We are not our resumes. Nor should we be.

When I enrolled at Yale University in September 1984, I was undecided between majoring in mathematics or political science. That decision was made much easier by my less-than-stellar performance in Math 230, then a required freshman math course. Beyond the objective difficult of the class, there are other reasons why I did not do asContinue reading “We are not our resumes. Nor should we be.”

Using Jon Ossoff polling data to make a point about statistical significance testing

I do not like the phrase “statistical dead heat,” nor do I like the phrase “statistical tie.” These phrases oversimplify the level of uncertainty accruing to any value (e.g., polling percentage or margin) estimated from a sample of a larger population of interest, such as the universe of election-day voters; when you sample, you areContinue reading “Using Jon Ossoff polling data to make a point about statistical significance testing”

Two distinct restaurants. Two different conversations. One unanswered question.

I spent many nights in the liberated summer between high school graduation and enrolling at Yale taking long solo drives, exploring outer suburban Philadelphia. One night, meandering along Route 23, I saw this at the intersection with Route 113N in Phoenixville: My idea of heaven was, and remains, a 24-hour diner, though less so whenContinue reading “Two distinct restaurants. Two different conversations. One unanswered question.”

Jon Ossoff, Ed Markey, and the (near-)future of the Democratic Party

The runoff special election for Georgia’s 6th Congressional District (CD) is June 20, 2017. Democrat Jon Ossoff won the first round of voting on April 19, 2017, but with only 48.1% of the vote. Rather than have separate party primaries, all candidates in Georgia run in a single “jungle primary.” If nobody receives more thanContinue reading “Jon Ossoff, Ed Markey, and the (near-)future of the Democratic Party”

Democrats’ current generic ballot advantage is JUST enough to recapture the House in 2018

On June 5, 2017, the data journalism website fivethirtyeight.com introduced its new yardstick to assess which political party is winning the battle to control the U.S. House of Representatives (House) after the 2018 midterm elections. This tool is a weighted average of “generic ballot polls,” polls that ask respondents some variant of the question “If theContinue reading “Democrats’ current generic ballot advantage is JUST enough to recapture the House in 2018”

Democrats need to capitalize on gubernatorial election opportunities in 2017 and 2018

Having previously analyzed Democratic prospects in the 2018 midterm elections for U.S. House (House; here and here) and Senate (Senate; here), I now examine what I think are the most important elections for both parties in 2017 and 2018—those for governor. In an age of increasing partisan polarization and Congressional gridlock, governors have emerged asContinue reading “Democrats need to capitalize on gubernatorial election opportunities in 2017 and 2018”