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The Flawed, Statistically Silly New Study That Calls the Republican Party More Dishon

Discussion in 'Political Debate & Discussion' started by Revmitchell, Nov 21, 2014.

  1. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member

    Feb 18, 2006
    A new study out today proclaims that the Republican Party is much more dishonest than the Democratic Party. To which I say, meh.

    The report, from George Mason University’s Center for Media and Public Affairs, captured lots of headlines, and the group did a lot to make the conclusions sizzle, by using phrases like “Republicans lie more” and “Republicans are less trustworthy than Democrats” in the press statement announcing the study.

    Beneath all the hype, though, this report struck me as one of the silliest statistical analyses I’ve seen in a long time. While I do think that the truthfulness of the G.O.P. has sunk terribly in the era of Tea Party delusions, studies like this one detract from the real job of trying to keep politicians honest.

    Here’s what’s wrong with the study. Well, almost everything is wrong with the study.

    To make its assessment, C.M.P.A. relied on a fact-checking group known as PolitiFact, which examines political statements for their accuracy. The center then selected a period—January 20 through May 22 of this year—and reviewed 100 political claims examined by Politifact during that time. That included 46 statements by Democrats and 54 by Republicans. Then it toted up the number of statements deemed by PolitiFact to be false.

    Calling this research stretches it. I think a better term is “counting.”

    Let’s start digging into this. What standards does PolitiFact use in choosing its statements to review? In an e-mail to Poynter’s Andrew Beaujon, PolitiFacts editor Bill Adair says that the comments are selected based on the group’s news judgment. That’s fine for examining the issues of the day, but it hardly lends itself to statistical analysis. If someone’s subjective opinion determines the data set, the statistics are flawed from the get-go.

    Then another level of subjectivity is employed: PolitiFact’s judgment on truthfulness. There has been plenty of criticism—from both the left and the right—of PolitiFact’s judgments. While that might be political sour grapes, it means that the group’s determinations are not objectively accepted fact. So now you have two subjective elements—the choice of statements to review and the determination of their accuracy.

  2. Crabtownboy

    Crabtownboy Well-Known Member

    Feb 12, 2008
    No surprise to find a study discovering the truth about the GOP. After all they deny so much, such as their Southern Policy, their gerrymandering, their protecting the rich, their trampling on the poor, the elderly, women, legal aliens, etc. which only shows they will not own up to what they are doing.
  3. Jkdbuck76

    Jkdbuck76 Well-Known Member

    Jan 8, 2007
    "If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor."