A correlation: 19th century cotton production and Obama votes

The Strange Maps blog has the following interesting map mash-up. This is an overlay of two maps. One is the 2008 presidential election results and the other is cotton production in 1860 (each dot represents 2000 bales). Strange Maps writes: The link between these two maps is not causal, but correlational, and the correlation is…

Red and blue election maps

I thought I’d made my last election-related post for a few years, but here’s one more. This is the red and blue 2008 election map we have gotten used to seeing for the past week. Mark Newman, a pysicist at the University of Michigan made a collection interesting election maps using software called Cart. Cart…

How did the pollsters do?

A few weeks ago I wrote about Fivethirtyeight.com, the website run by Nate Silver which made political predictions based on aggregating existing polls. You may want to check out a blog post by Carl Bialik, The Numbers Guy at the Wall Street Journal, in which he looks the accuracy of Nate Silver’s and other pollsters’ predictions. Here’s…

Aggregating political polls

A colleague and I were talking about how fun it would be to be teaching a statistics class during this presidential election season—especially talking about the political polling process. Recently I came across Fivethirtyeight.com, an interesting website that takes published political polls, applies its own analysis to them, and puts out its own predictions. (It is named after the number of electors in…