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View Diary: Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 2/16 (445 comments)

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  •  I was just addressing Skaje's question (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Setsuna Mudo

    about competitive races--and certainly, big spending often correlates with a lopsided win, but I don't think that proves the value of money, since so many races are largely uncontested.  And I don't know if there's evidence that, in competitive races, PVI and incumbency stop being significant.

    If you're saying that spending might be the most significant factor after the district's PVI, incumbency, and the national mood (which includes the extent to which there's a "wave")--maybe, maybe not.  (I think in 2010, from Masket/Greene, it was less important than the incumbent's voting record on big bills.)  But PVI, incumbency, and the national mood explain a huge amount of the variance between Congressional elections.

    26, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-14 (formerly PA-02/NY-12).

    by Xenocrypt on Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 10:31:56 AM PST

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    •  Incumbency explains almost 90% (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Setsuna Mudo

      So of course we're splitting hairs.

      But when you have a race like a presidential primary where incumbency, PVI et al aren't relevant since the candidates are all running as non incumbents for the exact same office (nullifying PVI and incumbency) I don't understand why linking to that study matters.  

      Close races, longshot races, et all are like 90% based on incumbency and (the study shows) like 90% on money.  I don't think the 2 are really all that separable.  I don't think saying after incumbency/PVI/voting record money then is a distant 4th factor because I don't see how you can separate money from any of the first 3, especially incumbency.

      In a non-incumbent presidential primary the factors like incumbency and PVI even up and thus we have a time where money usually can (and often does) play a deciding factor.  I think that's why the inital premise that Romney losing might change people's perceptions was interesting.

      "What if you're on a game show one day and the name of some random New Jersey state senator is the only thing between you and several thousand dollars? And you'll think to yourself, "if only I had clapped faster." - sapelcovits

      by rdw72777 on Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 10:42:19 AM PST

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      •  But you can look at money and incumbency (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Setsuna Mudo

        separately--just because they're surely correlated doesn't mean they're the same thing.  

        For example, Masket and Greene looked only at 2010 Democratic incumbents:

        A simple bivariate regression of the 2010 congressional vote on the 2008 Obama vote yields an R-squared of .82. (That only rises to .83 when we include spending and the NOMINATE ideal points.)
        So Obama's performance two years before explained a great deal of the variance among Democratic incumbents--and adding spending and NOMINATE ideal points (a measure of their overall voting record) added very little information.

        And, I don't know this book, but you'll recall wwmiv linked to it when we were having a similar discussion a few weeks ago:

        http://www.amazon.com/...

        It might have older or more comprehensive studies.

        26, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-14 (formerly PA-02/NY-12).

        by Xenocrypt on Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 10:55:27 AM PST

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        •  I just don't think (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Setsuna Mudo

          Every time money spent comes up we should try to point to this negative correlation hypothesis.  Because that's all it is, you can't possibly separate money and incumbency, voting record and money and so on.  

          If money didn't matter, we wouldn't care about fundraising reports.  of course other things matter more (incumbency) but I just think ti's really misleading to try and paint money as having a negative correlation, because all of the analysis basically does is trim down the pool of data to where the hypothesis is proven.

          Incumbents win more than non-incumbents, those with more money win far more than those with less.  These are just incontrovertible facts, and every analysis proves that.  The desire of statisticians to try and have contrarian ideas is nice and all, but at the end of the day these 2 things have held true over the course of time for all elections, not just particular subsets of of close elections in back to back waves like we saw in 2008 and 2010.

          Of course the district matters, of course the candidate matters, of course voting record matters.  People who cite money as an advantage aren't ignorant of that fact.  But more money = better chances, not a guaranteed win, but much better chances.

          "What if you're on a game show one day and the name of some random New Jersey state senator is the only thing between you and several thousand dollars? And you'll think to yourself, "if only I had clapped faster." - sapelcovits

          by rdw72777 on Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 11:11:59 AM PST

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          •  Personally (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            gabjoh, Setsuna Mudo

            I care more about fundraising reports because of what they say about a candidate's sources of support, and/or how good they are at "playing the game".

            As for comprehensive studies, I found this summary of the textbook wwmiv linked to:

            Money is increasingly concentrated in weak and open seats.

            When the incumbent is strong, high-quality candidates don't run and money stays away (Jacobson and Kernell 1983)
            Incumbents spend the most when the race is competitive (in response to challengers), so spending by incumbents actually has a negative relationship with their probability of winning.
            Money helps challengers, but it takes $500,000 just to get a 10% chance of winning.
            Spending helps challengers but doesn't help incumbents.

            Why? Since challengers are unknown, money helps them get their message out. But voters already know what the incumbent stands for, so money has less effect for incumbents.

            26, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-14 (formerly PA-02/NY-12).

            by Xenocrypt on Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 11:18:12 AM PST

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          •  And while more money probably (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Setsuna Mudo, andgarden

            equals better chances (for a challenger), it's important to remember the magnitude of the effect as well as the direction and significance.  Saying that campaign spending, in some circumstances, can provide a small but statistically-significant increase in a candidate's chances is very different than saying "money is king", which is what I initially questioned.

            26, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-14 (formerly PA-02/NY-12).

            by Xenocrypt on Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 11:21:11 AM PST

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