Good piece on voting here (from the conservative side of the fence). There’s a subtlety here that was missed, however:
1) (And this is just a silly quibble) Income distribution is not a Gaussian distribution. 😦
2) More critically, the odds of having the deciding vote are actually much higher, even in some arbitrary 2000 person election.
The dynamics of decision-making mean that voters (and anyone else in a decision-making situation) act as probability distributions.
In other words, if you consider the chances that any given person will change their mind from the last time they voted for a similar issue, that probability is heavily affected by whether or not their friends and neighbours will change their mind (and which way they voted last time). And those, in turn, are probability distributions.
It’s one of the reasons that every once in a while there is a real change in the voting characteristics of a region: enough people were far enough out on their voting pdf that they had a cascading influence on those around them. The easy way of talking about this is “swing voters”, but that’s actually not what’s happening. Understanding the dynamics of this from a campaign perspective can help understand what the inflection points are in changing the vote.
Nice points and a good read.
Whew! Back from the holidays. I hope everyone had a great one. Going to do a little re-post here, since we are running behind a little. This is my most recent post on our company blog. Check us out on Facebook if you like the post. We write about politics and marketing over there, so it’s a little more serious. Cheers!
One of the inevitable truths of working on local elections is that you will spend a lot of time around party activists and volunteers. In the past year alone, I spoke or worked to some degree with dozens of hard-core local activists, volunteers, and party heads. These guys (and girls) are wonderful commodities for campaigns, especially small ones. Beyond that, most of the ones I met are really interesting people. But on the flip side of that, these are not you’re most “outside of the box” thinkers. It’s…
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