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Margin of Victory in Iowa Shrinks

bsh1
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2/8/2016 12:42:17 AM
Posted: 10 months ago
http://www.cnn.com...

Thoughts?
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1harderthanyouthink
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2/8/2016 12:55:04 AM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 2/8/2016 12:42:17 AM, bsh1 wrote:
http://www.cnn.com...

Thoughts?

It's unsurprising, given how close the margin was to begin with.
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Cody_Franklin
Posts: 9,484
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2/8/2016 12:58:49 AM
Posted: 10 months ago
I am unfamiliar with the mechanics of the Iowa Caucus. Delegates of some kind are allocated to candidates on the basis of a popular vote. Clinton, in virtue of her minuscule edge over Sanders, presumably has a slight advantage in delegate allocation, which, though a technical loss, hardly seems like a knockout.

The other issue, I've been told, is that the diminished lead may be indicative of voter fraud. I have no idea whether this is true, but I can't imagine why the small discrepancy is otherwise important.
Raisor
Posts: 4,462
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2/8/2016 1:13:27 AM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 2/8/2016 12:58:49 AM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
I am unfamiliar with the mechanics of the Iowa Caucus. Delegates of some kind are allocated to candidates on the basis of a popular vote. Clinton, in virtue of her minuscule edge over Sanders, presumably has a slight advantage in delegate allocation, which, though a technical loss, hardly seems like a knockout.

The other issue, I've been told, is that the diminished lead may be indicative of voter fraud. I have no idea whether this is true, but I can't imagine why the small discrepancy is otherwise important.

The Democratic caucus process is super goofy.

My rough understanding is that each site has a number of delegates based on the number of caucusers at the site.

At each site, there are brief pro-candidate speeches, then you physically stand in an area designated for a given candidate. A headcount is done, and candidates with <15% of the vote are deemed "not viable" and that candidates supporters have to pick another candidate.

So given that process it is easy to see how the victory margin in Iowa means nothing. There were college campus precincts where Sander's support was so large that Hillary was "not viable" and her supporters had to go to Sanders.

So this hullabaloo over Iowa is silly. Even if Sanders won be a clean margin instead of technically losing, it wouldn't be indicative of how the rest of the primary will go.
Cody_Franklin
Posts: 9,484
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2/8/2016 2:49:13 AM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 2/8/2016 1:13:27 AM, Raisor wrote:
At 2/8/2016 12:58:49 AM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
I am unfamiliar with the mechanics of the Iowa Caucus. Delegates of some kind are allocated to candidates on the basis of a popular vote. Clinton, in virtue of her minuscule edge over Sanders, presumably has a slight advantage in delegate allocation, which, though a technical loss, hardly seems like a knockout.

The other issue, I've been told, is that the diminished lead may be indicative of voter fraud. I have no idea whether this is true, but I can't imagine why the small discrepancy is otherwise important.

The Democratic caucus process is super goofy.

My rough understanding is that each site has a number of delegates based on the number of caucusers at the site.

At each site, there are brief pro-candidate speeches, then you physically stand in an area designated for a given candidate. A headcount is done, and candidates with <15% of the vote are deemed "not viable" and that candidates supporters have to pick another candidate.

So given that process it is easy to see how the victory margin in Iowa means nothing. There were college campus precincts where Sander's support was so large that Hillary was "not viable" and her supporters had to go to Sanders.

So this hullabaloo over Iowa is silly. Even if Sanders won by a clean margin instead of technically losing, it wouldn't be indicative of how the rest of the primary will go.

I agree, that's pretty much Goofulon 5000.

I'm having trouble coming up with a good reason for all the hubbub, though.

At face value, it could be that they think this whole affair is actually meaningful, either for electoral reasons or suspicions of voter fraud. The first seems unlikely, because it's not likely that every decision-maker in every news network is genuinely dumb enough to think it's decisive. I also have trouble believing that it's overall fraud, though, both because a) voter fraud is a priori really damn unlikely. The point was ruthlessly made when Republicans pushed the Voter ID agenda under the pretense of preventing the very same thing. One thing that makes it a little more unlikely that, same as the network people, Clinton and her campaign staff are too calculating. I can't imagine they wouldn't know how ultimately inconsequential it was, especially for the sake of securing a, what, 1% margin in a non-winner-take-all contest? Maybe it was a blunder, but I'm not crossing my fingers.

It could also be the usual suspect, "ratings". But it seems like a lazy explanation, because you could say that about literally any story you're disinterested toward or bias against and claim you know the full story. And I'm not saying it's wrong--if a story was generally poorly or unenthusiastically received, I'm sure national decision-makers would air would likely run it less. But, since you can just claim "ratings" as an explanation for any story, it doesn't really tell you anything.

Another possibility, less likely still, is that one or more people of influence have a vested interest in impugning Clinton's reputation. That's where you start getting into weird conspiracy theories, though, and every detail that makes it into such a story chips away more and more of its share of probability. "Maybe someone in the Democratic Machine hired a gunslinger-style political mover to make it appear that Hillary sabotaged the voting so that more people will trust Bernie Sanders who we secretly support..." Blah blah blah. Fortresses of reasoning built on quicksand.

It's just strange to think that someone, really a lot of someones, know how inconsequential Iowa is in the long run, but continue to run blaring coverage every time Hillary loses 0.00n percentage points or whatever. Maybe I'm overthinking, and it really is ratings because dumb and easily-impassioned people with no understanding of the political process in general (and the caucus process in particular) eat that crap up--I suppose it seems Occam-optimal relative to the other fairly reasonable options, it just reinforces my sense of disappointment.
Raisor
Posts: 4,462
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2/8/2016 3:08:16 AM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 2/8/2016 2:49:13 AM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
At 2/8/2016 1:13:27 AM, Raisor wrote:
At 2/8/2016 12:58:49 AM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
I am unfamiliar with the mechanics of the Iowa Caucus. Delegates of some kind are allocated to candidates on the basis of a popular vote. Clinton, in virtue of her minuscule edge over Sanders, presumably has a slight advantage in delegate allocation, which, though a technical loss, hardly seems like a knockout.

The other issue, I've been told, is that the diminished lead may be indicative of voter fraud. I have no idea whether this is true, but I can't imagine why the small discrepancy is otherwise important.

The Democratic caucus process is super goofy.

My rough understanding is that each site has a number of delegates based on the number of caucusers at the site.

At each site, there are brief pro-candidate speeches, then you physically stand in an area designated for a given candidate. A headcount is done, and candidates with <15% of the vote are deemed "not viable" and that candidates supporters have to pick another candidate.

So given that process it is easy to see how the victory margin in Iowa means nothing. There were college campus precincts where Sander's support was so large that Hillary was "not viable" and her supporters had to go to Sanders.

So this hullabaloo over Iowa is silly. Even if Sanders won by a clean margin instead of technically losing, it wouldn't be indicative of how the rest of the primary will go.

I agree, that's pretty much Goofulon 5000.

I'm having trouble coming up with a good reason for all the hubbub, though.

At face value, it could be that they think this whole affair is actually meaningful, either for electoral reasons or suspicions of voter fraud. The first seems unlikely, because it's not likely that every decision-maker in every news network is genuinely dumb enough to think it's decisive. I also have trouble believing that it's overall fraud, though, both because a) voter fraud is a priori really damn unlikely. The point was ruthlessly made when Republicans pushed the Voter ID agenda under the pretense of preventing the very same thing. One thing that makes it a little more unlikely that, same as the network people, Clinton and her campaign staff are too calculating. I can't imagine they wouldn't know how ultimately inconsequential it was, especially for the sake of securing a, what, 1% margin in a non-winner-take-all contest? Maybe it was a blunder, but I'm not crossing my fingers.

It could also be the usual suspect, "ratings". But it seems like a lazy explanation, because you could say that about literally any story you're disinterested toward or bias against and claim you know the full story. And I'm not saying it's wrong--if a story was generally poorly or unenthusiastically received, I'm sure national decision-makers would air would likely run it less. But, since you can just claim "ratings" as an explanation for any story, it doesn't really tell you anything.

Another possibility, less likely still, is that one or more people of influence have a vested interest in impugning Clinton's reputation. That's where you start getting into weird conspiracy theories, though, and every detail that makes it into such a story chips away more and more of its share of probability. "Maybe someone in the Democratic Machine hired a gunslinger-style political mover to make it appear that Hillary sabotaged the voting so that more people will trust Bernie Sanders who we secretly support..." Blah blah blah. Fortresses of reasoning built on quicksand.

It's just strange to think that someone, really a lot of someones, know how inconsequential Iowa is in the long run, but continue to run blaring coverage every time Hillary loses 0.00n percentage points or whatever. Maybe I'm overthinking, and it really is ratings because dumb and easily-impassioned people with no understanding of the political process in general (and the caucus process in particular) eat that crap up--I suppose it seems Occam-optimal relative to the other fairly reasonable options, it just reinforces my sense of disappointment.

LOL I think the OP is just exactly what it is... there were miscounts.

Sanders campaign was pushing for exact numbers, so people looked into it and found that the polls were off in the second to third sig fig.

Those of us in STEM know that nothing to the third sig fig is reliable ; D
Cody_Franklin
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2/8/2016 3:23:26 AM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 2/8/2016 3:08:16 AM, Raisor wrote:
At 2/8/2016 2:49:13 AM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
LOL I think the OP is just exactly what it is... there were miscounts.

Sanders campaign was pushing for exact numbers, so people looked into it and found that the polls were off in the second to third sig fig.

Those of us in STEM know that nothing to the third sig fig is reliable ; D

It's so boring, though. I find it difficult to empathize with the hypothetical brain that would find this totally inconsequential hairsplitting interesting, compelling enough to entertain it for more than one round in the news cycle, if that.
Raisor
Posts: 4,462
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2/8/2016 3:45:21 AM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 2/8/2016 3:23:26 AM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
At 2/8/2016 3:08:16 AM, Raisor wrote:
At 2/8/2016 2:49:13 AM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
LOL I think the OP is just exactly what it is... there were miscounts.

Sanders campaign was pushing for exact numbers, so people looked into it and found that the polls were off in the second to third sig fig.

Those of us in STEM know that nothing to the third sig fig is reliable ; D

It's so boring, though. I find it difficult to empathize with the hypothetical brain that would find this totally inconsequential hairsplitting interesting, compelling enough to entertain it for more than one round in the news cycle, if that.

Sports are inconsequential...people like competition and a framework on which to build predictions and theories. At least politics has some real world stakes. And given the fact that NH is about a week after Iowa, one news cycle is all the attention it gets lol.

...unless you were saying STEM is boring, in which case I have nothing to say to you, you humanities cretin.
Maikuru
Posts: 9,112
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2/8/2016 3:49:16 AM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 2/8/2016 12:42:17 AM, bsh1 wrote:
http://www.cnn.com...

Thoughts?

I don't think it's a blip on the public's radar. I'll see you in New Hampshire.
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TBR
Posts: 9,991
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2/8/2016 4:00:53 AM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 2/8/2016 12:42:17 AM, bsh1 wrote:
http://www.cnn.com...

Thoughts?

Well, the only thing I would note is Clinton lost more than half her margin of victory. How pathetic is it that the absolutely infinitesimal change shifts the margin so much? Calling this anything but "dead-heat" is laughable.
Cody_Franklin
Posts: 9,484
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2/8/2016 4:03:07 AM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 2/8/2016 3:45:21 AM, Raisor wrote:
At 2/8/2016 3:23:26 AM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
At 2/8/2016 3:08:16 AM, Raisor wrote:
At 2/8/2016 2:49:13 AM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
LOL I think the OP is just exactly what it is... there were miscounts.

Sanders campaign was pushing for exact numbers, so people looked into it and found that the polls were off in the second to third sig fig.

Those of us in STEM know that nothing to the third sig fig is reliable ; D

It's so boring, though. I find it difficult to empathize with the hypothetical brain that would find this totally inconsequential hairsplitting interesting, compelling enough to entertain it for more than one round in the news cycle, if that.

Sports are inconsequential...people like competition and a framework on which to build predictions and theories. At least politics has some real world stakes. And given the fact that NH is about a week after Iowa, one news cycle is all the attention it gets lol.

...unless you were saying STEM is boring, in which case I have nothing to say to you, you humanities cretin.

No, no, I accord pretty high value to STEM (or, "the land of a lot of Definitely Right Answers"). I work in IT/Security, after all.