Of course, I don’t expect my righty readers to really give a shit about my election contest analysis; this is after all, an admittedly liberal blog, so a degree of skepticism is warranted. But to totally dismiss my analysis in favor of the partisan cheerleading over at (u)SP, is bound to intensify their disappointment when the final ruling comes down.
And so as a service to my friends on the other side of the ideological divide, I point you towards an editorial in today’s Seattle Times: “The heavy burden for Republicans.” Whatever you might think of the rest of the paper, this is a conservative editorial board that wholeheartedly endorsed Dino Rossi for governor. And so perhaps some might find their reservations about “proportional deduction” a bit more credible than mine.
So Republicans will bring in experts who will use math to describe likely voting patterns.
Likely is an important word. The math makes sense in an academic debate. But listen carefully. The experts speak in terms such as “likely” or “most likely,” or “estimate” or “infer.”
The math can be solid and the conclusion all wet. Bridges must be careful before allowing a dry statistical formula to overturn an election. Invalidating an election surrounded by uncertainty should be done only if a new approach provides greater certainty. Proportional analysis raises as many questions as it answers.
How do we know felons vote like the rest of voters in a given precinct?
Felons tend to be male; men vote differently than women. National studies show felons tend to be minorities and from low-income backgrounds who vote Democratic. Are minorities as big a share of the Washington state felon population as they are nationwide?
Another unknown: Gregoire, as former state attorney general, was the state’s top law-enforcement officer. How did that affect voting preferences of felons and other illegal voters?
This is not partisan Goldy raising these questions, but Frank Blethen’s hand-picked editorial board. So if you want to shoot the messenger, you better stop by Wal-Mart and load up on some ammunition.