Nate Silver has brought his trademark data analysis to the newfound gun control discussion today, breaking down what gun ownership in this country looks like numerically. Using data from a 2008 national exit poll—the question was not included, he explains, on 2012 exit polls—some of the details in his chart will likely strike you as obvious: for instance, that Republicans own more guns than Democrats and that there are far more guns in rural areas. What might be more interesting, as Silver points out, is that gun ownership is not necessarily tied to being religiously devout, despite Presdident Obama’s 2008 suggestion about communities that “cling to guns or religion.” Also, the chart reveals that gun ownership is “highest among the middle class,” as Silver writes, with people making $50,000 to $100,000 per year more likely to own guns than their counterparts in other wage groups.
Let’s assume that Florida continues in the same direction and Obama wins it. With those 29 electoral votes, he’ll have 332 total. You’re going to hear a lot of praise for Nate Silver in the next couple of days; in fact, you’re probably already sick of hearing about him. Silver correctly predicted 332 based on states, although his model ended up at 313 votes. But he’s not the only one who really nailed it. See also:Sam Wang,Drew Linzer,Josh Putnam, and Markos Moulitsas. In fact, Linzer’s model has been hovering in that range for months!
Interestingly, the greatest number of predictions came just under that — guessing Obama would take between 290 and 309 votes.
Last week Zach Green of 140Elect, noticed some strange goings-on with Mitt Romney’s Twitter account (@MittRomney). Romney’s account, which had been averaging around 2,000 to 5,000 new followers a day, gained 141,000 followers in two days. […]
We developed a simple methodology for testing whether a set of followers is likely to be the product of natural user following behavior or bot networks. This test revealed a significant difference between the distribution of followers among the accounts in Mitt Romney’s recent spike and that of similar users in our comparison. It strongly indicates that non-organic processes induced Romney’s recent surge in followers. We did not find a similar pattern in Barack Obama’s recent followers.
Read more. [Images: Reuters, Twitter Counter]
Whether they were college grads or just out of high school, wages for entry-level American workers fell between 2000 and 2011, according to a new study from the Economic Policy Institute.
The left-leaning think tank has dubbed the aughts a “lost decade” for young workers, and it’s a fairly apt description. College-educated men and women entering the workforce saw their inflation-adjusted earnings fall 5.2 percent and 4.4 percent, respectively. Wages slumped 8 percent for high school-educated men, and 3.1 percent for women.
Read more. [Image: Economic Policy Institute]
The triumph of women in the workplace has been one of the great success stories of last 100 years. Remember, in the U.S., it wasn’t until 1920 that the states signed a constitutional amendment banning voting discrimination by sex. Less than a century later, the rise of the female worker has added nearly 2 percentage points per year to GDP growth. In Europe, economists estimated that the shrinking gap between male and femaleemployment contributed 25% of Europe’s growing wealth in the last two decades. As the Economist once put it: More than China, more than the Internet, and more than banks and central banking, economic growth is driven by women.
And economic stagnation is driven by women not working. One in two prime-age women — that’s 1.5 billion in the world — are not active in the “formal global economy,” according to EIU, which means they’re either unemployed or working part-time by cleaning, cooking and selling wares and simple services for petty cash.
The triumph of female employment and opportunity is quite possibly the most important economic story in the world. That was the case before the recession, and it will be true after the recession.
Read more. [Image: Neil Dutta]
Interactive Map: The 12 States of America. Click to see data about America’s emptying nests, military bastions, Mormon outposts, moneyed burbs, tractor country, and more.
The map’s creators explain in an accompanying article:
We analyzed reams of demographic, economic, cultural, and political data to break the nation’s 3,141 counties into 12 statistically distinct “types of place.” When we look at family income over the past 30 years through that prism, the full picture of the income divide becomes clearer—and much starker.
[Image: Column Five Media, map interactivity by Daryle Maciocha]