Saturday, July 2, 2016

Another quick note on the veepstakes: minimal effects versus no effect

In yesterday's post, I commented on the veepstakes, and how relatively unimportant it is, according to most political science.  Of course, most politicians won't believe that because, well, nobody believes us.  We should all change our names to Cassandra.  (Look it up, kids).

But, this brings up an important difference:  the difference between "no effect" and "minimal effects."  The VP/home state thing is a "minimal effects" kind of thing.  Yes, it's there, and worth considering.  In a close election (like 2000), it could maybe make the difference.  Demonstrable, but not determinative.

Then, there's the nonsense, like balancing out personal traits, coalition-building, etc.  For all of the guff Biden takes, it is worth remembering that Obama added him to the ticket in 2008, not because he needed Delaware or the old white guy vote, but because at the time, Biden's reputation was as a serious, foreign policy guy, and Obama was thought to need that experience on the ticket.  Politicians and journalists write about this crap all the time.  There is no evidence whatsoever that this kind of garbage sways any votes.   That's "no effect" territory.

Minimal effects and no effect sound similar.  They aren't.  Just a quick note to keep in mind.

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