21

May

Barbers for Romney

An article I wrote that analyzes the occupations of donors to Presidential campaigns:

With over 500,000 contributions to the 2012 Romney and Obama campaigns, these contributions represent a lot of money ($177 million, to be exact) and a ton of fascinating data. By counting how often certain job titles appear in these disclosures, we can create a data-driven summary of the degree to which different professions support each candidate. For example, contributions to President Obama’s campaign are 80 percent more likely to be from dancers than those to Gov. Romney’s. And even though Obama enjoys nearly a 30 percent lead with physicians, surgeons favor Romney by almost 200 percent.

Some of the conclusions drawn from this analysis confirm what we already know. First, that retirees are very active politically, accounting for about a quarter of the donations to both campaigns. Since retirees dwarf every other category, they are excluded from the graphs below. Also unsurprising is that executives and financial professionals are more likely to donate to the Romney campaign, while academics, creative professionals and workers in unionized professions favor Obama. For every contribution to Romney’s campaign, Obama receives (again, on a relative basis) 3.12 from architects, 2.65 from designers, 2.37 from those in advertising, and 1.96 from art dealers. By contrast, for every contribution to Obama’s campaign, Romney sees 16.22 from investment bankers, 4.85 from financial advisors, 3.63 from CFOs, and 3.21 from CPAs.

Read the full article here.

11

Apr

Romney vs. Santorum: What their words reveal

Now that the Romney campaign is officially shaking its Etch-A-Sketch, the name “Rick Santorum” will begin to fade from our collective memory. As he exits the national stage, I find myself wondering what kept him from capitalizing on the “anything-but-Romney” attitude that seemed to define many Republican voters’ attitudes. Money, certainly, was a significant and well-documented driver of the outcome. But what if we sought to understand the primary through a data-driven lens?

An interesting question, for sure, but, as anyone who works with data knows, the first challenge is to get your hands on the numbers. Fortunately, there’s one source of data that politicians are eager to provide in limitless quantities: their words.

Read the rest at Salon.com.