As more voting results have trickled in after Election Day, Dave Wasserman has entered every county's updated numbers on a spreadsheet and then tweeted the new information for each county. However, I didn't know about his tweets for my county and used the Fresno, CA twice-weekly election updates. I knew that McCain had seemed to win the county in 08 until all the votes were counted, and then Obama took the lead in this Republican stronghold. (Actually, registered Democrats outnumber Republicans in the county, but Republicans hold most of the elected offices.) I doubted Obama was going to win Fresno this year, as Romney was ahead by 3% on election night. Gradually, however, the percentage dropped until at the last update on Nov. 30 the score was Romney 49.18-Obama 48.49. Finally, when the county reported the provisionals on Dec 4, we had this welcome news:
BARACK OBAMA DEM 129129 49.72%
MITT ROMNEY REP 124490 47.94%
Here are two tweets from Wasserman with the information:
Dec 4: Fresno Co. reports 13,142 new votes for @BarackObama, 6,846 @MittRomney
Fresno flips to Obama w/ final votes tallied. And that means @BarackObama has now won 78% of all counties w/ a @WholeFoods market.
Alerted by kos's references to Wasserman, I've recently been checking the 2012 National Popular Vote Tracker. When I began to record the daily percentages on Nov. 27, the numbers were Obama 50.88-Romney 47.40. Today, they are 50.96-47.32. Will that become a 51-47 split?
An article about Wasserman in the L.A. Times Dec. 2 Numbers whiz becomes one-man election clearinghouse begins like this:
For most Americans, interest in the results of the 2012 presidential campaign ended somewhere around the first election night projections for President Obama and the brief, stunned concession speech delivered by a gobsmacked Mitt Romney. But for a small group of obsessives, the political equivalent of those who devour box scores for breakfast, a fascinating and welcome service has come from David Wasserman, a youthful and whip-smart campaign analyst with the Cook Political Report, who has become a one-man clearinghouse for presidential tabulations across the country.
The article notes that Wasserman's fascination with government and statistics began at an early age when he wanted a subscription to the Cook Report for his thirteenth birthday. That was too expensive, said his mother, but he could have the monthly edition of Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper.
These days, 28-year-old Wasserman combs hundreds of local government websites daily to update his spreadsheet. His research has contradicted some assumptions from election night, for example, that turnout was markedly lower than in 2008 or that Obama's was a narrow victory. When all the votes are counted, Obama is likely to have won by close to 5 million. On Dec. 4 Wasserman had an interesting tweet about that:
BarackObama won his entire 4.6M margin in just 8 counties: LA & Alameda (CA), Kings & NY (NY), Phila (PA), Cook (IL), Wayne (MI), King (WA)
As for Romney's percentage of the win dropping to 47%, non-partisan Wasserman says: "I'm not reporting it to pile on Romney. It’s just an interesting statistic."