Articles and Analysis


How to Find Charts on the New Pollster.com

Topics: Charts , Pollster , Pollster.com

Apologies for not posting this item sooner. Unfortunately, we ran into some unexpected problems this morning with the update. Among other things, we were not able to update the site until a few hours ago, so I was not able to post any sort of explanation of what has changed at Pollster.com, and what changes are still in store.

So let me start by reviewing the most pressing issues.

First, we know that comments were not working for much of the day today. We believe they are functioning properly now, but please email us if you experience any problems posting comments to the new site.

Second, while we think most readers will find the Flash maps provide the most convenient way to navigate the site, we overlooked the need to provide a bit more guidance on how to navigate in our push to get things up and running. We consider today's launch the first step in an ongoing upgrade process that will continue between now and late August. So if you have specific complaints or suggestions, please leave a comment below or send an email (though you might want to read the rest of this post before hitting the send button).

How Do I Find a Chart?

We believe the Flash maps that appear on our home page and elsewhere on the site provide the most convenient means of navigating to our charts. The maps do require the Adobe Flash Player plug-in for your browser (download it here, details on how to navigate without the Flash maps below).

The map on the main page initially displays results for the presidential race. Point your mouse at a state and the most recent trend estimate numbers pop-up small "tool tip" window (more details on how we generate the numbers and classify leaders here). Click on any state to go directly to our chart of the presidential poll results for that state.

If you want to find polls for other races use the "Map Chooser" pulldown in the upper left corner of any map and select another category: Senate or Governor (we will add a map for U.S. House races in August). Then follow the same procedure to click through to a state. The links will be active if we have poll data available.

Looking for a poll for a particular state from 2006, from the 2008 primaries or for the now inactive Clinton-McCain general election match-ups? To find these with the map, use the "Find All Polls" option to display the all-gray map. Click on any state to navigate to the index page for that state that lists links to every chart page ever created on Pollster.com (as a text-HTML link) for that state. Click on the small US icon in the lower right corner of the chart to display the index of all national trend charts (including Bush job approval).

We designed the state index pages to work automatically, so that new links will always appear there as we add new charts to the site.

But what if I cannot run Flash and cannot see the maps?

The main menu at the top of the page to the right of the (new) Pollster.com logo has an item named "The Polls." Hold your mouse over "The Polls" and a drop down menu will appear with links to main pages for various categories: President, Senate and Governor. Text links to state level charts are available on each page.

In other words....

To access the text links to the Presidential chart pages, choose "President" from "The Polls" menu. Those text links now appear below the map.

To access the text links to races for Senate or Governor (including data from 2006), click the appropriate category on "The Polls" menu and you will see a list of text links to those pages as well.

Also, you can click directly on "The Polls" in the main menu to go to a page of the same name that has text links to each of the 50-state index pages (listing all poll charts for each state) and also links to national trend charts that appear just below the map.

Where is the national Clinton-Obama trend? It's there. Click the link to the left. To navigate to any national level trend data, use the small USA icon in the bottom right of each map, or (for text links) click on "The Polls" on the main menu to get to our main Polls page.

What happened to the Bush job approval chart? It too is still there, as are the other national trends we posted on the old site. Links to all national trend data are available are on the main "Polls" page.

I will take full responsibility for temporarily pulling the Bush job approval from the main page. Charles Franklin has kindly maintained and updated those charts, but his day job understandably prevents more frequent updates. We are working now to bring his seven years of job approval data into our back-end database so that we can update the job approval chart whenever a new national poll is released. We hope to have that system in place during early August.

Again, today's launch is just the first step. We have more in the works, although today's changes are probably the most dramatic. We have made changes already today in response to the comments we received via email and welcome your suggestions for how to make this site better.

I will have more to say about changes on the blog side of Pollster a bit later.



There used to be 1-click access to any state chart, prez, senate, or Gov, in the right sidebar. Now, if I'm on a state chart, I have to go back to the main page, change to a different map if I need to, figure out which state is Missouri, and then click again. 3 clicks now, 1 click before. I'm missing where this is new and improved.


Chimpy McFlightsuit:

I'm gratificated that my Presidential Approval ratings chart is still on the site, even though it's harder to find than an Iraqi WMD.

I'll awardify you with a Presidential Medal of Freedom just like George Tenet's if you'll update it more often.


Jeff in CA:

Why is SD lean red, with a McCain margin in the trends that is greater than 6%, while GA is strong red with a McCain margin that is less than 6%?


Otis Izaltumuch:

Would it be possible to display the dates of the polls listed on the left side of the home page & the right side of the "polls" page, as I think you used to do in the older design? This makes it easier to spot what's new & what's not - thanks -


Mark Lindeman:

Jeff, this is partly a test comment -- but the FAQ explains that these classifications are based on confidence intervals for the margin. So, presumably SD is only "lean" because there is less information to rely upon.



I just want to give props for the new site layout - especially the interactive graphic on the front page. I like the inclusion of electoral vote totals, too. Great job!


Jeff in CA:

Thanks, Mark. BTW, I love the site's new look and structure.


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