In this day and age, celebrities have a lot of influence over our politics. Garthwaite and Moore estimated that Oprah Winfrey's endorsement of Barack Obama in 2008 netted him an extra 1 million votes . More recently, an Instagram post by Taylor Swift led over 160,000 Americans to register to vote prior to the 2018 … Continue reading Finding Shawn Mendes
In 2012, Nate Silver wrote about elastic and inelastic states. An elastic state is one with lots of swing voters. This means that if the national electorate shifted by one percentage point, you would expect that state's vote to shift by more than one percentage point. Alaska, for instance, is an elastic state: although it … Continue reading Should FiveThirtyEight’s elasticity index have a wider spread?
EDIT: See also, FiveThirtyEight's article on the same topic. Off-year elections will be happening across the US this Tuesday, November 5th. Here are some races I'll be keeping an eye on: Probably the most important election is in Virginia, where control of the legislative branch (both the Senate and House of Delegates) is up for … Continue reading A few things to watch this Tuesday
(Related: Lofty expectations) In August of 1939, just as World War II was beginning, physicists Albert Einstein and Leó Szilárd wrote a letter to President Roosevelt, letting him know about the theoretical possibility of nuclear weapons and suggesting that the United States start a nuclear program. The letter resulted in the Manhattan Project, which led … Continue reading What to do about undefined expectations?