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Thread: Preface to the Battleground Reports starting TONIGHT, September 25, 2012

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    Preface to the Battleground Reports starting TONIGHT, September 25, 2012

    The battleground report table is now in EXCEL format and will be published with every 50 state plus DC plus nationals table as well. The entire excel table for each day, starting 09/25, will be published at GoogleDocs every day. And linked up here in PH.



    I am publishing the table for 09/25 as an example now, without any polls for 09/25 recorded yet. This is just to get people used to reading the report and interpreting the numbers. There is a legend under the table. It is a long legend, but you need to read it to get the full benefit out of this information.




    Here is the table:





    A B C D E F G H I J K L M
    State EV % of EC Polls 25.09.12 24.09.12 Shift 2008 2004 SWING (G-H) End polling 2008 Compare E K Compare E GE008
    GA 16 2,97% 0 / 2 13,50 13,50 0,00 5,20 16,60 11,40 3,85 9,65 8,30
    NE 5 0,93% 0 / 10 11,00 11,00 0,00 14,93 33,22 18,29 19,00 -8,00 -3,93
    MO 10 1,86% 0 / 4 9,12 9,12 0,00 0,13 7,20 7,07 0,46 8,66 8,99
    AZ 11 2,04% 0 / 3 7,33 7,33 0,00 8,48 10,47 1,99 4,43 2,90 -1,15
    TN 3 0,56% 0 / 1 7,00 7,00 0,00 15,06 14,27 0,79 14,00 -7,00 -8,06
    MT 3 0,56% 0 / 2 7,00 7,00 0,00 2,38 20,50 18,12 1,64 5,36 4,62
    IN 11 2,04% 0 / 2 6,00 6,00 0,00 -1,03 20,68 21,71 1,18 4,82 7,03
    -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
    NE-02 1 0,19% 0 / 1 0,00 0,00 0,00 1,21 21,69 20,48 4,00 -4,00 -1,21
    NC 15 2,79% 0 / 5 0,60 0,60 0,00 0,33 12,43 12,76 0,62 -0,02 0,27
    FL 29 5,39% 0 / 14 1,83 1,83 0,00 2,81 5,01 7,82 1,79 0,04 -0,98
    NH 4 0,74% 0 / 4 2,75 2,75 0,00 9,61 1,37 8,24 10,43 -7,68 -6,86
    CO 9 1,67% 0 / 9 2,78 2,78 0,00 8,95 4,67 13,62 6,62 -3,84 -6,17
    -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
    USA 538 100,00% 0 / 17 3,96 3,96 0,00 7,26 2,46 9,72 7,54 -3,58 -3,30
    -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
    VA 13 2,42% 0 / 10 3,45 3,45 0,00 6,30 8,20 14,50 4,93 -1,48 -2,85
    OH 18 3,35% 0 / 8 3,89 3,89 0,00 4,58 2,11 6,69 2,30 1,59 -0,69
    IA 6 1,12% 0 / 4 4,50 4,50 0,00 9,53 0,67 10,20 12,75 -8,25 -5,03
    NV 6 1,12% 0 / 4 5,00 5,00 0,00 12,49 2,59 15,08 6,83 -1,83 -7,49
    -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
    WI 10 1,86% 0 / 8 6,19 6,19 0,00 13,90 0,38 13,52 11,34 -5,15 -7,71
    MN 10 1,86% 0 / 3 8,00 8,00 0,00 10,24 3,48 6,76 11,34 -3,34 -2,24
    PA 20 3,72% 0 / 7 8,13 8,13 0,00 10,31 2,50 7,81 11,34 -3,21 -2,18
    MI 16 2,97% 0 / 7 8,61 8,61 0,00 16,44 3,42 13,02 14,44 -5,83 -7,83
    OR 7 1,30% 0 / 1 9,00 9,00 0,00 16,35 4,16 12,19 15,57 -6,57 -7,35
    NM 5 0,93% 0 / 3 9,33 9,33 0,00 15,13 0,79 15,92 9,26 0,07 -5,80




    LEGEND:

    in column A, each state is hyperlinked to it's main stats page from uselectionatlas.org, going back to 1856. Remember, at uselectionatlas.org, the color-coding is the REVERSE of what we are used to seeing.


    Column B is the number of EV for that state.
    Column C is that state's percentage of the EC (Column B divided by 538)


    Column D is the number of Polls: 2 values, with a diagonal slash in between:

    the value to the left = the number of new and until now not calculated polls for the new average. Since no new polls for 09/25 have been added yet, then that number is currently "0" and will surely change by the end of the day for a number of states.

    The value to the right of the slash = the total number of polls (without repeats from any pollster) in the new average. So, a value like "3 / 8" means that there are 8 polls in the average and 3 of them are totally fresh - from today.

    Starting three weeks before the election, that number on the right will generally not go above 8 and the time frame will be no more than one week. Until then, there is no limit on the number of polls within a time frame of 14 days. A 0 for the left value means there were no polls on that day.


    Columns E and F: the new average value, followed by the old average value. So, for 25.09.12, that is column E and 24.09.12 is column F, as it is the day before. On 26.09.12, 25.09.12 will slip over into column F, and so on and so on. If an average value is in italics, then that means that the state has only had one poll. See: NE and TN.

    Column G, "Shift", is the polling difference between "today" and "yesterday". Right now, since this table is being provided as a test table for people to learn to read, that value for all states is "0,00". Obviously, a plus value for the team currently winning the state is always a welcome sign for that team.

    Columns H, I, J and K are fixed data from the past, so these these values will not change:

    Column H is the exact margin from 2008, whereas column I is the exact margin from 2004. Since the values are all color-coded, you can spot a pick-up state from 2008 immediately if you see a different color for that state between columns H and I. All 9.25 pickups from 2008 are currently in the table.

    Column J is the swing (or, margin-shift), 2008 over 2004. The swing value should always be a positive value for the side that gained in the swing. All of these swings from 2008 over 2004 - except for one (TN) are positive values for the Democratic party. There were only 5 states in 2008 that swung more Republican over 2004, and none of them were battlegrounds or even close it.

    Column K is the end-polling average for that state from 2008.

    Column L ("Compare E-K") is the mathematical difference between the current polling average and the end-polling average from 2008.

    Column M ("Compare E-G") is the mathematical difference between the current polling average and the actual results from 2008.

    For both columns L and M, a minus difference between new and old values means a slippage in the overall margin, which means, technically speaking, a trend for the other side. A plus difference means a gain for the side that is already winning.

    Rows shaded in medium grey are the tossups with the battleground category, meaning that the current polling average is +2 or below.

    Rows shaded in lighter grey are the battlegrounds, up to and including an current pollig average average of +5.

    Starting in three weeks, a prediction based on the margin average, with the national average calculated in as 1/8th of the equation, will be ADDED to this table. I will do an extensive thread over this when the time comes. There are a number of states on this table right now that are not officially in the battlegrounds, but were either hotly contested already in this year or considered battleground possibilities by either one or both of the major national campaigns.

    Why start with these states that are more than +5 also in the table?

    Logically, in the case of a massive shift toward one candidate, the states on the "other side" that are relatively close to +5 would probably be pulled into the battlegrounds. Which is why it is good to start with some of these states in the table, although most likely the majority of them, like GA, for instance, will probably leave the table.

    Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan are very good examples: all three of these state have been hotly contested. PA was a tossup in 2011 and Romney lead in the PA polling a number of times in that year. Paul Ryan made WI very competitive in August, but the numbers show that that has changed. If PA, WI and MI continue to move away from +5, then in three weeks or so, I will remove them from the table.

    In no way does this mean that I think certain states on either side will become battlegrounds. I am holding my personal opinions far, far, far away from the battleground report. The numbers themselves will show us whether states enter or leave the battlegrounds.

    So, taking the state of Ohio as an example, you could make a quick couple of sentences out of the numbers:

    8 Ohio polls in the mix, none yet from today, current average = Obama +3.96%, very close to the national average, and from columns L and M, above his end-polling average from 2008 but slightly below his actual results from 2008. Ohio is the 7th closest state of 9 states within the battlegrounds, if you include NE-02. Otherwise, it is the 6th closest of 8 states and approaching the battleground boundary.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I hope this will help all in interpreting the battleground reports at they begin tonight.
    This legend will be linked into every battleground report.



    Last edited by bonncaruso; 25th September 2012 at 05:30 AM.

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