How Birth Year Influences Political Views
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A new model of presidential voting suggests President Obama’s approval rating — currently in the low 40s — will inform not only the 2016 election, but also the election in 2076. The model, by researchers at Catalist, the Democratic data firm, and Columbia University, uses hundreds of thousands of survey responses and new statistical software to estimate how people’s preferences change at different stages of their lives.
The model assumes generations of voters choose their team, Democrats or Republicans, based on their cumulative life experience — a “running tally” of events. By using Gallup’s presidential approval rating as a proxy for those events, Yair Ghitza, chief scientist at Catalist, and Andrew Gelman, a political scientist and statistician at Columbia University, were able to estimate when political preferences are formed.
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