Sunday, November 30, 2008
In discussing some examples of where individual and state-level electoral trends differ, I've made note of the fact that blacker states are more likely to vote Republican than less black states are. Given the overwhelming propensity of blacks to vote Democratic, this obviously suggests the black population's effect on the white vote in a state is stronger than it is on the entire state's electoral leaning (obvious though it is, I failed to present it in this way--Orwell's remark "To see what's in front of one's nose requires a constant struggle," appropriately describes me, except that my ignorance is never willful).
The direction of a state's white vote and the percentage of the electorate that is black correlate at a firm .55 (p=0)*. For each percentage point increase in black representation among a state's electorate, McCain improved his support among whites by three points.
Yet looking at all states dilutes the potency of the black population's effect on the white vote. Whitebread red (ie North Dakota) and blue (ie Vermont) states, where racial concerns are mostly abstractions, attenuate the relationship. If only the top 25 states by percentage of the population that is black are included, the correlation jumps to .72.
I speculate that in blacker states like Mississippi, whites are less likely to vote Democratic in part because doing so means supporting wealth transfer policies that primarily benefit blacks at the expense of whites. It's a less abstract moral exercise and more of a real world sacrifice than it is in say, brainy Vermont, where leftist quasi-socialism doesn't have anywhere near the same pathological consequences as it would down South. Also, in lily-white states, most welfare beneficiaries are whites who are presumed to be only momentarily down on their luck.
It's easy to conceive how this pattern could be accentuated further in the coming four years, depending on economic conditions and the agenda President Obama pursues.
* This does not include DC, an entirely urban outlier without the same state-level concerns voters in the rest of the country have. It bucks the trend, with whites voting 7 to 1 in favor of Obama.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
There isn't much to be done about this, which is unfortunate since the people who are able to generate such a high number of comments are those who putatively write the things most worth talking about. Hosts who approve comments have the opportunity to filter out duplicates if they choose, but it requires a substantial time commitment for a pretty mundane task that in the end won't add much value anyway, unless it is done meticulously, post after post.
Fortunately, it's usually not a problem here! Quality over quantity, right?
Friday, November 28, 2008
If you think about it for a second, this means that the coat is European, Coastal, and Vintage. Three of white people’s favorite things.The latter 'sentence' is only a fragment. From the same post:
This makes them feel better than the white people have spent thousands of dollars on an identical piece of clothing.We are missing a "who" in that sentence. Amongst SWPL's whiter readership, there is surely an aspiring copy editor or two out there who'd love the opportunity to do something for the whiter community. In all of his success, Clander appears to have forgotten his roots. He's turned to the wrong kind of white (or non-white) people to do his proofing!
It's more than an isolated incident. It's starting to look like a pattern:
The most notable is Soccer since for some reason it is wrong to get fired up about Football game, but right to get fired up about a Football match.Has "Football game" become a proper noun, never mind the confusing capitalization of "football" in both instances?
Grammatical errors exist in three consecutive posts, and they're three of the most recent posts to boot:
It is so popular, that every white person home contains at least one book from The Onion.We need either the comma or "that", not both.
One more from the Onion post, please. Look, don't get mad at me, I'm just the messenger. If you really want a whiterperson to succeed (and who would want to squander such a historic opportunity?), isn't it better to ensure he is able to respond and react to his own shortcomings than allow him to wallow in his own crapulence (it's a Simpsons reference--I haven't turned my back on my whiterperson heritage!) while making excuses for him?
This is because every white male under 35 is convinced that they could and should be working for The Onion."Male" is singular, "they" is plural.
Okay, I'll stop.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Anyway, if a similar relationship exists between bloggers and books, SWPL is an exception. It hasn't slowed down with the publication of the book of the same name. New posts attract a dizzying number of comments approaching the thousands and Lander continues to tour the country doing book signings.
My favorite post isn't even from Clander, it's a fan submission (further evincing the blindspot sharp white guys everywhere had in not realizing how lucrative a Chris Rock of whiterpeople could be) identifying the tendency to compare political opponents to Hitler:
In order for white people to streamline the process of knowing everything, all human beings can be neatly filed into one of two categories: People I Agree With, and People Who are Just Like Adolf Hitler. ...Rounding out my top five list, are having two last names, being offended, knowing what's best for poor people, and being the only white person around (I'd replace "person" with "American"--I have two close friends currently overseas, and the one in France demonstrates this whiterperson love to a tee, except the people are non-Muslim Frenchies).
It’s also critical that you avoid the fatal mistake of getting creative and comparing people you don’t like to other evil dictators, such as Joseph Stalin or Fidel Castro. With few exceptions, white people are actually fond of almost any dictator not named Hitler, and your remark that “this is just like something Mao Zedong would do” will be met with blank stares and possible social alienation. This is because, with the exception of Hitler, oppressive dictators share a passion for many of the things white people love--such as universal health care, conspiracy theories, caring about poor people while being filthy rich, and cool hats.
As self-reflection is very much in the spirit of stuff whiterpeople like, allow me to indulge myself further. A little introspection makes me realize my favorites are not those personally describing me. I wonder if other readers who enjoy the site experience the same. I do enjoy those hitting close to home, too, but they're a little less settling than those that are too silly for me to buy into. It's easier to laugh at others than to laugh at oneself, but I suppose the latter shows greater character--true whiterpeople will think so anyway, as their affinity for self-deprecating humor (only in the book) attests.
So, shamelessly, let's say among those I'm guilty of, my new five favorites are bicycles, Japan, gifted children, grammar, and... damn, that's about all I'm able to tag myself with. I guess I could add dogs, even though I don't have one, and not having a TV, even though I have a few, because I don't actually use them to watch television. I have some black friends, too, but none of them are the sort of black people whiterpeople tend to have as friends. Good thing I live in the Midwest, because I'd really be ostracized for being the wrong kind of white person in Manhattan or San Francisco!
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
I have no dispute there. But I get the impression (mostly from people who are of relatively modest intelligence themselves) that it is relatedly often presumed that people with lower intelligence are naturally more friendly and less guarded than more intelligent people are.
That strikes me as incorrect. It doesn't take much time spent in public in a poor area to feel a default hostility almost emanating from the denizens, especially young men. In contrast, politeness and common courtesies, like holding the door or offering a parking spot to another person waiting for it, appear to be in abundance in upper class areas.
It seems more intelligent people tend to be naturally more friendly and more polite than less intelligent people are. That less intelligent people are more likely to be receptive to dubious promises is a result of being less able to discern the differences between what is being billed and what is actually being offered. So ten minutes into a bogus sales pitch, a high IQ guy may look like he's being a jerk to the seller while a low IQ guy may be signing the clipboard the seller has handed him. See the same interaction within its first ten seconds, and most of the time it'll be the high IQ guy who is at least feigning interest in what the seller has to say while it is the low IQ guy who is grimacing as the seller starts his pitch.
The GSS interviewers are asked to describe respondent attitudes towards being interviewed. They have done so in 22,897 cases going back to 1972. The average IQ* by way of Wordsum scores for each of the descriptions (in order of how accomodating the interviewer believed the respondent was):
* Based on the presumption that the average white Wordsum score is the equivalent of an IQ score of 100. Unless it is otherwise noted, "white" probably refers to about half of Hispanics interviewed (disproportionately those with more European ancestry, presumably). Until 2004, the GSS only asked if a respondent was white, black, or other. It has since added a more expansive question on racial self-identification, but that is of course only useful if there is not an interest in anything prior to 2004. So using this method to identify the Wordsum equivalent of an IQ of 100 might inflate the conversions a little. However, for the nearly 23,000 respondents used in constructing the table above, an average IQ of 98.2 is suggested. Since it is looking at all races, that's very reasonable.
Do you have a sense for how much the GSS needs to be orrected for the fact that it's not a full IQ test, it's just a 10 question vocabulary test? Yes, I know vocabulary correlates with g, the general factor, to a high degree, but I'm concerned that an over-reliance on vocabulary misses out on important non-g subfactors in intelligence, especially 3-dimensional processing power. One's ability to accurately rotate 3-d objects in one's imagination is fairly separate from g, but it's not unimportant in overall IQ. And, it's clearly related in some fashion to masculinity, since men average something like 3/4ths of a standard deviation higher on it.The only thing I can think to do is to separate Wordsum results by gender and create IQ conversions for men and women based on their respective score distributions, since female average scores are about .1 standard deviation higher than male scores are.
This probably isn't worth worrying about for most uses of the GSS vocabulary scores, but for something like propensity to go hunting, which no doubt is related in some fashion to male hormone levels, it does seem important.
The difference between the GSS vocabulary test and a true IQ test is probably also important for politics, too. My impression is that colleges where students average higher on the SAT Math than on the SAT Verbal tend to be more conservative than mirror image schools of the same overall SAT score. That at least was my experience at Rice in the late 1970s.
To specifically address the hunting issue, consider just the estimates for white women who do not hunt but who have a spouse who does (98.9) and white women who do not hunt nor have a spouse who hunts (100.2). Hunting still appears to be an activity of the modestly less intelligent among whites.
Steve's comments provide an appropriate opportunity to remind readers that the GSS provides us with suggestive trends, not definitive ones. The Wordsum test surely correlates with IQ, but it's a proxy measure, not an exact one (a regional comparison of Wordsum averages and a host of other good faith IQ estimates confirms this). To avoid repetitive verbiage, I won't point as much out in every post relying on GSS data going forward, but it is important to be aware of.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Half Sigma marshalls quite the stack of circumstantial evidence that Sarah Palin is of modest intelligence. One of several reasons he gives for presuming she is at best narrowly on the right side of the spectrum:
(5) Smart people have intellectual hobbies. Sarah Palin hunts moose.Hunting is putatively a blue collar activity, but it is also a moderately costly (not just in terms of equipment and licensing, but also time) and predominately white activity.
So is HS correct? The GSS asks respondents if they or their spouses hunt. The average IQ, converted from Wordsum scores, for women who either hunt, are married to someone who hunts, or both, and for women who do not hunt are nearly identical--97.5 in both cases, with hunters enjoying a rounding error edge.
Among whites, however, hunting tends to be an activity of the less cognitively endowed. The average IQ of women who hunt, are married to hunters, or both, is 98.0. For white women who have nothing to do with hunting, it is 100.2.
As long as he's not afraid of political incorrectness (as it's Half Sigma, this isn't the case), his assertion that hunting is an activity characteristic of white women of lower intelligence is a valid one.
Friday, November 21, 2008
Conservative men more intelligent than conservative women; Liberal women more intelligent than liberal men
|Persuasion||IQ Men||IQ Women||Male adv|
For whites only:
|Persuasion||IQ Men||IQ Women||Male adv|
I am flummoxed by it. The gaps are not enormous, but they're consistent, particularly with regards to the liberal-conservative spectrum. Considering only the 2004-2006 cohort used in the previous post, conservative white men have a 0.5 point IQ advantage over conservative white women, while liberal white women have a 2.0 advantage over liberal white men. For all races, conservative men have a 1.5 advantage over conservative women, while liberal women have a 1.5 advantage over liberal men. The conservative man's advantage over the conservative woman is 2-3 points greater than the liberal man's (dis)advantage over the liberal woman, whether the last couple of years or the last few decades are being considered, or whether whites alone or the entire population is being looked at.
A little googling didn't turn up anything that addressed this. Maybe I'm reading into differences that are too negligible to matter, but their consistency across time and demographics is what interests me more than their magnitude does.
Are conservative and Republican women more masculine in their intelligence than liberal and Democratic women are? Women who report having sex with at least one other woman since the age of 18 are more than twice as likely to be Democrats as they are to be Republicans, and more than 2.5 times as likely to be liberal as they are to be conservative, so I am not inclined to think that is the case. Perhaps men tend to think in financial terms more regularly than women, consequently leading men to be more likely to think of "conservative" or "Democrat" as these identifiers pertain to fiscal issues, while women are more likely to think about social issues when considering how to self identify (I am presuming 'fiscal conservatives' have higher average IQs than 'social conservatives' do).
Someone who was born into a "Republican family," and doesn't reflect much about ideology and so continues to vote Republican despite being liberal. I don't feel I need to explain conservative Democrats, as it seems to me that political exemplars of this class are generally duller than liberal or moderate Democrats.Regarding the latter remark, I think he is essentially pointing to the South (the US' least intelligent region).
In considering a previous post, Razib points to a couple of historical instances of a prototypical whiterpeople/NAM coalition. He also references a previous post showing the average intelligence of white conservatives and white liberals to be similar. The latter (which might be a little dated) presents an opportunity to force whiterpeople on the left to acknowledge human biodiversity as a prerequisite to basking in their elevated sense of self-worth.
The estimated average IQ by political orientation*, based on Wordsum scores of GSS respondents between '04 and '06, for men and (women)**:
|Party ID||Average IQ|
Republicans are more intelligent. If only whites are considered, things look a little brighter for whiterpeople:
|Party ID||Average IQ|
In the aggregate, there is little apparent relationship between intelligence and party identification among whites, other than self-styled independents being less intelligent than either Democrats or Republicans, a pattern that is also apparent among moderates in comparison to liberals and conservatives.
It's not partisanship but political ideology that whiterpeople are more inclined to embrace as a symbol of greater enlightenment (or intelligence), however. Consequently, it is along the liberal-conservative spectrum where whiterpeople must dispense with blank slatism in order for their (slight) intellectual advantage over conservatives to become apparent.
Average IQ by political ideology for men and (women) of all races who were GSS respondents between '04 and '06:
And for whites only:
Self-identified white liberals are, on average, more intelligent than self-identified white conservatives are^, but without considering race, conservatives and liberals are basically at cognitive parity.
Summarizing from above, two things are seen: 1) Republicans have higher IQs than Democrats do, while white Republicans and white Democrats have similar IQs; and 2) Liberals and conservatives have similar IQs, while white liberals have higher IQs than white conservatives do. This results from the fact that although they proxy fairly well for one another, "conservative" does not equal "Republican", nor "liberal" equal "Democrat".
So are self-described liberals from both parties more intelligent than their conservative co-partisans? No. Inline with the trend of those in the squishy middle being less intelligent than those on either end of the spectrum are, conservative Democrats are less intelligent than liberal Democrats are, and liberal Republicans are less intelligent than conservative Republicans are.
Since this requires looking at 49 different categorical placements for a body of respondents from '04 to '06, to ensure samples of at least fifty, average IQ for men and women are not separated. Average IQ for all races by political orientation within each of the the two major parties:
Evincing the whiterpeople/NAM divide, the gap is especially wide among Democrats. This tentatively suggests moving either party towards the political center is going to see that party's voter base become less intelligent. This meshes with what appears to have happened to the GOP this election cycle with leftist John McCain as the party's Presidential nominee.
* The GSS lists three degrees for each side by political party orientation and also by political ideology (seven total categories for party and also for ideology). I've condensed them to three for ease of comparison in both sets of tables. The IQ conversion from Wordsum scores is based on the presumption that the white average is 100.
** Women have stronger verbal intelligence than men do. They are also more likely to be Democrats than men are. Consequently, not controlling for gender artificially inflates the apparent average intelligence of Democrats relative to Republicans when GSS data are being used.
^ At least the GSS suggests as much. However, the GSS' proxy for intelligence is a verbal measure. In academia, emphasis on verbal intelligence and leftism go together--disciplines where mathematical and visuo-spatial abilities are more heavily rewarded (engineering, computer science, business) are less leftist in orientation.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Using state level exit polling data from both the '04 and '08 elections allows for a more accurate table to be presented than national exit polls do. Only one in five of those surveyed at the state level participate in the more detailed national poll. The absolute votes (in thousands) and percentage increases in voters from '04 to '08, by race:
White turnout appears to have increased slightly rather than marginally decreased as national exit polling suggests. Because the '08 national exit poll inexplicably reported 9% of voters to be Hispanic, even though state level polling data suggests it was slightly under 8%, the 16.5% Hispanic increase suggested by national exit polling numbers is attenuated to a more plausible 9.9% increase. Even in a lackluster election for the white electorate, the absolute increase in white votes probably surpassed the absolute increase in Hispanic voters. The Hispanic vote just isn't very important.
Little stake should be put in the Asian and Other categories, because their numbers are so small in so many states. In Washington, for example, the '04 exit poll shows 2% of voters to be Asian, while '08 shows 3%. That translates into an incredulous 25,000 more Asian votes in the state this time around compared to the '04 election.
Using data from state level exit polling for both elections, the proportional representation of each racial group:
In addition to a shifting of the entire electorate against the GOP, the '08 results are largely the story of many uninspired white voters and a very inspired black electorate.
Keep in mind, too, when thinking about this, that exit polling consistently overstates Hispanic turnout.
Monday, November 17, 2008
GNXP's Razib has created a convenient comparative table of the white vote by state (including DC) in '04 and '08, showing Kerry's and Obama's respective performances. Obama's gains correlate positively with estimated white IQ by state at .34 (p=.01). In Massachusetts, Obama only garnered 57% of the white vote compared to Kerry's 59%. Our most intelligent state happens to be the one that fielded Kerry, so it's an explainable anomaly. Removing it from the analysis increases the correlation to .39. For each added white IQ point, Obama's performance relative to Kerry's similarly increased one point.
Stepping away from the rate of change for a moment, consider the relationship between the total white vote percentage for the Democratic candidate by state and the state's average white IQ. In '04, the white Kerry vote correlated positively with white IQ at .43 (p=.001). In '08, it has increased to .48 (p=.0004). For every one point increase in white IQ, Obama's support among whites increases a little over four points.
That states with more intelligent whites are more likely to vote Democratic than states with less intelligent whites are is what whiterpeople are after when they insinuate Democrats are smarter and more enlightened than Republicans.
But it does not follow that more intelligent states are more likely to vote Democratic (although smarter states shifted more to the left than duller states did). In fact, the opposite is true*. Bush's total share of the '04 vote and the state's estimated average IQ correlate positively at .31 (p=.03). In '08, McCain's share and state IQ correlate at .26 (p=.07).
In summation, smarter white states give more white support to Democrats than duller white states do. That trend became stronger this election. Smarter states are still more likely to vote Republican than duller states are, but the gap narrowed this time around. Both of these observations lend credence to Half Sigma's assertion that the Republican party is losing its relative ability to appeal to intelligence.
Relatedly, see what Steve Sailer's perspicaciously dubs "The McCain Belt". You might consider ordering Albion's Seed if you've not previously read it.
* At first blush, this may seem contradictory. But keep in mind that nationally the GOP still comfortably wins the white vote while losing the black and Hispanic votes. The dullest white state (West Virginia, white IQ of 97.1) is still more intelligent than the smartest black state (Washington, black IQ of 94.5). Further, even though whites in high IQ states like Wyoming and Idaho are less likely to vote Republican than whites in low IQ states like Alabama and Mississippi are, Wyoming and Idaho are both more reliably Republican than either Alabama or Mississippi because of the large black populations in the latter two states.
Friday, November 14, 2008
With Bush's white share, McCain wins CO, IN, NC, OH, VA; with Bush's Hispanic share, he wins FL (and maybe IN)
It's a question I plan to examine more thoroughly later in the week, but for now consider the absolute (in thousands) and percentage increases (decreases) in voters from '04 to '08, by race (using national exit polling numbers for now, and adjusting "Other" for '08 down to 2%, which is where it should be, not 3%, which comes to a total of 101% by race. I will later refine it by aggregating state level totals for '04 as was done for '08):
The white population has grown, not shrunk, since 2004. Neither the black nor the Hispanic population grew at those respective rates over the last four years. Whites were not enthused about this election. Non-whites were.
Two consecutive Presidential election cycles with exit polling data available at the state level allows for some interesting insights to be gleaned. One recurring media narrative open borders supporters like to emphasize is that while McCain held his ground among whites, he lost it not only among blacks, which was unavoidable, but also in the crucially important Hispanic vote, and consequently he went down in flames.
That's not the case. Even though national exit polling shows McCain receiving 55% of the white vote to Bush's 58%, that 3 point shift represents a net change of 5.5 million votes. His combined loss of support among blacks (7 points), Hispanics (9 points), Asians (9 points), and others (9 points) resulted in a net swap of 4.8 million votes. Whites comprise three-fourths of the electorate, so the percentage shift among non-whites must be three times the magnitude of the white shift just to break even. It wasn't, due to the diminishing marginal returns a black Democrat is able to reap given how overwhelmingly supportive of the Democratic party blacks already are.
McCain's drop in white support relative to how Bush performed in '04 is what resulted in an electoral landslide. Because the most competitive states are whiter and blacker (and less Hispanic and Asian) than the nation as a whole is, the 5.5 million net shift is even more important than it might initially appear to be.
Leaving the non-white vote from November 4th alone, if McCain had merely retained the level of white support Bush did in '04, he would've won Colorado, Indiana, North Carolina, Ohio, and Virginia. It wouldn't have been enough to keep Nevada, New Mexico, Florida, or Iowa (barely) from flipping to the Democrats, so Obama would've still won the electoral college, 296-242. But the election wouldn't have been the 365-173 blowout it ended up being.
What if, leaving the non-Hispanic vote unchanged, McCain had enjoyed the same support among Hispanics Bush did in '04? Using the inaccurate Hispanic numbers reported from that election's exit polling that overstated the GOP's performance among Hispanics, and recalling that much of the Hispanic goodwill towards Republicans was bought via the housing bubble that provided years of explosive construction work and astronomical increases in Southwestern housing valuations, he would've won Florida*. That's it. Obama's electoral victory would've remained overwhelming, at 337-201.
* It could've been enough for him to squeak by in Indiana as well. For that to be the case, McCain's support among Hispanics would have to have been 13 points lower than what Bush garnered in '04. However, EMR estimated that Hispanics comprised 3% of Indiana's electorate in '04 and 4% in '08. For both elections, that represents too small a sample for reporting voting patterns, so there's no way to say conclusively whether or not Bush's Hispanic support in the state would've been sufficient for McCain to have held on to it. Granting it to McCain, Obama wins 326-212, a margin still 60 electoral votes worse than retaining Bush's white support would've meant.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
I ran the same numbers again (whites only, 2000-2006), this time only for families of four. The total number of respondents drops from 4,846 to 725. Spread across eight political categories and 55 income categories, that starts getting pretty sparse. So I've condensed down to three political persuasions:
The trend holds. It's worth pointing out that 'Strong Democrat' families of four have higher average incomes than 'Weak Republicans' do. Otherwise, the rank ordering is identical to the last table presented in the body of the post below.
In discussions surrounding recent posts, I've consulted the GSS for insights on a few things. They may be of general interest, so they're presented below.
Not surprisingly, higher income is correlated with higher voter participation. The average (mean) individual income of respondents by frequency of voting at the local level:
Always vote: $63,700
Sometimes vote: $66,100
Rarely vote: $55,300
Never vote: $36,500
Maybe the "always vote" segment, representing a little under one-third of the population, is made up of political junkies who tend to be well enough off but who are not always the most affluent members of their communities.
The GSS asks respondents how frequently they make charitable donations. I assigned five points to "more than once a week", four points to "once a week", three points to "once a month", two points to "at least 2 or 3 times a year", one point to "once a year", and zero points to "never". Thus a higher score indicates greater generosity. Following are the average charity scores by political persuasion for all respondents and also for (whites only):
|Strong Republican||2.38 (2.39)|
|Weak Republican||2.04 (2.08)|
|Strong Democrat||1.85 (2.08)|
|Weak Democrat||1.70 (1.75)|
That's how liberal they are about giving their money, but what about giving their time? The GSS asked the same question about respondents' frequency of volunteering, with an identical list of prospective responses. I computed average scores by political persuasion in the same way. The scores are lower because people donate their money more regularly than they donate their time:
|Strong Republican||1.43 (1.46)|
|Strong Democrat||1.19 (1.19)|
|Weak Republican||1.03 (1.11)|
|Weak Democrat||1.04 (1.11)|
Republicans' advantage over Democrats is wider when it comes to giving money than when it comes to giving time, but in the latter case Republicans are still more generous. A strong political persuasion increases the likelihood of donating both time and money to charity among both Democrats and Republicans. Notice also that whites, across all political persuasions (with the marginal exception among independents when it comes to volunteering time), are more generous than non-whites are.
Presuming the mandatory civil service Obama and his Secretary of Staff Rahm Emanuel favor allows young Americans some say in how they will 'volunteer' themselves, white Republicans will experience the least amount of disruption in their lives from it, while non-white Democrats will experience the most.
Finally, while I share Half Sigma's concerns that the Republican party is at risk of losing the support of upper class whites, the conceptualization of a Republican comprised of middle class and working class whites and a Democratic party comprised of minorities and upper class whites is premature. White Republicans are still more affluent than white Democrats are.
Looking only at respondents who participated in the GSS sometime between 2000 and 2006, the average family income by political persuasion for whites only:
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
While the video game industry is quickly leaving the movie industry in the dust, VG criticism is still in its infancy. It is almost entirely comprised of technical and aesthetic commentary tending to read more like the evaluation of an automobile test-drive than a reflection on an epic story rich with historical and mythological allusions. PS shows a lot of promise in prodding VG criticism forward.
Monday, November 10, 2008
|2004||2008||GOP decline||Votes lost|
I've added an extra column showing what each percentage decline translates to in absolute votes based on the aggregate data collected from state level exit polling (the vote gap is essentially double the amounts displayed in the last column, as the GOP's lost votes were converted into Democratic gains).
The headlines telling of how Obama won big among minorities aside, relative to Bush's performance in '04, McCain lost more white voters than he lost of all non-white voters combined. The GOP's fortunes hinge upon the electoral decisions of whites.
McCain's big drop among Hispanics is electorally less significant than a 1% decline in his support among whites would have been. Of course, he dropped three times that amount among whites. Yet the breathless media narrative is that while retaining the white vote, McCain's drop among minorities sealed Obama's victory.
Friday, November 07, 2008
++Addition++Wikipedia's election page has some errors in voter totals (as reported three days after the election; it may have been subsequently edited yet again by the time of this reading). Kentucky's total was overstated by more than 500,000 votes, and a few states were presented as final results even though the totals displayed did not represent 100% of precincts reporting. As Kentucky is a white state, the table presented in the body of this post slightly inflates the white national total. I've kept my original table in the body (I'm only into revisionism when it serves a constructive purpose other than covering my behind), but also present this more accurate one constructed from state voter totals provided by CNN:
The shifts are very minor. The white percentage drops by .2%, black by .2%. The Hispanic percentage rises by .2%, Asian by .1%, and other by .1%.
Steve Sailer has already predicted exit polling data overstated the Hispanic turnout this election (as it did in the 2004 Presidential election):
Hysterical pundits will announce that the Hispanic tidal wave accounted for 8 or 9 or even 10 percent of the vote!It's not even necessary to wait that long to undercut the 9% figure now deemed the official national total by Edison Media Research and the major media outlets that partner with it.
Then, a year from now, the Census Bureau will quietly announce the results of its huge post-election survey of voting, the gold standard of ethnic voting shares. It will show that the Hispanic share of the vote, which was 5.4 percent in 2000 and 6.0 percent in 2004 actually was only 6.9 percent in 2008, or whatever.
On election night, after exit polling data were in for all 50 states and DC, CNN's national exit poll showed Hispanics constituting 8% of the national total. Steve astutely captured and posted this before it was altered.
An easy (albeit tedious) way to verify the national figure is to simply look at exit polling data from each state. Taking the voting percentages by race in each state and multiplying them by the total number of votes cast in the state allows for the number of actual votes cast by race to be determined. The numbers are rounded to the nearest percentage, but there is no reason they should systematically differ across states (7.54% as 8% here should be balanced out by 12.46% as 12% there) to an extent that they misrepresent the national total, and anyway the national exit polls round to the nearest whole percentage point as well. Presumably EMR creates the national exit poll by aggregating each of the individual state exit polls so this does not offer an explanation for the abrupt post-election editing.
What do the exit polls actually say when aggregated together to form a national exit poll? The table shows the total number of voters by race (in millions), what the states actually reveal in percentages of the total by race, and what the major media are now running with:
That's not carelessness on my part--the media total really does come to 101% even though exit polls at the state level come to exactly 100% (and match what CNN originally reported, with the exception of the "Other" category, which varied by one point). Funny how to 'balance' things out, EMR seems to have arbitrarily taken 1.2% of the total respondent base that was white and converted it to Hispanic, er, "Latino", in the national exit poll.
Even that 7.8% will likely prove to be an overestimate, since smaller groups tend to be oversampled as a way of ensuring they're not undercounted, since it would be more problematic in determining voter tendencies to undercount Asians or Hispanics than it would be to undercount whites.
Data, via Swivel, are here.
The latter assertion appeared to me to be the case, but only because many of the more educated red states have been more competitive than the least educated red states (essentially the South) have been for decades. Eyeballing the results, it didn't jump out at me that the more educated or intelligent* states shifted in Obama's favor more than the less educated or intelligent states did.
Analyzing the numbers affirms as much about intelligent states. A state's estimated average IQ and its shift in Presidential voting from '04 to '08 are unrelated (p=.63).
However, there is a moderate correlation of .27 (p=.06) between a state's educational attainment as measured by this index and its shift in voting from '04 to '08. More educated states like Montana and Colorado didn't just shift leftward in tandem with the rest of the county this election cycle, they're doing so at a greater clip than less educated states like Mississippi and West Virginia are. The variances are modest, but in aggregate they're real. Whether this is due to the leftist environment at most colleges, the delaying effect it has on people starting families, or something else, this is concerning.
What about national exit polling? Half Sigma also argues the Republican party is losing support among the wealthiest and most educated voters. Previously, I've tracked average income and educational attainment for voters based on exit polling data for elections in '06, '04, '00, and '96. Using the same methodology**, here's how it shakes out this time around (income, educational index score):
McCain's supporters -- $86,000; 49.0
Obama's supporters -- $77,000; 50.0
In '04, Bush supporters averaged $73,000 and 43.2, while Kerry's averaged $62,000 and 48.4. McCain's educational improvement isn't from an increase in college graduate support, but from a drastic decline in support among high school dropouts (probably attributable to lots of blacks coming out to vote for Obama) as well as a drop in support among high school graduates who've never attended college.
The Democrats clearly narrowed the income gap this time around. Republican voters in '04 had an estimated 18% income edge over Democrats. But this year, the McCain voter's average income is only 11% higher than the Obama voter's average income. This in spite of the fact that blacks represented the biggest proportional increase among racial groups in voters this election cycle compared to last. Ceteris paribus, the black uptick should accentuate the gap, yet it still narrowed. Further, as explained below, I counted the $200,000 or more income category as $250,000 (for the other income ranges, I simply choose the middle dollar amount). Bush cleaned Kerry's clock by nearly two-to-one among these voters, but Obama won them 52%-46%.
* Using an educational attainment index computed using the percentage of a state's population that has a graduate degree, a bachelor's degree, and has not completed high school as a measure of education, and NAEP scores for 8th graders in math and science to estimate IQ, a state's level of education and its average intelligence proxy fairly well for one another, but they are not the same. They correlate at .59 (p=0), indicating that a little more than one-third of educational attainment can be determined by estimated IQ alone, and viceversa.
** I took the middle value of the income range category, determined what percentage of each party's total vote it represented, did this for each income category, and then came up with a mean income (rounded to the nearest thousand) accordingly. For "under $15,000", I used $7,500. For the highest income range, I used 125% of the minimum value (ie, for "$200,000 or more" I used $250,000).
Thursday, November 06, 2008
Agnostic suggested tweaking the index to give more weight to states with large college-educated populations, rhetorically asking:
What if you defined the index as (SMART - DUMB) * SMART? Where the smarties and dumbies are about as common, the original and new index are about 0. But what about two states where there are many more smarties than dumbies, like Washington vs. Utah -- wouldn't you rather live where the fraction of smarties is larger, all else equal? (Which it probably isn't -- more expensive to live in WA than UT.)Honestly, I just have an aversion to the behaviors of the hard underclass. Minimizing that is most important for immediate quality of life. I spend some free time in mixed working class areas and actually enjoy it. But that's being short-sighted on my part, I don't live there, I'm not raising a family, and anyway, the question was rhetorical so I shouldn't flatter myself in thinking it was directed specifically at me!
Doing this alters the index very marginally. Agnostic's is nearly identical to the original. The two correlate at .97.
Still, he makes a good point. Since the subject came up from Half Sigma's ongoing interest in the voting tendencies of smarter and dumber states, and 17% of this election's voters were postgraduates, I changed the formula so postgrads would be 'worth' 1.5 times as much as those with bachelor's degrees in determining a state's score. It is computed by multiplying the postgraduate percentage of the population by 0.5, adding it to the percentage of the population with a bachelor's degree or higher, and then subtracting the percentage of the population not having completed high school (all for people above the age of 25) and multplying by 100 for ease of viewing.
Following is the new index, colored according to the '08 Presidential election, with the inclusion of DC*. Light blue indicates an Obama margin of victory of ten points or less, and light red indicates the same for McCain:
1. District of Columbia -- 28.7
2. Colorado -- 25.4
3. Massachusetts -- 25.3
4. Connecticut -- 22.3
4. Maryland -- 22.3
6. Vermont -- 22.0
7. New Hampshire -- 21.4
8. Minnesota -- 20.0
9. Washington -- 19.9
10. Alaska -- 17.9
11. Utah -- 17.8
12. New Jersey -- 17.7
13. Virginia -- 17.5
14. Kansas -- 16.3
15. Montana -- 15.4
16. Hawaii -- 15.2
17. Oregon -- 15.0
18. Nebraska -- 14.0
19. Wyoming -- 13.4
20. Illinois -- 12.8
20. New York -- 12.8
22. Delaware -- 12.2
22. Maine -- 12.2
24. Wisconsin -- 11.1
25. Iowa -- 10.5
26. Idaho -- 10.0
27. Michigan -- 9.4
28. North Dakota -- 9.3
29. South Dakota -- 9.2
30. Pennsylvania -- 8.8
31. Arizona -- 8.6
32. Rhode Island -- 8.6
33. California -- 8.5
34. New Mexico -- 7.9
34. Ohio -- 7.9
36. Missouri -- 7.4
37. Georgia -- 6.9
38. Florida -- 6.5
39. Indiana -- 5.4
40. North Carolina -- 4.5
41. Oklahoma -- 4.2
42. Texas -- 2.9
43. Nevada -- 1.9
44. South Carolina -- 0.6
45. Tennessee -- (1.0)
46. Alabama -- (2.0)
47. Louisiana -- (3.2)
48. Arkansas -- (4.8)
49. Kentucky -- (5.1)
50. West Virginia -- (6.7)
51. Mississippi -- (7.3)
Far from being an uneducated wilderness, Alaska is the most educated reliably red state.
Parenthetically, Steve Sailer has helpfully pointed out that younger populations, all else being equal, tend to be more educated than older populations are. This means red states look even worse by comparison to blue states, as younger states are more likely to vote Republican than older states are. The correlation between McCain's share of a state's vote and its median age is an inverse .29 (p=.04).
* As a city included in an index comparing states, DC is an outlier by default. Levels of inequality in DC are higher than they are in any states as a whole (inequality, incidentally, is a great thing for Democrats). Not surprisingly, it is an anomaly in terms of the relationship between estimated IQ and educational attainment of the population. Without DC included, the correlation is .59 (p=0). DC, however, does the best in the country on the educational index even though it has a lower average IQ than any state does, including those in the South.
Monday, November 03, 2008
During the final stretch of the Democratic primaries, exit pollsters queried respondents on whether or not race was an important factor in choosing who they voted for. In all six of the states in which the question was asked, blacks were more likely than whites to say the race of the candidates influenced their vote.
Gallup conducted a national poll after Obama had won the Democratic nomination inquiring into whether or not Obama's race would make respondents more (or less) likely to vote for him, or if it would have no influence on how they voted. Blacks were nearly twice as likely to be influenced by race as whites were (22% to 12%).
As if overwhelming black support for Obama during the Democratic primaries, when he was running against the wife of the "first black President"--an advantage as lopsided as Democrats enjoy over Republicans among blacks in general elections--didn't make it clear, polls consistently show blacks to be more racially-motivated than whites are.
It's not that the focus on white racialism is unimportant. The 12% of whites who self-describe as being influenced by Obama's blackness represent around 11 million voters. The 22% of blacks who say they are influenced come to only 3 million or so voters. Even though whites are the least racialist group in the US, white racialism is of greater absolute electoral importance than the racialism of other groups because there are so many more whites than there are blacks, Hispanics, or Asians. It's the intentional omission of reporting on greater racialism among other groups that is obfuscating (and also disingenuous).
The internet allows for those who are interested to look past the headlines created to fit the media narrative, however. The exit polling data from the Democratic primaries are what Richard Cohen looked to when lamenting perceived white racism in America, while the actual data show blacks are actually more 'racist' than whites are. The Gallup poll showing blacks to be almost twice as likely to be influenced by race as whites are headlines with "Most Say Race Will Not Be a Factor in Their Presidential Vote".
Another recent poll to require a little digging for the full picture to come into focus headlines with "Whites May Exaggerate Black-Hispanic Tensions". Whites are less likely to rate relations between blacks and Hispanics as "good" than either blacks or Hispanics are. There is some street tension between blacks and Hispanics--my observation is that it exists primarily among young black and Hispanic males--but there is also shared solidarity among them as oppressed minorities in a white America. Reminding minorities that they are non-whites (rather than blacks or Hispanics) facilitates this solidarity.
That's news enterprising libertarian white guys like my dad need to consider. The view that Hispanics will create a more tolerable working class than the blacks they will do battle with and then replace in the inner-city is mostly fantastical.
But there's a more interesting psychological insight to be gleaned from the poll: Members of an 'outside' race tend to see more tension in the relations between members of two other races than members of those two other races see among their own race and the other race. That is, whites are less likely to view relations between blacks and Hispanics as good than either blacks or Hispanics are; Hispanics are less likely to view relations between whites and blacks as good than either whites or blacks are; and blacks are less likely to view relations between whites and Hispanics as good than either whites or Hispanics are.
This is a common tendency in the US--the farther a person gets from his own life, the worse he perceives things to be. Surveys consistently show Americans to be much more upbeat on their own personal economic and quality of life situations than they are on the economic and quality of life situation of the country as a whole (this is in contrast to China, where the reverse seems to be true). While Congressional approval ratings are virtually always below 50%, Congressional incumbents win reelection around 90% of the time.
Finally, this gem from a Pew study released last February:
On Super Tuesday, Hispanics were more likely than whites to say that race was an important factor in deciding their vote--28% of Hispanics said this compared with 13% of whites. ... Blacks who said race was important (29% of all black voters) were more likely to vote for Obama than were other blacks--87% did, compared with 80% of blacks who said race was not important.* I consider the term value-neutral, much like the word "familism" to which it is related. "Racialism" is usually a better word choice, but in the common parlance "racism" tends to be used.
Saturday, November 01, 2008
Between 2000 and this year, the Hispanic electorate will have doubled, to 12% of voters, according to Census data and NDN, a Democratic group that studies the electorate. That growth has been concentrated in once-Republican states, not only in the Mountain West but in the South. By 2006, Hispanics represented 31% of voters in New Mexico, 13% in Nevada, 11% in Florida and 8% in Colorado.Strassel made the same argument more than a year ago, and rehashed it again a day before Weisman's article*. The refutations haven't changed since then. The percentage of the actual votes cast by Hispanics will be about half that, because eligible (we're not talking about illegal immigrants or temporary legal residents, only about those who are able to legally register) Hispanics are less likely than eligible whites or eligible blacks to actually vote. Pew Research reports:
About 54% of Hispanics who were eligible to vote registered in November 2006. Among whites and blacks, the figure was 71% and 61%, respectively.Fredo Arias-King, former advisor to Mexican President Vicente Fox, offers insight into why this is the case:
While Democratic legislators we spoke with welcomed the Latino vote, they seemed more interested in those immigrants and their offspring as a tool to increase the role of the government in society and the economy. Several of them tended to see Latin American immigrants and even Latino constituents as both more dependent on and accepting of active government programs and the political class guaranteeing those programs, a point they emphasized more than the voting per se. Moreover, they saw Latinos as more loyal and "dependable" in supporting a patron-client system and in building reliable patronage etworks to circumvent the exigencies of political life as devised by the Founding Fathers and expected daily by the average American.Citizens calling Congressional offices and organizing recall petitions are such a pain! It'd be much better if they'd just resignedly accept the way the political elite conducts its business.
Republican lawmakers we spoke with knew that naturalized Latin American immigrants and their offspring vote mostly for the Democratic Party, but still most of them (all except five) were unambiguously in favor of amnesty and of continued mass immigration (at least from Mexico). This seemed paradoxical, and explaining their motivations was more challenging. However, while acknowledging that they may not now receive their votes, they believed that these immigrants are more malleable than the existing American: That with enough care, convincing, and "teaching," they could be converted, be grateful, and become dependent on them. Republicans seemed to idealize the patron-client relation with Hispanics as much as their Democratic competitors did.
Further, the swing states are whiter and blacker, at the expense of Hispanics and Asians, than the electorally reliable states are. To those four states that are more Hispanic than the nation as a whole is, this election's swing states of Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Ohio, North Carolina, Missouri, North Dakota, Montana, and Indiana are less Hispanic and more white than the country at large.
Indeed, the electorally-safe states are more than twice as Hispanic as the competitive states are. The competitive states, conversely, are whiter than the safe states are. So the nearly 80% of the national electorate that will be white understates the importance of the white vote, while the 6% or 7% of the national vote that will be cast by Hispanics overstates the importance of the Hispanic vote.
This doesn't negate the fact that the four states mentioned are experiencing demographic changes that will give them a permanent blue hue. California, which voted Republican in all three Presidential elections in the eighties, became forever blue in '92. As whites--the racial group that always votes Republican in Presidential elections (as opposed to blacks and Hispanics, neither of which ever have as long as national exit polling has been conducted)--became a minority in California, so did Republicans. As Cali goes, so goes the country.
Weisman asserts something there is no evidence for:
Demographics also shifted in the right places to give Democrats a lift. ... A concerted Republican campaign to curb illegal immigration turned a wave of new foreign-born voters against the GOP in Florida, Nevada and Colorado, just as the Latino vote in those states was growing.Is there a single (Presidential, House, Senate, or Governor) race for which exit polling exists in which a Republican's Hispanic support was greater than his white support? I've not been able to find one. Yet Weisman tells it as though each time a growing Hispanic population offers Republicans a chance to seize victory, every single time they lose out from it (presumably because of their anti-immigration positions).
The much more obvious explanation that has mountains of empirical backing is that Hispanics are more likely to support Democrats than whites are. It holds no matter where in the US we look. It's hardly surprising that a group much less likely graduate from college (even four generations in), more likely to use welfare, experiences higher illegitimacy and poverty rates, and is more criminally-prone than whites are (in addition to being 'eligible' for affirmative action benefits) is also more likely to vote Democratic than whites are. New Hispanic arrivals fare more poorly than those who've been in the US for an extended period of time do, and consequently are probably even more likely to support Democrats than those who are more established are.
It's likely that federal enforcement of immigration laws will become even more lax under either Obama or McCain. As unskilled Hispanic immigration continues, Hispanic support for the Democratic party will grow. Open borders supporters like Weisman and Strassel will continue to point at restrictionists, but unless the Republican party moves to the left of the Democratic party on economic issues and several social issues, it's inevitable that more Hispanics will translate into Democrats.
Weisman offers the following, parroting Strassel:
President Bush and his political team were able to ride that wave, nearly doubling the GOP's share of the Latino vote from 21% in 1996 to 40% in 2004, according to exit polls. Then came 2006 and the Republican Party embrace of get-tough legislation on illegal immigration, followed by Republican efforts to kill bipartisan bills to stiffen border enforcement and provide illegal immigrants a pathway to citizenship.Using an election when a conservative independent garnered nearly 10% of the vote as a base year is sneaky. But this talking point comes up frequently, and it's crucial to be able to respond to what Weisman fails to mention: The GOP's share of the white vote grew from 46% in '96 to 58% in '04. The Hispanic increase (granting 40%, although 38% is likely a more accurate figure) translates into 1.3 million votes gained for the Republican party. The white increase dwarfs that at over 11 million votes.
In 2006, Republican support among Hispanics fell to 30%. Even Sen. McCain, who co-authored the bipartisan immigration legislation, does not appear able to reverse the trend.The GOP dropped about 8 points among Hispanics, costing it 400,000 votes. The party also dropped 7 points among whites, from 58% to 51%, costing it 4,500,000. Ouch. This is another example of how, rather than being a swing vote, the Hispanic vote tends to mirror the white vote, skewed 15-20 points to the left.
And among those who said the Iraq war was an important factor in how they voted, Democrats enjoyed a 53.3%-46.7% advantage. Among those who thought immigration was important, Republicans won 53.4%-46.6%. The losing issue was the one the neoconservative WSJ has supported unfailingly from its beginning.
* Humorously, the article's theme is on creating a "Big Tent" GOP that excludes immigration restrictionists (74% of Republicans) and 'hardline' traditional marriage supporters (55% of Republicans). So, expand the tent by cutting out majorities of it! No concessions are to be made by unreciprocated free traders, open borders supporters, or neoconservative interventionists, however.
That sounds like exactly what the Republican party's national leadership has been trying to do for the last six-plus years. The result is a inority in both Houses of Congress and a leftist Republican Senator who looks to lose multiple states Bush won in '04 without picking up anything new. The definition of insanity...