Thursday, April 12, 2012

Happy Birthday, James Sandecker Of The Movie Sahara!

Something serious, and something not-so-serious today.

First off, normally you'd entrust the duty of making a general-election electoral map to 538. I would too. But they haven't hit general-election mode yet. In their absence, most of the media seems to have decided that they need the race between Obama and Romney to be close, for drama purposes and thus ratings. So they'll make some speculative map that pretty much ignores any and all polling done and will force a map that has things neck-and-neck.

So last night, I took the polling that's actually been done so far and has been compiled by 270ToWin and RealClearPolitics- which, granted, is very limited- and made this map from what the most recent polling available for each state has actually said, no matter how ridiculously ancient said polling may be. (South Carolina's last poll, for example, came in December.) Some states remain blank; that indicates no polling whatsoever, though none of the unpolled states appear in doubt. Obama, given just the polls supplied so far, is showing a 334-153 lead in the Electoral College. Awarding the unpolled states as you'd expect them to go would put him up 350-188.

It is, granted, rough. I've said before, I'm no Nate Silver. But it should at least help get away from the forced neck-and-neck narrative. It's better to know where things actually stand.

That's the serious. The not-so-serious comes from Jennifer Lewis of Flavorwire (via Neatorama), who has given us a calendar of fictional-character birthdays. She doesn't promise you'll get anyone good with your birthday. Just a fictional character of some sort. I, for example, drew Ro Laren, a recurring character on Star Trek: The Next Generation, which I have never watched once.

And had I been born six days earlier, I would have drawn this guy:

Which for me wouldn't actually have been too bad; I remember playing this game to death back in the day. But for you, probably not so much. And I certainly lost out to my brother, who ends up with The Joker.

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