Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Proposition 8 FAIL

Proposition 8 may have passed in California earlier this month, but right now it looks like it may very well be struck down in short order. The debate revolves on whether the proposition amended the California constitution or revised it. If the California Supreme Court finds that it did the latter then it will go the way of 2000's Proposition 22 and gay marriage will once again be legal in the state.

Legal briefs are due by early January and the court is expected to rule sometime next year. Regardless of what they find, gay marriage appears to be becoming more likely for Californians. The results from the election on November 4th when compared to those on Proposition 22 back in 2000 show that Californians are getting quite a bit more comfortable with gay marriage in just a short time.

Much of this trend can be explained by the exit polls reflecting age from earlier this month. Voters under 30 were much more likely to have voted against the proposition (that they only comprised 20% of the electorate explains the passage of the law).

The nation as a whole seems to be more tolerant as well. This year domestic partnerships became legal in Oregon and the Connecticut supreme court ruled that discriminating against gays in marriage is unconstitutional. Looking at all of the states that offer some sort of civil union the trend over the last decade is clear.

There is no reason to expect that this trend should change, and if age continues to be the dominant factor there could even be an acceleration.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Stats don't lie

Data can be misinterpreted, but it never lies. Quality interpretation usually leads to plenty of "I told you so's" while poor interpretation be it intentionally, ignorantly, or just through bias, either gets ignored, qualified (there was no way to foresee that happening), or posthumously changed.

Faux News usually provides great examples of poor performance. Remember all the calls from them that McCain was "closing the gap" from 7 points behind Obama in the days preceding the election? The final results left Obama 53%-46%, dead on the 7 points predicted by most reputable sources.

On the other side, two of my favorite sources through the election were and, both of which only missed Indiana and the Omaha district of Nebraska (FiveThirtyEight did not make a prediction for Missouri) in their pre-election predictions.

Maps from and (respectively):

And the final map (from

Regardless of what the naysayers conclude about the illegitimacy of polls, a quality interpretation of the data will yield a correct result, as demonstrated by and

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Annual ritual

At least it seems that way, happens about once a year, sometimes more.

No, I'm not once again disparaging an American holiday.

Absolutely not, this isn't a week that I go clean and sober in some lame attempt to "make more of myself."

Rather, I have once again decided to spill my inner thoughts, prejudices, and rants out in blog form for all to ignore, impugn, and/or just belittle. Thanks and blame should be directed toward Meshealle, as she motivated me towards this end.

I promise that I'll try to keep the politics to a minimum (but we all know better).