Saturday, October 19, 2013

POLITICO's Pants on Fire

Okay, it's a little facile to pick on Politico for un-empiricism (maybe even anti-empiricism).  But this is too satisfying.  A quote from a Dylan Byers piece on Nate Silver:

"Recently for example, I saw an article in POLITICO that claimed the government shutdown was responsible for the Democrat Terry McAuliffe's expanding lead in the Virginia gubernatorial race," Silver said. "The article cited one question in the poll that the government wasn't popular and another showing McAuliffe well ahead, and asserted there was a link between the two. There was no evidence however, of a causal link that anyone had switched their vote because of the shutdown."
"It was a fine theory, but instead it was stated as a fact when there was no proof of it whatsoever," he said.
In fact, the story stated a correlation but not a confirmed causation between these two factors: "Democrat Terry McAuliffe has opened up a significant lead over Republican Ken Cuccinelli in the Virginia governor’s race amid broad public disapproval of the federal government shutdown, according to a POLITICO poll of the 2013 gubernatorial election," the story stated.

(1) Hahahaha, "amid"

(2) The headline of that article?

"POLITICO Poll: Government Shutdown Backlash Boosts Terry McAuliffe"

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