Tomorrow You’ll Be Able to View Vote Estimates in Real Time

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


Slate is moving boldly beyond the now-routine practice of releasing early exit poll results. It has teamed up with VoteCastr, a Silicon Valley startup run by data gurus from both the George Bush and Barack Obama campaigns, to provide us with real-time estimates of who’s ahead throughout the day:

VoteCastr will make rolling projections of how many ballots have been cast for each candidate in each of the states we’re tracking: Florida, Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. If you visit Slate at 11 a.m. EST on Tuesday, you’ll see projections for how many votes have been cast for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in each of those states as of 11 a.m.

….Slate readers will be able to watch live as those vote totals update throughout Election Day. They’ll also be able to sort the data in a number of different ways. We’ll make it possible, for instance, to compare real-time turnout in Trump-leaning counties and Clinton-leaning counties, as well as to gauge turnout in counties grouped by age, income, and race. If our real-time trackers are seeing that turnout in Pennsylvania’s middle class or predominantly black counties has surpassed 2012 levels, you’ll know that. If turnout in Ohio counties that are predominantly white or lower class does the same, you’ll know that, too.

Needless to say, this is a horrible abuse of the editorial process that we should all strongly denounce—which I’ll probably get around to doing on Wednesday because I’ll be too busy obsessively checking it throughout the day on Tuesday. I’m willing to bet that all the other denouncers will be checking it too.

In other words, this doesn’t really bother me. Maybe I’ve just gotten too jaded. But honestly, it’s not clear that being aware of these estimates affects voting patterns very much. Are you more likely to vote if your guy is ahead and you’re stoked about it? Or if your guy is behind and you’re scared that someone horrible will win? Beats me. Besides, if more than 0.5 percent of the population is actually aware of what Slate is doing, I’d be surprised.

Anyway, we’ll see. I expect my Twitter feed to be full of folks either panicky or gleeful about the latest VoteCastr results. So I probably couldn’t ignore it even if I wanted to.

A BETTER WAY TO DO THIS?

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and we can't afford to come up short. But when a reader recently asked how being a nonprofit makes Mother Jones different from other news organizations, we realized we needed to lay this out better: Because "in absolutely every way" is essentially the answer.

So we tried to explain why your year-end donations are so essential, and we'd like your help refining our pitch about what make Mother Jones valuable and worth reading to you.

We'd also like your support of our journalism with a year-end donation if you can right now—all online gifts will be doubled until we hit our $350,000 goal thanks to an incredibly generous donor's matching gift pledge.

payment methods

A BETTER WAY TO DO THIS?

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and we can't afford to come up short. But when a reader recently asked how being a nonprofit makes Mother Jones different from other news organizations, we realized we needed to lay this out better: Because "in absolutely every way" is essentially the answer.

So we tried to explain why your year-end donations are so essential, and we'd like your help refining our pitch about what make Mother Jones valuable and worth reading to you.

We'd also like your support of our journalism with a year-end donation if you can right now—all online gifts will be doubled until we hit our $350,000 goal thanks to an incredibly generous donor's matching gift pledge.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate