Notes on Our Election Night Coverage

I hope you will join us here on election night. We will have live election results in every state for not just the presidential election, but every congressional race in the country, with breakouts down to the county level. We have one addition that I think real elections junkies and numbers nerds we’ll really like. Even if you’re neither you may find it very interesting. In each jurisdiction down to the county level, alongside the live election results, we’ll have the results from that county from the 2012 presidential election.

Now, why would you want that?

One of the ways to make sense of what’s going on in an election in real time is to see how key counties compare to earlier elections. So if you’re watching Florida, for instance, and there are only 20% of precincts reporting statewide you can look at how Clinton or Trump are doing in certain counties relative to how Obama and Romney did in 2012. This is particularly valuable for bellwether counties. If you see Clinton significantly underperforming Obama’s numbers, that’s obviously a bad sign or vice versa.

In every previous election I’ve covered people are often calling up this data from various sources, hunting it down from around the web. The real pros know from memory what numbers a Democrat or Republican needs in a given county to win a state or congressional district. We thought it would be handy to have the most relevant data – the 2012 presidential election right there at your fingertips (or, I guess, mouse clicks).