May 12, 2005

What's the Matter with Democrat Analysts?

We've spent a little time lately on voter demographics, one of my own applied professional fields. And we've spent a LOT of time over the last year on apparent contradictions between population demographics and party affiliation and voting trends. I have pointed out over and over again that one must beware of trying to make predictions or gain any serious insight to the electorate based on single correlations, and weak ones at that.

Democratic analysts (Thomas Frank leaps immediately to mind) seem to have real trouble understanding how "working people" in red states can vote Republican. A recent SLATE article by Timothy Noah, oh-so-charmingly titled Conservatism As Pathology: Are Bush supporters literally insane? is a case in point.

Now Steve Sailer of the Human Biodiversity Institute and has come up with an extremely insightful statistical analysis of the voting populace, one that goes well beyond the misleading and uni-dimensional analysis so beloved by some. No matter which side of the divide you're on, there's some good news and some bad news here. But most of all, it's one of the most informative examinations of the electorate that I've seen in years. If you really want to get a grip on what drives current voting trends in America, I highly recommend Sailer's article.

[As always, cross-posted to Centerfield.]