Thursday, August 29, 2013

Detailed Demographics of Where You Live

This is one of the most incredible sites you will ever see. Dustin Cable at the University of Virginia created a map based on data from the 2010 U.S. Census where each dot represents a single person color coded by racial makeup.

As you look at the whole, you see a mix of colors, but as you zoom in, the lines become stark. Above is a snapshot I took of my home town of Moultrie, Ga. It doesn't really tell me anything new - "Northwest Moultrie" has always been the center of the African American community and in the past two decades, "The Circle" to the west of downtown as become a center of the Hispanic community - but it certainly illuminates the contrast more vividly than anything I've seen.

No real commentary or judgment here. Just try to not get lost for hours.

Thursday, August 08, 2013

More Poll Stuff

My opinions of polls vary from indifference to hostility. Whenever someone starts screaming about a poll where a thin majority supports their position, I like to say, "well most people would like to ride a pony to the supper table and eat nothing but ice cream, what's your point?"

So that's why I take Public Policy Polling's latest round of surveys with a grain of salt. However, based on conversations and reading, I wish I could say I'm surprised by these results but I'm not. Hopefully, this is just a case of confirmation bias or correlation perceived as causation, because if these numbers are accurate, it is almost too depressing to comprehend

- 53% of Georgians prefer Creationism to Evolution. Before you start arrogantly cackling Democrats, a plurality of your fine folks believe this also.

-A plurality of Georgians think the much ballyhooed White Student Union at Georgia State is a fine and dandy idea. Probably because the lazy press hasn't reported it has ties to a white supremacy organization.

-But perhaps the saddest part. We don't like Honey Boo Boo very much. Is it because she and Mama June and Sugar Bear are a mirror? Or just another caricature designed to eternalize us all as gap-toothed rednecks? I don't know. I like watching her family mostly because I've known people like that and even though they are complete bug crazy, they are good people. My people I suppose.

PPP is testing the temperature of this state. It's a sign that the upcoming Senate race may be the real deal. It will still be herculean for Democrats to turn it competitive but we still have a year of Republicans seeing just how crazy it takes to dance the primary jig and there are indications real money might swing this way.

Meantime, the rest of the country will see these polls, flip on a rerun of Dukes of Hazzard and thank God they don't have to deal with Enos chasing down Daisy Duke once again.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Quote For The Day

From the snarky Dave Weigel on Michelle Nunn's political acumen.
So far she's good at dodging questions. That's important!

The national press/politiratti have turned their flame rimmed eyes towards Georgia.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

About That Poll

All the insiders are atwitter over the first poll of the Senate season. In the Public Policy Polling survey just published, Democrat Michelle Nunn ties most of the field and wallops firebrand Paul Broun. Three first impressions.

Why the Democrats can be happy

-Despite the entrenched narrative that PPP "leans left" (it is a given they poll demographics more favorable towards Democrats) according to Nate Silver, in the 2012 Presidential election, they were actually biased towards Romney! More importantly, they were far more accurate than some of their top competitors.

Why the Republicans can be happy

-Nunn still polled no higher than 42%. As we've shown, the mid-40s is the Democrats high water mark in non Presidential races. There's a good chance this poll is closer to the ceiling than the floor

Why the weird can be happy

-Relative unknown David Perdue polled 40%. The only reasonable explanation is people think he's former Governor Sonny Perdue.

And that last point brings us to the bottom line. Polls, particularly early ones, are useless at the strategic level and marginally useful at the tactical level. At this point, they are really about driving the narrative in whatever particular direction you favor. And with the first one on the board, expect a lot of narrative spew in the next 24 hours.