Are There Any Swing Voters?

 
burt
 
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burt
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07 February 2020 07:48
Cheshire Cat
 
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Cheshire Cat
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07 February 2020 17:43
 

It is interesting that swing voters, if she is correct, make up a much smaller percentage of voters than thought — only 5 to 6 percent instead of 15 yo 20 percent.

And I hope she is right in her prediction for the coming election.

 
 
TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher
 
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TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher
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20 February 2020 07:25
 

She’s got an interesting take, but I am not sure how to take it. 

If she’s right that there isn’t any decisive subset of “swing voters”—voters who change their mind—how is it that voter turnout is relatively constant, yet the margin of the popular vote for candidates varies considerably?  By my calculations, voter turnout in elections from 1972-2016 averages 53.7%, with a SD of 2.7.  The margin of the popular vote, however, averages 7.6%, with a SD of 6.85.  If a sizable proportion of voters aren’t changing their minds, how it is that voter turnout tracks so constantly while the number of voters for each given candidate varies so widely?  One would expect voter turnout to vary too, if in fact it’s different people turning out in elections, absent a sizable number of the same voters changing their minds.

In any case, it’s an interesting idea, one I’m not qualified to refute.  But I’m not convinced either.

 
mapadofu
 
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mapadofu
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20 February 2020 09:57
 

There is the possibility that about the same overall number of people turn out, but they are different people.  When Bob stays home, Alice tends to go to the polls, and vice versa. If there were, say, more than something like 5% of the voters in any given year that are sporadic or occasional voters, then the model could make sense vis a vis Analytic’s numbers. I believe that we have the information from voter roll information to assess this, but the article doesn’t talk about it.

I’m not saying this is a good hypothesis, just that it exists as a possibility.  I think skepticism of her model is warranted, one correct prediction does not a theory make.