Monday, January 4, 2010

Perot "taking" votes in 1992

There are only two possible ways for a Democratic candidate to win an election: ACORN, or a third party "steals" them from the Republican Party.
Dog food isn't very tasty, neither is it nutritious.
Anyway, one of the pieces of CW thrown around about the 1992 election is that Clinton won because Perot peeled off votes from Bush. This is also disputed, but since the ballots, with their '2nd choice' bubbles, are all sequestered in a vault under Mt. Rushmore for 99 years, we won't know for a while who people would have voted for if Mr. Perot was not in a race.
But, we do have a technology that can hint at it. And that technology is...scatterplotting! Of course!
First, let me apologize that the new version of openoffice done gone and thrown my Y-Axis labeling right in the middle where it confuses things. I updated to karmic koala because I was trying to get Mario Kart's sound to work right, and it just kind of happened...
Anyway, back in 1992, George Stephapolous has to rent a motel room to call Clinton and tell him when a bimbo is erupting, because they don't have cell phones, and they have no idea what KARMIC KOALA is. But they do know who Ross Perot is.
The above diagram has basically no correlation between how much of a margin Clinton had, and what total percent Perot got. If Perot was mostly taking votes from conservatives, he would be getting a lot more votes in Nebraska, where there are plenty of conservatives, than in Massachusetts, where they are not quite as many. And yet Perot got 23% of the vote in both, even though Nebraska was 18 points against Clinton and Massachusetts was 18 points for him. Of course, looking at the plot a bit closer shows that there may be a little bit of a lean towards Perot in more conservative states: so maybe there was a few states where it made a difference. Over all, though, there doesn't seem to be much evidence either way from this data.

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