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Reply #4: The model is a joke - understood by mathematicians, scientists etc [View All]

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Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009) Donate to DU
karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-18-07 08:01 AM
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4. The model is a joke - understood by mathematicians, scientists etc
The small number of data points that represent past presidents is over fit. Note the really bizarre things in the model. Being VP or Senator doesn't count at all; being the son of Senator gives lots of weight. It does point out one thing that is often ignored - that as there are only 25 elections in a century, statisical analysis is going to be pretty useless.

Consider the often repeated comment that only a Democratic governor could win for the Democrats. Imagine that Ohio had adequate machines and the election was run fairly and efficiently. Then you would have the obviously stupid result that since 1960, the most likely Democrat to win if no President is running is a Southern Democrat or a Catholic MA Senator with initials JFK. (this would place an enormous burden on the Democrats in MA looking for Senate candidates)

The fact is that 1976 and 1992 were years where a Democrat was almost sure to win. In 1976, anger against Nixon was very high and the pardon Ford gave him hurt Ford. In 1992, after 3 terms of Republican rule they had outworn their welcome. Bush was below 40% in the approval polls for 6 months before the election and down to 33% in the week of the election. Both 1960 and 2004 were no where near as promising for Democrats.
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