Unexpectedly Intriguing!
November 8, 2005

It's just a two candidate race for governor in New Jersey, with current U.S. Senator John Corzine (D) polling well ahead of opponent Doug Forrester (R) in the days ahead of the election. What makes this race remarkable is that both candidates have largely self-funded their campaigns, spending millions of dollars for the privilege of occupying the state's governor's mansion.

The following tool is designed to help predict the winner of the election after the actual vote count has begun. What it does is really simple - it starts with the votes that have already been counted for the given candidates, then it adds those numbers to the total number of estimated votes cast that are still uncounted. It next determines how many votes it will take for a candidate to win a clear, simple majority, as well as what percentage of the uncounted votes a candidate would have to receive in order to win.

The data in this table will be updated periodically in the days following the election. The initial default values represent the total number of registered voters in New Jersey (the 4,832,825 in the "other" category), while the other categories have been set to zero since no information is yet available for them. All data is as of November 1, 2005.

If you find that the numbers below are not up-to-date, you can obtain the latest election results through New Jersey's Division of Elections web site.

Update 8 November 2005, 11:30 PM EST: Per New Jersey's initial unofficial results, Corzine has won 490,025 votes to Forrester's 413,550, although with no reporting from nine counties. Assuming New Jersey has a similar turnout to Virginia, the remaining uncounted votes in the table below reflect 45% of the number of the state's registered voters, reduced by the number of votes already counted.

Update 9 November 2005, 8:30 AM EST: John Corzine has won a clear majority of the vote, collecting 879,388 votes to Doug Forrester's 711,186 votes. Given that these two candidates spent an estimated $70,000,000 between them for the privilege of being able to sleep in New Jersey's governor's mansion, each vote cast (at this point) cost each candidate approximately $44.01! The tool below has been adjusted to reflect the vote count figures, and the estimate of total turnout has been reduced to 35% (pending the election's final returns.)

Raw Vote Data
Input Data Values
Votes Counted for Doug Forrester (R)
Votes Counted for John Corzine (D)
Uncounted Ballot Totals
Input Data Values
Uncounted Absentee Ballots
Uncounted Provisional Ballots
Other Uncounted Ballots


Vote Totals
Calculated Results Values
Total Number of Uncounted Votes
Total Number of Ballots Cast
Votes Needed to Win a Simple Majority
Percentage of Uncounted Votes
Needed for Forrester (R) to Win
Needed for Corzine (D) to Win
Prediction
Based on Current Totals, the Likely Winner is:

How to Interpret the Results

  1. If a candidate has a negative percentage, it means that they can actually have votes taken away from their totals and still be able to win a simple majority in the election. In other words, they have won a solid majority and are the clear winner.

  2. If a candidate has a percentage that is greater than 100%, it means they cannot win a clear majority of the vote, although it may be possible to win a plurality of the votes cast.

  3. If the candidates have percentages that are greater than 0% but less than 100%, the race is up for grabs. Polling data for the areas where votes have still not been fully tallied may be used to anticipate who will likely win the most votes.

  4. The candidate with the highest percentage needed to win is the least likely to do so.

While not a perfect tool, Political Calculations' Simple Majority Calculator does offer some insight into how the uncounted vote totals in an election have to break in order for a given candidate to win office.

About Political Calculations



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Welcome to the blogosphere's toolchest! Here, unlike other blogs dedicated to analyzing current events, we create easy-to-use, simple tools to do the math related to them so you can get in on the action too! If you would like to learn more about these tools, or if you would like to contribute ideas to develop for this blog, please e-mail us at:

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