News from the Votemaster
A new Gallup poll shows President Obama ahead of Mitt Romney 47% tp 45% in the 12 swing states that will decide the election. This is the same margin as Gallup's May poll. It is within the margin of error, however, so it is possible that Romney is actually ahead.
Some days one party goes on the offensive, some days it is the other. Yesterday on the Sunday talk shows the Democrats pounded Mitt Romney on two topics: (1) his failure to meet the Romney standard of releasing 12 years of his tax returns (as his father did when running for President) and (2) his bank accounts in Switzerland and the Cayman Islands. It is clear now that a major theme of the Obama campaign is going to be "What are you hiding?" The Republicans were playing defense yesterday, but when the $25 million in television ads sponsored by Karl Rove's group hits the air waves shortly, they will be playing offense. Note that the two sides are talking past each other. Romney is saying to Obama: "You didn't fix the economy. Out with you." Obama is not defending his record. He is saying: "Romney is doing secretive (hint: illegal?) things and is not suited for high office. Many people are likely to believe both. Then what?
There are many reasons for the gender gap. Democrats see schools, child care, and social services as something worth having and paying for with tax money--ideas popular with women. Republicans tend to focus on lower taxes and a strong military--ideas popular with men. But there is probably another reason for the gender gap and it also shows why Democrats are having so much trouble with white working class men. Look at this graph of male and female employment as a percentage of their respective populations for the past 50 years.
For both men (blue line) and women (red line), employment dips in a recession, but comes back afterwards. But for men, the new peak is always lower than the old one. For women it is higher. In other words, when men's jos disappear some of them don't come back. Historically, women's jobs come back and new ones are created. No doubt part of this effect is due to men having the lion's share of factory jobs and jobs in heavy industry, while women are more concentrated in service jobs like teaching and nursing that are hard to automate or outsource. While working-class men may not be aware of this kind of graph, they are all too keenly aware of the consequences. As the Democratic Party's coalition becomes more and more minorities, women, young people, college graduates, and people in creative industries, the tendency is for them to focus less and less on working-class men, making even harder to win that demographic. On the other hand, as working-class white men become a smaller and smaller fraction of the electorate, the Democrats may be able to get away with it.
It is an article of faith among some people that the collective wisdom of large numbers of people exceeds that of a few experts. But an example frequently used in statistics courses is what happens if you ask a million Americans what the height of the Emperor of Japan is. The result will be extremely precise (= standard deviation is small) so if you run the experiment again you are likely to get a result very close to the first one. In contrast, it will not be very accurate because few Americans know who the Emperor of Japan is, let alone his height. So this example clearly illustrates the difference between precision and accuracy in polling.
Case in point. Up until the very last minute, the crowd at intrade.com was convinced that the Supreme Court would overturn the ACA. These were not just people shooting their mouths off at a bar, but people wagering their own money. Collectively they estimated the chance of the law being struck down at 80%. Here is the graph since January 2012.
Also of some note is that some people were so convinced that the law would be struck down that even after the decision came down, they were betting it would be killed before Dec. 31, 2012, when the bets will be paid off.Email a link to a friend or share:
Previous HeadlinesJul08 Karl Rove's Group Starts 5 Million Ad Campaign Attacking Obama on Economy
Jul08 Romney Considering Both the Rich and the Poor as Veep
Jul08 Congressman Barney Frank Marries His Long-Time Partner
Jul07 Poor Jobs Report Announced
Jul07 Romney Begins Preparing for the Fall Debates
Jul07 Christie Self Eliminates from Consideration as Veep
Jul06 Competitive Senate Primaries Ahead
Jul06 It's All Over but the Shoutin'
Jul06 Who Cares?
Jul05 Scientists Sequence Fetal Genome from Maternal Blood
Jul05 DCCC Has Biggest Small Donor Fundraising Day in History
Jul05 Will the Republicans Be Able to Repeal Obamacare Even If They Win All the Marbles?
Jul04 Happy 236th Birthday America
Jul04 Half the Population Does Not Know Supreme Court Approved the ACA
Jul04 Congressional Mandates Go Back over 200 Years
Jul04 Vacation as Campaigning
Jul03 Roberts Reportedly Changed Sides after Oral Arguments
Jul03 Several States Have Already Rejected the Medicaid Expansion in the ACA
Jul03 Romney Says the ACA Penalty is not a Tax
Jul02 Which Party Is Best at Managing the Economy?
Jul02 Does a President's Religion Matter?
Jul02 Bain Ads Apparently Working
Jul01 Obama Gets a Boost from Supreme Court Ruling on the ACA
Jul01 Billionaires Are Starting to Fund Down-Ticket Races
Jul01 Was Roberts Sending a Dog Whistle to Congress: Save the Institution?
Jul01 Is Mexico Leading the Way in Polling?
Jun30 Americans Evenly Split on Supreme Court Decision on ACA
Jun30 A Rarely Mentioned Objection to the ACA
Jun30 Red States May Try to Bargain on Medicaid
Jun30 Difference Between ACA and Raich Explained
Jun29 Supreme Court Upholds Affordable care Act
Jun28 The Moment of Truth Has Arrived
Jun27 Wendy Long Wins New York Republican Senatorial Primary
Jun27 John Roberts' Big Moment?
Jun27 Speculation about Romney's Veep Choices
Jun27 Tipping Point Page Changed
Jun27 New Data Pages Available
Jun26 Supreme Court Strikes Down Part of the Arizona Immigration Law
Jun26 Supreme Court Says States May Not Ban Corporate Money from Campaigns
Jun26 Primaries Today in Five States
Jun25 Key Supreme Court Rulings Expected this Week
Jun25 On Social Issues, Voters Trust Obama More than Romney
Jun25 Charlie Cook Does Not Expect Another Wave Election
Jun25 A New Partisan Divide: Old vs. Young
Jun23 Bain Capital's Firms Outsourced Jobs Overseas
Jun23 Wealthy Democrats Not Donating to SuperPACs
Jun23 Obama's Latino Strategy is Working
Jun23 Only 34% of Americans Believe Obama is a Christian
Jun22 Romney Reverses Course on Immigration in Speech to Latino Officials
Jun22 Romney Sees Path to Victory Running Through the Midwest