Graphiti: Romney’s Evangelical “Double Whammy”

From Tobin Grant here.  He writes:

Beneath the Republicans’ regional split is Romney’s failure in states where the Republican base is made up of socially conservative evangelical voters. In New England and other states where evangelicals are in the minority, Romney has been able to win over the lion share of the evangelical vote. The result is a double-whammy for Romney: in states where the GOP is made up of more evangelicals, evangelicals are less likely to vote for Romney.

2 Responses to Graphiti: Romney’s Evangelical “Double Whammy”

  1. sadphd March 10, 2012 at 1:35 pm #

    evangelical percent is completely and hopelessly confounded with region here. this graph really says nothing.

  2. Andrew Gelman March 10, 2012 at 11:06 pm #

    Grant writes, “In New England and other states where evangelicals are in the minority, Romney has been able to win over the lion share of the evangelical vote.”

    As a statistician I oppose the use of quasi-quantitative phrases such as “the lion’s share.” It sounds to me like the lion’s share should be at least 50%, but Grant’s graph shows 8 states where evangelicals are in the minority, and Romney only won more than 50% of the evangelical vote in one of these eight states. I suppose maybe the lion’s share is just a plurality. But, to me, this illustrates the problem with using this sort of phrase. Why take a perfectly nice graph and put it through a language distorter?