[I’m trying a new type of post, which WordPress calls “aside” posts. They’re supposed to be like notes, and this theme supports them, but they seem to look like every other post but without a title. Which is not really that helpful in distinguishing them from regular posts. So if you don’t see a title, it’s an Aside post.]
The GOP debate is so frustrating to me. On the one hand, this is five months before the first primaries, ten months before the last primaries, and nearly a full year before the Republican Party’s nominating convention. Most voters aren’t paying attention. The main people who care are scholars, political junkies, and media types who have to fill the 24/7 news hole. And you can probably add to that list, people who enjoy reality shows with a substantial humiliation component. Nate Silver observed that the correlation between GOP candidate standing and media coverage is .92, which almost entirely explains Donald Trump.
On the other hand, campaigns don’t run on votes, they run on money. And right now is when candidates are jockeying for donors. Not the you and me kind of donors, but the Koch and Soros kinds of donors. And if they don’t get money now, they won’t be around when the you and me donors (and voters) start to pay attention. So even though the whole enterprise feels like a sideshow with clowns, it has important consequences. However much we hate it, this is our circus (if you’re a US voter), and they’re kind of our monkeys.
I didn’t get into political science for politainment, but that seems to be the main course these days.
Still not watching, though.
Are you able to explain (using as little maths as possible) what “the correlation between GOP candidate standing and media coverage is .92” means?
Feel free to use very small words and to type really slowly. 😉
BTW, in the email feed, it came through as a new post called “266” which made me very curious so I clicked it straight away instead of getting on with my work like I should be doing.
I think so! No maths at all, I hope. Correlation means that two things you are observing and measuring vary together. When the number is positive (as it is here), that means that when one is present, the other is present. The size of the number (the closer it is to 1 rather than 0), tells you how often that happens.
.92 means the two things (media coverage of a candidate and how high the candidate ranks in the polls) happen together 92% of the time.
We don’t know that one causes the other, we just know they happen together. And there may be other issues or events that indirectly contribute to those two things happening together. But when a number is so close to 1 (happening together all the time), that’s something to pay attention to.
Thx! I understood that. Go me! 😀
Yay me too! I should be able to explain a concept clearly without resorting to jargon. And thank you for bringing it up. I have a tendency to shorthand and I appreciate the heads up.
PS – I like the new theme!
I like the idea of an aside. Perfect for those ideas that are a bit too long for Twitter but you want to get off your chest right now. Except I never seem to be able to write less than 1000 words when I blog. Kind of like how I never leave the grocery store without a full cart, even when there were 5 things on my list.
This came through in my reader with the first sentence as a title, which worked fine.
I got TWO debates tonight! I ignored both. But my son did not, because he just came downstairs and asked me what the long form census was. I guess he picked the Canadian one. I can totally see a poli sci major in his future. (He is writing his big essay for the IB Diploma on soccer and Nationalism in Franco’s Spain).
I hope I can post more with the format, although like you, I’m at 1000 words before I know it.
I can’t believe Canada killed the longform census. My social science heart is breaking. Although our various data and research efforts are under fire as well.
I’m sure your son has run across David Goldblatt. He is the best on soccer. His The Ball is Round is superb.
I watched it. I admit to being a political junkie. It’s all political theater and I get why some people are tired of the system (hence Trump’s popularity).
What I find more damning is how much the MEDIA influences the narrative and the process. That’s a whole ‘nother kettle of fish right there.
You’re allowed! Most of my colleagues love the Politainment part too. I just cringe at the debates, always have. And I totally agree on the media’s role.