How does the Dashboard Work?
Initially a research and development exercise for real-time modeling applications, we built our first online dashboard for the next Vice President of the United States, Senator Tim Kaine. Here is a snapshot from the Kaine for Senate boiler room on Election Day in 2012 in Virginia.
Our election projections are updated using live county or township election returns from the Associated Press, or precinct-level results in states where publicly available. Basically, it takes the actual results as they are reported, and uses a constantly self-adjusting model to project the final result statewide based on the results reported thus far (taking into account geographic differences, turnout, performance, our latest Democratic Party Score, and our Clinton Support Score).
Clarity’s real-time modeling is then enabled with TargetSmart data, the country’s leading national voter file.
We ran the dashboard for all three statewide races in Virginia in 2013 and called a narrow but historic Democratic sweep early in the evening, even for the Attorney General Race which ultimately ended in a recount.
2014 and 2015
In 2014, we dramatically expanded our projection dashboard map to include 13 Senate races tracked publicly and a number of private client dashboards for Governor's races. While most races were unfortunately decided quickly, the dashboard correctly predicted tight races in Virginia and Connecticut.
We significantly refined our processes for gubernatorial races in 2015. For example, in Kentucky the Dashboard accurately, but depressingly, predicted the final results within 20 minutes of polls closing and only a handful of precincts reporting in spite of conventional wisdom showing a Democratic win.