5 news apps for the final 4 weeks

October 11, 2012

With only 26 days left until Nov.6, it's prime time for presidential election watchers and news junkies.

Here are five tools from the Washington Post graphics and politics teams you can use to track ad spending, campaign visits, issue positions and electoral chances.

1. Electoral maps: Presidential, House, Senate and gubernatorial projections

Which states are really in play and which ones are solid for Obama or Romney? What do the polls say about who controls the Senate? You can see the latest projections on the presidential, congressional and gubernatorial races on this map

Want to embed them on your blog? Here are embeddable versions: President | Senate | House | Governor

2. Campaign finance explorer: Who is winning the money race? 

Track how much the candidates have earned, how much they have spent and how they are spending their money, and get similar data for outside spending groups like super PACs and individual donors

Get the embeddable version here.

3. Mad money: Track ads and ad spending

You can see which of the candidates is spending the most on ads and a list of outside groups that are making big campaign ad buys, plus where each is spending the most on political ads.  You can also watch recent campaign ads and see which Web ads are getting the most buzz on YouTube. 

4. Presidential campaign stops: Follow those candidates

 Where are the presidential candidates, their running mates, and their spouses spending the most time? See just how many times they have been to swing states this summer, which states haven't gotten any visits from the candidates, and how many of their trips are for fundraisers on this tracker, and embed the map yourself with the button below.

5. Issue Engine: Endorse the candidates on policy positions

We have culled Obama's and Romney's statements on 18 issues, from abortion to taxes, so that you can determine who best represents your views. You can endorse the candidates based on those positions and post your endorsements directly to Facebook.

In case those aren't enough to keep you occupied and informed through election day, we've got a few bonus tools: You can take the ElectNext candidate matcher quiz on this page to find out who you come closest to agreeing with on the issues most important to you. 

And on the bottom of each non-blog political story on WashingtonPost.com, you can see a toolbar with the latest polling data, Twitter volume totals from the @MentionMachine and the latest from the Fact Checker.  Check it out here.

Natalie Jennings is a Web producer for PostTV.
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