Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Oregon senate! Education! Massachusetts! This one has it all!

After coming to the (probably foregone) conclusion that the votes for two candidates for the same party will closely correlate with each other, even if the actual numbers are very different, I decided to test it out:
This shows the result of the 2008 Oregon senate rate. Obama got a 17 point margin, Jeff Merkely got a 2 point margin and a plurality. Despite the differences, the numbers they scored lined up very well. This is some of the best correlated data I have ever seen. There are no significant outliers. There are not even any insignificant outliers.
(BTW, I will probably now be fishing around for a pair of elections that DOESN'T correlate like this)
Long, long ago, I posted a plot of Obama's margin versus college graduation rates in Oregon's counties. I did the same thing for Merkley's margins versus college graduation rates, and got this:

This chart looks very much like the Obama one, and shows that over all, education is pretty strongly correlated with Merkley's margin. (Which only makes sense, since Obama and Merkley's margins correlate perfectly, and Obama and education correlate, therefore Merkley and education correlate. There is probably a formula for it)
Now, back to Massachusetts. Nationally, college graduation rates correlated with Obama's margin. In several of the states I looked at, college graduation rates correlated with margin, by county. So if you would have asked me, I would have guessed, quite strongly, that Massachusetts' most educated counties were the most Democratic. But guess what I found:

In Oregon, in Colorado, or even in Montana and WYOMING, the counties with the highest education are the most Democratic. In Massachusetts...nope! This is for Coakley's election, but as discussed, since Coakley and Obama's margins correlated very closely, Obama had pretty much this shape.
Now I have some MATHEMATICAL PROOF of something I figured out when I first went to school in Vermont: in the Northwest, education is used to stuff people full of LIBERAL PROPAGANDA so that they agitate for GREEN CITIES and JUSTICE FOR ALL. In Massachusetts, education is something you do to get some cocktail party talk, before you marry an investment banker and move to the suburbs.
(And for those who like this blog only for the MATHS, please forget that previous paragraph).


  1. Wait a minute, was I supposed to have married an investment banker? No wonder I never really liked the suburban lifestyle.

  2. Yes, marry an investment banker and then develop an addiction to anti-anxiety drugs. SMILE FLAWLESSLY. You can't let the other women see that you are cracking.

  3. The definition of "not cracking" in public: being able to stand, without a wobble, in high heels. Unfortunately, those upstart social climbers don't realize it's a game you can't win. One must have taken the obligatory minimum of two years of ballet lessons, and shortly after graduating from kindergarten. I haven't figured out where the obligatory piano lessons fit in to the plan. Oh! Practice makes perfect, of course.

  4. You can't win, you can't break even, you can't leave the game.

    Also, incidentally, I read "She's Come Undone". I am learning more of the dark ways of New England.

  5. Ah, yes you can leave the game, and surprise them when you return for a moment - still knowing what to do. The secret is not caring too much. Besides, they can go take a few miserable ballet lessons and learn to read music, too - the death is in the faking it.