Reuters launches “States of the Nation,” an innovative new interactive presidential election tool

New York - 25 August 2016

Today Reuters, the world’s largest international multimedia news provider, announced in partnership with Ipsos, one of the world’s leading research firms, the launch of a new interactive presidential election tool called “States of the Nation.” Powered by the largest presidential tracking poll ever attempted, the new tool shows how each of the candidates’ support in the Reuters/Ipsos poll translates at the state level in the Electoral College and how changes in turnout among demographic and political groups could affect the result. Users are able to adjust turnout of different voter groups themselves to see how that could change who wins and who loses the election.

”States of the Nation” is powered by a vastly expanded Reuters/Ipsos poll with a sample size of at least 15,000 Americans per week, making it the largest-ever presidential tracking poll. The data will power the election simulation and Reuters and Ipsos’ projected outcome of the race, continuously updated to reflect the latest voter intent as candidate support waxes and wanes.

Users are able to adjust the turnout of various demographic and political groups at the ballot box – by sex, race and ethnicity, income range, age and party affiliation – to see how different scenarios could affect the outcome of the race. The simulation can show, for example, how the election would be affected if black men show up in higher than expected numbers while Hispanic women show up in lower numbers, or what the effect would be if millennials or wealthy Republicans stayed home.

“’States of the Nation’ allows anyone – from the most sophisticated social scientists and political junkies to curious laymen – to examine how different groups and demographics can affect the race,” said Reuters editor Mo Tamman, the creator of the project. “Come November, it all comes down to turnout, and with such a huge amount of data driving our projection, we’re able to offer a more informed and nuanced understanding of how changes in turnout can drive profound shifts at the ballot box. We believe this is a substantive addition to the campaign-coverage landscape but is also a tool that users will find useful, entertaining and perhaps even edifying.”

“What we have attempted here is completely unprecedented in the world of polling and public opinion research, both from a data capture and transparency perspective” said Ipsos Public Affairs President Cliff Young, architect of the polling methodology and analytics. “We are ‘opening up the black box’ and empowering people to make the same types of tradeoffs and decisions that pollsters make every day. Elections are won and lost on turnout, and our tool means that people can explore how their own turnout scenarios would play out on Election Day.”

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