Tuesday, May 6, 2008


The last couple US presidential elections have been exceptionally close. The current US Democratic primary is similarly absurdly close.

It occurred to me that there might be two explanations for this. One (the reason I have commonly heard) is that opinions are becoming increasingly polarized. The other, which recently occurred to me, is that people are voting entirely randomly and we should actually expect a roughly 50-50 split in the vote.

I wonder how it would be possible to tell the difference between the two. I suppose it's possible that neither side represents a group with a majority opinion, or that there are enough issues that cannot be split well across candidates that we do end up with random selection.

In any case, it's not increasing my confidence in democracy.

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