Friday, November 06, 2020

Illusion Of A Horse Race

The fact that ballots are counted sequentially lends the process of vote counting important transparency.  But it can also lead us to apply inappropriate mental frames.  For instance, we may resort to horse-race language that suggests that Biden is pulling ahead at the last second, but in fact these votes were all cast on or before Election Day.  The illusion of a dramatic horse race is simply a product of the order in which we count votes.

-- Dan Hopkins, professor of political science at the University of Pennsylvania, on the FiveThirtyEight 2020 Election Live Blog, 6 November 2020 at 10:16 AM

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