Exciting News for the Swing State Project

I have some exciting news about the future of the Swing State Project that I’m very pleased to share with our community here. As many of you know, I got my start blogging at Daily Kos, and I still serve as a front-page contributing editor there. SSP has always had a close relationship with “the mothership,” with a lot of cross-pollination of users and content. So I’m thrilled to announce that SSP will soon get “beamed up” to DK – that is to say, the entire site will soon have a new home at Daily Kos, likely to be named “Daily Kos Elections,” with a new URL as well. (The old address will re-direct there.)

In practical, day-to-day terms, I can assure you that not much will change. It will still be the same great community – and you’ll still be seeing the same great content – that you’ve grown accustomed to. Our hallmark qualities will remain exactly the same: We will stay laser-focused on the electoral horserace, and we’ll steer clear of policy debates, just as ever before. I recognize that the communities at DK and SSP operate differently, but DK Elections will be its own sub-site, and we’ll retain our distinctive flavor. The comment boards will be friendly, on-topic, and free of personal attacks, just as they are now.

For the moment, we’re staying put. In a week, Daily Kos will undertake a major transition to a new software platform (which you can play with here). As you might imagine, the DK tech team has their hands full, so we won’t get ported over for a little while after that. (We’ll make sure our archives make the jump, too.) In the meantime, if you don’t have one already, I encourage you to create an account at the actual Daily Kos site (not the beta site linked to just above) so that you can hit the ground running when SSP makes its move.

One thing that will change is that I will be working for Daily Kos full-time, which will allow us to amp up our coverage. The rest of the crew will be staying on board – James, Crisitunity, and Jeff – and will continue to contribute as well. DK’s current horserace specialists, Arjun Jaikumar and Steve Singiser, will also join the squad. We’ll expand out our coverage a bit to include presidential primary polls – I think the GOP primary is just too fun not to cover. And when the time is right, we’ll also start looking at presidential polling – but, again, we’re going to stay an issue-free zone.

My official title at DK will be “Political Director,” and in addition to running DK Elections, my responsibilities will include, among other things, managing our polling operations and our Orange to Blue fundraising list on ActBlue. I look forward to getting your input in both areas – for instance, I definitely plan to do some “Where should we poll?” site polls, just like Tom Jensen does now over at PPP. (As you may know, Public Policy Polling is DK’s pollster, and we’ll continue to work with them.)

I do have one request to make of the community: Stick with us. Give it a shot – there will be some changes, but nothing too dramatic. And help us out. We’ll need you over at the new site. While, as I said, we’ll have our own sub-site, it’ll be fairly easy for other Daily Kos users who aren’t familiar with the SSP ethos to migrate over to DK Elections – and we’ll need you, all the longtime, experienced, and chill SSP users, to take newcomers by the hand and explain how things work. The mods will still be there in comments to regulate as needed, but it’s a big world out there, I will be grateful beyond words for your patience and assistance in helping new people adjust. As I’ve said many a time, this community is what makes me keep coming back every day, and regardless of what our web address is, or whether our color scheme is puke green or in-your-face orange, I really hope we can all stay together.

And not like I really need to say this, but if you have any questions, please fire away in comments!

UPDATE: Thank you for all the support in the comments. I also understand the reservations that have been expressed by many of you. I share some of those concerns myself, but I want to re-iterate: We’re going to do everything we can to preserve the SSP community, rules, ethos, and comment moderation policy. And we aren’t going to be swallowed up by Daily Kos – we’ll be our own sub-site, which you’ll probably access by going to http://elections.dailykos.com. That address will feature only horserace content posted by the SSP writers (plus Arjun and Steve) – in other words, it’ll look almost exactly like what the site looks like right now. So I really urge you to give us a shot.

UPDATE 2: I’d like to encourage everyone to read this comment from Susan Gardner, the executive editor at Daily Kos, about what we can expect as we make the transition.

Election 2009 Predictions Contest: Results!

We’ve been patiently waiting for the New York State Board of Elections to certify the results of the NY-23 special election so that we could name the winners of our 2009 predictions contest. Well, the numbers are finally in, so here we are! But first, thanks as always to everyone who participated. We received 110 valid entries, which is about as many as we had in 2008. Not bad for an off-year election!

If you are listed as a winner, send me an email and I will send you a super-delicious Green’s babka posthaste. Without further ado:

Congratulations to all the winners! If you’d like to find out how you did, please click here. The average score was 29. KainIIIC, Tiger in Blue Denver, and overall winner Zeitgeist9000 nailed NY-23 exactly (average error: 7). No one got NJ-Gov on the nose, though GoodWellOK and third-place finisher pinhickwv were off by just one point (average error: 9). Six folks got VA-Gov (second-place finisher andyroo312, brownsox, gabjoh, GOPVOTER, PropJoe & Zeitgeist9000, once again), while seven got ME-Init (bennytoothpick, David Kowalski, DGM

GoodWellOK, Lois, Mark & stevenaxelrod). (Average errors were 5 and 7, respectively.) Also, only one person correctly picked the victors of all four races. NJCentrist rightly named Owens, Christie, McDonnell and “Yes” as the winners of the four big 2009 races. Nice going!

In any event, props once again to our winners, and thanks once more to all who participated. If you didn’t win this time, have no fear – one thing I can predict is that there will be more babka in the very near future!

VA-Gov Predictions Contest: A Winner Is You!

First off, as always, thanks to everyone who participated in the Swing State Project’s VA-Gov Dem primary predictions contest. Fifty-seven folks submitted guesses, and what’s particularly awesome is that the skunkworks down at SSP Labs shows we have a flat-out tie for first place! Congratulations to RedefiningForm and stevenaxelrod, who both had winning scores of just four points – you each get half a loaf! Just kidding… send me an email and a super-mega-delicious Green’s babka will be on its way to each of you shortly.

The actual final results were Deeds 50, McAuliffe 26, Moran 24. For the record, here were the winning guesses, along with the average for all of SSP:


Deeds: 48

McAuliffe: 26

Moran: 26


Deeds: 48

McAuliffe: 27

Moran: 25

SSP Median

Deeds: 41.1

McAuliffe: 31.7

Moran: 26.7

If you want to see exactly how you did, please click here. If you aren’t going to be the recipient of tasty babka, please try again next time (or treat yourself!). Thanks again to all, and congrats once more to the winners!

Swing State Project live chat on IRC!

I’ve just set up the brand new Swing State Project IRC (internet relay chat) channel!  Now we can talk to each other in real time–imagine what a thrill it will be on election night!

It’s located here:

network: irc.chat4all.org

channel: #swingstateproject

In order to connect to it, you’ll need a program that does IRC, called an IRC client.  There are a lot of clients out there, but I personally recommend X-Chat if you’re running either Windows or Linux.  However, there are also many other clients, such as mIRC, ViRC, Hirc, and even Gaim and other multi-platform IM clients.  (I’m not familiar with Macs so I don’t know what program names to recommend, but IRC clients should be easy enough to find.)

If you have questions, just leave me a comment here.  I’ll try to answer it (or somehow dig up useful information).

If I’m on, my IRC nickname is “GMH”.

If you don’t see anyone on the channel, feel free to just “idle” (hang out doing nothing), other people will likely show up sooner or later.

Also, sometimes you might find there a friend of mine who isn’t as politics-crazy as I am but is much more experienced with IRC; he usually just idles and can help out in case bad stuff happens (such as with spammers and stuff) if I’m not around.