House Candidates Running Unopposed: Vote Totals

Because there's a fair degree of interest in the overal House vote totals for the recent election, I'm trying to put together a complete tally of the voting in House races where one candidate ran unopposed, since vote totals seem to be unavailable through media sources for those races.

It turns out that they aren't exactly easy to find through state websites, either.  Consequently, there more blanks than vote totals here.  In some cases, I've provided links to where it looks as if the counts will be available later, but aren't yet.  Please feel free to add what you can in comments, preferably with links, or offer other corrections.

05 - Cramer (D)
06 - Bachus (R)
07 - Davis (D)

There's more...

WY-AL recount would cost $11,500 - DCCC should pay

According to the AP:

Under state law, Trauner must ask for a recount no later than Friday. The recount would be conducted in all 23 counties, and Trauner would have to pay up to $500 per county for the cost of the recount. He would not be liable for the costs if the recount found "sufficient error to change the result of the election."

The State Canvassing Board, made up of four of Wyoming's top elected officials, certified the results Wednesday. While the race remained very close, it fell 79 votes short of triggering an automatic recount, Secretary of State Joe Meyer said.

There's more...

NPR Poll: We're Winning Back Rural America

According to a new NPR poll, rural America is split almost 50-50 between Democrats and Republicans right now.  (PDF of detailed poll results.)

Rural voters in swing Senate states supported the GOP candidate by only a 47-43 margin in the poll (a statistical tie), and rural voters in swing House districts were split 45-45 between the two parties' candidates.  (In the poll questions, the two parties' candidates were identified by name in each state/district, rather than by generic party tag, which suggests that these results are pretty firm.)

The poll showed the three most important issues among rural voters to be Iraq, the economy, and the war on terror.  One dynamic that's apparently making a difference is that 73% of rural voters, according to the poll, have a family member, friend, or acquaintance who's served or is serving in Iraq. Whatever news the troops are sharing with their friends and family, it clearly isn't Administration happy talk.

There's more...

Evaluation of 2004 Exit Polls has been published

Now available here: .

A summary I received by email follows.

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

    Warren Mitofsky <mitofsky@MINDSPRING.COM>
    Sent by: Survey Research Methods Section of the ASA <SRMSNET@LISTSERV.UMD.EDU>
    01/19/2005 10:20 AM
    Please respond to Warren Mitofsky     
         Subject: 2004 Exit Poll Evaluation

This morning we made public our complete report evaluating the 2004 exit
polls. It is available on Also available there are
methods statements, questionnaires and completion rates.

There's more...

Exit Polls, Bloggers, and the WaPo's Richard Morin

In an otherwise fairly decent piece about exit polls in this Sunday's WaPo Outlook section, poll maven Richard Morin can't resist taking some swipes at the blogsphere for its "abundant arrogance" in publishing the exit polls.

An excerpt:

It's also time to make our peace with those self-important bloggers who took it upon themselves to release the first rounds of leaked exit poll results. Those numbers showed Democrat John F. Kerry with a narrow lead, which ignited premature celebrations in one camp and needless commiseration in the other -- until the actual votes showed President Bush had won.

If a few hours on the roller coaster of ecstasy and agony were all that anyone had to endure, only the political junkies would be interested in the whys and wherefores of the exit poll confusion. But the false picture had real impact: The stock market plummeted nearly 100 points in the last two hours of trading, and the evening news was replete with veiled hints of good news to come for the Kerry campaign. Since then, some disappointed and angry Bush-bashers have seized upon the early numbers as evidence of something amiss in the outcome. You can read it on the Internet -- the election was stolen, the early exit poll numbers were right.

There's more...

Pew's LV Sample Tilts GOP: 37.3% - 33.6% - 29.1% R-D-I

Big surprise, huh?  Pew PDF here. Go to page 6.

Out of a sample of 1925 likely voters, they have  718 Republicans, 647 Democrats, and 464 Independents.

They show the GOPers favoring Bush over Kerry by 93-4, with 3% for other candidates, or undecided.  Dems favor Kerry over Bush 90-6, and Independents favor Kerry over Bush by 48-44.

If we weight according to the typical 35-39-26 R-D-I proportion, we get Kerry leading Bush by 49-46 among likely voters.  

"Now that's more like it, campers!"
-- Mark Slackmeyer

GOP loses a round in Ohio!

A U.S. District Court judge yesterday effectively ended efforts by Republicans in Ohio to challenge the eligibility of tens of thousands of voters in one of the most closely contested states in this year's presidential race.

Judge Susan J. Dlott in Cincinnati issued an order preventing local election boards from going forward with plans to notify challenged voters and hold hearings until she hears legal arguments tomorrow. But because her ruling means that those election board hearings cannot take place within the time frame state law requires before the election, Dlott's ruling kills the GOP effort that had targeted 35,000 voters, Democratic and Republican party officials said.

They can still challenge voters at the polls, so this particular battle's not completely over.  But every bit helps.

Using Gaussian Elimination to Calculate a Poll's Party ID Ratios (for math geeks only!)

Like I said, this is only for people who don't tremble at the sight of X's and Y's.  If you do much math, OTOH, this is pretty low-level stuff - basic matrix math that you can bang out on your TI-83.  

That said, let's get down to it.

We're simultaneously solving 3 equations in 3 unknowns.  The unknowns are the percentages (in decimal form) of Dems, Reps, and Inds in a given poll's sample.  We'll call these unknowns D, R, and I, respectively.

One of the three equations is automatic: D+R+I=1.  Or (to format it the way we'll want it later) 1.00D + 1.00R + 1.00I = 1.00.  

The other two depend on the poll's providing how the vote is split by party.  For example, the most recent Pew poll has Kerry leading 85%-9% among Democrats, Bush leading 90%-3% among Republicans, and Bush leading 42%-39% among independents, for an overall 48%-41% Bush lead.

So here's how we set up the other two equations:

Bush has 9% of the Dems, 90% of the Reps, and 42% of the Inds in this poll, for 48% total.

That's 0.09D + 0.90R + 0.42I = 0.48.

Similarly, Kerry has 85% of the Dems, 3% of the Reps, and 39% of the Inds in this poll, for 41% total.

That's 0.85D + 0.03R + 0.39I = 0.41.

So that gives us three equations in three unknowns:

1.00D + 1.00R + 1.00I = 1.00
0.09D + 0.90R + 0.42I = 0.48
0.85D + 0.03R + 0.39I = 0.41

In matrix form, that's

1.00 1.00 1.00 | 1.00
0.09 0.90 0.42 | 0.48
0.85 0.03 0.39 | 0.41

Then you do Gaussian row reduction in the usual way, whether you do it by hand or by software.

In this case, you get (approximately):

D = .306
R = .335
I = .359

So this Pew poll contains the underlying assumption that Republicans outnumber Democrats by 3%.

If we weight for 39% Dems, 35% Reps, and 26% Inds, Bush's lead shrinks to 45.9% to 44.3%.


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