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View Diary: Can you trust political trends? (80 comments)

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  •  I really can't tell ... (4+ / 0-)

    ... if you're making an argument for trends, or making fun of arguments for trends. Maybe both? ;)

    Because clearly you know that using just the numbers does not tell us that much; and we know that we are going to get a pretty good straight line for numbers in a two-party system in which it is an aberration for either party to get less than about 45 percent of the two-party total vote.

    It wasn't that long ago that Republican were projecting that they would have a "permanent" majority. Let's not make similar mistakes.

    If the economy continues to improve through this cycle, Democrats will be in good shape for 2016. Cliche, but true. And probably more meaningful than trying to project a popular vote total based on past results.

    •  Both. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Trends can only be moderately useful for predicting the future, because we are generally looking for a more certain prediction than trends can provide us with. And we have to understand that political trends, at some point, will change, and keep our eyes out for that to occur.

      However, it does appear that trends can be useful when studying the past.

      •  Agreed ... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blueoasis, MichaelNY

        ... and I can tell you that I would have been a lot more successful as a magazine and newspaper freelance writer, over the years, if I had been willing to claim "trendiness" for more of my story proposals. Magazine editors yearn for trends. You can probably tell that, just by reading magazines.

        But you probably don't because one verifiable trend is that fewer and fewer people are reading magazines and newspapers. ;)

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