04 April 2010

OKTrends on Political Ideology and Age

OK Trends, the blog of online dating site OK Cupid, does some stellar data analysis work. Always fascinating stuff.

The most recent offering is about political ideology and age.  As always, interesting stuff to be read there.  I could do with out the author's editorializing — I suspect I could use the same data to tell a convincing story much more flattering to "my" side of the political space — but the good data and great visualiztions make up for it.

Via Will Wilkinson, who offers valuable commentary on this.  See also Arnold Kling's commentary on Wilkinson's commentary. One line of Kling's: "My sense is that in 2008, the young people Wilkinson is talking about voted overwhelmingly for Obama, knowing that they were sacrificing fiscal conservatism in order to express their group identity." This is my read as well.  Being an Obama supporter for many of my acquaintances was more about expressing themselves and belonging to the cool group than it was about actual policies. This is a shitty way to select a president — be he Red Team or Blue Team — and it should trouble anyone committed to democratic nation-states as they now exist.

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