty of prime spaces in my parking lot today. And the weather is sunny and mild.

    And I hear the previously depressed Hispanic and black early voting numbers in Miami-Dade actually turned out to have turned out in greater numbers than in 2012. And I also hear that this year’s Hispanic voter in FL isn’t your father’s RW Cuban.

    All in all not a bad start to the 2016 Election Day.

  12. this was from Mr C’s facebook feed  and it pretty much sums it up

    I voted for Hillary not because I like her but because I think she will do some good and trump scares the shit out of me and what he would do to our great country. Now I’m just really looking forward for this so called presidential election to be over… I’m embarrassed for our country…

    Here is my first analysis of the day:  The Cracker call out

    She will carry Florida and North Carolina (and Washington Oregon California, New York, New Jersey. Pa, Vermont, Maine
    we are holding back on NH because of early returns showing Trump ahead by 4 votes.)

  13. Are we ready for Electoral College predictions? Here’s mine:

    Clinton 329

    Trump 209

    Jamie, are you up for maintaining the tally?

  14. Craig

    Do you think she is going to carry Ohio?
    Cracker Call out
    323 Clinton
    215 The asshole

  15. And giving Dixville Notch, Hart’s Location and Millsfield their due, They aren’t predictive of NH, much less the rest of the country.  But I bet they had coffee and doughnuts.

    This is good news – Hillary should gain votes after today from absent and mail in ballots.


    And man is this funny – Toles’ favorites from the season.  Levity is a good thing, right?

  16. Craig always the optimist

    This crazy year deserves a crazy close.

    269 each – Goes to the house and thanks to the prior wins of the GOP.  Trump is President

    Senate stays with the GOP

    House never in question


    Pretty cool to be here during this time and place.

  17. I like the way you see this shaping up, Poobah.  So you think there will be a cache of cancelled hotel rooms in DC tomorrow?

  18. KGC, I get to 329 without Ohio, although I might be too conservative, actually think she can win Ohio but not prepared to predict it, would make it 347 to 191

  19. Last round of polls showed momentum breaking her way, the L word might be in play: LANDSLIDE

  20. How time flies.  I just remembered that I have actually known about Hillary Clinton since 1969 because of news headlines and the follow up in Life Magazine.  After all the horrors of 1968, she was someone to definitely respect.  Nothing has changed.

    Taking On A US Senator

  21. That’s it from my crystal ball for now. We are headed to County dump to get rid of a few yard sale leftovers

  22. Here is a picture from the yard sale by the way. That is cousin Carolyn in the center handling a customer. And dad at the Haggle Bench, where we would send the most serious hagglers to wrestle with him.

  23. I’m getting behind the landslide simply because thinking of the possibility will keep me smiling all day

    341 – Clinton

    197 – Trump


  24. Cracker CallOut

    We are calling all the little blue states on the East Coast for Clinton and Nevada

    Sean Spicer another person we can do without.  Banish lying surrogates

  25. kinda like to see one of those old fashioned scandal sheet type headlines like

    trump trumped, humped and dumped

  26. Driving to the 4H barn this AM, I heard Halperin (I think) say that over the last 10 days the momentum was in drumpf’s favor. Well, yes, if you ignore the last 5 or so days, but after the 4 day drop from 3.8 to 1.9 following ex FBI director Comey’s “reopening” announcement. in the last 8 days the Mo has been in Hillary’s favor – increasing RCP national average margin from 1.9% to 3.3%.  Her biggest margin was 7.1 on Oct. 18.  The interesting dynamic is that her support increased from 44.1 to 45.3 in the past month.  drumpf’s went from 40.9 to 42.2, dropping from a high of 43.4 six days ago.  I’d say the Nomentum is in drumpf’s favor.

  27. above cartoon was tweeted last night bv jim carrey


    which inspires this headline for tomorrow:

    trumpty dumpty had a great fall

  28. I have a tasty stew brewing in my Instant Pot. Using the slow cooker method. I’m planning on enjoying my celebratory meal tonight!

    Lovely day for voting here in Massachusetts! Watching from my balcony sliding doors. Slow and steady coming and going to and from my building. Only waited in line for 2-3 minutes. Everyone looked surprisingly calm and happy! I’ve been seeing lots of women coming and going too. I’m taking all this as a good omen 🙂

    Question for the class: Will Stumpy make a concession speech?

  29. Alternate Headline: Clinton Chomps Chump


    I was #39 at my Polling Place, not far from the Niagara River. I was happy the night Justin Trudeau was elected; heard from a number of Canadians lately they are hoping for positive results here 🙂 We go forward, so do they.

    Here’s good hopes for Democratic gains in the down ballots. Weed out the Obstructionists.

    To our friends who might vote Third Party, whether in conviction or spite: at least if the Democratic Candidates win, you’ll still have the right to vote for the person you like next election. Think about it.



  30. Woo-Hillary-hoo!

    The internet tubes are slower today…security is working overtime.

    I fail to see the lack of enthusiasm the media has lamented about since the beginning…looks like a good turnout.  I am going to start to shimmy as soon as the sun sets.  I hope for an early landslide to put the loud speakers of the alt right away for a season.

  31. No speech from the Tax cheeto  he sends out melanoma instead who announces the divorce

  32. Blonde Wino,

    I noticed a slow down of the internet too.

    Tinfoil Hat time: Yesterday afternoon I had just placed one foot inside the elevator at work then the power went out. My first thought was Good Lord, they did it! (You can fill in they however you like.) Living so close to the Power Plants at Niagara Falls we are a target. My Mother used to be a plane spotter during WWII, logging every plane she saw & comparing markings, etc in case enemy airplanes were headed towards the Falls. Seems yesterday was a simple transformer explosion, but … you never know.

    Granny Mumantoog,

    Every Election Day my Mother would put sauerkraut we had bought from our Lutheran Church in a crockpot before heading out to the Polls. Was a tradition. Long, slow cooking = Yum. We grew up with the stuff; I know some folks can’t handle it.

  33. I agree, no speech! But, caveat lector…if he does show up, it will not be hat in hand!

  34. russia will behave today as we have them by the cyber short hairs for the election.  comey deserves praise for dragging himself away from the Brad Pitt investigation to interrupt the chance of a dem Senate with his email fizzer.  Once he said he is staying for his tenure?  He will be gone and hopefully, the fbi will clean house.

  35. 2 scenarios:

    1. if race is close and Hillary wins: the drumpf will go immediately to court, incite his mobs and take to the airwaves nonstop

    2. Hillary wins big: drumpf will make nice (and make money on reservations, catering etc all which he’ll try to write off on taxes as business expense) by “giving” an inaugural party in his new d.c. hotel

  36. sjwny: Sauerkraut is being rediscovered I think! It is one of the healthiest things. Ancient peoples knew a thing or two about fermented foods. Did your mother put sausages in with her sauerkraut? That’s how I like it 🙂

  37. Votecastr has her leading in all of the States they are currently tracking except for PA where she is about 4,000 behind.


  38. I went straight in  and voted…  no line…  but a steady stream.  I started to cry when I filled in the oval for Clinton/Kaine.  I did hang around a bit.  Found out my neighbor (who is the town administrator) is going to be a first time grandmother.  We celebrated that and our votes.

    I made sure I wore a pair of earrings made by my friend Gigi…  who’s going to the inauguration because her daughter is at school in Georgetown… to the polls.  I’ve decided to wear them all day.

    I’m so excited I just can’t go into my studio….  gonna take the whole day off!

    Oh yeah… I bought a bag of Cheetos on the way home… I wanna be eating those suckers as Hillary is announced as president elect.

  39. My election night tradition is tuna sandwiches, tomato soup, chips and dip…not exotic but good…

    Will there be a live thread tonight???

  40. Nobody ever votes in my neighborhood, the line is usually 3 deep

    Except today.  there were about 50 people in line when I got there and about the same when I left. Looks like a steady stream so far this morning.

    With this much turnout you can throw all the likely voter screens out the window.

    BTW, the letter that my neighbor got calling him a bad voter, motivated him to go vote.  He went just after the polls opened.


  41. Yesterday, more than 50% of Oregon ballots had been returned.  Today there will be a huge in-person ballot turn-in.

    I will turn in my ballot at the Salem Courthouse.

    No polling places here.  Turning in ballots is easy…mail or drop off at sites that are everywhere. My neighborhood grocery store has one…

  42. Jack: I must have missed your original comment about your neighbor. What kind of letter did he get calling him a bad voter?

  43. Katy Tur and Mrs. Greenspan hopped on the Trump rehab train -saying he had tapped into populist distrust of government which is 100% BALONEY  Trump tapped into hatred and fear of your neighbors and not one thing more.

  44. Jamie, on PA I see that VoteCastr hasn’t gotten much data from non-white counties yet, so Hillary could end up in better shape than it looks right now

  45. Granny

    It was a letter that my neighbor showed me that gave him a voter rating for voting since 2008. As he hadn’t voted in any general election since 2008 he got a “Bad” rating. Kind of an interesting approach.

    I took a scan of the letter, name blacked out

  46. renee, so what’s up with your patriots brady and belichick? according to drumpf they said they voted for him but according to them maybe not yet… if ever.  see cnn story

  47. Jack: Thanks for sharing that. I’ve never seen anything like that before. I guess it worked, it got him to vote 🙂

    Just from my little corner of the world it seems like a heavier than usual turnout. I haven’t seen any lull in the steady stream coming and going here. In the past there have been lulls. I think this bodes well for Hillary…fingers crossed.

  48. jack, wonder if that’s how the aussies handle their vote mandate.  send the possible perp a notice to get right with democracy and vote or else get fined.

  49. Didn’t the Cruz campaign get caught sending out those bad voter letters? i never understood what they’re supposed to accomplish.

  50. Yep, Pennsylvania’s non-white county data coming in and now she is leading the state by 88,000 votes on VoteCastr (up by 131,000 in non-white counties).

    They have her ahead in all 7 battleground states they are tracking.

  51. She has pulled ahead now in PA.  I really do believe we are going to see something fabulous happening.  All appendages are crossed.


  52. Granny,

    I don’t know if it was the letter or us talking about it. I’m of the mind it is your decision and none of my business. I did tell him how rare it is for any campaign to bother with low turnout voters and I was really surprised they had even bothered. The black lady over on the next street, who walks her dogs,  chewed on him way more than I did about not voting. BTW he , also got a letter from Barack Obama telling him what a good person he was and he could count on him to do his civic duty and vote..

    I don’t know what got him there but he went bright and early this morning



  53. patd…  it is well know that Brady and Belichick are friends of Trump.  My reaction….  yeah…  so.  They are free like any other American to be friends with whom they want and to vote for whom they want.  All I care about is how one plays as a quarterback and how the other one coaches.

    Go Patriots!   Go Hillary!

  54. renee, I don’t care who they vote for either… they can sleep with the guy for all that matter.  it’s just the disconnect of the dialogue that gets me. am always surprised at the extent of the drumpf’s mendacious creativity.

  55. I would find  votecastr more useful if they did a rural-suburban-urban breakdown

    or a Republican,  swing, Democratic breakdown


  56. Tom Brady’s wife is saying he is not a Trump supporter.

    But if she doesn’t even know he is sleeping with Trump how can she know who he voted for.

    I wonder how many male Trump supporters are clueless as to how their wife votes.



  57. 323 –  9 less than Mr O in ’12. and 42 less than his ’08 total.
    Shoulda been a much bigger score. That’s what playing defense did. sigh
    the deadbeat : 209
    Johnson (or maybe it’s mcmullin) : 6

  58. Dems will takeover the Senate with the VP’s vote to spare. NH, PA, IL, & WI turn all senate seats blue, while Harry’s seat stays blue. I hope Kander, Bayh, and Ross pull it off, but I wouldn’t bet on them.

    MN2 will flip to blue.

  59. I certainly hope Votecastr is showing the voting trends.  If so, looks like Craig’s 320+ EC predcition might be spot on.

  60. If this is anywhere close to accurate, given the percentage of total votes here, only a late-in-the-day Trump surge will change things).

    VoteCastr Estimates (2:20pm ET)

    74.9 percent of expected total voters
    Clinton: 49 percent
    Trump: 45 percent

    72.2 percent of expected total voters
    Clinton: 47 percent
    Trump: 42 percent

    55.9 percent of expected total voters
    Clinton: 45 percent
    Trump: 46 percent

    47.9 percent of expected total voters
    Clinton: 49 percent
    Trump: 43 percent

    58.7 percent of expected total voters
    Clinton: 47 percent
    Trump: 44 percent

    59.8 percent of expected total voters
    Clinton: 46 percent
    Trump: 45 percent

    45.9 percent of expected total voters
    Hillary: 48 percent
    Trump: 44 percent

  61. I’m not sure how much faith I have in votecastr given the issues and problems they have had already today. But it is fun entertainment.


  62. VoteCastr…

    Sure early for the Dems. Early predictions will be for Democrats which will change drastically in the afternoon as the Republicans get off of work and go vote !!  Also the more remote locations report.

  63. Agreed, Whsky, glad you pointed us to it. Gives us something to do while waiting. Altho I am impressed with the huge sample of precincts, up to 100 with field workers in most states. That’s more than AP exit polls. If this thing comes close what a huge dilemma for nets and cable — could bust open the embargo tradition.

  64. that mh editorial is only 5 words long….

    so Shakespeare’s right:

    “brevity is the soul of wit”

  65. One of the last acts of a desperate man?

    Donald Trump’s campaign filed a lawsuit arguing that voting hours in parts of Nevada were improperly extended during early voting, the clearest signal yet that the Republican nominee could be looking to contest the results of Tuesday’s election should he lose.

    The lawsuit was filed against Joseph P. Gloria, the Clark County registrar, who is responsible for voting in Nevada’s biggest county. In the filing, Trump’s campaign argues that polls were kept open late last Friday “to help Hillary Clinton,” his Democratic opponent.

    During a hearing Tuesday morning in Clark County, a skeptical judge questioned the Trump campaign’s attorney about the filing and ultimately denied the campaign’s request to preserve evidence in the case.

    The judge said that she believed the campaign’s filing was essentially seeking to identify poll workers, which she believed would lead to these volunteers being harassed.

    Clark County election officials said that voting machines cannot be separated and sequestered, as requested, because they are already in use again. And they also said early-voting ballots could not be commingled because they are intentionally mixed in with other ballots to preserve the secrecy.

    The judge also expressed alarm that the Trump campaign’s filing could be used to try to identify voters, something the Trump campaign denied.

    On Saturday, the chairman of the Nevada Republican Party said during a Trump rally that some polling locations were kept open “so a certain group could vote.” He specifically mentioned Clark County, asking the crowd: “You feel free right now? You think this is a free and easy election?”

    One more attempt by the repugnican standard bearer to suppress votes.

    That is added to this more direct effort.

    Voters in Florida, a key battleground, have reported multiple accounts of voters saying they have encountered aggressive, intimidating behavior, according to a nonpartisan group monitoring election issues nationwide.

    “In Florida we continue to receive a substantial amount of complaints about voter intimidation,” said Kristen Clarke, president of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, which is running an independent effort to field voter complaints and questions.

    Clarke said her group received reports from Miami-Dade County of “yelling, people using megaphones aggressively.” In Jacksonville, in the northeast corner of the state, Clarke said, “an unauthorized individual was found inside [a] polling place.”

    This person was at St. Paul’s Methodist Church, a polling precinct in what Clarke described as a part of Jacksonville with predominantly black residents.

    “He was asked to leave and refused,” she said. “Through our intervention and calls, that individual has been removed. Unauthorized individuals have no place in the polls.”

    During early voting, Clarke’s group also received reports from Hollywood, Fla., about “aggressive individuals hovering around individuals as they approach the polling site,” she said during a briefing with reporters. “Some have turned away because they did not feel able to freely cast [a] ballot.”

    Clarke said her group has received reports from about 80,000 voters since the beginning of early voting and expects that figure to reach 175,000 reports by the time the polls close. In 2012, the group received 90,000 calls total on Election Day.

    You must be proud Ping.

  66. Pogo

    I’m assuming Ping and I are  thinking the same thing.

    I was thinking about the  neighborhood hispanic vote. A good deal of it is working class vote and a 6am when the polls open they are at work or on their way. First shift starts at 7am. No bankers hours for the working man. As Trumps core group is white working class then one would expect their vote to tend to come in later after they get off work.

    But I suspect it is way more complicated than that.

    However in the primary, Mrs Jack voted late and she saw way more young Hispanic voters than I did.



  67. VoteCastr Estimates (3:48pm ET)
    [Trump up 1 pt in Ohio and Iowa]

    83.9 percent of expected total voters
    Clinton: 48 percent
    Trump: 45 percent

    80.3 percent of expected total voters
    Clinton: 46 percent
    Trump: 43 percent

    66.5 percent of expected total voters
    Clinton: 45 percent
    Trump: 46 percent

    62 percent of expected total voters
    Clinton: 48 percent
    Trump: 43 percent

    68.8 percent of expected total voters
    Clinton: 46 percent
    Trump: 45 percent

    73.7 percent of expected total voters
    Clinton: 45 percent
    Trump: 46 percent

    63.2 percent of expected total voters
    Hillary: 48 percent
    Trump: 45 percent

  68. wapo

    The North Carolina State Board of Elections announced it will meet later this afternoon to consider requests from counties to keep polls open longer, including a request from Durham County, where a technical issue when the polls opened delayed voting.

    Durham County had to switch to using paper poll books to look up voters rather than an electronic system after some precincts reported being unable to use the system, according to a statement released by the State Board of Election.

    The county had to check in voters manually, filling out forms by hand rather than printing them out through the electronic system.

    Voting rights groups urged the county to request an extension from the state board because of the extra time it will take to check in new voters.

    At least once precinct ran out of the forms. County officials say they are restocking forms at the precincts and gathering information on delays at each site.

    North Carolina law allows the state board to extend voting in the event of delays

  69. Sounds like Trump has not given up inciting to riot as a campaign strategy. I hope that’s not also his losing end game strategy.

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