A message from Nebraska

Eric Aspengren writes,

I just discovered your blog via MyDD.com . . . I work as a political operative in Nebraska and I’m trying to give myself a crash course in statistical analysis vis-a-vis political science and campaigns. I do not have a math background and have had to pick most of this stuff up piecemeal as I go. This summer, though, after our local elections, I plan to dive into this field as much as possible. Your blog seems to be a very good resource for finding the latest research in the field.

I’ve been searching for something like this for some time.

Are there any specific online resources for good, basic, tutorials in this sort of analysis? Also, I have some training in GIS and wonder if you know of any good online resources concerning geostatistical analysis concerning vote prediction and GOTV. I would specifically like to find ways to maximize limited resources given certain demographic and other data of voters.

I have to say that I’m not, given my limited understanding, sold on Bayesian analysis. The promises of Bayesian analysis, though, are quite tantalizing. I think I can be sold on this if I can find some evidence of its application to elections and GOTV.

Cool–a political operative in Nebraska! It’s encouraging to know that we are reaching people outside of academia! In answer to the question, online resources for statistics are not so good. I recommend my own books, with the newest (Data analysis using regression and multilevel/hierarchical models) being the more accessible. We don’t actually do geostatistical analyses, though. Regarding get out the vote, you could read the papers of Alan Gerber and Don Green. There is some controversy about their findings; see here.

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