Tag: Fun with numbers.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. MegaHype versus Supersized Virtue Signaling: Lotteries and Life


Another eye-popping multi-state lottery prize is dangled before our eyes, and once again we will be treated to hype and virtue signaling, leaving us none the wiser. The hype, backed by the state governments who get a cut of the action, is the easiest story to write. Heck, it has already been written hundreds of times. Just pop open the last story, cut and paste current dates and dollars, plug in the man on the street, swap out pictures, and throw in a woman at the convenience store video clip. The virtue signaling is even simpler. No need to update a thing. Everyone repeat after me: “the lottery is a tax on stupidity.” How about, for once, we all do better. In fact, let’s follow First Lady Melania Trump’s call to “Be Best.”

I’m no math whiz, but I can still do my 5th-grade math, and I managed to pass a course in valuation. Hey, hey, don’t fall out here! I’m not going to go all spreadsheets and green eyeshades on you. In fact, we’ll just do a simple 5th-grade long division problem, which is no problem at all with your kitchen table calculator or your laptop. Heck, you can just ask Siri or Alexa or some other genie to do the work for you.

Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Trump Victory in Michigan: Rural Revolt or Urban Apathy?

By Ali ZifanOwn work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

Discussing @tkc1101’s prodigious prognosticating abilities with regard to this election on a separate post I asked him if he thought that Trump’s victory was all do to a working class rural revolt or if perhaps he also benefited from urban apathy which saw a slackening of Obama’s Millennial/Minority vote? He could not say, and said he would wait for some further analysis. Curious about my own question I decided to quickly browse through the county results in Pennsylvania from 2012 and 2016. Based on a cursory analysis, my conclusions were that Hillary Clinton in PA did not actually under perform in urban areas as compared to Obama. Rather, her loss came from Trump over performing Mitt Romney in the more rural areas of PA and her under performing Obama in these same area. This indicated to me that for Pennsylvania at least based on a quick skim of the data Trump won because of a Rural Revolt.

With that bit of tantalizing information, I wondered what the results from Wisconsin and Michigan would look like on a by county basis. So, earlier this evening I sat down and decided to have a look. I have only had time to look at the data from Michigan in any detail so I will only be discussing those results. The question I asked was the same one posed for Pennsylvania: Rural Revolt or Urban Apathy?

Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. A Generic Republican vs. Hillary: What If?


romney-clintonMuch talk before the election was given to how much better another candidate (insert generic Republican here) would have been doing against Hillary Clinton. Such a debate is of course unnecessary now since Donald Trump has won (bigly even). But, the question still has cropped up if someone else would have done better than Trump has done. Such a question of course is impossible to really answer in any kind of objective way. Too many counterfactuals and possibilities exist to be able to account for them. Yet, one possible option to test this hypothesis, has occurred to me, and I decided to put it to the test.

The Hypothesis: Mitt Romney is the quintessential generic Republican candidate. If he ran again in 2016 vs. Clinton and received all the same votes he did in 2012 would this allow him to beat Clinton if she received all the votes she got in 2016?