African-American Republicans who voted were 54 to 66 times more likely than the average African American to cast a non-voted ballot (either by not marking that race or voting for too many candidates). To put it another way: For every two additional black Republicans in the average precinct, there was one additional non-voted ballot. By comparison, it took an additional 125 African Americans (of any party affiliation) in the average precinct to produce the same result.
So 50% of black Republican’s ballots were rejected? How is that even possible? Can anyone even think of a mechanism? This is an obviously spurious correlation. Any normal person would decide that this meant that there was something wrong with their statistical model, but not Lott — he goes ahead and publishes. His nonsense was actually published in The Journal of Legal Studies, indicating some serious deficiencies in the reviewing process at that journal.
Lott’s numbers don’t even add up. He states that 5% of blacks are Republicans. If 50% of their votes were rejected, that means that 50% of 5% or 2.5% of black votes were rejected even if not one black Democrat ballot was rejected. But Lott claims that 1 out of 125 (less than 1%) of black votes were rejected. I guess the rejection rate for black Democrat votes must have been negative.
See Allan Lichtman for more on Lott and Florida 2000.
Which brings us to the Minnesota senate election. After his incompetant and partisan work on Florida, he was of course chosen by Fox as their expert commenter on the recount.
So where did Lott get the idea that the vote had been counted for Franken? Apparently from the Star Tribune’s website, which had it listed it that way. The Star Tribune, keeping an unofficial tally of more than 6,000 challenged ballots, apparently made a boo-boo.
This possibility appears not to have crossed Lott’s mind. Faced with two alternatives…
- The Canvassing Board somehow determined that this was a Franken ballot;
- The Star Tribune screwed up.
…Lott took Occam’s Razor and cut himself with it, and concluded that the former must be true, using it as his primary piece of evidence to allege the recount was slanted in Al Franken’s favor. The ballot is now featured prominently on the front page of the FoxNews.com website