Wednesday, November 5, 2008

R Ye Election Mateys!

Andrew Gelman has already fired up R and gone to work on the election data. If you are not familiar with him and his book, this paper is a good, if dryly academic, start. In summary, Gelman argues against the following myths:

Myth: The rich vote based on economics, the poor vote "God, guns, and gays."
Fact: Church attendance predicts Republican voting much more among rich than poor.

Myth: A political divide exists between working-class "red America" and rich "blue America."
Fact: Within any state, more rich people vote Republican. The real divide is between higher-income voters in red and blue states.

Myth: Rich people vote for the Democrats.
Fact: George W. Bush won more than 60 percent of high-income voters.

Myth: Kansas votes Republican because its low-income voters can't stand the Democrats' 1960s-style values.
Fact: Kansas has been a Republican state for over 50 years, and rich Kansans vote much more Republican than middle-income and poor voters in the state.

Myth: Class divisions in voting are less in America than in European countries, which are sharply divided between left and right.
Fact: Rich and poor differ more strongly in their voting pattern in the United States than in most European countries.

Myth: Religion is particularly divisive in American politics.
Fact: Religious and secular voters differ no more in America than in France, Germany, Sweden, and many other European countries..

Also, if you are interested in getting your hands on the election data, you can look here.

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