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My name is James R Whitson, the creator of President Elect. I'm currently living in Knoxville, Tennessee, where I went to college back in the early 1990's. Perhaps surprisingly, I was a music major! But history has always been my favorite subject. Ever since 1980, when I was a kid watching the map get colored in for the first time, I've been interested in presidential elections. In subsequent elections I absorbed everything I could about the history and the process. In 1996, I created my very first website—about the then current election.
I started this site back in September of 1999 because there was not a lot of the information about the Electoral College on the internet back then. Not only is this site one of the very first to feature information about the Electoral College, it's also one of the first (and few) to actually support it. Because of this stand, in the days after the 2000 election I got a lot of email accusing me of doing so only because I must be a Bush supporter. Those people didn't realize I'd been online supporting and promoting the Electoral College for over a year at that point, back when most Americans were blissfully unaware of it.
Another one of the site's "firsts" was doing analysis of the electoral map during the course of the 2000 election. Since then that field has become very crowded online. I think President Elect distinguishes itself by being one of the best and probably one of the few non-partisan predictors available. My first time out I didn't do too great, missing 7 states in 2000—though my computer analysis outperformed just about everyone with only four misses. In 2004, I did much, much better and predicted every state exactly right. I wasn't able to find another site or outlet that did as well. In 2008, I missed only two states. According to this database of 2008 electoral projections, that would have been good enough for the second best.
But for me, and most visitors in the years between elections, the most important part of the site is the historical election pages. When looking at other websites before I started this one, I noticed popular vote totals got a lot more attention than electoral votes. One of my goals when creating this site was to reverse that idea and highlight the electoral numbers more. I don't ignore the popular vote, but I try to show their actual importance in our elections in determining electors and electoral votes. I also try to bring together as much information about third-party candidates as I can find as well. They may have no chance of winning, but sometimes the most interesting parts of an election involve them.
I think my favorite part of the site is the Frequently Asked Questions page. I love answering questions and discussing elections with readers. Outside election years, most of my readers seem to be students. Based on email and site stats President Elect has helped students of all ages from schools and universities around the world.
The site has received a good share of media attention as well. I haven't kept track of all the requests for information or quotes I've gotten from media outlets outside the areas I live in, but there have been many, from USA Today to the BBC. I've also written for or been interviewed by newspapers, magazines, radio, and TV. Right before the 2004 election I appeared on C-SPAN's Washington Journal.
If you have any questions about the site or the electoral process or anything else related to presidential elections please feel free to email me. Thanks for your interest in President Elect!