Tuesday, June 06, 2006

The Stolen Election -- Debunking the Debunker about the Decider's "Election"

A tip 'o the grimy ole hat to Suburban Guerilla for staying on top of this one. One of the statisticians cited in Bobby Kennedy's Rolling Stone piece on the 2004 election chimes in with the growing chorus of refutations of Solon's refutation of the Kennedy research.

Actinomics is Ron Baiman, a Policy Research Project Development Analyst at Loyola University in Chicago, as well as a visiting assistant professor at the University of Chicago. He holds a Ph.D. in Econonomics from The New School for Social Research. In his blog yesterday, he skewered the skewerer:
Monday, June 05, 2006
Manjoo Critique in Salon is Superficial and Erroneous Nonsense

In his June 2, 2006 Salon article "Was the 2004 Election Stolen? No"”, Farhad Manjoo claims to have "thoroughly debunked"” a June 15, 2006 article in Rolling Stone by Robert F. Kennedy Jr.: "Was the 2004 Election Stolen?"”.

As one of the (applied) statisticians cited in Kennedy'’s article, I find that Manjoo's "“debunking" is either superficial spin that is easily refuted by adding more detail to Kennedy'’s already very long piece, or simply factually erroneous. I will focus on the Manjoo points that relate to official return and exit poll data - my particular area of expertise.
Prof. Baiman concludes (emphases mine):
In short Manjoo'’s "debunking"” of the official vote and exit poll analysis parts of the Kennedy article is superficial and erroneous nonsense. Moreover, we have been through this with Manjoo and many of the people that he cites before. He and they either do not understand the relevant statistics and mathematics of rigorous exit poll analysis and should not be reporting or prognosticating on this topic, or they simply refuse to accept their errors of interpretation and understanding.
But in between is lotsa good analysis, go read the entire article.

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