Voting Science


How important is science in the 2012 elections? It gets little mention directly and appears most often as policy statements.

Is it important? Are you reading this post on some ‘net enabled device? Thank science.

Are you reading this post on a mobile or tablet device? Thank science. Does your computer fit in your hand rather than fill a room? Thank science.

Do you get your calls via cellphone more often than landline? Thank science. For that matter, thank science for your landline, too.

You don’t think Science is important?

Science is business. Don’t forget that. And business is economics. Italy is imprisoning six scientists who failed to correctly predict the extent of an earthquake in L’Aquila in 2009. Think of the insurance bills that had to be paid in that city. Italy’s courts have also decided mobile phones cause brain tumors. Think of the medical costs! Think of the caveats mobile phone developers will need to have written into purchase agreements to indemnify them from heretical liability claims!

And in the US? Textbooks are bought and ordered more on what politics are in the largest sales territories. If everybody in a given sales territory thinks Creationism is truer than Evolution, guess what goes in the textbook? Voting with one’s pocketbook is fine but the short-sightedness of that approach is incredible. Vote that way long enough and the US — already losing some of its technological advantage — becomes a scientific backwater relying on other countries for innovation. Lose technological advantage and military strength is not far behind.

And we thought Wikipedia was dangerous?

Who’s for Science? (a view from across the pond)

The following is from the British science journal Nature v490 25 Oct 2012. The full article is High stakes for US science and a worthy read.


In their own words

Barack Obama (blue) and Mitt Romney (red) speak about science issues on the campaign trail.

CLIMATE

Obama: “Climate change is one of the biggest issues… we have to meet this challenge by driving smart policies that lead to greater growth in clean energy generation and result in a range of economic and social benefits.”

Romney: “I oppose steps like a carbon tax or a cap-and-trade system …Economic growth and technological innovation, not economy-suppressing regulation, is the key to environmental protection.”

The bottom line: Romney opposes all climate regulations. Obama used regulatory powers to push through energy and climate regulations, and subsidies for low-carbon energy technology.

EDUCATION

Obama: “Now I want to hire another hundred thousand new math and science teachers and create two million more slots in our community colleges so that people can get trained for the jobs that are out there right now.”

Romney: “I propose we grade our schools so parents …can take their child to a school that’s being more successful. I don’t want to cut our commitment to education, I want to make it more effective and efficient.”

The bottom line: Obama often emphasizes science education. Romney focuses on streamlining the federal role in education while encouraging school choice and voucher
programmes.

ENERGY

Obama: “I have supported an all-of-the-above energy approach that will allow us to take control of our energy future, one where we safely and responsibly develop America’s many energy resources.”

Romney: “A crucial component of my plan …is to dramatically increase domestic energy production and partner closely with Canada and Mexico to achieve North American energy independence by 2020.”

The bottom line: Romney and Obama have tussled over who supports fossil fuels the most. The difference is that Obama continues to push to develop renewable sources for the long
term.

INNOVATION

Obama: “I am committed to doubling funding for key research agencies to support scientists and entrepreneurs, so that we can preserve America’s place as the world leader in innovation.”

Romney: “The promotion of innovation will begin on Day One, with efforts to simplify the corporate tax code, reform job retraining programmes, reduce regulatory burdens, and protect American intellectual property.”

The bottom line: Obama deployed stimulus money to commercialize new technologies. Romney supports basic research, but leaves innovation and commercialization to the private
sector.

REGULATION

Obama: “Smart rules can save lives and keep us safe, but there are some regulations that don’t make sense and cost too much.”

Romney: “We must reduce the power of unaccountable regulators by requiring that all major regulations receive congressional approval and by imposing a regulatory cap that prevents the addition of new regulatory costs.”

The bottom line: Romney would slow or stop regulation where possible. Obama moved to reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens, but also used regulatory powers to further his agenda.

SPACE

Obama: “Our goal is the capacity for people to work and learn and operate and live safely beyond the Earth for extended periods of time, ultimately in ways that are more sustainable and even indefinite.”

Romney: “America has enjoyed a half-century of leadership in space, but now that leadership is eroding …I will bring together all the stakeholders …and define the pathway forward.”

The bottom line: Under Obama, NASA has drifted into budgetary and mission limbo. Romney has underscored the problem but offers few specifics about what he would change.

STEM CELLS

Obama: “We will vigorously support scientists who pursue this research. And we will aim for America to lead the world in the discoveries it one day may yield.”

Romney: “I have a deep concern about curing disease …but I will not create new embryos through cloning or through embryo farming, because that would be creating life for the purpose of destroying it.”

The bottom line: Obama repealed limits on federal funding of stem-cell research. Romney has not specified his stance, but his religious views may stand in opposition to current policy.


Like your bigscreen TVs, your Facebook and Twitter? Are you a mayor in 4Square or have your family’s highest score in Angry Birds? Do you shop online? Is your refrigerator, computer or car energy efficient? Are you taking medication that keeps in check an illness that killed your grandparents?

Thank science.

What is the cost of undervaluing science? Living Under the China Skies or giving up personal security in ways most people can’t imagine.

Like your life, your gadgets and toys and want more for less at the grocery store and gas pump?

Vote Science.


Politics and Your Mind 17 Oct 2012 (The Day After the Obama-Romney Hofstra Town Hall Style Debate)


NextStage Political Reader determines political outcomes based on how people are thinking when they're on monitored websitesThis post continues a thread started in Politics and Your Mind 9 Oct 2012 (Introducing the NextStage Political Reader) and continued in Politics and the Gender Mind 10-12 Oct 2012 (With a Touch of Debate BS and PersonaScoping at the End). We’re using The NextStage Political Reader to determine how people will vote in the 2012 US Presidential election.

The same caveats apply here as previously: NextStage is not monitoring all sites in the US nor was the entire voting population online during the time this data was collected.

A Quick Read of the Charts

  • Say – What people would tell you in conversation. These numbers should be closest to national polls.
  • Think – Which party do people think will do better. This may or may not be who people would vote for or who they want to win, only who they think will do better.
  • Hearts – This is the number that most closely responds to the outcome of a secret ballot if held today.
  • End – If people could be magically transported to their real voting venue and knew for a fact that their vote would actually make a difference, how would they vote?

The Gender Divide

The twelve or so hours since the debate started have been busy internet-wise. NextStage tracked over 10 million people (3.43% of the voter population) (over 7½ million women and close to 3 million men) and there is no doubt that President Obama carried the evening as far as women voters go. What President Obama also managed to do was make lots of men reconsider their voting decision. They didn’t go totally democratic and they did move away from republican by a substantial margin.

How Would They Say They’d Vote Right Now?
How did the Hofstra Debate Affect How Voters Say They'll Vote?

The real shift is in male consciousness, though. In their own minds, men believe President Obama won the debate.

But What Do They Think?

Heartwise, men still believe President Obama won the debate by a large margin although here we see that men still have a hankering for Governor Romney.

And What Are Their Hearts Telling Them?

But in the end and all things considered, the Democrats won the night.

And In the End, Will Hearts or Minds Prevail?

A Final Word

The Republicans may also believe President Obama and the Democrats carried the night. As I write this, it is slightly after 10amET and so far the only political calls to our offices have been by Republican operatives, and those to let us know how wrong President Obama was and what he wasn’t telling the debate audience. Normally there’s a 50/50 mix and the calls are issue oriented.


Politics and the Gender Mind 10-12 Oct 2012 (With a Touch of Debate BS and PersonaScoping at the End)


Following up with Politics and Your Mind 9 Oct 2012 (Introducing the NextStage Political Reader), we now supply a gender-based voter breakdown…

A Quick Read of the Charts

  • Say – What people would tell you in conversation. These numbers should be closest to national polls.
  • Think – Which party do people think will do better. This may or may not who people would vote for or who they want to win, only who they think will do better.
  • Hearts – This is the number that most closely responds to the outcome of a secret ballot if held today.
  • End – If people could be magically transported to their real voting venue and knew for a fact that their vote would actually make a difference, how would they vote?

What I’ll share today is probably why day by day evaluations are meaningless from an eventual outcome perspective while incredibly fascinating from a socio-political perspective.

What Changed Their Minds So Rapidly

The image below indicates an incredible shift in male voting patterns in a 24hr period.

Male voting change from 10-11 Oct 2012

Likewise, the following image indicates a similar shift among female voters in the same 24hr period.

Female voting change from 10-11 Oct 2012

What happened in 24hrs to cause that kind of shift? There may have been something from a news standpoint. NextStageologists spent a few hours looking at it and realized it was a shift in “who” was analyzed.

Or more correctly, how many of who was analyzed.

It’s All in the Numbers

The 10 Oct 2012 analysis involved 3,658,758 men (1.21% of all voters) and 931,852 females (0.31% of all voters). The 11 Oct 2012 analysis involved 124,916 men (0.04% of all voters) and 1,114,259 female (0.37% of all voters).

Of perhaps greater interest is that the 10 Oct 2012 results are from sites covering 19-75 year olds while the 11 Oct 2012 results sampled sites catering to 54-75 year olds. Evidently younger men and mature women favor the Democrats, older men and younger women favor the Republicans.

First, the 11 Oct 2012 sample is about 1/4 the size of the 10 Oct 2012 sample. Also, the 10 Oct 2012 sample was 3:1 male:female weighted, the 11 Oct 2012 sample was almost 10:1 female:male weighted.

And After the Biden-Ryan Debate…

Today, 12 Oct 2012, we did another run of the NextStage Political Reader and it seems all bets are off and the Democrats need to do some serious rethinking if they plan to win the election. Analyzing 1,708,074 visitors (0.57% of the voter population) we get the results below.

How Would They Say They’d Vote Right Now?
Men and Women Voting after the Biden-Ryan Debate

Again, the devil’s in the details. The above is primarily for a 12 hour stretch post debate, hence overnight traffic. Evidently Republican males don’t sleep much.

About that BS thing

There was much discussion of how well Romney did in the first Obama-Romney debate. Some of that might have been due to how much BS (BlueSky, a measure of how believable a person was) the audience detected in both candidates. Pretty much all their values were equal with the exception of BlueSky where the Democrats came off as less believable than the Republicans:

How Much BS Was There?
How Much BS Was There in the Debates?

Was Anybody Really Talking to the People?

The last question answered in this post is one of personal curiosity. I’ve always wondered (and several readers have contacted me with similar questions) if politicians talk more to each other or if they really talk to the voters.

Fortunately NextStage’s PersonaScope and SampleMatch tools can answer such questions via “{C,B/e,M}”s. {C,B/e,M}s are a shorthand for how people think, behave and what motivates them. Ever meet someone you just didn’t get along with? Chances are your {C,B/e,M} conflicted with the other person’s. Ever meet someone you hit it off with immediately? Chances are the two of you had highly complimentary {C,B/e,M}s. You can find out more about {C,B/e,M}s at Looking for Love? Now You Can Find All the Right Places! (On the Evolution of Tools)

Obama was communicating using a K13 {C,B/e,M} while Romney, Biden and Ryan all used a V13 {C,B/e,M}. While neither K13 nor V13 is a dominant communication form in the United States, V13 is closer to how the majority of US citizens talk to each other than K13 by 22%. This could be another reason for the Romney Resurgence.

Regarding the first Romney-Obama Presidential Debate: October 3, 2012

This post first appeared on Thursday October 4, 2012, in The Washington Post as an untitled top comment.

In the Wednesday debate, both Romney and Obama did details, but Romney had a better game plan – if he wins the toss, start second so he can see Obama’s approach and delivery as the first speaker, and also so he can have the evening’s last word by which to leave the final impression on viewers.

But aside from debate game plans, the Romney team clearly pushed in the two-party debate planning process for the debates to focus on detail topics – the strategic goal being to cause Obama to focus on details and not have time to bring up his leadership in pulling the country out of a deep hole.  The resulting dog that didn’t bark is that Obama never got into gear on his real value as a leader, versus his day-to-day work as a manager.

Then Romney played the next game plan card by claiming that Obama didn’t include Republican input to Obamacare.  At that point, Obama fell into the trap and failed to point out that the Senate leadership had openly stated their top job was to make Obama a one-term president, and that the House leadership was internally whipsawed by the take-no-prisoners stance from the Tea Party movement.

In the debate, Obama did not point out that the lack of bi-partisanship was due to the Republican decision to offer no willingness to make any negotiable and workable contribution to either the process or the substance.  In effect, the Republicans went on a sit-down strike, and then blamed Obama for not working with them.  And Obama did not use Romney’s artificial complaint about cooperation to make the point that the Republicans were the ones who chose to sit it out while throwing darts at the work in progress.

Obama’s missed opportunity to set the major legislative story straight set the tone for the evening.  From then on, it was detail after detail, where Romney’s business sense excels at building stories from highly artful and colorful numbers.  Obama’s lifetime as a lawyer in ward politics did not give him the instinct to elevate the exchange to the place where he really excels, which is connecting leadership with operational action across the huge mix of players in DC to get things actually to happen.  Wow.

Mitch Daniels’s CPAC 2011 Speech Analyzed

Political Messaging
Part 1 – What Mitch Daniels Wants You to Believe

Mitch Daniels's CPAC 2011 Speech 9

Political Messaging
Part 2 – What the SpeechWriter Thinks

Mitch Daniels's CPAC 2011 Speech What did the speech author think?

Gender Persuasion

Mitch Daniels's CPAC 2011 Speech gender breakdown

Age Persuasion

Mitch Daniels's CPAC 2011 Speech age breakdown

What is Mitch Daniels Really Communicating? – Every politician wants the public to believe they are the best for the job and can get things done.

However, no individual can achieve anything in elected office unless they believe certain things about themselves because without those core, personal and identifying beliefs they will not have the intellectual power, the charisma, the social awareness and sensitivity, the negotiation skills or the creativity necessary for success in public office.

In this case, Mitch Daniels:

  • Has an idea of where their town/city/county/state/country needs to be but doesn’t know if they’re instrumental in making that vision a reality.
  • Has a sense of destiny for both themselves and the town/city/county/state/country and believes they are the only individual who can make it happen.
  • Is communicating very well to both male and female audiences.
  • Is targeting a reasonable demographic.
    • But not strongly enough to stand out/win/be recognized as leading the pack.

Regarding the real author of this material:

  • They don’t think this candidate has a real chance of winning the race.
  • They believe the candidate is on the level most of the time.

The original analysis can be found at Mitch Daniels’s CPAC 2011 Speech Analyzed Analyzed.

Values Generated Are:

  • Political Messaging

    • I Am Leadership Material – 60.7
    • I Am Electable – 71.63
    • I Have a Vision – 26.52
    • I Have a Vision for This Country – 77
    • I Am Listening – 53.2
    • I Am Listening to You – 65.31
    • I Can Lead Us to a Better Place – 100
    • I Can Get Us Out of This Problem/Mess/Situation – 91.91
    • I Am a Man/Woman of The People – 63.67
  • Speechwriter’s Confidence in Candidate’s Success – -71.62
  • Speechwriter’s Determination of How Much BlueSky was in Candidate’s Speech – 16.01
  • Gender Persuasion
    • Male – 44.82%
    • Female – 55.17%
  • Age Persuasion
  • ? – 24yo – 18.26%
  • 25 – 34yo – 35.46%
  • 35 – 44yo – 68.86%
  • 45 – 54yo – 35.46%
  • 55 – 59yo – 18.26%
  • 60 – 64yo – 9.4%
  • 65 – 74yo – 4.84%
  • 75yo + – 2.49%