I’ve seen some chatter about the article at CommonWealth Magazine titled Beyond Red and Blue – The New Map of American Politics. The analysis divides the country into 10 political regions that cross state (but not county) boundaries – with all ten regions having approximately an equal number of voters (based on ballots cast in the 2000 general election). The article presents an interesting angle on the politics of the 2004 campaign based on the results of past Presidential Elections within these geographic regions. The article is long, but certainly an interesting read.
I have rebuilt the Election 2004 user predictions scripts. The process is now entirely web-based and requires signficantly less effort than the first version. The software now calculates electoral votes automatically and – most importantly, the scripts generate the user maps.(no more headaches calculating electoral vote totals, trying not to fill the EV labels with the paint bucket, or frustrating yourself with the upload problems). I have also added a “most-recent” link in order to view the most recent predictions and will soon add a search feature as well as other ways to view the submissions. Please let me know if you run across any bugs or have further suggestions.
I’ve completed some more refinements on the Electoral College Calculator (found in the 2004 section). Map polygons are significanlty refined. Also added image-mapping and mouse-over descriptions text box (clicking on a state brings up the results of the 2000 election in that state). Work has also begun on integrating this feature into the user prediction section and it will likely be available in the coming days. Please feel free to forward more comments and suggestions.
The Electoral College Calculator has been well-received! Its even now featured on one of the support sites for Wesley Clark (http://www.us4clark.com/). Atlas visitors have also submitted several suggestions for improvements. Without losing the elegant simplicity of the current EV calculator, I’ve added a second, “deluxe” version that can be viewed via the link in the 2004 section. This version includes a dynamic bar graph showing the totals of each democratic, republican, and tossup electoral votes with the all-important 270 EV milestone. In addition, the page features the ability to generate a map from your state selections. Play around with it and let me know what you think. Note that the current state polygons of the generated map are only the first-draft. The rough-edges will be refined in due time. The same functionality will eventually be ported to the user prediction section to help alleviate the upload problems that have been plaguing PC users.
I’ve received a number of requests since 2000 with regard to election map posters and other such election results paraphernalia. To this end (and to help to support the cost of the continuing increase in site traffic) I have recently signed up for a web store at cafepress.com. The Atlas store is located at http://www.cafeshops.com/uselectionatlas.
I’m in the early stages of developing this and will add more items. Please let me know if there are particular items that you have an interest in! And, by the way, one of the items to be added will be the long-awaited CD-ROM version of the Atlas!