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.