Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Math Government Politics

How To Import Raw Political Data For Crunching 34

Posted by timothy
from the loaves-of-bread-to-circus-ratio dept.
Ed Pegg writes "For those that want to get their fingers stained red and blue with actual political data, resources beyond 538 and pollster can be accessed. In a blog item for Wolfram Research, Jeff Hamrick gives step by step details for how to import raw data from Mason-Dixon, Rasmussen, and Quinnipiac. Then he uses Mathematica to analyze the political data." Related: Slashdot developer Pudge presented at OSCON in July his own approach to gathering Washington-state polling data for analysis [PDF].
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

How To Import Raw Political Data For Crunching

Comments Filter:
  • How about importing raw political candidates for crunching instead? If sacred cows make the best hamburger, what would we make with politicians, chum?

    • by CorSci81 (1007499)
      Well, if sacred cows are the best hamburger, I'm guessing whatever you made with politicians would be highly toxic and inedible.
      • by unitron (5733)

        I keep seeing "IANAL" in comments on the RIAA and wonder to myself, what does the RIAA have to do with sodomy?

        You mean besides what the record companies do to the artists and consumers? :-)

    • How about importing raw political candidates for crunching instead?

      That's just plain disgusting and in bad taste. You're kidding, right?

      Politicians do not crunch when you eat them, unless you deep-fry them first. The proper way to serve them is thinly sliced on a bed of lettuce.

    • You could make something more useful than chum, pal...

  • by damn_registrars (1103043) <damn.registrars@gmail.com> on Thursday September 25, 2008 @05:03PM (#25158241) Homepage Journal

    Pudge presented at OSCON in July his own approach

    Considering all [slashdot.org]of [slashdot.org] the [slashdot.org] hardcore [slashdot.org] conservative [slashdot.org] journal [slashdot.org] entries [slashdot.org] that [slashdot.org] Pudge [slashdot.org] has [slashdot.org] made [slashdot.org] in [slashdot.org] just [slashdot.org] the [slashdot.org] past [slashdot.org] few [slashdot.org] weeks [slashdot.org], I'm not sure I want to know how he comes up with his conclusions.

    • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

      by Nutria (679911)

      I'm not sure I want to know how he comes up with his conclusions.

      That's not very intelligent. Knowing how your enemy processes his data, finding flaws in his analysis should be the first thing an anti-conservative does.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        Knowing how your enemy processes his data, finding flaws in his analysis

        Well, based on the same journal entries that I pointed out earlier, it would seem reasonable to expect that he just takes feeds straight from conservative news sources and then "analyzes" by posting it here on slashdot as well as on his own website.

        I would say there isn't really any "raw data analysis" involved. At least if there is, he isn't posting it here.

        Although of course reality does have a known liberal bias. So he may choose to simply ignore reality on that basis.

        • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

          by Nutria (679911)

          Although of course reality does have a known liberal bias.

          This is marked +4 Insightful?

      • That's complete bullshit. We didn't defeat Hitler by analyzing his data.

        (ghost of Turing) Fuck off!

        • Oh yeah?
          • Ask yourself, why would the ghost of Turing tell me to fuck off in response to my comment? Jokes just aren't funny when you've got to explain them.

        • by Nutria (679911)

          We didn't defeat Hitler by analyzing his data.

          Political battles are different than physical battles. Thus, there is different data to analyze.

          In politics, one of the things that some of your operatives (should) monitor is what messages the opposition is spreading in each state, and why they think $THIS is successful and $THAT is not.

          Likewise, in war, you try to break the enemy's cryptographic codes, send in spies to collect economic/manufacturing data, try to determine the "mood of the people", fly spy pla

          • OH, is that why the ghost of Turing told me to fuck off? Do you suppose that he's pissed that I disregarded his contributions to the cracking of the enigma codes?

            Or do you suppose the joke just went over your head. Go back and read my comment again. The moderators didn't get it, but I am surprised that you didn't either.

    • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

      Obviously you don't really understand a few things.

      First of all, despite what you said in a comment below, I do not read any conservative news sources, except when someone gives me a link to them. My main sources of news are CNN.com and PBS NewsHour. I used to regularly read National Review but I don't have time anymore and gave it up.

      Second, in at least one of the journal entries you linked to [slashdot.org], I defended Obama from what I thought was an unfair attack. And in many of the others, including the posts abou

      • despite what you said in a comment below, I do not read any conservative news sources

        Except that I didn't actually say that. Did you read my comment or are you just retaliating based on what you feel from reading it?

        My main sources of news are CNN.com

        You aren't actually trying to claim that CNN is a liberal, or even a non-conservative news source, are you? Anyone who has been paying attention to CNN can tell that they have made a hard swing to the right over the past few years. Take a look at how often they turn to Glenn Beck for commentary, or how often they stack the deck for Dr. Gupta to favor the for-profit health c

        • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

          despite what you said in a comment below, I do not read any conservative news sources

          Except that I didn't actually say that.

          Yes, you did. You wrote that "it would seem reasonable to expect that he just takes feeds straight from conservative news sources." This obviously implies that I access such sources on a regular basis. I do not.

          My main sources of news are CNN.com

          You aren't actually trying to claim that CNN is a liberal, or even a non-conservative news source, are you?

          It absolutely is not a conservative news source. For every conservative on there, I can name two liberals. Gupta certainly is no conservative, though he has some free-market leanings. Neither is Lou Dobbs a conservative: though he agrees with conservatives on immigration, he agrees with liberal

          • For every conservative on there, I can name two liberals

            That is only true if you include the anchors and reporters, who are there to present the news, as opposed to the commentators like Beck and Gupta, who are there to provide commentary on the news. How many liberal commentators has CNN given their own shows to?

            You directly implied that what I presented should be ignored because of your (false) perception of my biases.

            You are stretching my statement to meet your own assumptions of me. I merely said I wasn't interested in your methods. I came to the conclusion that I am not interested in your methods by reading the journal entries that you have made here on slash

            • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

              For every conservative on there, I can name two liberals

              That is only true if you include the anchors and reporters, who are there to present the news, as opposed to the commentators like Beck and Gupta, who are there to provide commentary on the news.

              No, it's not. There are more liberal commentators on there than conservatives. But that said, anchors often DO provide commentary, and reporters sometimes do as well -- did you watch the debate? CNN reporter John King was providing his opinion on the debate as it happened (though I couldn't say what his particular political leanings are) -- and even when not providing commentary their biases affect their reporting.

              How many liberal commentators has CNN given their own shows to?

              On a weekday, the shows are Wolf Blitzer, Lou Dobbs, Campbell Brown, Larry King, Anderson C

              • Wilf Blitzer, and even moreso his sidekick Jack Cafferty, are on the left.

                That Wolf Blitzer. And he's an anchor, not a commentator. I'll give you Jack Cafferty as a liberal commentator, but Wolf Blitzer is not a commentator so he doesn't count in the list of "liberal commentators".

                So that would make one

                Lou Dobbs is a populist who straddles both sides of the fence

                If he's a populist, then he must not be an evil liberal.

                Campbell Brown seems to play it down the middle; I haven't detected a significant bias in her reporting over the years.

                So then you admit she is neither a commentator nor an evil, evil liberal.

                Larry King doesn't count

                Larry King is also a reporter, still not a commentator. For that matter have you looked at his interview list? He's had numerous interviews in

                • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

                  That Wolf Blitzer.

                  That's a typo. But I just went through everyone who has a show this week. NONE of them were conservatives.

                  If [Dobb]'s a populist, then he must not be an evil liberal.

                  Correct. You asked how many were conservatives, and I went through everyone. He is not a conservative.

                  Larry King is also a reporter

                  No, he is not. He never reports. He is an interviewer, not a reporter.

                  He's had numerous interviews in the past year that would never go to evil, evil, evil liberals.

                  False.

                  Anderson Cooper is not a commentator.

                  Yes, in fact, he is. Unlike Blitzer who keeps his views close to the chest, Cooper, like Lou Dobbs, often injects his view into his "reporting." Cooper is a commentator.

                  You were ranting about evil, evil, evil, evil liberal commentators.

                  You are lying. I never did any such thing.

                  Let's go

  • Fivethirtyeight.com (Score:3, Informative)

    by ireallylovelinux (589360) <brianherman@bria n j h e r man.com> on Thursday September 25, 2008 @05:08PM (#25158335) Homepage
    For those people that don't want to install mathematica you could go to fivethirtyeight.com [fivethirtyeight.com] and get updated polls. I got this from the typewriter [xkcd.com] xkcd.
  • This doesn't seem like a serious forecasting project, just a bit of topical advertising fluff thrown together by a couple of Wolfram staffers. It might be fun to download and play with if you have Mathematica already, but it doesn't make me want to rush out and blow two and a half grand on propriety software.

  • If you want to import data from the *money* in politics, which I generally find more amusing/entertaining check out the Federal Election Commission's FTP site [fec.gov]
  • by Anonymous Coward

    By a suspiciously large margin.

  • If you want to see some poll meta-analysis that is pretty rigorous check out election.princeton.edu [princeton.edu].
  • What I'd really like to see is if the data were replaced with purely random data (or as close as we can get) would the people "analyzing" it get any different results, really? Or would they keep finding the trends they are looking for, do you think?

    • As a student of mathematics, I say that it is much more difficult to manipulate data to legitimately suggest different results that most would suspect. As they say, the numbers never lie. Of course, the statisticians might lie. Or the statistics might lie, in the sense that there is always a chance of a biased study. But the numbers never imply causation, merely correlation.

The biggest mistake you can make is to believe that you are working for someone else.

Working...