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For information relevant to voting, visit PIE's Voter Information Page 

The 2016 Election

The Polls - predicting election outcomes:

  • electoral-vote.com  has daily updates.
  • 538 Political scientist Nate Silver uses social science models to predict election outcomes and more.  One of the most trusted voices in political calculus. Check out the tipping point map, that calculates the odds that a given state will be decisive in the electoral college.
  • Pollster Offers expert analysis of polls, a predictive electoral map, and combines data from many polls. Check out the "cartogram" on the "election dashboard", that gives visual weights to the size of the state's electoral college delegation.
  • Election Projection does projections for the presidency, U.S. Congress, and Governors.
  • Intrade uses a unique methodology to predict election outcomes -- people place bets on the outcome.  This is a market-based predictor.
  • Votamatic A political scientist uses statistical political science models to forecast the results of the 2012 Presidential Election.
  • RealClearPolitics has an electoral college predictor map with breakdowns by state.
  • PBS Newshour has an electoral map that you can fill in as you like and see how the numbers add up.
  • The Washington Post has an electoral map that you can also break down by race, unemployment and other factors.

Campaign Ads:

  • A couple of new smartphone apps identify the funders of political ads when you hold your phone up to the tv ad while it plays.  The Sunlight Foundation created one called Ad Hawk, available for Android and Apple phones.  The other is called Super Pac App, only for iphone, which also lets you rate the ads.
  • FactCheck is a non-partisan group that does fact checks on political ads, but also speeches, internet rumors, and more.
  • Media Scrutiny Theater by the people at NPR's On the Media -- political ads commented upon and fact checked "Mystery Science Theater 3000" style. Fun.
  • Politifact analyzes the truth of political claims using a "truth-o-meter".  Ads are here, as well as statements made in other contexts.  There's an app too.

Campaign Finance:

  • The post Citizens United world means far fewer limits on campaign spending, and far more unaccountable expenditures.  
  • Sunlight Foundation has all sorts of government transparency projects.  Check the reporting link for campaign finance information.
  • OpenSecrets has campaign finance data which is searchable by campaign, locale, donor, and more.  Very user friendly, and there's an app too.
  • FEC -- the official Federal Election Commission site has campaign finance disclosures - regularly updated.
  • The California Fair Political Practices Commission has disclosure of who is funding our state ballot measures.
  • Maplight sorts donations by state legislative races, so you can track interest group activity in the state.  They also have a fantastic database at the national level by bill before congress.
  • The National Institute on Money in State Politics has a followthemoney page where you can search by your district, by lobbyist, and arrange the data in many different ways

The 2012 Election

  • Watch the PIE 2012 Election recap, with details on CA, Foreign Policy, and National races, and what it all means on YouTube.
  • 2012 Exit poll data by demographics at NYT, and in depth analysis of results from Pew.
  • Presidential Election maps by county, shift from 2008's vote, and size of lead at NYT.
  • For the parties and platforms, see the PIE CA/US Government basics page.
  • Guide to how US Presidential elections work from the Carnegie endowment. BUT-- it gets the electoral college math a little wrong.  Seats are determined by number of members of the house plus members of the senate, so it's not exactly weighted by population, since even the smallest states have 2 senators.
  • A through piece on the Romney tax plan concludes that too much detail is missing, and the number don't currently add up. 
  • Compare the candidates in detail by watching "The Decision" on Frontline