Thursday, October 21, 2004

Bush more Conservative than Kerry Liberal

     I am very fond of the psychometric (yes, that's what it is called) work of Doctors Poole and Rosenthal, which they have left online for many years now.  First linked to me by my friends who were reading Salon because of this image (now with even more!), I have checked back regularly, and only wished they'd update this puppy.

     In response to the instantly debunked by National Journal, yet constantly repeated by the shit-shoving-down-your-throat President (while smiling! always smile!), it turns out that, compared to everyone who has served in the House or Senate for the last 75 years, Bush is more Conservative than Kerry is Liberal.  Although the article doesn't come out and say that, it gives Kerry #478 out of 3,320, while it gives Bush #2,971 out of the same 3,320.  In other words, in seventy five years, Bush is more conservative than all but 10.5% of all Congresspeople, while Kerry is more liberal than all but 14.4% of the same.  Using their own system of numbering, Bush has a +.408 while Kerry is a -.366, 0 is neutral, obviously.

     To help you get the gist of Poole/Rosenthal's methodology, you can read most of their book, here, and a short, less-math-required intro, here.  It's all very mathematical, actually, one of their papers is called Proof that if Voting is Perfect in One Dimension, then the First Eigenvector Extracted from the Double-Centered Transformed Agreement Score Matrix has the Same Rank Ordering as the True Data, but my favoriate articles are Changing Minds, Not in Congress, and Political Polarization and Income Inequality.


     Edwards is #995 (more liberal than all but 30% of 3,320 congressfolk, -.239
     Cheney is #3189 (more conservative than all but %4 of 3,320 congressfolk, +.517)

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