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The Ali Zaidi Effect

Despite the lack of a firm party system in the Undergraduate Council, campaigns tend to be two-candidate affairs. Rarely does a third-party ticket do well, with 10% of the vote just about the upper bound. In fact, of the myriad third-party tickets over the past few years, only a couple have ever seriously threatened to effect the outcome of the election. (Continued)

Upperclass uncertainty

If the story of the freshman vote is one of relative stability, than the house electorate is best described as uncertain, if not chaotic. Remember that graph we showed last week of the percentage of the freshman presidential electorate that voted in just the general election, just the presidential election, or both? Well let me remind you:

Whoa, only around 20% of freshman presidential voters were first time voters! 80% had already cast a ballot in the fall general elections. Let’s look at a corresponding graph for the upperclassmen: (Continued)

The Freshman Horde?

One of the most important assumptions in any UC presidential campaign is the importance of freshman outreach. For as long as I have been here, the assumption has been that freshmen vote, and do so in far greater numbers than their upperclassman counterparts. As a result, candidates are sent to go door-to-door in the Yard, even if they never step foot in the Quad. Is this focus justified? The answer, it appears, is a qualified yes. (Continued)

A note on data

I’ve come into possession of some UC election voting statistics, which I’ll be throwing up here over the next couple of weeks (mainly because Cliff and a couple other people thought it sounded interesting).

First, however, I need to list some caveats. The statistics and charts I put up are derived from backups of the UC’s election software database. After some finessing, I was able to piece together the various bits of data to recreate anonymous voters. Each individual is identified by a unique encrypted string and has a known dorm or house affiliation. Additionally, each individual is attached to his or her complete voting history, including candidate rankings.

Despite my best efforts, I cannot decrypt the unique identifier, and I have no way of identifying the real people who correspond to the individuals in the database. Furthermore, the data is not flawless. Voting histories are (nearly) perfect, and are (nearly) perfectly attached to correct individuals. Due to the design of the voting system, however, individuals’ dorm or house affiliations are overwritten each time an individual votes. This poses two problems: we cannot determine how individual dorms vote in any given election, and (more importantly) we cannot perfectly determine an individual’s class year. (Continued)

Something “on the side”

Was watching an episode of Mad Men last night and one of the characters used the phrase “something on the side” to describe a mistress.

This has to be an anachronism, right? I always just assumed Usher made it up.

Nothing to see here

move along now…