It can often be a mathematical nightmare trying to work out who’s winning as US Presidential Election night progresses. Sometimes, some poor souls even end up having to rely on David Dimbleby to explain what’s going on! Poor things!
Here are three nifty tools to help you make sense of what is happening tonight:
This is a “snakes and ladders” style graphic which allows you, as the evening/night progresses, to easily see whether either candidate is winning or has won. It positions the swing states as their polls will close, and therefore, barring recounts, how their results will be delared. Add five hours to the times for UK time and just follow the arrows from left to right.
So, for example, Virginia’s polls are the first of the battleground states to close at 7pm ET, midnight our time. If Obama wins Virginia then go to bed. Obama has won. And so on….
This app allows you to play with the political map of the US to see what combinations of states will take Romney or Obama over the needed 270 electoral college votes. You can use a variety of provided templates as starting points and share your projections. During tonight, by pressing “refresh” on the app, it will automatically fill in declared states with the winning colour (Red for Republican and Blue for Democrat), so you can then build on the results so far to do a projection. All great fun.
Shameless plug alert. From 11pm tonight LDV will be running a combined live blog and tweet stream to keep track of the results and comment and chat about them.
You can join in by using the comment box which will be available on the LDV home page from 11pm, or by tweeting with the #LDVUSA hashtag. The live stream on the LDV screen will then carry your comments, as well as comments from the LDV editorial team and updates from key Twitter accounts such as those of CNN, the BBC, Political Wire, Talking Points Memo etc etc.
Have a great night!
* Paul Walter is a Liberal Democrat activist in Newbury and West Berkshire. He is Wednesday and photo editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Liberal Burblings.