Thursday, June 11, 2009
Now that the general election showdown is set in the New Jersey governor's race, the time has arrived to dust off the ol' graduated weighted average of electoral college fame and apply it to the 2009 elections. The ground rules are the same as they were last year during the presidential election: recent polls are given full weight while past polls are given a progressively smaller weight. You can get a better ideas of the calculations here.
That said, FHQ should probably add a few caveats.
First, the map of New Jersey above is scaled on a red-blue gradient. The greater an advantage Chris Christie has, the redder the map will become. With a nearly ten point edge, that map is fairly red. Should the race tighten, the map will trend purple before becoming bluer in the event that Corzine is able to mount a comeback.
Also, we should note which polls are being considered. Our first inclination was to simply use the polls released since the primary phase was completed. However, given that Christie had been the frontrunner in the GOP race and polling ahead of the governor for most of 2009, it may be more instructive to include some of the past polls. For now we've included any poll conducted and released in 2009. That provides us with seventeen polls instead of the two we would have if we took just the post-primary polls. As such Christie's lead is a shade under ten points. [Incidentally, if FHQ were to have used just the two most recent polls, Christie's advantage would have stretched to 50.5% - 39.0%. It isn't, then, an inconsequential move to include the other polls. However, the extra information from the other polls allows us to control for any poll to poll fluctuations that may not reflect the true nature of the race.]
Finally, both races in New Jersey and Virginia (coming soon) will be updated when new polling becomes available. If 2005 polling is indicative, updates will be sporadic through the rest of the summer and pick up in September and October. I would also expect Virginia polling to increase in frequency this time around.
*The aggregation of polling comes to FHQ via the good folks at Pollster.com.
Also, if you haven't already checked, the final, unofficial results from Tuesday's Democratic primary in Virginia are now up. The link is just below in "Recent Posts."
Virginia is for Voters: Results Edition
Is a Week Old New? 2012 GOP Primary Poll
Virginia is for Voters