Public Opinion Doesn’t Exist

Ever have that book that stays with you and gnaws at you well after you finish reading it?  One of my recent reads has been How Not to Be Wrong:  The Power of Mathematical Thinking by Jordan Ellenberg.  It is a highly recommended read, but Chapter 17 is causing me heartburn.  It is entitled “There is No Such Thing as Public Opinion.” Why heartburn?  I wrote a paper in graduate school taking issue with that old […]

Read more »

Trump versus Clinton – by Florida House and Senate Districts

Over the holiday break, I was fiddling around with R in a feeble attempt to further my R skills. I find a project or research question is the best way to force myself to learn.  So, the question was “How did Trump and Clinton do by Florida House and Senate Districts?”  Follow up: “Which districts were won by Hillary Clinton AND a Republican legislator?” Methods used the precinct level results provided by the State of […]

Read more »

Newsletter May 2017 – The Guide to the 2016 Elections

how did donald Trump become President Trump?   DATA explaining Trump's win Most got it wrong; I did. The data is now starting to arrive and serious people are now beginning to explore the data in an attempt to understand how President Trump came to win. We will attempt to avoid the pieces that attempt to drive a narrative and stick to data points. The Definitive Guide to 2016 (so far):   RealClearPolitics: How Trump […]

Read more »

Why the Freedom Caucus Doesn’t Fear Trump

Got a quick question on the Ward Scott Files today, “What effect will Trump’s threats against the Freedom Caucus have?” Short answer: Not much. Took a quick look (excuse the non-sexy graph) at how members of the freedom caucus performed against Trump, Romney and McCain in their districts. On average, the 30 members identified as members out-performed Trump by 5.4%.  If we throw out the outliers, it is more.  (I don’t have the time nor […]

Read more »

Gainesville Votes! and its ramifications

Gainesville Votes! is an organization that is proposing “following the model successfully used by the Alachua County School Board: Non-partisan elections occurring in August (alongside county, state and federal primaries) of every even year. When a run-off is necessary, it would be held on the first Tuesday in November along with county, state and federal elections.”  Harvey Ward. This is being proposed in the vein of promoting higher turnout in Gainesville City Elections. This goal and […]

Read more »

Quick Reaction: The Hidden Lesson from the GOP Debate for Candidates

The morning after the GOP Debate, the Washington Post has an article “Marco Rubio had a rough night on Google“. It is an interesting story, but I think it misses the MOST important story from any candidates’ point of view. If you look at the Google search peaks, BOTH peaks were when candidates related a personal story to the current political context. THAT’s the ‘story’, if you are candidate.  THAT’s the takeaway if you are […]

Read more »

How productive is Congress?

Over the Thanksgiving break, I figured NOTHING could be any more frustrating than watching my Gators, so I decided to begin to tackle learning R. Part of teaching myself R is playing around with an interesting data set – Congressional Bills.  “This public resource provides information about more than 400,000 bills introduced in the U.S. Congress, currently 1947-2008, along with extensive information about each bill’s progress and sponsor.” I just started with a simple question, […]

Read more »

GOP Presidential Nomination Process

The GOP nomination process is one governed by the RNC and individual states…..and people in funny hats. Through this primary process, candidates are awarded delegates by a complex, state-by-state maze. There are 2,470 delegates in total, meaning the first candidate to win 1,236 delegates will win the GOP nomination.  Easy, right? Just wait, it’s a lot more complicated. State GOP Delegates The RNC awards states delegates according to the following rules: For jurisdictions (states) with […]

Read more »

Time for Change Model (Implications for local politics)

This week Politico featured an article The End of the 2016 Election Is Closer Than You Think    The Politico article is a fantastic read, but doesn’t go into the particulars that I would like to explore. Yes, the Politico article in someways scooped a theme I have been working on for sometime on this blog.  In the past I have been exploring the formation of political environments and asking “Do Campaigns Really Matter?” Topic 1: […]

Read more »