FACTS and FAQ: US Elections

Dear colleagues,

Thank you for choosing our US elections widgets. Below, we have compiled information about their use, which we will update over the course of the election year.


Important Dates


::: Update 20/10/2020 :::


Simulation of the election night: 13/10/2020, 20/10/2020 and 27/10/2020 starting at 11.00 am CET/Amsterdam, Berlin, Madrid
Please use both dates if possible to observe the behaviour if the widgets on your site and give us your feedback.

Individual adaptation requests: Please contact us by 21/10/2020 at the latest.


Simulation schedule: http://dpaq.de/XhDrj


::: Update 16/10/2020 :::


Editorial pointers for the election night – and afterwards

In 2020 it cannot be accurately predicted when exactly which forecasts and actual results can be expected. Due to coronavirus pandemic the proportion of postal vote will be significantly increased. In some states it is sufficient if the ballot paper was sent on November 3rd. Therefore, it is to be expected that there will be some delay in the vote count and the final result.

We will also update every new intermediate result in the days after November 3rd until the final result has been determined!
We will add a note to intermediate results "Further postal votes being counted".

Delay in mail voting explained: https://edition.cnn.com/interactive/2020/politics/mail-in-voting/


What sources will be used in the election night?
::: Update 16/10/2020 :::
US television channel CNN
[For the surveys we use 270toWin https://www.270towin.com/2020-polls-biden-trump/ as source. It aggregates various surveys to calculate their own numbers. This tends to be more accurate than the numbers of individual institutes. The data from 270toWin we use is based on polls like it's common for European users  (not on US models or ratings)The widgtes are updated on daily basis.]

When the first exit polls and results can be expected?
Polling stations in the first few states (Georgia, South Carolina, Vermont, Indiana, Kentucky, Virginia, Florida) will close at 1.00 a.m. CET.
In 2016 at 1.05 a.m. after the first counts and forecasts the first states (Kentucky, Indiana, Vermont) were “called” (classified as won).

When will a state be classified as won – “called“?
::: Update 16/10/2020 :::
CNN is where the data and widgets of dpa-ElectionsLive are oriented towards.

When do widgets switch from polls to LIVE results/trends?
::: Update 16/10/2020 :::
On 3/11/2020 at 11.30 pm CET  The first results/forecasts are expected at ca. 1.00 am CET from Vermont (3 electors, probably to Biden) as well as from Kentucky (8 electors, probably to Trump).
The widgets are automatically switched from polls to LIVE at 23.45 pm CET. You can bring this time forward individually using the AutoResetTime on the setup page, or set it on "0".  On "0" the widgets switch from polls to LIVE automatically when the first result/trend is sent.


How do the widgets behave themselves during the election night?

  • At 11.30 pm an automatic changeover occurs from polls to LIVE:
    • Bars and numbers are set to ZERO.
    • The states of the USA map are coloured light grey.
  • With the first forecasts from the first state the electors of this state attribute the tendency to a candidate:
    • The bars are proportionally coloured light blue/light red. The number of (likely) won electors will be shown above the bar.
  • A state will be considered as won/”called”:
    • The electors will be attributed to a candidate for certain. The bar is proportionally coloured dark blue/dark red.


  • The colouring of the individual states on the map is analogue to this.
  • The state list widget/module is analogue to the map.

Example 1: The start of the election night
  • Biden wins New York (29 electors)
  • forecast of the victory for Biden in Vermont (3 electors)
  • Trump wins Kentucky (8 electors)
  • Pennsylvania is too close to call

Map Details Example 1 




Example 2: The course of the election night
  • further states are called
  • for further states a winner is forecasted





Example 3: Scenario “Election Week”

  • not all states were called
  • The winner has not been determined yet.

We will also update every new intermediate result in the days after November 3rd until the final result has been determined! 


Testing:

  • The survey results are up to date. Test data with fictitious election results is also available, this can be displayed via the setup page under "settings" and "show widgets with test data". 
  • If you are supplied via FTP, you can retrieve the test data by accessing the widgets via sitemap-test.html in the customisation directory my_pw_us.zip. This is found in the directory pw_us on your server.

Update 04/05/2020


II. Presidential and congressional election: Polls

Since May 4th it is possible for you to generate your embed codes for further widgets on your setup page. This new package includes widgets with the following content on the presidential and congressional election:

  • Presidential election – Bar chart visualising the total distribution of electors 
  • Presidential election – Combination of total electors and electors by state, visualised by US state map and list, also available as single elements
  • Presidential election – total votes (percentages); survey “If the election were held today, who would you vote for”
  • Congressional election – distribution of seats in the House of Representatives
  • Congressional election – distribution of seats in the Senate
     

On your setup page you can generate your embed codes.
 If you are supplied via FTP, your customisation directory my_pw_us.zip was updated as well as the ReadMe file.


Important editorial points:

  • For the surveys we use a) 270toWin or b) RealClearPolitics as sources. Both sources aggregate various surveys to calculate their own numbers. This tends to be more accurate than the numbers of individual institutes.
  • The polls are updated according to US sources, congressional elections no more than once a week, presidential elections twice a week.
  • Please note the electoral system when using the widgets: The number of electors in the electoral college is the decisive factor, not the total number of public votes.
  • On election day the widgets automatically change from survey results to actual results. Here we will use the fastest sources in CNN, NBC, The New York Times.


Testing:

  • The survey results are up to date. Test data with fictitious election results is also available, this can be displayed via the setup page under "settings" and "show widgets with test data". 
  • If you are supplied via FTP, you can retrieve the test data by accessing the widgets via sitemap-test.html in the customisation directory my_pw_us.zip. This is found in the directory pw_us on your server.

Overwiew of widgets and content:

Presidential election – Total distribution of electors
Content
- Total electoral votes according to surveys and results
- Information on electors and the electoral system
Other
- mobile version without portraits
- Survey results summarize state trends
- automatically changes from surveys to results on election day (configurable)

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/_w5Mk7MdS7YpFgvCuhceWRmFYrF-0jUbjLcQUGZm5hIUnxRcx7IY8B-NTWa5lxQ3lYe37CEBxwPbZbA26ygMOIcPZULnrumUiO4geE5KAfqMqZ-lu-ukNalFV8AjvyY_g-GZAtvhYS8 https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/9o_ozI5z-w1kmLDdp1J7t11GxWNzaAptrY3F82x2nMq09nafXrkEkEhUoXKcN6JEFAZnc2-NIFdxLY2Gf0MC5WixDhNegPRRaqita4R3AkhxxKFLH41f-GpMjyyI5gPtuvTLNkRnd80

 


Presidential election – Combination electors in total+state map+list 
Content
- Distribution of electoral votes in total (surveys and results)
- Distribution of electoral votes by state (surveys and results), visualised in US map and state list, further details can be viewed by clicking on map/list
- Approval rate by state (percentage)
- Latest poll update by state
- 2016 winner by state
- Information on electors and the electoral system
Other
- Survey results summarize the state trends - automatically changes from surveys to results on election day (configurable)
 

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/RBrzJZpGZ8_5UWDOOlN2D-JcPplu1c6UrrEwkrqaZuFtBWWQpF-2V9fRMkSYwf_uNpXNcDxfx5ar3C5-NntoXq1OTLCfHwuzEFMeIY4FqCTn-RuWkgIqk6CeKPXRnU6CO33gv8Vc7mQ https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/TjG2iz6iBzwAUaElVcDnZJFqTgiKG3YqFak3yWVcFCQ4axPY99KRP3fLqOu9DolmrH73la3MGhtQkKypHWufXRXikBvu6CZINIVa7_NOWtSkmNvUou0ozlKHGgdIMb9gQgnwxQHAMBo


Presidential election –  Combination electors in total+state map

Content
 - As seen above but without state list

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/YLpDIAl2QrrIBKvSt4Rr_3-TW2R9g9U22xRIKc-5FLIpcOwvCBgt01xEK708dZy57hCvVMC-p0gd5dkoBGkukDgy4BBgfS1vlrNCMHQ4ExX8WvyRmr1PzAQiS69OAEQSSBz2Rbh6yfw  https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/hMCRbiGOQCWx0f4aa9tAzQRIH1KyKXpbXTmvIiQtBeTx0-_40zq_AqDMjHnelNdiWI9_7zXIDTmUOgXbvjnxFb6AVC-ydLtro166N60mVFrun_6Qoe9vsXc9XUYQ1gJjQnMUH9eg05s


Presidential election – Combination electors in total+state list

Content
 - As seen above, including state list but without map

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/kVYWXPM9u41KraTeea6smhCe4VKdDTQeOvfjvxlMJMY5S0Gw6T17ff_NcBgE6MjuuHvVwt6EDiCPLcxAtWZ_sxpmnoXK7geUC-QYvUxIsoPnuiomzqbhXZdQlUdwjBmY6WoJt6fys5k https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/zeGy5q2b4eMegBEUQWF7Nn41kN-BLisHJ7_akXKY-IcF_vEmGjslixY3KqdvEkZrF_xAPJoBpX2Pz68iQ56wZSGqWVXgzDQPbU2CE2ANVvwoPR663pkYMAi-OYtzUVvL2IEkq11ZBdQ

 


Presidential election – Electors by state, map only

Content
- Electoral votes by state (surveys and results)
- Approval rate by state (percentage)
- 2016 winner by state
- Live polls for each state
 - Information on electors and the electoral system

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/P9NqOdS-M8S7wkelvHhXZrybcKe7tdX9Z3zdMcQ9KvO1hWaE4Coqd8MCfpQiJp0fBX8LzHfIjS17ISjQcei67oivVopg8NmfQx28x5cmeHyOIKD068FFG0fIQZnw9-IynycZxQvegQo https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/HGGeEAKPlneK1VxviZenWFCVOMNmDAMQiCqUcbsAGxc0uhubTEyrbdctfiRK_IT7HWtGtmGg6Hjy9JmR_yrPlAaMUvcebRKQNI35jChnPTBpL8-OnZhSPqBLRr4SEUYtQG-pb9quHvw


Presidential election – total vote percentage
 [Polls = “If the election were held today, who would you vote for?”]

Content
- Surveys: Approval rate (percentage)
- after the election: Total vote percentages
 - Information on electoral system, electoral vote vs. popular vote

Other
- mobile version without portraits
- Due to the nature of the electoral system, the vote percentages can contradict the overall outcome of the election
 

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/_9wMXn-k-RI7gsQAep0fz0-Fa2MWhlkQlo-T3t57UfKrgai8N2BK6mqHupo234jqHqPTeRmopSqSLIb1Qq4twVVKE2LTu-AKyj0IcoN3s8AnhUoulvRLa0eDFHyIAewH9QCcKGB9z4Q https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/BA1UCLOWuI2ZPx4Qq7tn5Qw1gve5M20kWEuKDYCxBcYNm1QtfMgkGTzRkqXFf6ynRUmt8vB_ogRws7PvC1O0gyLipw91QGOfZjT3ohzO5vsbf8Ja8qbrbuJ75EgldQi4ic98A4gYRSw

 


Congressional election – House of Representatives
 Congressional election – Senate

Content
- Allocation of seats according to surveys and election result; no percentages
- Starting point/update distribution of seats prior to election
 - Information on the composition of the chambers and the electoral system

Other
 - Limited to a current representation of the seat distribution due to the majority voting system, percentages of votes are not reflective of the balance of power within the chambers.

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/0Mx2jXyR6csbuGSBKU_EgMI_OplHmO2iyQ8u4CLU1ldLPUAgbb6wR41Tdhi1Luh22Uic5sfOtIis1eVIkluoNvtaXu1R3HB8hVTzeOvlG6SmjW6BpxL5MacDf0Kf_GVkCoTPwfKWTQE 



 

 
2) Testing:

  • Test data is available with fictitious pre-election results for February. These can be displayed for you via your setup page under "Settings" and the "Widgets with test data" check box.

Our offer covers the elections in the US and is divided into three phases:

 

I. Primaries: February 3 to June 7

  • Democrats: Polls among Democrats about candidate preference
  • Democrats: Current number of delegate votes won
  • Republicans: Polls among Republicans about candidate preference
  • Republicans: Current number of delegate votes won

mceclip0.png mceclip1.png mceclip2.png mceclip3.png

Content up to February 3: Current poll values within the parties; brief explanation of the primary system
From February 3: A ranking with bars is created. Candidates collect additional delegate votes after each primary election.
Updates: Delegate votes after each primary, weekly poll results (Source: RealClearPolitics)

  • Democratic and Republican primaries: All dates & results

mceclip4.png

Content until February 3: Primary dates and number of delegate votes to be allocated per state and party.
Sortable by date and party: When are particularly important primary dates? Brief explanation of the primary system
From February 3: Expanded results

  • Progress in the Democratic and Republican primaries

mceclip5.png

Content up to February 3: No live data, only total number of delegate votes, total number of election days; brief explanation of the primary system.
From February 3: Number of delegates from Democratic and Republican parties elected to date; number of primaries completed; The pie chart is filled: How far have the primaries advanced?
 Updates: After each primary

  • Primary: Which Democrats have which chances against Trump?

mceclip6.png

Content before and after February 3: “Sunday poll” of electable top Democrats against the incumbent; information about graphics and data
 Updates: weekly (Source: RealClearPolitics)

 


 

II. After the primaries, before the election: Election campaign - polls

From April 15, you can generate your embed codes for further widgets on the same set-up page. This new package includes widgets with the following content:

  • Polls: Democratic candidate vs. Republican candidate (Trump)
  • Polls: States as a map and as a list
  • Polls: Congressional elections (Senate + House)


III. Election Day: November 3

From April 15, you can generate your embed codes for further widgets on the same set-up page. This new package includes widgets with the following content:

  • Survey values are updated with live results

 

Further questions?

Should you have any further questions about the election, you can contact us from Monday to Friday from 9 am to 5 pm via our service desk.

E-Mail: service@dpa-info.com

Phone: 040-4113 31000