Friday, December 31, 2010

And on what issue is the gap between Democrats and Republicans widest?

++Addition2++I was thinking of a comment Jason Malloy made on a post of Razib's a few years ago rather than something from Inductivist.

++Addition++
In the comments, an anonymous reader presents an alternative table measuring partisan differences in terms of standard deviations. Rather than comparing popular support in each party, it compares underlying attitudes towards each of the issues examined.

---

Following up on the previous post in which we looked at the size of political divides on a host of issues, the same process is repeated here, based on partisan self-identification rather than political orientation. For consistency, the items are measured in a way that affirmation of the statement represents what is putatively thought to be the Democratic position. For contemporary relevance, all responses are from 2000 onward:


DemIndRepDif
Gov't should definitely provide healthcare for the sick66.563.036.230.3
Same-sex marriage should be legalized46.134.922.124.0
Military spending is too high35.028.711.923.1
Taxes on the rich are too low56.245.934.421.8
Outlaw capital punishment for murderers40.131.319.820.3
Gov't has an obligation to help blacks specifically26.014.57.518.5
Abortion should be legal in all circumstances47.636.331.016.6
Man evolved from other animals57.650.741.516.1
Homosexual relations are morally acceptable39.130.723.215.9
Police permits should be required for gun ownership86.482.972.314.1
Marijuana usage should be legalized40.835.826.913.9
Affirmative action for blacks does not hurt whites39.333.927.411.9
Attend religious services less than once a month54.962.144.810.1
Have never been married26.828.517.29.6
No belief in or uncertainty over the existence of God40.237.232.47.8
Prayer in public schools should be banned43.740.136.86.9
Assisted suicide allowed for those with terminal illnesses61.760.556.75.0
Immigrants pose no threat to English language69.567.665.73.8
Hispanic immigration should not be decreased57.454.754.52.9
Science does more good than harm60.348.163.7(3.4)

Even though the healthcare question was only asked in 2006, the political divide existed prior to the passage of Obamacare. I suspect the gap is even wider today.

Same-sex marriage is again shown to be among the day's most polarizing issues. As an aside, you will rarely hear major media sources referring to it as such, however, because the word is usually reserved for describing populist issues pushed by the right that the left doesn't like, such as tougher immigration enforcement. Consequently, it has negative connotations, and nothing relating to homosexuality is allowed to be negative. Taxation, defense spending, and capital punishment are also starkly defined by partisanship.

Most noticeable is that Democrat-Republican divides (averaging 13.5 points) are narrower than liberal-conservative divides (averaging 20.8 points) are. Specifically, as a group, liberals are considerably further to the left than Democrats are. The biggest differences show up on the gay issues, drug legalization, abortion, school prayer, assisted suicide and personal belief in God. Clearly there are many white Democrats (and a slew of NAMs) who, despite being in partisan alignment with SWPLs, are nonetheless the wrong kind of white people.

The levels of support among conservatives and Republicans are virtually identical on almost everything, the only marginal exceptions being on defense spending (conservatives are more likely to want to cut it than Republicans) and the legal right to assisted suicide (Republicans are slightly more inclined to the idea than are conservatives). But even on these two things, the conservative-Republican gap is not even half of what it is among liberals and Democrats on the issues listed above.

Despite the perceptions that Republicans and especially conservatives stand in opposition to scientific progress because of skepticism over evolution or lack of support for government funding of embryonic stem cell research, luddites are no more prevalent on the right than they are on the left. I recall Inductivist having shown that, excepting the aforementioned "hot button" issues, those on the right are as scientifically literate as those on the left, though I'm frustratingly unable to find that post at the moment (please point me to it in the comments if you're aware of what I'm recalling).

GSS variables used: ABANY, GRASS, HOMOSEX, PRAYER, HELPBLK, DISCAFF, MARHOMO, GUNLAW, TAXRICH, CAPPUN, ENGTHRTN, GOD, ATTEND, SUICIDE1, HARMGOOD, EVOLVED, MARITAL, SPARMS, LETINHSP, YEAR(2000-2008), PARTYID(0-2)(3)(4-6)


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

On what issue is the gap between liberals and conservatives widest?

When reading about politics outside of the US, I have to be wary of the presumption that descriptors such as "liberal" or "conservative" have the same connotations there as they do here. It's a two way street, of course, so the following may be of use to readers outside America.

But it also has utility for those in the states. I was recently in a discussion where the topic of what issue most starkly divided liberals from conservatives came up. I guessed that it was either abortion or taxes, but had to admit to being uncertain. Without any false modesty, as it turns out.

The following table shows the differences among self-described liberals, moderates, and conservatives on several different political issues, as well as a few broad lifestyle measures. The fifth column shows the difference between liberals and conservatives by subtracting the percentage of conservatives in agreement from the percentages of liberals in agreement. For consistency, the items are measured in a way that affirmation of the statement represents what is conventionally thought to be the liberal position. For contemporary relevance, all responses are from 2000 onward:


LibModConDif
Same-sex marriage should be legalized61.836.919.941.9
Homosexual relations are morally acceptable51.632.318.633.0
Abortion should be legal in all circumstances57.340.427.330.0
Gov't should definitely provide healthcare for the sick69.156.241.028.1
Man evolved from other animals66.251.739.227.0
No belief in or uncertainty over existence of God53.435.728.225.2
Military spending is too high42.421.917.425.0
Marijuana usage should be legalized50.335.125.724.6
Taxes on the rich are too low55.652.533.022.6
Attend religious services less than once a month63.856.441.822.0
Assisted suicide allowed for those with terminal illnesses72.560.851.121.4
Outlaw capital punishment for murderers44.029.722.721.3
Prayer in public schools should be banned54.237.834.220.0
Gov't has an obligation to help blacks specifically28.415.910.318.1
Have never been married34.122.918.315.8
Police permits should be required for gun ownership86.982.073.813.1
Affirmative action for blacks does not hurt whites40.232.230.89.4
Immigrants pose no threat to English language71.368.662.09.3
Hispanic immigration should not be decreased63.152.156.07.1
Science does more good than harm62.657.161.01.6

Same-sex marriage (and gay issues in general) trumps abortion in divisiveness. That gay marriage, abortion, defense spending, evolution, healthcare spending, and belief in God are the most polarizing issues in contemporary US society while affirmative action, immigration restrictionism, and government largess for blacks are far less firmly associated with political orientation is discouraging (though not surprising) from my particular vantage point, as someone who identifies in the vernacular as a conservative (and an "empirical paleoconservative" in situations where such phraseology won't be met with annoyance and/or confusion). The things I, alongside many others in the Steveosphere, find most important are not the things mainstream conservatives differ from the left on the most.

On theism, military spending, prayer in public schools, and affirmative action, moderates and conservatives are well aligned, while on the taxing of the rich, moderates and liberals are on the same page. Liberals are significantly less likely to believe in God or have ever been married than moderates or conservatives. On everything else (excepting the last two, for which political orientation has little relevance), moderates fall roughly halfway between liberals and conservatives.

Parenthetically, the GSS is weak on items relating to immigration. A question much preferable to the vague and loaded one about English being threatened by immigrants (xenophobes always feel threatened by the "other"!) would be one that simply asks whether immigration to the US should be increased or decreased, but such a question has not been asked. The closest we get is a set of questions posed in 2000 asking alternatively whether Hispanic, Asian, and European immigration should be increased, left the same, or decreased. While sentiment is generally restrictionist regarding immigration into the US (especially illegal immigration), whenever immigrants are defined anymore specifically than simply being aspiring immigrants, that restrictionism shows itself to be pretty thin. Immigration has nothing to do with biology or even culture, it's about the rule of law!

GSS variables used: ABANY, GRASS, HOMOSEX, PRAYER, HELPBLK, DISCAFF, MARHOMO, GUNLAW, TAXRICH, CAPPUN, ENGTHRTN, GOD, ATTEND, SUICIDE1, HARMGOOD, EVOLVED, MARITAL, SPARMS, LETINHSP, HLTHCARE, YEAR(2000-2008), POLVIEWS(1-3)(4)(5-7)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Gays to lose the Darwinian struggle?

Does the understanding that homosexuality is innate--which is generally the consensus among those for whom so much else is inconsistently believed to be shaped by the socio-cultural environment--threaten the sustainability of gayness in the same way the intellectual primacy of evolution is threatened by Darwinists losing the Darwinian struggle? I am not aware of data to address the possibility empirically, but reading about Oscar Wilde's two children made me wonder.

If the germ theory of homosexuality is accurate, then the question is irrelevant. But if sexual preference is genetic in origin (which is admittedly not an idea easily comprehended), does the increasing tolerance of homosexuality as a valid lifestyle, morally on par with heterosexuality (or even superior to it) mean fewer homosexuals will stay in the closet and "live a lie" in pursuing the American dream, including a wife and, more importantly, children?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tolerance of free speech over time

In the early seventies, the GSS began tracking responses to questions about whether or not controversial characters should be allowed to speak publicly to advocate in favor of their eponymous interests. Since 1976, the survey has consistently queried respondents on five of them; atheists, homosexuals, militarists, communists, and racists. I wondered how public sentiment towards allowing members of these groups to push their messages in public had shifted over the course of the last four decades. The following graph shows as much:


The general trend overall has been that the majority, always in favor of free speech, has become even larger, the notable exception being for racists, for whom support has mostly moved along horizontally. As polite society declares both irrational racism and measured racialism (which are unfortunately mostly perceived to be synonymous phrases--both invoking images of tattooed, shouting neo-Nazis, not Jared Taylor) to be anathema, this isn't especially surprising.

With the folding of the Soviet Union and the ending of the Cold War, military juntas and communist dictatorships became history's vanquished. As the perceived threats they posed receded, tolerance for their ideas increased. In 2008, the most recent year in which the GSS has published data, a sixth speaker has been added. Only 41.5% of respondents say that an imam preaching hatred of the US should be allowed to speak. I suspect that tension between the West and the Muslim world is only going to grow in the foreseeable future, but if we do find the will to push most of them out while simultaneously losing interest in their sand holes, the number opposing such speech would probably decline as well.

It would be interesting to see the same trends measured over time for other western European countries. As effectively as the PC forces smother unapproved discourse in the US, I suspect public sentiment would be considerably less tolerant of the various speakers considered on the other side of the Atlantic than it is here.

GSS variables used: SPKRAC, SPKATH, SPKCOM, SPKMIL, SPKHOMO, SPKMSLM, YEAR

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Political orientation and intelligence among non-whites in US

It's been noted that among whites, self-described liberals are slightly more intelligent than conservatives are (both have considerably higher IQs than moderates do). Non-whites are more leftist than whites are, of course, and when the population of the US as a whole is considered, conservatives actually have a slight IQ edge. Parenthetically, if you're looking to have a little fun at the expense of a SWPL, discuss this with him and then watch him squirm.

Do the same trends emerge among non-whites when it comes to IQ and political orientations? The following tables show IQ scores, converted from wordsum scores on the assumption that the mean white wordsum score represents an IQ of 100 with a standard deviation of 15, by race and political orientation. For contemporary relevance, data are from 2000 onward:

Blacks (n = 479)
IQ
Liberal
89.3
Moderate
89.9
Conservative
88.7

Hispanics (n = 247)
IQ
Liberal
90.0
Moderate
90.3
Conservative
87.8

Asians (n = 140)
IQ
Liberal
91.8
Moderate
93.9
Conservative
94.3

Conservative NAM IQs are a bit more modest than moderate and liberal NAM IQs are. The opposite is true regarding Asians. While the differences are too marginal to put much stake in, this generally meshes with my personal observations. I am surprised to see how moderate scores are not conspicuously lower than liberals and conservatives among non-whites like they are among whites, however. I'm not sure why this is the case.

Relative to actual measures of intelligence, Asian wordsum scores are low and should not be considered an accurate measure of IQ in comparison to non-Asians. East Asians (and in the case of the GSS, we are primarily talking about East and Southeast Asians rather than Indians) perform worse on verbal tests of intelligence than whites do, but more than compensate for that in mathematical and visuo-spatial testing. The GSS wordsum test is one based entirely on vocabulary and consequently puts Asians at a disadvantage. Still, for intra-Asian comparisons, wordsum is presumably a reasonable proxy measure to use in gauging differences in intelligence.

GSS variables used: RACECEN1(2)(4-10)(15-16), WORDSUM, POLVIEWS(1-3)(4)(5-7), YEAR(2000-2008)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Women who get around while unmarried get around once married

In continuing to document who is marriage material and who is not, well, life's about trade offs, right? The following table shows the number of men a woman has had sex with since the age of 18 and whether or not she has ever cheated on her husband while married. The table starts at 2, since someone who has been married and is either a virgin or only had sex with one man hasn't cheated (as is always the case, a few respondents or data transcribers muffed up somewhere though, responding that they were married, never had sex, but had still somehow managed to have sex with someone other than a spouse while married):

Men bedded
Cheated?
2
10.4%
3
14.9%
4
17.7%
5
21.6%
6-10
26.0%
11-20
36.7%
21+
46.8%

Not surprisingly, women with high sex drives who got around a lot before they married are more likely to continue getting around after taking their vows. The same applies in non-marital relationships. If your girl has a lot of sexual history (and likes to talk about it), don't go in desiring any kind of serious or long-term relationship. You're in pump and dump territory.

This is another one of those posts where pointing to the blog's tagline is sufficient.

GSS variables used: SEX(2), EVSTRAY(2), NUMMEN(2)(3)(4)(5)(6-10)(11-20)(21-350)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Change in voter turnout from 2008 to 2010

It's commonly reported that the turnout for US midterm elections differs from presidential elections. I've always assumed this to be the case without thinking about it in anything more than a general sense. Because any type of restraint on voter participation--whether it is a legal restriction like being incarcerated at voting time or just one of volition like bad weather or a hip black friend not being up for election, is good for those on the right--I figured numbers for whites, the affluent, and older folks would drop off less than they would for minorities, the poor, and the young.

Exit polling allows for actual quantitative comparisons to be made, and the following table does just that, looking at the change in the absolute number of voters from 2008 to 2010, and, more interestingly, the declines in percentage terms across various demographic categories:


2008
2010
Abs chg
% chg
Male
55190120
40125074
(15065046)
(27.3)
Female
62235668
43468831
(18766837)
(30.2)





White
86895083
64367307
(22527776)
(25.9)
Black
15265352
9195330
(6070023)
(39.8)
Hispanic
9394063
6687512
(2706551)
(28.8)
Asian
2348516
1671878
(676638)
(28.8)
Other
3522774
1671878
(1850896)
(52.5)





18-24yo
11742579
5015634
(6726945)
(57.3)
25-29
9394063
5015634
(4378429)
(46.6)
30-39
21136642
11703147
(9433495)
(44.6)
40-49
24659415
17554720
(7104695)
(28.8)
50-64
31704963
26750050
(4954913)
(15.6)
65+
17613868
17554720
(59148)
(0.3)





<$30k 21136642
14210964
(6925678)
(32.8)
30-50k
22310900
15882842
(6428058)
(28.8)
50-75k
25833673
17554720
(8278953)
(32.0)
75-100k
17613868
12539086
(5074782)
(28.8)
100-200k
23485158
15882842
(7602316)
(32.4)
200k+
7045547
6687512
(358035)
(5.1)





Less than HS
4697032
2507817
(2189214)
(46.6)
HS grad
24659415
14210964
(10448452)
(42.4)
Some college
36401994
23406293
(12995701)
(35.7)
College grad
32879221
25078172
(7801049)
(23.7)
Postgraduate
19962384
17554720
(2407664)
(12.1)





Democrat
46970315
29257867
(17712448)
(37.7)
Republican
38750510
29257867
(9492643)
(24.5)
Independent
32879221
24242232
(8636988)
(26.3)





Liberal
25833673
16718781
(9114892)
(35.3)
Moderate
51667347
31765684
(19901663)
(38.5)
Conservative
39924768
35109440
(4815328)
(12.1)





Protestant
64584183
45976648
(18607536)
(28.8)
Catholic
30530705
19226598
(11304107)
(37.0)
Jewish
2348516
1671878
(676638)
(28.8)
Other
7045547
6687512
(358035)
(5.1)
None
14091095
10031269
(4059826)
(28.8)





Union member
24659415
14210964
(10448452)
(42.4)
No union member
92766373
69382941
(23383431)
(25.2)





Urban
34053479
25914111
(8139368)
(23.9)
Suburban
57538636
40961013
(16577623)
(28.8)
Rural
25833673
16718781
(9114892)
(35.3)





Gov't do more
59887152
31765684
(28121468)
(47.0)
Gov't does too much
50493089
46812587
(3680502)
(7.3)





Northeast
27007931
17554720
(9453211)
(35.0)
Midwest
29356447
20898476
(8457971)
(28.8)
South
39924768
25914111
(14010657)
(35.1)
West
21136642
19226598
(1910044)
(9.0)

Unsurprisingly, black numbers dropped the most. Blacks are the most 'racist' group in the US, and there weren't any high profile races across the country involving black candidates. Consequently, more than one in three blacks who voted in 2008 stayed home in 2010 (where the black option existed, though, blacks kept pace with whites--blacks constituted 25% of the electorate in South Carolina in 2008, and did so again in 2010). The "other" figure decreased from 3% to 2% from '08 to '10 according to exit polling data, but that's presumably more an artifact of reporting percentages in whole figures and probably shouldn't be taken seriously.

The drop among those aged 18-24 is the only category, save for the "other" racial classification, precipitous enough for the 2010 total to be less than half of what it was in 2010. Black ops is in, helping the hip black guy push through his political agenda is out. We'll vote for our favorite celebrity, but not for his Congressional allies. How boring! I advocate emulating Hertz and Avis and raising the voting age to 25.

Those of retirement age, in contrast, maintained virtually the exact same numbers as they did in '08. As age increases, the drop in participation steadily decreases. The recent elections were decided by adults.

Among those earning up to $200,000, the decreases are consistent. Only the rich deviated from the overall trend, coming out in relatively greater force than the rest of the population. Deficit spending driving the US economy off the cliff and all that matters to people with money.

The relationship between educational attainment and voting rate changes is, as in the case of age, clear and consistent. Nearly half of those who didn't graduate high school who voted in '08 did not vote in '10. That only applied to one-eighth of those with graduate degrees.

An obvious reason the Democratic party took a shellacking this time around is that liberals and Democrats were less motivated to vote than they were in '08. In contrast, self-described conservatives were out in close to the same numbers both elections.

Not only was the election decided by adults, the adults were far more skeptical of government involvement in society than the kiddos were a couple of years ago. In '08, 60 million voters shared the sentiment that "government should do more". This time, only 32 million voters did. And they were a minority--47 million said "government is doing too much".

I assume California, where several "key" elections took place, is the reason that the decrease in the west is smaller than it is throughout the rest of the country.


Friday, December 10, 2010

Magic: The Gathering and Sabin, Edgar, Umaro, Cyan, Relm, Locke, Gogo, Shadow, Strago, Gau, Celes, Terra, Mog, and Setzer





























































I've been having fun with custom card creations for vintage RPGs for a few years now. In looking back on what I've come up with in the past and comparing it to this latest addition, it's hard not to notice power creep among my cards over time. It is, no doubt, the result of the same sort of power creep WotC has allowed creatures to enjoy since M:TG's infancy to adolescence, spanning Alpha to 4th Edition. The following three comparisons illustrate this phenomenon well:

Old
New

The creature progression has been contrasted by an enfeebling of non-permanent spells:

OldNew

This has been especially detrimental to blue (additionally, compare Time Walk to Time Warp, Counterspell to Cancel, and Brainstorm to Ponder) which rules the vintage world but despite claiming one of the most powerful cards ever printed as its own, is the only color in standard currently unable to fly solo without a heavy dose of brown.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Black men are athletic, Hispanic women are not

In 2004, the GSS asked a question about self-assessed athleticism (and thanks to Jokah for alerting me to it). Conveniently, this is the same year interviewers were asked to rate respondents as being below average, average, somewhat above average, or considerably above average. Among those deemed to be remarkably thin, 27.5% responded that "athletic" described them well. Among those of normal build, it was 33.3%. For those overweight, 20.2%. And among the obese, 9.5%. So self-perceptions appear to be at least generally in line with reality.

The following table shows the percentages of people, by race and sex, who consider the adjective "athletic" either a good or very good descriptor of themselves:

Athletic
Black men59.5%
White men39.7%
Hispanic men36.3%
Asian men25.9%
Asian women25.6%
Black women21.8%
White women21.0%
Hispanic women15.1%

Sometimes posts require no bloviating beyond the blog's tagline, and this is one of those posts. Color me loquacious though, because I'd still like to say a few words anyway.

Black men easily come out on top, followed by white guys, with Hispanics closely trailing them. This comes as little surprise to anyone who has played sports with blacks at a competitive level. They move quicker and jump higher, although the perception of black men as physically stronger than white men seems in my experience to be more of a conflation of general athleticism with upper body strength than an accurate reading of reality.

Men are more athletic than women are, except for Asians, where there is gender parity. Asian men are notorious for being bad at sports, tending to small and neither strong nor fast. I'm not aware of that stereotype existing for Asian girls, though I'm not aware of any particular Asian female prowess for athletics, either. The sample sizes for Asians are small (51 men, 49 women), so they should just be taken as suggestive in any case.

The rates of athleticism are even among white and black females, which probably has to do with corpulence among black women, who actually tend to have wider waists than black men do (among all other races, male waist size is larger).

I've played lots of soccer with Mexican men who are serious about the game (although the average Mexican guy doesn't seem to be particularly good at it--in the league games I've played, it's almost always the all white team I'm on against a team of likely illegal immigrants who speak broken English at best, and we always crush them), but the women who are there watching look to be in especially poor shape, with oozing tortilla flabbiness in abundance.

A few months back, a study was released suggesting that exercise may improve brain functioning. The implication that this is a formula for raising test scores and closing the achievement gap (more recess time for NAMs?) is standard blather from those antagonistic towards cognitive realism, but in my own personal experience, it is modestly beneficial. Specifically, my ability to focus is enhanced after I've worked out (unfortunately, I have to balance this with the realization that I simply don't lift as well and am more prone to tweaking in the mornings, especially within the first couple hours of waking up, so I generally do cardio in the morning and lift when I get home in the evenings).

Without any speculation on which way the causality arrow points, if there is an arrow at all, the percentages of people who describe themselves as athletic by intelligence follows. Respondents are divided into five groups forming a roughly normal distribution by wordsum score; Really Smarts (score of 9-10, comprising 13% of the population), Pretty Smarts (7-8, 26%), Normals (6, 22%), Pretty Dumbs (4-5, 27%), and Really Dumbs (0-3, 12%). To avoid the confounding factor of race, with blacks potentially skewing the correlation between athleticism and intelligence in an inverse direction, only whites are included. In a similar vein, only those 40 and under are considered, to avoid confounding from the elderly who may have considered themselves athletic in the past but no longer do so and who've also had a lifetime to stumble upon the definitions of various words:

Athletic
Really smarts34.3%
Pretty smarts33.8%
Normals40.4%
Pretty dumbs38.4%
Really dumbs44.3%

To the extent that there is a relationship, it does indeed appear to be slightly inverse (although not statistically significant). It is conceivable that people who don't have a lot upstairs are more likely to emphasize their physical abilities. It's also possible that athleticism and intelligence are unrelated. If this is the case, the fact that professional athletes tend to be more intelligent than the population at large (when race is taken into account) is presumably the result of higher IQ leading to better nutrition, more discipline in working out and mastering positions played, etc.

GSS variables used: ATHLETIC, SEX(1)(2), RACECEN1(1)(2)(4-10)(15-16), INTRWGHT

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Winter wights and helio humans

Using the Derb's Ice People/Sun People dichotomy, the following table ranks states by their net frigidity, determined by taking a state's rate of change in Ice People minus its rate change in Sun People, as reported by Pew over the period 2005-2007, due exclusively to internal migration. It is necessary to account for differences in national population size, so the Ice People figures are based largely on white movement (93% white, 7% Asian). For Sun People, it is 55% Hispanic, 45% black*:

State
Frost factor
1. District of Columbia
183.0
2. Alaska
125.2
3. Maine
69.5
4. Kentucky
55.1
5. Montana
54.0
6. South Dakota
43.9
7. Wyoming
39.1
8. Louisiana
37.1
9. Arizona
20.9
10. Rhode Island
20.7
11. Vermont
15.0
12. New York
13.4
13. New Mexico
13.0
14. Texas
5.1
15. Illinois
3.9
16. Alabama
3.4
17. Michigan
3.4
18. Colorado
0.9
19. Virginia
0.6
20. Florida
(0.9)
21. Wisconsin
(1.4)
22. Mississippi
(2.7)
23. Oregon
(4.8)
24. California
(4.9)
25. Idaho
(4.9)
26. New Hampshire
(5.9)
27. North Carolina
(6.9)
28. Ohio
(7.6)
29. Washington
(7.7)
30. West Virginia
(7.9)
31. New Jersey
(8.1)
32. South Carolina
(8.8)
33. Nebraska
(10.0)
34. Massachusetts
(13.2)
35. Georgia
(15.9)
36. Indiana
(16.0)
37. Oklahoma
(19.9)
38. Delaware
(20.9)
39. Maryland
(22.5)
40. Pennsylvania
(22.5)
41. Tennessee
(26.9)
42. Connecticut
(27.8)
43. Utah
(29.7)
44. Kansas
(29.7)
45. Nevada
(31.1)
46. Minnesota
(31.4)
47. Arkansas
(35.0)
48. Missouri
(35.7)
49. Iowa
(51.2)
50. Hawaii
(77.4)
51. North Dakota
(147.5)

The nation's capital is a glacial fortress, with more than 3,000 Ice People moving in each year while 14,000 Sun People leave in search of sunnier settings. Parenthetically, keep in mind that the index is measuring net migration of Ice People relative to that of Sun People. The iciest places like DC, Alaska, and Maine are all losing people through internal migration, but they're losing Sun People faster than they are losing Ice People (or in the case of DC--the starkest example of white people going in one direction and NAMs going in the other--losing more Sun People than they are gaining Ice People), while top destinations like Idaho show up in the middle of the rankings because people of all races are heading there.

Other states (Alaska, Maine, Montana, South Dakota, and Wyoming) known for being cold prior to the Derb's pessimistic prognostications also tend to be relatively more attractive to Ice People than they are to Sun People. Minnesota, already renowned for its sizable Somali population in Minneapolis, is an exception to this cool rule. Whites and Asians steadily moved out over the period while Hispanics and blacks moved in. North Dakota is another exception, and an apparently anomalous one at that. Pew reports that the state's Hispanic population grew by over 8% annually from internal migration alone, which stands out along with Alaska (where the Hispanic population is reported to have declined 11% per year) as being far higher than Hispanic movement elsewhere.

Steve Sailer has noted that Hispanics tend to vote like whites do, shifted to the left several points. They also tend to move to and from the same places (Hispanics already resident in the US, that is--even though there were hundreds of thousands of immigrants from Latin America pouring into California over the period measured, nearly 300,000 Hispanics already living in the US left California during that time). The correlation between the white and Hispanic rates of change through internal migration at the state level is .45. For whites and blacks, there is no relationship whatsoever, while for whites and Asians it is .21 but falls outside of statistical significance at 90% confidence.

Going through the state data, it becomes clear that blacks don't move across state lines much, while Hispanics are quite mobile. The average absolute rate of change for blacks is 1.1%. It is 1.7% for whites, 5.3% for Hispanics, and 5.8% for Asians (although the high Asian figure is probably an artifact of the way the estimates were made, in increments of 1,000--in states like Montana and Wyoming, a movement of 1,000 Asians nearly doubles or halves the population, depending on which way they're heading). In light of this, it is not surprising that black urban culture emphasizes city of origin as an important marker of identification, manifesting itself in clothing, tattoos, and in the world of hip hop.

* Using US Census data, non-Hispanic whites constitute 65.1% of the US population, Asians 4.6%. 65.1/(65.1+4.6) = .934003, hence the 93% figure (index values are rounded after all calculations have been made). Hispanics comprise 15.8%, blacks 12.9%. 15.8/(15.8+12.9) = .550523, hence the 55% Hispanic figure.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Is cheating eugenic?

Randall Parker pointed me to a study finding that those least likely to attend college based on family background, abilities, and peer group tend to gain the most from it relative to those more likely to do so based on the same considerations. After chewing on this, he asked a more general question: Is single motherhood dysgenic or eugenic? If women get knocked up by men out of their league for marriage, their children could benefit as a result.

I'm not aware of a way to measure this directly, but from previously sifting through data on cheating in the GSS, I know that more intelligent people are more likely to cheat than less intelligent people are. I wondered, then, if there was a substantial difference in the relationship between intelligence and cheating for men and women.

If smart men and dumb women tend to cheat, it's conceivable that the consequences are eugenic--dumb men end up raising children that are not theirs with their dumb, unfaithful wives, children who are instead the offspring of smarter cuckolds. And smart men end up not only having children with their smart wives but also other children with other women of lesser intelligence as well. Because men are able to procreate multiple times in a short period of time while women are not, smart men spreading their seed around and dumb women taking the seed of men smarter than they are is eugenic. In contrast, if the pizza delivery guy knocks up the rich, desperate housewife, the result is more dysgenic than if her husband would've done the inseminating.

This makes some enormous assumptions about a couple of aspects of cheating for which I have no evidence: 1) That cheaters do not take measures to separate their creeping fornication from procreation, and 2) That cheaters move up or down the intelligence ladder when they cheat, rather than tending to cheat with people similar to themselves (and their spouses). Further, it doesn't really get at Randall's question, since the GSS only queries about cheating among those who cheated while married--respondents who have never been married are excluded.

As it turns out, there isn't a big difference among men and women when it comes to intelligence and infidelity. The correlation between wordsum score and having cheated is .69 (p=.02) for men and .54 (p=.09) for women. Either both men and women are cheating with those similar to themselves, or both are descending down the intelligence ladder when they fool around. If everything assumed above is accurate, the eugenic effect is marginal at the most.

GSS variables used: EVSTRAY(1-2), SEX(1)(2), WORDSUM

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Birth order and the Flynn effect

Studies on birth order show that first-born children tend to have IQs that are, on average, 3 points higher than those of their second-born siblings, and second-borns in turn have a point or two advantage on their younger brothers and sisters. The most popular (and most PC) explanation for this is that couples are able to invest all of their parental energy into the first-born before the next child comes along. After that, though, parental attention is split among multiple offspring. But if the explanation is at least partially one of nature (or a product of a woman's reproductive quality declining as the number of times she's given birth accumulates), might there be a causal relationship between declining birth rates and the Flynn effect (realizing that at most this would account for a 1-2 point increase in average IQ and thus constituting only a fraction of the observed effect)?

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Where the White Bread Goes

++Addition++Steve Sailer makes some observations on the nation's top two whitopias, one quite red and the other very blue.

---

The following table ranks states by accretion in each state's white population exclusively due to internal migration within the US (thus excluding birth rates and foreign immigration) over a three-year period. "Growth" is measured in terms of the percentage of the population in each state that is white. So if a state has one million white residents and over the time period being measured 40,000 move out of state and 50,000 move in (for a net of 10,000 whites), the growth rate is 1.0% (10,000/1,000,000). Because internal migration is the only thing being measured, it's a zero-sum game--for every state that has growth, another has a corresponding contraction. The data, from Pew, are from 2005-2007, and so predate the recession:

State
% change
1. District of Columbia
5.1
2. Idaho
4.6
3. Arizona
4.5
4. South Carolina
3.5
5. North Carolina
2.8
6. Delaware
2.6
7. Oregon
2.2
8. Georgia
2.0
9. Arkansas
1.9
10. Oklahoma
1.7
10. Montana
1.7
10. Alabama
1.7
13. Texas
1.6
14. Washington
1.4
14. Tennessee
1.4
14. New Mexico
1.4
17. Kentucky
1.3
18. Colorado
1.2
19. Florida
0.9
20. Utah
0.7
20. New Hampshire
0.7
20. Nevada
0.7
23. Virginia
0.6
24. Missouri
0.4
25. West Virginia
0.3
25. Pennsylvania
0.3
25. Iowa
0.3
28. South Dakota
0.1
29. Wisconsin
0
29. Indiana
0
31. Nebraska
(0.2)
32. Vermont
(0.3)
33. Maine
(0.4)
34. Wyoming
(0.6)
34. Kansas
(0.6)
36. North Dakota
(0.7)
37. Ohio
(0.9)
38. Minnesota
(1.0)
39. Rhode Island
(1.1)
40. Illinois
(1.4)
40. Connecticut
(1.4)
42. Mississippi
(1.7)
42. Michigan
(1.7)
44. New Jersey
(2.0)
44. California
(2.0)
46. Massachusetts
(2.1)
47. Maryland
(2.2)
48. New York
(2.3)
49. Louisiana
(3.6)
50. Hawaii
(6.8)
51. Alaska
(7.3)

Generally, the South, the Mountain West, and the Pacific Northwest are where whites are moving to, hailing originally from the Midwest and Northeast, though there are exceptions. There is movement out of Mississippi and Louisiana, as well as mini-exodus from Hawaii and Alaska back into the contiguous US. Parenthetically, it should be noted that white internal migration patterns roughly parallel those of non-whites.

New Hampshire--surely the state I'd want to call home if I relocated to the Northeast--bucks the trend. The states surrounding California have all seen increases from the Golden State's white flight. California is losing over 100,000 whites (net) each year as the former destination for American Dreamers continues its tragic implosion. Looks like Jack Cashill asks a more relevant question than Thomas Frank does.

The nation's capital has undergone the most substantial demographic transition in the country over the last decade, as blacks have left en masse (DC lost a staggering one-fifth of its black population over the three year period), replaced by SWPLs who have heeded John Derbyshire's prudent advice that people should do their best to get government jobs.

Forget Fat Joe and lean forward

With the first blast of this winter's frigidity upon those of us in the Midwest, allow me to dispense a bit of practical advice. When a patch of ice causes you to wipe out, most of the time you're going to be landing on your ass after one of your feet slips forward from underneath you. To prevent this when you're walking on a slick surface, lean further forward than you normally do when you walk, sort of like Sherlock Holmes does when he's scouring. You'll be less likely to fall, and if you do, you'll fall forward, which allows you to use your arms to break some of the impact.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Pieces of paper for stuff a formula for prosperity?

In a recent Econ Talk podcast, host Russ Roberts and then later Don Boudreaux both explain how trade deficits are not worrisome, that globally there must be a net balance in trade surpluses and deficits, and that anyway, giving away paper to get stuff doesn't seem like such a bad deal. Boudreaux's take is more sober, as he specifies that when the paper exchanged for goods goes bad (the currency loses value, the debt is defaulted on, the market value of the company for which the equity represents plummets, etc), things really work out well for the one running the deficit, whereas the assets exchanged appreciating rapidly in value is not so rosy for the country running the deficit. Roberts, in contrast, seems stuck on pieces of paper for stuff is a great deal!

My method for thinking about economic issues is surely risible in the eyes of professional economists who understand economics infinitely better than I do, but as a simpleton, I'm stuck with my method. That method is to analogize whatever is in question to myself at the individual level. Attempting to stimulate the economy through massive spending after people have lost trillions in wealth therefore strikes me as absurd, just as going on a shopping binge after losing my job would be.

Similarly, applying for and maxing out every credit card I can get my hands on seems like a disastrously profligate idea. But like the US running a trade deficit with China, if all I have to do is swipe these pieces of plastic--don't even have to give away paper!--in return for food to eat, stuff at Home Depot to improve my house, and all kinds of other things to play with, joke is on the fools who are giving up valuable stuff for nothing but the opportunity to hold my credit card for a few seconds! Doubly so when I am unable (or refuse) to pay what they say I owe and declare bankruptcy to get them off my back.

I'm sure there is a trade-deficits-don't-matter answer ready for deployment in response to this, but I never hear it from economists like Roberts or Boudreaux. They might respond that the flip side of a trade deficit is a capital surplus, but that works in the credit card analogy as well--whatever I'm buying (or at least many of the things I buy) are capital goods, obvious cases being the purchase of a car or materials to build a fence on my property. Thus I'm enjoying my own capital surplus while I run up my trade deficit.

So is going into credit card debt as long as banks will keep issuing you credit a good idea? Is running a net trade deficit year after year a similarly good idea? If the answer in the case of the former is "no" but in the latter is "yes", why? Simpletons want to know.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The most alpha occupations

The proceeding list shows the number of different women men in various occupations have been with in the course of their lives. To avoid skewing the numbers with youngsters just riding out into the morning sun, only those 35 and older at the time of participation in the GSS are considered. Each grouping (separated by semi-colons) has a minimum of 25 respondents, although most have numbers far higher than that and are grouped as they are for convenience or because that is how ISCO 88 categorizes them.

Occupations for which the median number of sexual partners in life is 10:

Authors, writers, and journalists; lawyers; sculptors, painters, and actors; waiters and bartenders.

Those with a partner count of 8:

Real estate agents and appraisers; sales reps.

Seven:

Painters; plumbers; human resources people; store stockers.

Six:

Military personnel; truck drivers; policemen and firefighters; mail carriers and sorters; social workers; housekeepers; operations department managers.

Five:

Welders; construction workers and carpenters; government workers; college and university professors and lecturers; architects and engineers; technicians; machine operators; retail and wholesale managers; cooks; retail sales workers.

Four:

Computing professionals; accountants; doctors, veterinarians, dentists, and pharmacists.

Three:

Bookkeepers; building maintenance workers; teachers.

One:

Pastors, priests, and other religious practitioners.

With the glaring exception of spiritual shepherds, who appear to largely adhere to the behavior proscribed by their religions and abstain from premarital sex or, in the case of Catholic priests, avoid it altogether, men who make their money by communicating with others are the most sexually prolific. Lust loves loquacity.

The idea that military life is one of leaving base each weekend to bang exotic girls is, at the least, oversold.

The core of respectable bourgeoisie careers--doctors, accountants, and network administrators--are on the lower end, in large part because these guys are among the most likely to be married.

One might think that being in an environment devoid of competition and flooded with women would be like shooting fish in a barrel, but male teachers (K-12) tend to have a modest number of notches in their belts. The desire to be responsible for herds of children (or even just the ability to tolerate so being) probably selects for a type of man who is not exactly bursting at the seams with testosterone.

GSS variables used: SEX(1), AGE(35-89), ISCO88, NUMWOMEN

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Spoiling for spoilers

Agnostic has a post up where he ridicules the taboo against spoilers as a sign of deterioration in entertainment, an increasing vapidity among those who take it in, or both. It strikes me as a sensible response to a changing media landscape, as I tried to flesh out in the comments, which are reprinted here:

I don't think the insinuation that wanting to have a conclusion withheld is fairly described as hysterical, nor is it a sign that the narrative is trash and/or that the viewer is trash.

I regularly record NFL games and watch them later in the day, not because football's sole appeal is what it reveals about the standings or because I'm incapable of appreciating anything other than who gets the win, but because it takes away from the overall experience. I'll still watch Briggs and Urlacher in Miami whether the Bears stay on top of the north or not. I'd prefer not know until the end of the game, though.

That you wouldn't structure your argument around a sports contest hints at a significant reason for the rise in spoiler-phobia over the last 15 years. Sports have always been spoiled immediately. The assumption is that you take it in in real-time, or you don't take it in at all and instead settle for highlights on SportsCenter. Episodes of TV series used to exist in the same way. Now, though, viewers of TV shows are not beholden to see something at the time it is slated to air--they are easily able to access it at their own convenience, by buying entire seasons on DVD, viewing them on youtube, etc (to a lesser extent this applies to sports as well).

In the past, after the show or event aired, if you missed it, it could be fairly assumed you would never see it (at least not anytime in the near future), so revealing the narrative wasn't nearly as big of a deal. It was as though if you didn't read the book within a specific time frame, all you had access to were the Cliff's Notes--no harm in reading them in such a situation. But if you are able to pick up the book at your own leisure, your aversion to the Cliff's Notes prior to reading the book yourself is understandable.

While the term "spoiler" may have been born in 1995, the disdain for it obviously predates that time. In the Simpsons episode "I Married Marge", aired in '91, a teenage Homer enrages a line of moviegoers when he expresses his surprise at the ending of The Empire Strikes Back to Marge. The difference then was that unless you went seeking a movie's conclusion, you wouldn't find it (absent some loud-mouthed jerk blabbing about it without solicitation). Fast-forward to the age of Google, blogs, and social networks and the chance of having something spoiled is everywhere and unpredictable. It can be difficult to escape from. Spoiler warnings have become a necessity because of technological change. That seems a sufficient explanation to me.

Regarding video games, I think you have it exactly backwards. The aversion to spoilers is a sign of how much more stimulating narratives have become and how video gaming has evolved to the point of realizing the same character depth, philosophical speculation, cultural and historical referencing, and moral instruction that movies do.

The revelation that Samus is a girl is the ideal illustration of a vapid 'shocker'. It has no bearing on anything else to the gameplayer. The tragic role reversals of Tidus and Yuna (Final Fantasy 10), in contrast, is richly teased out over 40 hours (another reason video games, and rpgs specifically, are so spoiler-adverse--when it comes to time and depth invested in a narrative, other forms of entertainment pale by comparison), building steadily but so subtly that at the story's conclusion it still leaves the gameplayer reeling. Tidus is initially an ego maniacal, vain sports star; Yuna a prophet-like, almost messianic young woman guided by the Fayth (angels) toward the ultimate (and presumably preordained) sacrifice as a means of joining Sin and removing it from the world.

As it turns out, it is Tidus who inevitably must be sacrificed. Tidus, of course, struggles mightily with this, but so does Yuna, not just because someone else must suffer what was thought to be her fate, but because she must come to terms with the realization that what she believed to be the culmination of her existence was an illusion, and that her new reality was entirely at odds with everything she'd lived for up to that point. There are enormous statements made about religion and its interaction with both society and the individual made in the game. That is just one of many remarkable elements of the narrative. Knowing as much in advance negatively alters the experience of the game far more than knowing Samus' sex does (although neither spoiler makes the games unplayable by any stretch--they survive on far more than their narratives).



Monday, November 15, 2010

Tea party support by state

The following table shows net support (% of voters supporting - % of voters opposing) for the tea party movement by state among voters in the 2010 mid-term elections. Exit polling was only conducted extensively in states where the Senate and/or gubernatorial races were at least somewhat competitive:

State
Support
Oppose
Net
1) Texas
48
25
23
2) Arkansas
43
23
20
3) Indiana
46
27
19
4) West Virginia
40
24
16
4) Ohio
43
27
16
4) Arizona
46
30
16
7) Kentucky
43
28
15
8) South Carolina
43
29
14
9) Missouri
41
28
13
9) Louisiana
42
29
13
National
41
30
11
11) New Hampshire
41
32
9
12) Colorado
41
34
7
12) Florida
39
32
7
14) Wisconsin
37
32
5
15) Illinois
36
32
4
15) Pennsylvania
39
35
4
15) Iowa
36
32
4
18) Nevada
38
35
3
19) Oregon
36
36
0
20) California
34
35
(1)
20) New York
36
37
(1)
22) Washington
37
40
(3)
23) Connecticut
35
42
(7)
24) Delaware
35
45
(10)
25) Hawaii
26
37
(11)
26) Vermont
24
43
(19)

Nothing surprising here. The correlation between McCain's share of the vote in '08 and support for the tea party today is a nearly perfect .89. The phenomenon is a battle for the 'heart and soul' of the Republican party--there are very few leftists joining the cause.

What is remarkable is how the perceptions of the tea party compare with those of the two major parties. The following table shows net support for the tea party and each major political party, this time by net support for Democrats. Because the questions regarding the parties asks about favorability/unfavorability while the tea party question asks about support/opposition, it's not quite an apples-to-apples comparison, but it's close. For whatever reason, exit pollsters in five states did not inquire about feelings towards the two parties, so those states are omitted:

State
Dem
Rep
TP
California
+6
(28)
(1)
Illinois
+6
(19)
+4
Delaware
+5
(20)
(10)
Washington
+4
(23)
(3)
Pennsylvania
(1)
(13)
+4
Oregon
(3)
(33)
+0
Wisconsin
(6)
(4)
+5
West Virginia
(7)
(4)
+16
National
(8)
(12)
+11
Colorado
(10)
(18)
+7
Florida
(11)
(8)
+7
Iowa
(11)
(2)
+4
Nevada
(11)
(12)
+3
Ohio
(11)
(12)
+16
Missouri
(15)
(5)
+13
Kentucky
(16)
+2
+15
Arkansas
(17)
+8
+20
Indiana
(18)
+5
+19
New Hampshire
(18)
(1)
+9
South Carolina
(19)
+9
+14
Texas
(19)
+5
+23
Arizona
(23)
+1
+16

In no state does the GOP receive greater support than the tea party. I've resigned myself to the idea that I will be voting without exception for hopeless third party presidential candidates for my entire life, but if ever the ground seems fertile enough for a perennial third party to take root, now is that time.

Even in some competitive blue states like Pennsylvania, Oregon, and Wisconsin, the tea party does better than Democrats do. Even in solidly Democratic states like California and Illinois, feelings towards the tea party are decidedly mixed. Christine O'Donnell, like Sarah Palin, appears to have a knack for really grating some people. Consequently, opposition to the tea party is especially high in Delaware relative to its political profile.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

George W. Bush's failed presidency

In the recent interview conducted by Matt Lauer, former President George W. Bush says that Kanye West accusing him of not caring about black people was the worst moment of his entire presidency:



As soon as Lauer begins the question about the NBC telethon, Bush's expression changes in recognition of what is coming. While responding, Bush bangs the outside of his hands down on the table. His reaction is genuine and visceral, not coached. Kanye really got to him. I believe him when he claims that it was personally the worst moment he experienced in his eight years in office.

And it is as lamentable a statement as it sincere, not only because there are so many other things of far greater consequence that he is answerable for, like the war in Iraq, NCLB, the Patriot Act, the Medicare prescription drug plan, the housing collapse and ensuing recession, etc, but because it represents the utter futility of the right bending over backwards to cater to non-whites and avoid the "racist" label. He was a strong supporter of the McCain-Kennedy amnesty bill, gave more aid money to sub-Saharan Africa than any other President in US history, gave cabinet positions to four blacks (Colin Powell, Condoleeza Rice, Rod Paige, Alphonso Jackson), three Hispanics (Alberto Gonzalez, Carlos Gutierrez, Mel Martinez), two Asians (Elaine Chao, Norman Mineta), and an Arab (Spencer Abraham), charged that the NYFD violated the 1964 Civil Rights Act in the disparate impact that resulted from its screening processes, pushed strongly for greater minority home ownership at the expense of financial prudence on the part of lenders, and on and on.

Despite this sustained effort to gain the approval of non-whites, and an apparently ingenuous desire to show that he is not a racist, Kanye's sentiments are shared by blacks everywhere. And not just blacks and other non-whites, but even among many white leftists. Googling "george bush racist" brings up over 2 million returns. Wealth redistribution, affirmative action, disparate impact, the putative inherent value of diversity, increased government services, and other ideas championed by the contemporary left are naturally more appealing to NAMs than they are to whites, as NAMs tend to be on the receiving end of the benefits bestowed by these things, while whites are largely the ones forced to foot the bill and make the sacrifices necessary for these benefits to be enjoyed.

Short of somehow trying to move to the left of the Democratic party, the GOP will never receive significant NAM support. It has never happened in modern history, and it never will (Asians are potentially another story; the GOP won the Asian vote as recently as 1996). Republicans like Bush need to stop ruining themselves and their party's future prospects genuflecting at the multicult altar. The high priests never grant those on the right atonement, only excommunication.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

We are doomed (economically), and other 2010 mid-term election observations

++Addition++Patrick Cleburne notes that I disagree with the idea that immigration is a winning issue for the GOP. That's a product of poor communication on my part, not my actual sentiments. I'm just speculating that going as far as Angle did may have been politically counterproductive. I suspect (and the exit polling data appears to support me) that people who are seriously concerned with immigration will seek out politicians' stances on it, so making it a campaign centerpiece is unnecessary and runs the risk of opening one up to all the usual point-and-sputter charges of racism, bigotry, hate, etc.

---

California's Proposition 19 was shot down at nearly identical rates by race. Like American Idol and Monday Night Football, the attempt to legalize marijuana use among those old enough to drink is something people of every color can appreciate, or in this case, object to:

RaceYesNo
White (60%)46%54%
Black (10%)47%53%
Hispanic (22%)45%55%
Asian (4%)39%61%
Other (3%)48%52%

The partisan differences are far more distinct, however:

PartyYesNo
Democrat56%44%
Republican30%70%
Independent47%53%

Without taking this into consideration, we'd miss the fact that non-white Democrats fell in between independent whites and Republican whites in their levels of opposition to Prop 19. Support only came from white Democrats which, even in solidly blue California, wasn't enough to get it passed. There's a take-home message or two here for SWPLs.

Arizona and Colorado each had propositions (actually an amendment to the state constitution in the case of the latter) on healthcare up for voter consideration that were similarly designed to challenge the Obama plan. As expected, in both states conservatives and Republicans were the most supportive of the propositions, liberals and Democrats the least so, with moderates and independents in between.

Far more remarkable (and in my opinion, encouraging) was how the age trend ran in the opposite direction it so consistently runs on other issues largely defined by party affiliation. Young people were most supportive of the propositions and, by extension, are the least supportive of Obamacare. In Arizona:

AgeYesNo
18-29 (10%)60%40%
30-44 (21%)55%45%
45-64 (42%)57%43%
65+ (28%)50%50%

In Colorado, the 18-29 age range was too small to reliably report a breakdown for, but the trend is similar:

AgeYesNo
18-29 (9%)N/AN/A
30-44 (22%)48%52%
45-64 (47%)48%52%
65+ (21%)43%57%

Young adults appear to understand that a socialized healthcare system is one in which they will be paying for benefits their elders will enjoy without getting anything in return. With the inversion of the age pyramid that is taking place across the Western world, the young are already going to be dealing with increasing demands on their resources from social security and other old age entitlements that are not tied directly to healthcare. They are understandably reluctant to take on the burdens Obamacare will inevitably place on them.

I wonder if supporters of the Arizona and Colorado propositions were aware of how the age element played into the results. This was the first general election in which such propositions directly challenging Obamacare could be put to the voting public, so waiting until 2012 would've meant passing up the earliest opportunity. But it also would've meant a higher percentage of the electorate would've been in the 18-29 year old range. In Arizona, it didn't matter--Prop 106 passed. In Colorado, however, amendment 63 narrowly went down to defeat.

Moving to the congressional elections, following President Obama's victory in the 2008 election, Half Sigma decried the GOP becoming a party of poor, dumb whites, citing Obama's victory among the highest income voters. Two years later, the clarion call is sounding a bit silly. One of the good (or convenient, anyway) things about stagnating per capita wealth in the US over the last decade is that like comparisons among voters by income range can be made across election cycles. The following table shows the percentage of voters who voted for the Democrat in their district's House race ('06 and '10) and who voted for Obama ('08):

Income200620082010
$30k-63%64%56%
$30k-$50k56%55%51%
$50k-$75k50%48%46%
$75k-$100k52%51%42%
$100k-$200k47%48%42%
$200k+45%52%35%

More than half of all voters earning more than $200,000 a year supported Obama. A couple of years later, only one-third of high income earners voted Democrat. The country's most affluent swung farther back to the right--a full 17 points--than any other income group--where swings ranged from 2 to 9 points--did between '08 and '10. Either Obama is a uniquely SWPL candidate, or a lot of people didn't know who they were voting for. Everywhere exit polling was conducted and reported at the state level showed that income and voting Republican correlated positively with two exceptions; the uber SWPL state of Oregon, where the trend mostly ran in the opposite direction, and Delaware, where income wasn't much of a factor.

Contingent upon the Republican presidential nominee in 2012, I suspect the latter will prove to be the case, with many high income earners abandoning Obama in his reelection bid. On the brighter side for the left, however, post-graduates who don't make jack shit are still reliably Democratic!

Kudos to the media establishment for preferring the term "independent" to "moderate" when referring to swing voters. Among self-described moderates, Republicans gained a relatively paltry 6 points between '08 and '10 (and still lost them as a group, 42%-55%). Among self-described independents, though, the swing was more than twice that, at 13 points, for a 56%-38% victory. Parenthetically, moderate is a potential answer to the question on political ideology, while independent is a potential response to the question on party identification.

Despite disingenuous admonitions to Republicans about becoming the "party of no" from leftist commentators on NPR and NBC, 56% of the electorate asserted that the government needs to hear a lot more noes than it has been hearing lately ("government is doing too much"). Only 38% said the "government should do more".

Ideally, rather than asking specifically about illegal immigration, exit polls would query voters on immigration in general. The illegal adjective has negative connotations for most people, and consequently when asked to choose the most important issue among a list of several, those who identify illegal immigration as the most pressing are probably more restrictionist than would be the case if the issue in question was regarding immigration policy in general. Or more precisely, those who might choose immigration as their most important issue instead of say, healthcare, still choose healthcare if the immigration choice is limited to one concerning only illegal immigration.

That said, there are plenty of people out there who care about illegal immigration and want to make it easier for those who are illegal to become legal residents, in some cases by merely being present in the US and wanting to live here. And among those who care about illegal immigration the most, Republicans won big, 69%-26%. The pragmatic lesson here for politicians is that (in the general election) restrictionism wins, but it doesn't need to be a centerpiece of their campaigns.

Far from being an unfortunate curmudgeonly exception to the ebullient optimism of the American people, a plurality of voters basically agree with the Derb that we are doomed:

Life for the next generation will be...
Better32%
Worse38%
About the same26%

For those hoping to see pessimism reclaimed, consider an even greater reason to be optimistic! In three seemingly random states that held a Senate and/or gubernatorial election--Colorado, Florida, and Ohio--exit pollsters asked voters whether the economy was in a normal downturn or in long-term decline:

US economy is in... ColoradoFloridaOhio
Normal downturn22%23%22%
Long-term decline72%73%77%

Whether you're from the mountain west, the Ohio valley, or the sunshine state, sing it from the rooftops: We are doomed!

Less happily, most Republicans continue to be sunny on the war in Afghanistan. A little over a month ago, Pat Buchanan wrote a column presaging a splitting of the blanket by the tea party wing and war wing of the new GOP. Looks like the latter has the advantage of strength in numbers:

War in AfghanistanApprove (40%)
Disapprove (54%)
Democrat
23%
77%
Republican
60%
40%

Those opposed to the war are a minority (within the GOP; it's the majority opinion more generally), but at least they are now a substantial one.

In a series of email exchanges I had with the late Richard Nadler, the open borders conservative pointed to John McCain's strong performance among Hispanics in his '04 Senate reelection campaign, in which he won 70% of their votes. But he also won 77% of the white vote, illustrating Steve Sailer's observation that Hispanics tend to vote as whites do, shifted several points to the left.

Six years later, McCain won reelection again. His good fortune was sealed in the primary when he defeated JD Hayworth, but apparently his triumph there did not come without cost. After a decade of being the GOP establishment's front man on amnesty, one nebulous ad about completing "the danged fence" and his Hispanic support vanished* (so goes the media narrative, anyhow). He lost 40%-57% among Hispanics to Rodney Glassman, whose campaign stance on immigration was almost indistinguishable from McCain's.

Yet McCain still sailed to an easy victory because he won the far more important white vote by a wide margin, 64%-29%. It's still one person, one vote after all!

Despite the presumption many have of Christine O'Donnell as a Christian kook, she won among whites in Delaware, 51%-45%. She lost her Senate bid because more than one-fifth of the state's electorate is black, and blacks voted against her 93%-6%, nearly the same rate that blacks voted for Obama in the '08 presidential election. C'mon, don't act surprised. You know how black guys feel about white girls who won't put out!

In most states with large Hispanic populations and a Senate election taking place, exit pollsters asked voters an absurdly dichotomous question about whether most illegal immigrants should be "offered legal status" or "deported". Strangely enough, the question was left out in Florida! Could it be that the majority of those favoring deportation voted for a Hispanic guy and against a white guy? That doesn't fit the narrative and simply must be kept from the public at all costs!

Along with their opposition to federal healthcare mandates, Kentucky offers another reason to find joy in the phrase "the children are our future". Rand Paul pulled off a nearly impossible feat for a Republican in a tight statewide election--he won the 18-24 year old vote, 52%-47%. While I'm a bit wary of how he'll vote on immigration legislation, he embodies my sentiments more than any of the other 99 Senators he'll be sharing the chamber with next year.

Initial exit polling data was reported to show that Sharron Angle had taken a black-like shellacking among Hispanics in Nevada's Senate election. As it turns out, her performance among Hispanics (30%-68%) was in line with Republicans nationwide (34%-64%). It's hardly surprising that given eligibility for affirmative action benefits, low levels of educational attainment, low incomes, high rates of poverty, and high rates of welfare usage, Hispanics are going to find a home in the Democratic party. Very few currently backing Democrats would otherwise be inclined to vote Republican if only the GOP would listen to Bryan Caplan.

Finally, a conundrum from Washington. Patty Murray, the Democrat, won among those aged 45 and older, 54%-46%, but Dino Rossi, the Republican, won among those aged 18-44 by an identical 54%-46%. Hey, I only claimed that Rand Paul's feat was nearly impossible.

* His Arizonan support, anyway. McCain was never able to persuade many Hispanics to back him in '08, even though as I wrote a month before the election, he could not have asked for a more favorable Democratic opponent to be running against as far as garnering the Hispanic vote was concerned:

We have the highest-profile open borders member of the GOP's national leadership, who teamed up with Ted Kennedy in an amnesty attempt that united the public in opposition and who virtually barred restrictionists from the Republican National Convention, running against Obama, who lost the Hispanic vote 64%-36% [to Hillary Clinton, during the Democratic primaries], a margin less favorable than Bush enjoyed among Hispanics in '04. Could you [, Richard Nadler,] ask for a better setup? Yet McCain is getting massacred by Obama among Hispanics. The polls show him losing the Hispanic vote 59%-29%, an Obama advantage that has held steady for several months.