11/13/2004

What happened in Broward County?, Attn: Statisticians

What happened in Broward County?, Attn: Statisticians

Common Ground Common Sense

Something happened in Broward county. Maybe it was a massive shift in voting patterns, or maybe it was fraud and/or flawed tabulation, but something happened.

I have experimented with various predictive equations in order to graph predicted results against actual results, aiming for the best fit. I factor in registration patterns in 2000 (including third party and 'no affiliation' registrations), voting turnout and results in 2000, registration patterns in 2004, turnout in 2004, and decreased votes received by third party candidates in 2004.

My most recent approach predicts the actual results for most smaller counties fairly accurately. That is, the 2004 results in most small counties are consistent with results from 2000.

Larger counties seem to vary more because of large numbers of third party and 'no affiliation' registrations. The equation I'm using for these counties is slightly different, and predictions are fairly accurate, but Broward, Palm Beach, and Pinellas still stick out as exceptions apart from the rest. Broward in particular is 'way off the map.'
First, the punch-line, then I’ll explain the calculation, which admittedly has many assumption built into it.

Here are the predicted and actual increases in vote totals from 2000 to 2004 for Broward county:

Predicted Increase from Gore Total to Kerry Total: 111,030
Predicted Increase from Bush2000 to Bush2004: 19,424
Net Gain: Kerry 91,606

Actual Increase from Gore Total to Kerry Total: 64,657
Actual Increase from Bush2000 to Bush2004: 65,797
Net Gain: Bush 1,140

Bush’s actual increase was 65,797. This would be as if the entire decrease in votes for third party candidates (1,221), and the entire projected turnout for newly registered third party registrants (66.57% * 76,211 = 50,734), went to Bush, and that’s only 51,955.

Here are the calculations for Broward county:

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