Logistic regression of the day

Kevin Drum highlights the key findings from Political Scientist extraordinaire, Alan Abramowitz’s, recent APSA paper on the Tea Party:

[Abramowitz] The results in Table 5 show that ideological conservatism was by far the strongest predictor of Tea Party support. In addition to conservatism, however, both racial resentment and dislike for Barack Obama had significant effects on support for the Tea Party. These two variables had much stronger effects than party identification.

Okay, the Tea Party is not racist, but it sure is fair to say that they resent Black people and feel that they unfairly benefit in our society.   So, short version, Tea Partiers are political conservatives who resent Black people and dislike Obama even more than other conservative Republicans.

My low testosterone

It’s the 4 kids:

Dads who spend time with their children have lower levels of testosterone than single guys, according to a study that suggests family men experience a biological shift that may awaken their nurturing side.

While higher testosterone is considered beneficial for finding a partner, the male virility hormone drops once a stable relationship is formed and slides again during child-rearing, according to the study, published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Researchers examined more than 600 men in the Philippines over about a five-year period.

The findings add to evidence that human males have evolved in ways that “facilitate their role as fathers and caregivers as a key component of reproductive success,” the researchers said in the study. Testosterone appears to mediate the tradeoff between mating and parenting in humans, they said.

Next question: is this drop dichotomous, i.e., parent or not; or cumulative.  If it is the latter, I must be pretty low.

Will Fox News decide the GOP primaries?

I was having a conversation with a friend yesterday about the Perry v. Romney battle things have come down to and I decided who I think will decide the Republican campaign– Fox News (and right-wing media) more broadly.  If Fox, Rush, etc., essentially stay neutral, Perry wins as he’s just the dripping, bloody, rare red meat the Tea Party and the GOP base craves.  Of course, the grown-ups in the room want Romney, but there’s no reason to think the Tea party, etc., will play along.  Unless.  Unless, Fox and friends decide that Perry is a huge general election liability (which he is– Fed Up! anyone?) and go after him.  As with any politician, there’s always plenty to go after.  If the overlords at Fox decide they want Romney, they’ll be an unending parade of stories on Perry trying to force the HPV vaccine and whatever else they decide is most offensive to conservatives, and Perry’s done.  That happens, and we’re looking at a pretty decent chance of President Romney.

Stopping gay marriage– good for business?

Of course not, but that’s the argument of a recent Op-Ed in the Raleigh News & Observer.  Seriously?  I bring this up as it looks like we’re going to be having a Constitutional Amendment against gay marriage on the ballot in NC next year.   If I was teaching a class in research methods, I would seriously assign this Op-Ed as a lesson in how not to draw conclusions from statistics.  A sampling:

Each year, the American Legislative Exchange Council issues a report, “Rich States, Poor States,” ranking the economic health of the 50 states. In 2011, all of the top 10 economically healthy states identified in the report have laws affirming that marriage is the union of one man and one woman, nine of them in their constitutions. By contrast, the 10 bottom-ranked states for economic health all undermine marriage in their laws.

First, one should mention that ALEC is a Republican group.  Not surprisingly, they rate states that have conservative public policies throughout to be better for business.  And, of course, those states don’t like gay marriage.  And, of course, all those horrible librul states with anti-business measures like environmental protection and workers rights are bad for business (and good for gays).

Secondly, nobody could be dumb enough to suggest that this is some sort of direct causal relationship, rather than a coincidence of the many other features the states involved have in common?  Yes, they could:

This is no accident. Strong marriage laws lead to strong economies [bold in original], because marriage produces future workers who are balanced, stable and healthy.

Riiiiight.  I’m sure all the unstable families in MA, Iowa, etc., are ruining the education system because people are too freaked out by their gay neighbors being married to study and go to college, etc.  Nice to know that this is the level of thinking we are dealing with behind our state’s newest proposed constitutional amendment.

Political scientist-wise, I’m going to be really curious to see how this unfolds.  As regular readers know, public opinion on this issue has been moving amazing rapidly and has changed a lot since all the measures in 2004.  A recent PPP poll suggests that although North Carolinians don’t much like gay marriage, they like even less the idea of re-writing the state Constitution on the matter:

61% of North Carolinians want same-sex marriage to remain illegal, as it is now by statutory law, and only 31% want it to be legal.  But 55% also would vote against the Republicans’ proposed constitutional amendment prohibiting marriage, civil unions, and domestic partnerships for gay couples.  Only 30% would vote for the amendment.

Stay tuned!

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