<blog photo>

The Opinion Shop

Welcome to The Opinion Shop, where members of The N&O’s editorial board offer an eclectic array of their individual opinion products and give you an opportunity to offer your own.

Choose a blog

Republicans? Democrats? Half of us aren't in love with either

Bookmark and Share

Reader William T. Lynch, Ph.D., of Apex sent this submission on data that show how many voters really have no party that perfectly fits their views. That'd be half of us.

I don't claim to understand the graphic shared here, but I have no trouble believing that a lot of us settle uncomfortably on our election choices.

 

John Dickerson, a CBS News executive, as a guest on the Oct. 14 "Face The Nation" TV show, made some cogent observations about why it is that there are so few undecided voters in this year’s presidential election. One would assume that most voters occupy the middle ground, whereas the Republican Party appears to dominate the far right and the Democrat Party the far left. Basically, the broad middle of voters cannot find an all-issues candidate they favor, and so each voter is forced to concentrate on one or two of his or her most important issues. Although this may appear to make the decision process easier, it is totally unsatisfactory. This is the kind of decision imposed upon citizens in the midst of a civil war.

The reality of the “divide,” or “gap,” is demonstrated in the provided figure. This set of plots is an analysis of tabular data assembled by Professor Royce Carroll of Rice University and his associates.  It concentrates on the voting ideologies of the 110th Congress (2009-2010). Negative points represent increasing liberalism; positive points represent increasing conservatism. The points represent the 324 Democrats and the 227 Republicans.

Raw tabular data are presented as smoothed “probability density” distributions. A
standard procedure provides a best fit transformation to a “normalized” density
distribution. The final result justifies the process.

The means and standard deviations for each party provide the inputs for subsequent
analysis. The separation of the means, in units of standard deviation, gives a
quantitative value for the gap. The overlap of the tails is negligible and the final gap
value is more than five times larger than the individual standard deviations.

Basically, this means that at least 50% of the voters do not have a satisfactory home party. If one were to compare this gap with knowledge gaps between grade levels in schools, it represents about three grade levels!!

NC voters may wish to know “Does this apply to our representatives and
senators?” The answer is yes. Single point values are superimposed for the 15 N.C.
congresspersons.


 

Comments

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

and one other thing....

plusaf@plusaf.com

... math gobbledygook?

are you "innumerate"... that's like "illiterate about numbers"?

All the graph says is that the legislators vote one of two ways, period, and whether it's the NC Leg or the US Congress, just as I said in my last commentary tirade, there ain't no balanced, middle-ground guy or gal there that you can vote for who'd support free markets AND free choice.

 

Learn math.  It can be fun, and isn't really as scary as you might think...

And useful, too... despite what your homies tell you.

You're absolutely right...

plusaf@plusaf.com

There's a quiz called the "Nolan chart" (Google it...) that's a very short process to identify your location on a scale of "liberalness versus conservativeness."

If your answers to a simple list of questions are honest, the underlying software will spot you as liberal, conservative, statist or libertarian.

And as a libertarian atheist, I'm usually within one or two dots of the Libertarian corner.

Why?  Because I believe in free markets, capitalism AND personal freedom to choose what to do with my own body.

So, for me and many folks like me, even slightly like me, given a choice like the one we have in this election, it's just like most of the last elections...

Do I choose the candidate who's going to let me make my own choices as to abortion, drug use, personal responsibility, and other such "liberal" values ... at the cost of high taxes and laws where the government makes most "ethical or moral" decisions FOR me, or must I choose the free-market-capitalist side where I get to make financial and market decisions for myself AND take more personal responsibility for my financial success and future, while giving up choices on abortion, capital punishment, separation of religion from government and on and on...

 

For most real libertarians, it has been, and for the future, it seems, a choice between what is affectionately called "the lesser of two weevils."

Or, this time... socialism versus theocracy.

It's a tough choice.  Last time, I voted for Obama as a vote to protect Roe v. Wade.  This time, I've (already) voted for Romney/Ryan as a vote AGAINST socialism.

In the long run, I doubt it will make much difference... it never did.  Few presidents ever behaved in office anything like what they portrayed during the campaigns.... except maybe for Eisenhower...

 

I miss him.

Gobbelygook......

What a bunch of data-babble gobbelygook.

???

I suppose it is gobbelygook (actually it's gobbledygook) if by gobbelygook you mean 'I don't understand math.'

Cars View All
Find a Car
Go
Jobs View All
Find a Job
Go
Homes View All
Find a Home
Go

Want to post a comment?

In order to join the conversation, you must be a member of newsobserver.com. Click here to register or to log in.

About the blogger

Burgetta Eplin Wheeler is the associate editor of the Editorial pages, responsible for the Other Opinion page. She occasionally writes editorials. She can be reached at bwheeler@newsobserver.com or 829-4825.
Advertisements