Missing White Voters…drawing attention

This is a very insightful article, but I will take issue with one accusation it makes, namely its references to “the pitfall of current quantitative fixation.”  It’s not the quantitative fixation that is the problem, but attention being showered on the quantities that may not relevant.  If one were examining the data carefully, they would have recognized many of these problems.  It is from the lack of sufficiently close attention to detail and inability to think through creatively the data outside the formulaic boxes that these clues were missed, not because of the quant fixation itself.  Paul Feyerabend had an issue with this:  he argued that, for all the fixation with the “scientific method,” many scientists find excuse to dismiss the data contrary to the conventional wisdom (and others have made similar observations about potential pitfalls of such scientific myopia in various fields.)

There will be, one can only hope, a revolution in the way we analyze elections and parties after 2016.  One wonders if we will actually learn useful things or if we will learn only to make worse mistakes after this one.

 

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