Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Star "Analysis" Factually Mistaken Again

The Star continues to let its readers down. A little while ago, they made a vital factual error in their endorsement of the storm water amendment, and then failed to correct it after I pointed it out. (While it's certainly possible that the error was simply a mistake caused by their inability to read a somewhat complex piece of legislation, it's strange that their error diminished the main reason to vote against the amendment, and it's also strange that they failed to correct it.)

Today's flawed analysis has a less direct impact on public policy, but it's still annoying to see Dave Helling publish sloppy research and factual misstatements under the guise of "analysis". Helling makes the fascinating and somewhat deflating point that "For all the talk about enthusiastic voters and long lines at the polls, it appears almost certain turnout for the 2008 election will fall short of the turnout four years ago, when George W. Bush beat John Kerry."

Great point, Dave, but it would be even better if it weren't flat-out wrong!

Dr. Michael McDonald, of George Mason University, has been studying election turnout, and reports that the percentage turnout may be the greatest since 1908. While some experts disagree and claim that the percentage will "only" be the greatest in 40 years, informed people agree that a record number of votes has been case cast (thanks, Pitch!), far exceeding 2004.

Quick, somebody explain to me why we should assign more credibility to "journalists" like Helling than bloggers like Tony?

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Anonymous DKC said...

Because Helling is sane?

11/05/2008 8:41 PM  
Anonymous mainstream said...


63.5 for Obama, 55.8 for the old gawker. That's 119M. where are the other votes coming from? I heard on NPR 130M+ - which is fine except I cannot find the math to get me there.

Let's talk about the math.

11/05/2008 10:17 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Mainstream - fair question. The answer lies in absentee and mail votes that have not yet been counted, some late-reporting precincts, and third-party votes.

11/06/2008 6:05 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Sorry, Orangeman, I deleted your comment because it didn't add anything but vitriol to the debate. Mainstream and I have exchanged lenty of harsh words in the past, but we always sprinkle in at least some substance.

11/06/2008 6:06 AM  

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