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lena_chita
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Oct 15, 2012, 10:56 AM
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Demographics and statistics
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I cannot find this information online, but at the same time, I cannot imagine that it is not being tracked by someone somewhere.

Here are the questions:

-There are some people who, for example, vote Democratic for President, but Republican for Senator, or Congressman, or State Governor. Or vice versa. How many/what percentage of people vote the mixed bag, and how different are the numbers from state to state? (I am not interested in the local votes, stuff like city major, or councilman, etc, just National and State level)

-There are some people who voted Republican in one election, then Democratic in the next election, and so on, switching back and forth in some pattern. How many/what percentage, and how is it different from state to state?

-For older people with a long history of voting, how often do you see a pattern of, for example, voting democratic for a block of several elections, then switching to voting republican for a block of elections, vs. a pattern of switching back and forth randomly/multiple times?


petsfed


Oct 15, 2012, 11:04 AM
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Re: [lena_chita] Demographics and statistics [In reply to]
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Since ballots are, by definition (and by law) anonymous, its really hard to tie a given vote to a specific person. Thus, if such data is being reported, its largely optional and (I would expect) subject to a pretty severe selection bias.

The best you can do is look at results by county, both per election and over time.

I would also be interested to see how it goes, since I lived in one of two counties in Wyoming to become more red in the last election.


Gmburns2000


Oct 15, 2012, 11:29 AM
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Re: [petsfed] Demographics and statistics [In reply to]
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petsfed wrote:
Since ballots are, by definition (and by law) anonymous, its really hard to tie a given vote to a specific person. Thus, if such data is being reported, its largely optional and (I would expect) subject to a pretty severe selection bias.

The best you can do is look at results by county, both per election and over time.

I would also be interested to see how it goes, since I lived in one of two counties in Wyoming to become more red in the last election.

This ^^ or maybe by city / town.

I'm one of these people. In MA, I usually voted Dem for the Legislature and Rep for Gov. I'll vote both Rep and Dem for Senate / House on the federal level and the same for other states that I've lived in that aren't dominated by one party or the other.

I'm also one of those people who, if I don't know who the candidates are, I'll vote against the incumbent.

I don't vote in blocks just for patterns unless there's a reason for it (i.e. - I don't vote Dem one election and Rep the next just because I went Dem the last time).


scrapedape


Oct 15, 2012, 11:47 AM
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Re: [petsfed] Demographics and statistics [In reply to]
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If you want this at an individual level, you will necessarily be relying on self-reported data. This has the potential to create problems due to biases in recall, inadvertent or unintentional misreporting, etc. But, there's nothing to say this would be better or worse than relying on aggregate data, which can create its own set of problems.

Not sure who would have data on this but for the reasons above I would be skeptical of anything short of high quality peer-reviewed work.

If you are interested in these issues in a general way, you may want to take a look at Andrew Gelman's book, Red State Blue State or at his blog, http://www.themonkeycage.com


SylviaSmile


Oct 16, 2012, 4:30 PM
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Re: [lena_chita] Demographics and statistics [In reply to]
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lena_chita wrote:
I cannot find this information online, but at the same time, I cannot imagine that it is not being tracked by someone somewhere.

Here are the questions:

-There are some people who, for example, vote Democratic for President, but Republican for Senator, or Congressman, or State Governor. Or vice versa. How many/what percentage of people vote the mixed bag, and how different are the numbers from state to state? (I am not interested in the local votes, stuff like city major, or councilman, etc, just National and State level)

-There are some people who voted Republican in one election, then Democratic in the next election, and so on, switching back and forth in some pattern. How many/what percentage, and how is it different from state to state?

-For older people with a long history of voting, how often do you see a pattern of, for example, voting democratic for a block of several elections, then switching to voting republican for a block of elections, vs. a pattern of switching back and forth randomly/multiple times?

Next time I am at the research desk with nothing to do, I will try to look up some answers to these questions in my university library. I am a reference librarian in training, so this would be good practice (and I'm curious too)!


Partner cracklover


Oct 17, 2012, 10:31 AM
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Re: [lena_chita] Demographics and statistics [In reply to]
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It's not a full answer to your question, but one data point:

Of those who call themselves independent, 1/3 vote fairly exclusively for Democrats, 1/3 vote fairly exclusively for Republicans, and 1/3 truly change their vote based on the candidate.

GO


petsfed


Oct 17, 2012, 10:43 AM
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Re: [cracklover] Demographics and statistics [In reply to]
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cracklover wrote:
It's not a full answer to your question, but one data point:

Of those who call themselves independent, 1/3 vote fairly exclusively for Democrats, 1/3 vote fairly exclusively for Republicans, and 1/3 truly change their vote based on the candidate.

GO

I'd wager that that middle third does the lesser-of-two-evils thing a lot of the time. I wonder what the distribution of ideology amongst partisan independents is. Do you suppose that its just a block of (for instance) democrats in all but name, or is it distribution from actual communists to conservatives that emphasize social freedom over all of their other views, and everything in between? What's the rate of third-party desertion?

Folks, we're writing a political science PhD dissertation here!


Partner cracklover


Oct 17, 2012, 12:18 PM
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Re: [petsfed] Demographics and statistics [In reply to]
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petsfed wrote:
I wonder what the distribution of ideology amongst partisan independents is. Do you suppose that its just a block of (for instance) democrats in all but name, or is it distribution from actual communists to conservatives that emphasize social freedom over all of their other views, and everything in between? What's the rate of third-party desertion?

From what I gather, the partisan independents really are partisan in everything but name. They simply don't want to associate themselves with the party for some reason, but it's some kind of cognitive dissonance: they are truly partisan, as much as anyone, in the way they vote.

GO


rmsusa


Oct 17, 2012, 1:55 PM
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Re: [petsfed] Demographics and statistics [In reply to]
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In reply to:
Folks, we're writing a political science PhD dissertation here!

LOL ... more like a high school civics theme. Where did cracklover get those numbers, anyway. Dissertations have to have references.


SylviaSmile


Oct 17, 2012, 1:57 PM
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Re: [cracklover] Demographics and statistics [In reply to]
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cracklover wrote:
petsfed wrote:
I wonder what the distribution of ideology amongst partisan independents is. Do you suppose that its just a block of (for instance) democrats in all but name, or is it distribution from actual communists to conservatives that emphasize social freedom over all of their other views, and everything in between? What's the rate of third-party desertion?

From what I gather, the partisan independents really are partisan in everything but name. They simply don't want to associate themselves with the party for some reason, but it's some kind of cognitive dissonance: they are truly partisan, as much as anyone, in the way they vote.

GO

Yeah, but this is tough to evaluate. I'm personally in the position of believing really strongly in a couple of things espoused by democrats and yet hating their positions on still other issues, on which I align more with republicans. You have to decide one way or another which issues matter the most to you. I'd never, however, describe myself as a democrat or as a republican, because that implies a buying into the party line in a way that not only inaccurately reflects my beliefs but also is extremely repulsive to me.


petsfed


Oct 17, 2012, 6:06 PM
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Re: [SylviaSmile] Demographics and statistics [In reply to]
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SylviaSmile wrote:
I'd never, however, describe myself as a democrat or as a republican, because that implies a buying into the party line in a way that not only inaccurately reflects my beliefs but also is extremely repulsive to me.

This, I suspect, is the real core of partisan independents. It could be that we see a sort of lesser-of-two-evils approach to the parties as well, and so the conscious decision to remain independent is driven by that recognition, even if one votes mostly party-line any way.

As for the dissertation, I meant in terms of questions to be answered about the data (which we don't yet have).


Partner cracklover


Oct 18, 2012, 8:24 AM
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Re: [rmsusa] Demographics and statistics [In reply to]
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rmsusa wrote:
In reply to:
Folks, we're writing a political science PhD dissertation here!

LOL ... more like a high school civics theme. Where did cracklover get those numbers, anyway. Dissertations have to have references.

A recent study that polled independently registered voters on their voting history in national elections. This is not a dissertation, it's an internet discussion. If you want me to try to track the study down, you better ask more nicely than that, LOL.

And Sylvia is a perfect example of the people I'm talking about. Approximately two thirds of the "Sylvias" who do vote, vote almost exclusively for one party in national elections, even though they do not affiliate themselves with that party.

GO


lena_chita
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Oct 18, 2012, 10:35 AM
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Re: [cracklover] Demographics and statistics [In reply to]
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cracklover wrote:
petsfed wrote:
I wonder what the distribution of ideology amongst partisan independents is. Do you suppose that its just a block of (for instance) democrats in all but name, or is it distribution from actual communists to conservatives that emphasize social freedom over all of their other views, and everything in between? What's the rate of third-party desertion?

From what I gather, the partisan independents really are partisan in everything but name. They simply don't want to associate themselves with the party for some reason, but it's some kind of cognitive dissonance: they are truly partisan, as much as anyone, in the way they vote.

GO


I guess I am one of those partisan independents. I don't associate myself with Democrats because I really would like to see another party that is more in line with my ideals. But as long as there is a two-party system in place (effectively), I cannot see myself voting Republican.

But back to the original question, yes, I do get that the vote is confidential and therefore the individual vote should not be traceable. Tongue

But they do this with patient demographics all the time. The identifiers such as name, SS#s, etc. are removed, so researchers cannot access that. Yet there is a number in place that allows subsequent patient tissues, data, etc, to get linked back to the original. So if someone has cancer, for example, get surgery for it, and 5 years later comes back with a recurrent cancer, I can theoretically retrieve both the original cancer information, as well as the new one, along with all the demographics and medical history, but not any identifying personal info.

I keep thinking that the same could be done with voting records...


scrapedape


Oct 18, 2012, 11:16 AM
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Re: [lena_chita] Demographics and statistics [In reply to]
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lena_chita wrote:
cracklover wrote:
petsfed wrote:
I wonder what the distribution of ideology amongst partisan independents is. Do you suppose that its just a block of (for instance) democrats in all but name, or is it distribution from actual communists to conservatives that emphasize social freedom over all of their other views, and everything in between? What's the rate of third-party desertion?

From what I gather, the partisan independents really are partisan in everything but name. They simply don't want to associate themselves with the party for some reason, but it's some kind of cognitive dissonance: they are truly partisan, as much as anyone, in the way they vote.

GO


I guess I am one of those partisan independents. I don't associate myself with Democrats because I really would like to see another party that is more in line with my ideals. But as long as there is a two-party system in place (effectively), I cannot see myself voting Republican.

But back to the original question, yes, I do get that the vote is confidential and therefore the individual vote should not be traceable. Tongue

But they do this with patient demographics all the time. The identifiers such as name, SS#s, etc. are removed, so researchers cannot access that. Yet there is a number in place that allows subsequent patient tissues, data, etc, to get linked back to the original. So if someone has cancer, for example, get surgery for it, and 5 years later comes back with a recurrent cancer, I can theoretically retrieve both the original cancer information, as well as the new one, along with all the demographics and medical history, but not any identifying personal info.

I keep thinking that the same could be done with voting records...

I'm pretty sure you just called republicans a cancer on this country, right?


lena_chita
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Oct 18, 2012, 11:42 AM
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Re: [scrapedape] Demographics and statistics [In reply to]
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scrapedape wrote:
lena_chita wrote:
cracklover wrote:
petsfed wrote:
I wonder what the distribution of ideology amongst partisan independents is. Do you suppose that its just a block of (for instance) democrats in all but name, or is it distribution from actual communists to conservatives that emphasize social freedom over all of their other views, and everything in between? What's the rate of third-party desertion?

From what I gather, the partisan independents really are partisan in everything but name. They simply don't want to associate themselves with the party for some reason, but it's some kind of cognitive dissonance: they are truly partisan, as much as anyone, in the way they vote.

GO


I guess I am one of those partisan independents. I don't associate myself with Democrats because I really would like to see another party that is more in line with my ideals. But as long as there is a two-party system in place (effectively), I cannot see myself voting Republican.

But back to the original question, yes, I do get that the vote is confidential and therefore the individual vote should not be traceable. Tongue

But they do this with patient demographics all the time. The identifiers such as name, SS#s, etc. are removed, so researchers cannot access that. Yet there is a number in place that allows subsequent patient tissues, data, etc, to get linked back to the original. So if someone has cancer, for example, get surgery for it, and 5 years later comes back with a recurrent cancer, I can theoretically retrieve both the original cancer information, as well as the new one, along with all the demographics and medical history, but not any identifying personal info.

I keep thinking that the same could be done with voting records...

I'm pretty sure you just called republicans a cancer on this country, right?

Hmmm... this is how spin happens and stories start.


Gmburns2000


Oct 18, 2012, 4:44 PM
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Re: [cracklover] Demographics and statistics [In reply to]
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cracklover wrote:
petsfed wrote:
I wonder what the distribution of ideology amongst partisan independents is. Do you suppose that its just a block of (for instance) democrats in all but name, or is it distribution from actual communists to conservatives that emphasize social freedom over all of their other views, and everything in between? What's the rate of third-party desertion?

From what I gather, the partisan independents really are partisan in everything but name. They simply don't want to associate themselves with the party for some reason, but it's some kind of cognitive dissonance: they are truly partisan, as much as anyone, in the way they vote.

GO

I'm definitely not partisan. I vote for both parties based on the individual and circumstances. I don't know anyone who is an independent and only votes for one party. That sounds strange to me, but then again, an independent in MA is different from one in ME.


pinktricam


Oct 18, 2012, 9:25 PM
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Re: [lena_chita] Demographics and statistics [In reply to]
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lena_chita wrote:
cracklover wrote:
petsfed wrote:
I wonder what the distribution of ideology amongst partisan independents is. Do you suppose that its just a block of (for instance) democrats in all but name, or is it distribution from actual communists to conservatives that emphasize social freedom over all of their other views, and everything in between? What's the rate of third-party desertion?

From what I gather, the partisan independents really are partisan in everything but name. They simply don't want to associate themselves with the party for some reason, but it's some kind of cognitive dissonance: they are truly partisan, as much as anyone, in the way they vote.

GO


I guess I am one of those partisan independents. I don't associate myself with Democrats because I really would like to see another party that is more in line with my ideals. But as long as there is a two-party system in place (effectively), I cannot see myself voting Republican.

But back to the original question, yes, I do get that the vote is confidential and therefore the individual vote should not be traceable. Tongue

But they do this with patient demographics all the time. The identifiers such as name, SS#s, etc. are removed, so researchers cannot access that. Yet there is a number in place that allows subsequent patient tissues, data, etc, to get linked back to the original. So if someone has cancer, for example, get surgery for it, and 5 years later comes back with a recurrent cancer, I can theoretically retrieve both the original cancer information, as well as the new one, along with all the demographics and medical history, but not any identifying personal info.

I keep thinking that the same could be done with voting records...

Maybe I'm cynical, but information to such a degree has the potential of further tightening the control and unleashing the propoganda where necessary by what I already consider an intrusive and growing two party political machine. And when I say "two party," I believe they're just two sides of the same dirty coin.

Health care is one thing, but tracking/monitering voting patterns at the community level is something else completely different.


rmsusa


Oct 19, 2012, 10:14 AM
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Re: [cracklover] Demographics and statistics [In reply to]
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No problem. I still have difficulty talking with my tongue in my cheek like that.


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