The news feeds are, of course, updated every few minutes, and the poll info, which is obtained from various polling agencies, is updated daily. On election nights (including primaries), USA Election 2012 is updated approximately every 15 minutes, according to the developer, Kurt Sparks.
There's also a section for the latest economic indicators such as the Dow Jones Industrial Average and weekly jobless claims, and you can compare those stats with the same data from previous dates of your choosing -- last month, last year, 20 years ago. It's interesting information, but I don't quite follow how it's supposed to help me choose which candidate to vote for.
Finally, there's an interactive electoral map of the 50 states, colored red or blue by default based on whether they swung Republican or Democratic in the 2008 election. You can change the affiliation of any state (including making it Independent) to see how its electoral votes might affect the outcome of this year's election. Sparks promises more map options before the November elections, and says he's "toying with the idea of allowing the user to share their election night scenarios via social media or email."
Push notifications to alert users to new election info, more detailed campaign finance information, more news sources and full iPad support will also be added this year, says Sparks.
I did encounter one or two small annoyances, such as the app repeatedly asking for permission to access Twitter accounts when I clicked on news stories. (I meant it when I said no the first time -- please don't keep asking me!) But overall the app worked smoothly and mostly glitch-free.
While not quite as complete as it claims to be (summaries of where the candidates stand on key issues would be nice), USA Election 2012 does gather a wealth of election-related info. If you're undecided or simply want to follow the election in one convenient place, it's 99 cents well spent.
OS reviewed: Android
Other OSes: None
Some people bemoan the polarization of political discourse these days. Others seem to revel in it, enjoying the adrenaline rush that comes with virtually shouting your opinions at those who disagree with you. If you're in the latter camp -- or if you harbor an optimistic idea that you can help make the level of discourse more intelligent and intelligible -- then you may want to try out VoterMap.