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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Political Science?

From the political scientist who passes off insult as analysis, came this snark directed at me for my analysis of the January 5, 2010 Rasmussen Poll which ignited interest in this race:
The fact that even the polling firm most favorable to the GOP has the Republican candidate trailing by about 10 points is excellent news...for Republicans!
Now I remember why political science was a gut major. 'Nuff said.

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  1. Just remember: all press is good press, as you're making the commentary out to be in this posting.

    You've done an excellent job keeping the rest of the blogosphere aware of the facts concerning Senator-Elect (isn't *that* awesome to say?) Scott Brown, and, no doubt, there's more of this bodacious kewlness coming down the pike.

    As RedState continued a meme today:

    "Hello, 52? Your State/district is next.

    Hugs and kisses,


    (referencing the respective shares of the electorate for Obama and McCain)



  2. I'm a political scientist, William (so we're not all bad). Those guys are LGM have been on my radar for a long time. They're a-holes, frankly. You've been doing the work of a whole department of scholars over here. Keep it up.

  3. I have a dual B.A. degree in political science and literature. Sounds like the blogger "political scientist" missed a few classes.

    As a political scientist, I evaluated Sarah Palin's analysis on Greta last night and found that she nailed it on the head, explained precisely what the Brown victory meant and used great phrases like "tidal wave" and "take the country back." If I was her Poli Sci professor, I would give her an A+ for that.

    If I had to grade Keith Olbermann, I'd give him an F and I'd probably tell him to go F himself with that F. Saying that "the tea baggers have elected one of their own" was downright pathetic and lame.

    If MSNBC was smart, they'd realize that Greta Van Susteren and Sarah Palin kicked Olbermann's ass last night. Check the ratings when they come out.

  4. Mee-ow! But doesn't he richly deserve it?

  5. I consider myself smarter than the average bear, however, I'm confused by the numbers here?:

    "21,432 people participated in the live event, generating 5,402 reader comments."

    Should it be the other way around, or were there several participants leaving 1/4 of a comment?

  6. I could not make much sense out of the other blogger's post, but I had another look at what you said in your analysis. Now I do not have a political science degree... and did not study it at university. However, what I noticed is that you picked up on the favourable/unfavourable opinion dynamic. I think that was a good pick-up and over the period of the campaign it really mattered.

    Many of the Dem voters would not vote for Coakley because of her history as a DA - Fells Acres, Winfield, and Louise Woodward cases. These showed a lot about the candidate that was unflattering. Add to that the way she lied about the journalist incident, then insulted the Red Sox fans, followed by Obama's insult towards truck drivers and you have a certain kind of dynamic.

    The other dynamic in that race happened to be something I saw repeated a number of times: "for the first time I felt my vote was meaningful". I think all politicians and political parties should not that sentiment. It is very relevant with regard to the mood of the people.

  7. syd B. No, I think what happened was that the meter counted a few things.

    I could be wrong, but I sense that the largest number -- 21,432 -- was the number of "computers" that showed up for the live feed event (the number of visitors to the site over the course of the live feed). I don't know if there were "double" counts for anyone who may have left and then come back.

    The second number I think, is the total number of statements made by commenters, which number would obviously be significantly higher than the actual number who commented. That is because many of us posted many more than one comment over the course of the evening. So, in general, there is no meaningful correlation between just those two numbers above.

    For example, you would have to know how many commenters there were (as opposed to comments) in order to figure out the percentage of those who posted, as opposed to those who just stopped by to read.

    The other unknown is how many trolls and troll comments were "moderated out" of the discussion.

    I have no doubt at all that there were a few juvenile spam bot actors who tried to post obscene comments or links, or tried to post extremely lengthy posts in order to attempt to crash the feed.

    Moderation had a secondary useful purpose, I am sure, in the sense that it allowed the Professor to answer a few comments "on the spot." He inserted several short responses within the course of the evening.

  8. @Trochilus, I think you meant your comment for a different post, "What a day". As to the specifics, the feed was live most of the day, and only people who turned on the feed would be counted; which makes sense because the number on the feed for the day was less than one-third of the total visits. Also, the reader comments were those that made it past my troll filter.

  9. "Just remember: all press is good press"

    Pim Fortuyn would disagree.

  10. Professor,

    Thanks for the clarification on the count, re: the number who actually turned on the feed.

    By the way, the only reason I posted my comment on this thread was to try to respond to the earlier comment of syd B. on January 20, 2010 3:20 PM, above, who said he was confused by the numbers.