Discover more from The Intersection
Does aging make you more conservative?
Plus: The third party wildcard, North Carolina redistricting, TikTok in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Taylor Swift's wealth visualized
No. 290 | October 27, 2023
Dante Chinni and Stephanie Stamm: Grand Old Party: How Aging Makes You More Conservative (The Wall Street Journal 🔒)
“One of the most durable forces shaping the U.S. electorate is that voters tend to lean more Republican as they age.
But it also matters where they begin on the political spectrum, and there are indications that millennials and the oldest members of Generation Z started out more liberal than prior generations. That has made them a crucial base of support for Democrats, even as some other groups of voters have moved away from the party.”
AND YET (X)
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What Happened in 2022: Arizona and Michigan (Catalist)
“The 2022 midterm election resulted in significant victories for Democrats despite the historical expectation that a party controlling the presidency and both chambers of Congress faces a midterm backlash from voters. Democratic overperformance was especially evident in states with highly contested Senate and Gubernatorial races, where electorates looked similar to 2020 and 2018. However, winning coalitions differed across battleground states based on both the demographic composition of the states themselves as well as important differences in how campaigns and voter outreach organizations conducted their work.
Catalist’s national-level What Happened 2022 analysis focuses on what we can glean from our national voter file. This report focuses more narrowly on highly contested statewide elections in two important battlegrounds: Arizona and Michigan.”
Kyle Kondik: The Third Party Wild Card (Sabato’s Crystal Ball)
“We feel very confident in saying that the next president will be a Democrat or a Republican (I know what you’re thinking — the Crystal Ball sure is going out on a limb here!)
But we start with this blindingly obvious statement as we consider that the list of third party candidates may be long in 2024. Most recently, and most notably, vaccine skeptic Robert F. Kennedy Jr. switched from the Democratic primary to making an independent bid, and early polls have shown him getting considerable support.”
J. MIles Coleman: North Carolina Redistricting: Republicans Bring Out Their Golden Goose (again) (Sabato’s Crystal Ball)
“Over a decade ago, as the post-2010 round of redistricting was on the horizon, the Washington Post called North Carolina the GOP’s “Golden Goose” of redistricting. In 2010, North Carolina’s House Democrats weathered a tough election cycle to maintain a 7-6 edge in their marginal state’s congressional delegation — that map had been a Democratic gerrymander. But lower down the ballot, Republicans took control of both chambers of the state legislature. In a state where the governor plays no role in redistricting, Republicans put an aggressive gerrymander in place for 2012 — on a 13-seat map, it created 10 John McCain-won seats. Though the gerrymander didn’t immediately work as intended (one Democrat held on in a GOP-leaning seat in 2012) Republicans achieved their desired 10-3 split in the 2014 elections.”
🖥 Digital Data
🗺️ Data Visualization
“Taylor Swift’s Eras tour has generated as much money as the economies of small countries. The movie version is ruling the box office. Her new recording of a nine-year-old album, 1989, is expected to be one of the hottest-selling records of the year.
Swift, as even the most casual pop-culture watchers can attest, is everywhere. And in one of the biggest years of her nearly two-decade career, she’s entered into even more rarefied status: billionaire.
The success of the Eras tour—a Super Bowl-sized event spanning numerous cities that has shattered records, sparked ticket frenzies and even caused the equivalent of a small earthquake—has propelled the pop star’s net worth past $1 billion, according to a Bloomberg News analysis. She’s one of the few entertainers to reach that status based on music and performing alone, the result of work and talent, but also canny marketing and timing.”
📊 Public Opinion
“The 32% of Americans who say they trust the mass media ‘a great deal’ or ‘a fair amount’ to report the news in a full, fair and accurate way ties Gallup’s lowest historical reading, previously recorded in 2016. Although trust in media currently matches the historical low, it was statistically similar in 2021 (36%) and 2022 (34%).
Another 29% of U.S. adults have ‘not very much’ trust, while a record-high 39% register ‘none at all.’ This nearly four in 10 Americans who completely lack confidence in the media is the highest on record by one percentage point. It is 12 points higher than the 2016 reading, which came amid sharp criticism of the media from then-presidential candidate Donald Trump -- making the current assessment of the media the grimmest in Gallup’s history. In 2016, U.S. adults were most likely to say they had “not very much” trust (41%).”
“Minnesota is safely a Midwest state, but the region's boundaries could extend as far as Idaho and Tennessee, depending on whom you ask.
Why it matters: We need a good definition of the Midwest. Otherwise, people from Colorado or West Virginia will walk around claiming Midwest credibility.
What they did: Emerson College and the Middle West Review surveyed 11,000 people in 22 states, asking them if they consider themselves to live in the Midwest. The results were published Wednesday.”
“The wealth gap between U.S. Latinos and white Americans can vary greatly depending on which state they live in, according to new research.
The big picture: Researchers have long known that immigration status, educational attainment and country of origin affect Latino's financial net worth. But this new analysis adds a layer to a nuanced topic — and can help policymakers better address economic disparities.”
Matt Grossmann: What explains the diploma divide? (Niskanen Center)
“Voters with college degrees are increasingly supporting Democrats, with Republicans now doing better among those without college—a big reversal in recent decades. Joshua Zingher finds that college-educated Americans are more liberal on social issues and that more educated Americans are moving furthest toward Democrats when surrounded by other educated people. White voters are flipping fastest by education but the trends are present across the electorate. Will Marble finds that white college graduates are now more liberal across economic, social, racial, and foreign policy issues. Less educated white voters have increased the importance they place on non-economic issues, polarizing the electorate on these issues.”
📰 Data Journalism
“In the year after the Supreme Court ended the constitutional right to abortion, something unexpected happened: The total number of legal abortions in the United States did not fall. Instead, it appeared to increase slightly, by about 0.2 percent, according to the first full-year count of abortions provided nationwide.
This finding came despite the fact that 14 states banned all abortions, and seven imposed new limits on them. Even as those restrictions reduced the legal abortion rate to near zero in some states, there were large increases in places where abortions remained legal. Researchers said they were driven by the expansion of telemedicine for mail-order abortion pills, increased options and assistance for women who traveled, and a surge of publicity about ways to get abortions.”
🤖 Artificial Intelligence
Simon Willison: Now add a walrus: Prompt engineering in DALL-E 3 (Simon Willison)
“Last year I wrote about my initial experiments with DALL-E 2, OpenAI’s image generation model. I’ve been having an absurd amount of fun playing with its sequel, DALL-E 3 recently. Here are some notes, including a peak under the hood and some notes on the leaked system prompt.
DALL-E 3 is available via ChatGPT Plus. For $20/month you get GPT-4 access, DALL-E 3, GPT Vision, Code Interpreter (aka Coding Intern), ChatGPT Plugins and the new, weird and slightly dystopian voice chat feature in the ChatGPT mobile apps. It’s absolutely worth the money, for the combined entertainment value alone.”
In this Delphi study, happiness researchers rank "avoiding long commutes" as one of the the most effective ways to make yourself happy - just behind "accepting yourself"; investing in friends & family; and being more physically and mentally active (X)
@emollick: 👀Yikes, a huge amount of social science (and market research) relies on surveying humans on platforms like Mechnical Turk... except over 30% of human workers on both platforms are just using AI.