A blog post: Poli sci only offers limited evidence to forecast the impacts of new voting laws in places like GA & TX.

Regardless of those effects, the fabricated motivation and clear intent to bias outcomes toward the GOP is a necessary part of the story. gelliottmorris.substack.com/p/electoral-ma…
This is my preferred take on voting laws.

Any attempts to restrict the franchise are normatively bad, regardless of their effects. Coverage should reflect that.
To be clear, I think Nate is right on the poli sci evidence he discusses, but other work (cc @hill_charlotte) shows bigger fx and I'm wary of (a) applying it to GA & other states, and (b) conditioning on the worst parts of the law to focus on the numbers.
I don't want to be too harsh to any one person here. One of the broader problems with political data journalism (IE for more than a few high-profile journos) is that it incentivises people to hide behind data to ignore normative concerns in pursuit of a more "credible" centrism.
This has been a big problem for journalism writ large over the past few years (it's one of the reasons I'm glad to be at an opinionated, pro-democracy publication) but I think this dynamic works a little differentially for people doing electoral handicapping, polling, etc. 2/3
It really is tough to try and both (a) try to get people to trust you're doing electoral math correctly & (b) take positions that routinely hammer Republicans for violating fundamental democratic norms. (That's one reason I started my blog 6 years ago!) gelliottmorris.substack.com
I think this is basically a perfect way to describe the problem, even if it is a bit pointed
Here’s another (better?) way of phrasing the limits of social science here
Corrine’s thread on this is also great

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More from @gelliottmorris

1 Apr
More examples of public opinion polls helping the people get what they want out of government, this time from Psaki. In comparison to past administrations, the Biden White House seems particularly keen on giving the impression they’re responsive to the attitudes of the people.
George Bush’s anti-poll campaign was transparently bogus, given [checks notes] everything about Karl Rove’s political operation. If a politician isn’t looking at polls, they’re listening to people who are.
The criticism of Bill Clinton and Greenberg (his pollster) was also always pretty rich, considering Gingrich and the GOP were pursuing their own ideological goals (impeachment) in face of obvious public backlash. One option is clearly better than the other!
Read 5 tweets
26 Mar
sorry, but this is literally the ideology of competitive authoritarianism
coincidentally, the people walsh thinks are qualified to vote are disproportionately white elites who think like him
there's a legacy of racism angle here, but for now i'll just share my blog post on how public opinion scholars have thought about the "quality" of a person's attitudes from the last time prominent conservatives proposed restrictions for restriction's sake gelliottmorris.substack.com/p/democracy-is…
Read 4 tweets
25 Mar
#NEW A study of movie theater showings of the racist film Birth of a Nation shows that lynchings rose 5x in the places it was shown, while KKK activity shot up for generations after. Our piece on @ProfDesmondAng’s paper. A long legacy of violent hate. economist.com/graphic-detail…
This graph is pretty terrifying in how it reminds you how easy it is to manipulate people with media
.@ProfDesmondAng’s modeling found that counties that had screened The Birth of a Nation were nearly 70 percentage points more likely to have a Ku Klux Klan chapter (Klavern) 2 decades later (around 1935). Between 2000-2019, the effect was still detectable: an 18 %age point jump.
Read 6 tweets
25 Mar
Grading pollsters purely on their topline performance in recent elections leads to some weird problems under the hood — like giving a black-box firm that said Trump would win 30% of black voters an A- rating. Helpful to note the limitations with @NateSilver538's grade ratings
If you took a test and got like 10 questions wrong, but the teacher picked the 1 you got right to actually grade, are you actually a good student?
The point is not that the ratings are bad, but they're blind to data quality issues -- if you're getting good toplines because sampling and weighting errors are canceling each other out, it's fair to question whether the grade actually reflects the quality
Read 6 tweets
22 Mar
i) The population ratio between large and small states is bigger than it has ever been

ii) Geographic polarization is also harsher than ever, rendering the small-state bias much more important

iii) Diluting the power of the numerical majority is by definition anti-democratic
iv) I do not see how these points would be arguments in favor of the filibuster even if they _were_ true
Read 4 tweets
20 Mar
The optimal strategy when punditing on more than two options is to give a 40% chance to the top scenario and get everything else as close as possible. Summers should have gone with:

40% rapid growth + inflation
20% rapid growth, no inflation
20% stagflation
20% recession
In a binary bet, eg between inflation and no inflation, it’s optimal for a pundit to assign a 60-40 split between the options. That way they’re usually right, but if they’re wrong they get to say “I told you so” and are usually less wrong than other people.
This is probably a horrible way to make money, but it’s a reasonably good strategy for relative media credibility if you kinda know what you’re talking about but haven’t developed a good model to approximate reality
Read 4 tweets

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