Over the next year and (almost) and half, you’re going to hear a lot of historical "rules" from 538, the Upshot, etc. Here’s a counter example to keep in mind when they start to sound persuasive.

This post is by Unknown from West Coast Stat Views (on Observational Epidemiology and more)

 The pattern was clearer than almost any of the rules that were dredged up by data journalists in the past couple of elections to support this or that prediction. This is a forty year run with plenty of examples of candidates with and without the trait and 100% accuracy.

Then it just stopped. The lesson here is that even with the most convincing historical precedent based argument, you shouldn’t assume the future should look like the past.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Fun with Political Trivia

This picks up on a recent thread (telling which one might be too much of a clue). The ones and zeros represent a trait of Democratic candidates from 1964 to 2004. Take a look and think about it for a moment. Here’s a hint, the trait is something associated with each man well before he ran for president.

Johnson           1
Humphrey       0
McGovern       0      
Carter              1           
Mondale          0           
Dukakis           0           
Clinton            1                 
Gore                1                      
Kerry               0

As you might have guessed, the relationship between this trait and the popular vote didn’t hold in the previous or following elections. The trait is not at all obscure. It was well known at the time and figured prominently into their political personas, This is not a trick question.

Put bluntly, for decades, every time the Democrats ran a Southerner, they won the popular vote (and possibly the electoral college, depending on your thoughts about Bush v. Gore). Every time they ran a (Read more…)