One glance at the numbers, and it’s easy to see why pundits are already calling 2012 “the Twitter election.” More Tweets are sent every two days today than had ever been sent prior to Election Day 2008 — and Election Day 2008’s Tweet volume represents only about six minutes of Tweets today.
All this explosive growth in conversation has fueled Twitter as a platform for civic debate and created a massive data set for analysis.
Today, we’re launching the Twitter Political Index, a daily measurement of Twitter users’ feelings towards the candidates as expressed in nearly two million Tweets each week.
Each day, the Index evaluates and weighs the sentiment of Tweets mentioning Obama or Romney relative to the more than 400 million Tweets sent on all other topics.
The trend in Twitter Political Index scores for President Obama over the last two years often parallel his approval ratings from Gallup, frequently even hinting at where the poll numbers are headed.
More on this: Twitter Blog – A new barometer for the election
Continue reading Twitter measures your feelings about Obama and Romney – Twitter Political Index
With the 2012 election less than 100 days away — 98 days, to be exact — Team Obama is giving its supporters, volunteers and voters a digital push. The president’s campaign and the Democratic Party have launched Obama for America, a mobile app that packs election information, grassroots organizational tools, campaign news and more into a single package.
Instead of developing another photo-sharing app with ready-made templates, the Obama campaign has opted to create a much more focused get-out-the-vote tool.
Keep in mind, however, that the app is tailored toward people who already support the 44th U.S. president. This is most decidedly not a non-partisan effort.
“As we push through the last 100 days of this election, our focus remains on helping make grassroots organizing as easy and accessible as possible for the volunteers and supporters that are the heart and soul of this campaign,” Stephanie Cutter, Deputy Campaign Manager for Obama for America, told Wired in an email. “That’s why we designed our new app to help break down the distinction between online and offline organizing, giving every supporter the same opportunities to get involved that they would find in a field office.”
Toward this goal, the app includes sections called…
Keep reading: Wired – Obama Campaign Launches iOS App to Support Re-Election Effort
Continue reading Obama campaign launches iPhone app, Obama for America – 100 days till the election
Make no mistake: the higher the unemployment rate in November 2012, the less likely President Obama is to win a second term.
But we should be careful about asserting that there is any particular threshold at which Mr. Obama would go from favorite to underdog, or any magic number at which his re-election would either become impossible or a fait accompli. Historically, the relationship between the unemployment rate and a president’s performance on Election Day is complicated and tenuous.
…historically, the correlation between the unemployment rate and a president’s electoral performance has been essentially zero.
Unemployment increased by 1.9 percentage points over the course of Richard M. Nixon’s first term, but he won re-election easily. It also increased in George W. Bush’s and Dwight D. Eisenhower’s first terms, and their re-election bids were also successful. The unemployment rate fell to 3.9 percent from 5.3 percent, meanwhile, in Bill Clinton’s second term — but his vice president, Al Gore, could not beat Mr. Bush in the Electoral College.
There are also cases in which the data behaved more intuitively: Jimmy Carter and the elder George Bush all faced high unemployment rates when they lost their re-election bids, as did Gerald R. Ford in 1976, and that was surely a factor in their defeats.
Keep reading: On the Maddeningly Inexact Relationship Between Unemployment and Re-Election
Continue reading Unemployment is not as important as we think, when it comes to predicting the next President
A fascinating article by Nate Silver about the potential female candidates for Vice President with Mitt Romney.
Is it ironic that most of them are disqualified because they generally support abortions (“mildly pro-choice”).
If Mr. Romney wanted to pick a woman this year, whom might he choose?
Actually, Mr. Romney has a bit of a problem. The Republican women with the most traditional qualifications for the vice presidency tend to be moderates, especially on abortion choice, probably making them unacceptable to the Republican base. Another group of up-and-coming female governors and senators may not be adequately seasoned for the rigors of the campaign trail. The few exceptions are probably too old, or too controversial, to be smart choices with swing voters. It has nothing to do with their gender, but any of the women that Mr. Romney might choose would be at least a little risky.
Let’s start by drawing up a “long list” of potential candidates. The qualifications for this are pretty straightforward. You have to be a woman, and a Republican. And you have to have served as governor or U.S. senator in the past five years, or as an alternative, have run for president before.
There are 14 women that meet these criteria…The first five women on this list have generally supported abortion choice — some mostly so, and some more emphatically.
Keep reading: N.Y. Times – In Search for Female Running Mate, a Shortlist for Romney
Continue reading Analyzing female VP’s for Mitt Romney…all disqualified because they support abortion?
Fading into irrelevance
The party of Nixon and Reagan holds not one statewide office in America’s most populous state
California gave America two of its five most recent Republican presidents. But the state party has fallen on hard times since the days of Nixon and Reagan. After having fallen for decades, the number of registered Republican voters in California now stands at just 30% (see chart). With the number of voters expressing no party preference rising fast, the party is in danger of slipping into third place in the state. No Republican holds statewide office in California, and the Democrats enjoy wide majorities in both chambers.
The picture is no prettier when it comes to elections for national offices. Republicans have not won a Senate election in California since 1988. The party now accounts for just 19 of the state’s 53 congressmen. The last Republican presidential candidate to take California was George Bush senior. As the most populous state, California holds over one in ten electoral-college votes. But neither Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican nominee, nor Barack Obama will bother to campaign here—although both regularly drop by to raise funds.
Keep reading – The Economist
Continue reading California has lost its Republicans – not one holds office in our most populous state
They sent customary congratulations from round the world – the Iranians and the Emiratis, the US, the British and Hamas.
Even Israel said it “respected the outcome”. William Hague, the foreign secretary, was almost effusive.
“I congratulate the Egyptian people for their commitment to the democratic process,” he said.
The US called on the government to be a “pillar of regional peace”.
It was as if the Muslim Brotherhood were just any other party, Mohammed Morsi just another politician, and Egypt any other democratic country.
It is not, of course. For one thing, nobody really knows now who is in power. Mr Morsi, just about everyone agrees, is not. He is answerable to two men: Field Marshal Mohammed Hussein Tantawi, the chairman of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces and defence minister; and Mohammed Badie, the Murshid or Guide of the Brotherhood, to whom he also owes obedience.
It is easy to see why the liberal activists who started last year’s revolution against Hosni Mubarak feel betrayed….
Keep reading – Egypt analysis: Mohammed Morsi may have won, but he is not in charge
Continue reading Analysis of Egypt’s election – Mohammed Morsi won, but is not in charge
When Mexico’s long-ruling party was ousted by voters 12 years ago, giddy celebrants hailed the event as something like the fall of the Berlin Wall.
For seven decades, the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, had governed virtually unchallenged, aided by election trickery, a well-honed ability to buy off potential troublemakers and, when that didn’t work, an iron fist. Its historic loss in 2000, and its tumble to third place six years later, led some to even imagine a Mexico without the PRI.
Now the PRI is on the verge of an epic comeback. Polls show the party’s presidential candidate, Enrique Peña Nieto, holding a double-digit lead over three rivals ahead of the July 1 vote. The party could also end up with majorities in both houses of Congress for the first time in 15 years.
The PRI’s march back from humiliation owes as much to widespread anger over skyrocketing drug violence and an anemic job market as to any lessons learned.
But the possibility of a PRI triumph raises a question now at the heart of the race: What kind of PRI would govern — a cleaned-up, “new PRI” retooled for a modernizing Mexico, or the opaque monolith of yore, with its dark intrigues, rampant graft and authoritarian streak?
Keep reading – The fall and rise of Mexico’s PRI
Continue reading The ousted authoritarian government of Mexico – PRI – may be back
If you haven’t heard of Nate Silver then you are in for a ride. Nate is very, very famous in two distinct areas, baseball and politics, for his ability to predict things.
For baseball he developed, PECOTA, a system for predicting future performance of baseball players, and sold it to Baseball Prospectus in 2003.
From there he moved into politics and went on a run, correctly predicting the winner in 49 out of 50 states for the 2008 presidential election, and all 35 of the Senate races.
That made him some enemies, specifically all those existing pollsters who were proved wrong time and time again.
They still don’t like him, but he is the reigning king of political predictions and now a blogger for the New York Times. Where he maintains a running forecast for the 2012 presidential election.
This screenshot shows the forecasted winner in November:
Continue reading Nate Silver predicts our next President – by keeping a running forecast
President Barack Obama proposed $80 million in new government funding for a program to boost science and math education in U.S. schools.
The aim of the new proposed funding is to train 100,000 specialized teachers, who would help to “meet an ambitious goal, which is 1 million more American graduates in science, technology, engineering, and math over the next 10 years.”
In addition, philanthropic organizations and private companies have committed to providing $22 million to help train new math and science teachers.
Organizations involved in the effort include the Carnegie Corporation of New York, Google, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Freeport-McMoRan and the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation.