FiveThirtyEight: You’ll Never Know Which Candidate Is Electable

Maggie Koerth's reference to the pundits as "honorable men" with a link to the famous speech from Shakespeare's Julius Caesar had me in stitches.


Political scientists study electability, but electability ain’t no science. Instead, researchers say, it’s basically a layer of ex post facto rationalization that we slather over a stack of psychological biases, media influence and self-fulfilling poll prophecies. It’s not bullshit, exactly; some people really are more likely to be elected than others. But the reasons behind it, and the ability to make assumptions based on it, well …

“[Electability] is this vague, floppy concept,” said Nichole Bauer, a professor of political communication at Louisiana State University. “We don’t know who is electable until someone is elected.”

Tip submitted by, Avro Arrow.