Nominate some sites for Nov 4th
October 24, 2008 1:29 PM   Subscribe

On November 4th, I intend to spend the evening watching election returns on TV and refreshing as many election-y tabs on the laptop as possible. What websites should I have loaded and ready to go?

I live in California, and I want to be able to keep an eye not just on the presidential race, but on various congressional races and ballot initiatives as well. is one I love, but I don't know if they'll be doing returns on election night. Suggestions?
posted by rtha to Computers & Internet (25 answers total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
Talking Points Memo is reliable, although they had some Blogger issues during the debates. Washington Monthly. AmericaBlog.
posted by scrump at 1:34 PM on October 24, 2008

Really why bother? The result like the candidate is preordained. But if you insist... Stay away from the mainstream national sites they're likely to have all their tubes clogged. Try your local network affiliates, local NPR, local newspapers like the Mercury news say they will have live coverage.
posted by Gungho at 1:44 PM on October 24, 2008

MSNBC worked well for me during the 2006 election, maybe because the have the backing of MSN servers. They had a neat flashy election tracker that updated with live results. What was good also was watching the live feed of MSNBC online (which worked decently well but who knows Nov 4) to watch if they called races faster than the much more cautious CNN (which I had on my TV). The only downside may be that Microsoft software might be needed, so if you're on a Mac or Linux it could be tougher to see.
posted by ALongDecember at 1:54 PM on October 24, 2008
posted by ewkpates at 2:05 PM on October 24, 2008

Best answer: Here's a handy color-coded election night timeline showing when polls will close. The site may be updating EV counts live during the night.

All the networks will rely on vote counts from one source, the National Election Pool (which in turn will again rely on Associated Press data-gathering as it did in 2004). So no network will be any faster than the rest. AP gets its info directly from individual city and town election officials, by pre-arrangement, which is much faster in most cases than whoever gathers the official state tally.

They also all get the same exit polling information from Edison Research and Mitofsky, but they'll make their own calls based on that data (although usually once one network calls a state, the rest are not far behind).

It might be worth keeping an eye on newspaper and TV station sites in some of the swing states. It's possible they would beat the AP counting apparatus, but probably not by much.

So, all the networks will have decent online tools showing live counts by state, and will have the numbers simultaneously. In the past CNN has done the best job, I think, in providing very granular information access, at least down to city/town level for most states. They might have some online tools similar to the big electronic maps they use on the set.

AP also plans some online video coverage.

See also. And also.
posted by beagle at 2:06 PM on October 24, 2008 [3 favorites]

I'll second eqkpates suggestion. Although, I found in 2004 he had better coverage leading up to the big day, than on it.
posted by AloneOssifer at 2:21 PM on October 24, 2008

littlegreenfootballs, if only to see the rabid right-wingers there go apeshit in real-time.
posted by Rhaomi at 2:38 PM on October 24, 2008 has been a good source of polling data and news articles for me. It's more of a pre-election info site, but I'd be surprised if they didn't have special updates on election night.
posted by wastelands at 2:47 PM on October 24, 2008

Response by poster: Excellent. Y'all are excellent. Please keep them coming.

Gungho, did you miss the part about wanting to follow congressional races and ballot initiatives? I guess I should have stated plainly that I meant non-CA races/initiatives.
posted by rtha at 2:54 PM on October 24, 2008

I found my state's secretary of state web site very useful. (For Missouri it's here but obviously for your own state you'll have to google.)

As mentioned above, sometimes the news site would be ahead of it, but it covered every race whereas the news sites seemed to miss a lot of the smaller, local races.
posted by flug at 2:58 PM on October 24, 2008

In my experience, the best solution is to watch a forum thread with a lot of participants. Maybe it's Something Awful, maybe it's MetaFilter. There's always someone out there searching for a good link with the latest results that are ahead of what's on TV.
posted by smackfu at 3:37 PM on October 24, 2008

PoliticalFilter, a mefi spin-off, will be doing some form of election night and have been a blast during the debates. It'll will also likely accumulate some other good links to check out as well.
posted by internet!Hannah at 3:41 PM on October 24, 2008 [1 favorite]

Excuse me, I was talking about liveblogging, and somehow it got lost from my comment.
posted by internet!Hannah at 3:41 PM on October 24, 2008

I seem to remember The Politico's site having pretty interesting coverage during the primaries. Although at this point, I can't really remember; perhaps somebody will remember better.
posted by General Malaise at 5:20 PM on October 24, 2008

PoliticalFilter will definitely be doing liveblogging. Come on over and sign up for the phone!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:41 PM on October 24, 2008

Response by poster: Brandon - I signed up a week or two ago, but the debate threads go by too fast for me! But I'll be signed in on Nov 4!
posted by rtha at 10:56 PM on October 24, 2008

and by phone, I may fun, doh!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:22 AM on October 25, 2008

nthing PoliticalFilter. The liveblogs during the debates were a blast, and they promise the fun never stops during actual elections. DH and I are having an election night party, but I'm planning to neglect my guests so I can follow the live blog.
posted by nax at 6:54 AM on October 25, 2008

PoliticalFilter! I'll be there.
posted by yeti at 7:01 AM on October 25, 2008

Wow. Clicked on politicalfilter, and I'm still waiting for it to load. Yikes.

And now it's allegedly loaded, but it's a blank page.

Is this normal for PF? Because, no snark intended, the primary criterion I use for my EV sites is stability and rapidity, because I'm completely apeshit about the real-time.
posted by scrump at 10:49 PM on October 25, 2008

scrump, no PF should just pop right up. Except for the liveblogging times threads tend to be short and links are mostly to professional media and campaign sites. I have a ten year old computer that won't load flash or video properly and I have no problems on PF. Keep trying.
posted by nax at 4:29 AM on October 26, 2008

Is this normal for PF?

Totally not. If your still having problems, shoot me an email, I'd love to know what's going on.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:28 AM on October 28, 2008

Response by poster: So, not for election night, necessarily, but this guy is compiling early voting results. Warning: Ugly site. Upside: interesting info, and lots of it.
posted by rtha at 9:39 AM on October 28, 2008

Admins: Please add ELECTION in the tags... I was looking for this thread a few days ago and could not find it.
posted by crapmatic at 8:48 AM on October 30, 2008

Response by poster: I added the tag.
posted by rtha at 9:12 AM on October 30, 2008

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