the electoral vote predictor provides a much better idea of the state of the presidential campaign than the national polls we see in the news every day. as some of us learned in civics class, and the rest of us learned in 2000, the electoral college determines who becomes president. the electoral vote predictor provides a wonderful free service by translating state polls into a national electoral vote tally. but why settle for wonderful when we could have...um...fantabulous?

a recent article in the american prospect points out that incumbants rarely get a larger share of the vote on election day than they get in polling right before the election. so if on november 1, bush is polling at 48% in a state, and kerry is polling at 44%, kerry will very likely win that state on november 2. why? because that 8% undecided in polls will overwhelmingly go for the new guy. wouldn't it be swell if the electoral vote predictor would take this into account?

but they do enough work already with all those nifty graphs. they are also kind enough to provide the raw polling data they use, so we can do this work ourselves simply by applying "the 50 percent rule" (or, as i like to call it, "the newer of two evils rule") to this data. so i did that, and included it in an RSS feed. i had a hard time believing the results (as much as i'd like to), so i also made a "49 percent rule," by which i give bush the electoral votes of any state in which he has 49 percent or more of the current poll. he still loses this way, but not by as much.

i have no idea if the 50 percent rule will hold true in this election, but i certainly hope so.