Debunking the politically motivated Chrysler dealer closings

Discussion in 'Politics' started by DavidS, May 28, 2009.

  1. DavidS
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    DavidS Anti-Tea Party Member

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    Thank you, once again, Nate Silver for finding a way to the REST of the story.

    FiveThirtyEight: Politics Done Right: News Flash: Car Dealers are Republicans (It's Called a Control Group, People)

    by Nate Silver @ 6:50 PM

    A meme that is currently picking up traction in the conservative blogosphere is that the list of dealerships to be shuttered as a result of Chrysler's bankruptcy contains a disproportionate number donors to Republican candidates. There have been furious efforts to prove this contention by looking up campaign contributor lists at the Huffington Post, Open Secrets, and other places.

    There is just one problem with this theory. Nobody has bothered to look up data for the control group: the list of dealerships which aren't being closed. It turns out that all car dealers are, in fact, overwhelmingly more likely to donate to Republicans than to Democrats -- not just those who are having their doors closed.

    Here, for instance, is what Huffington Post's Fundrace site turns up for those who list their occupation as "auto dealer":

    [​IMG]

    Republican donations outstrip Democratic ones by about 8.6:1. Next, let's try "car dealer":

    [​IMG]

    For some reason, those persons who describe themselves as "car dealers" are just slightly more likely to donate to Democrats than those who call themselves "auto dealers". Nevertheless, the list of contributions tilts Republican by better than a 3:1 margin.

    Next up, "automobile dealer":

    [​IMG]

    Roughly a 10:1 advantage for Republicans. Finally, we'll look at the slightly more obscure formation of "automotive dealer":

    [​IMG]

    Big Republican edge here too.

    Combining the data:

    [​IMG]

    Overall, 88 percent of the contributions from car dealers went to Republican candidates and just 12 percent to Democratic candidates. By comparison, the list of dealers on Doug Ross's list (which I haven't vetted, but I assume is fine) gave 92 percent of their money to Republicans -- not really a significant difference.

    There's no conspiracy here, folks -- just some bad math.

    It shouldn't be any surprise, by the way, that car dealers tend to vote -- and donate -- Republican. They are usually male, they are usually older (you don't own an auto dealership in your 20s), and they have obvious reasons to be pro-business, pro-tax cut, anti-green energy and anti-labor. Car dealerships need quite a bit of space and will tend to be located in suburban or rural areas. I can't think of too many other occupations that are more natural fits for the Republican Party. Unfortunately, while we are still a nation of drivers, we are not a nation of dealers.
     
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  2. DiveCon
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    Question, david, have any of the dem dealers had their contracts broken?
     
  3. DavidS
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    DavidS Anti-Tea Party Member

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    Yes. If you read the list, you'll see that while the dealership list was heavily Republican, it wasn't all Republican. Again, a vast majority of auto dealerships donate to the Republican Party.

    If you say "Close 100 Chrysler dealerships" and 88% of them donate to the Republican party, then of course you're going to have 88% of the dealerships that donate to the Republican party closed.
     
  4. DiveCon
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    sorry, but your "list" doesnt show political leanings
     
  5. Chris
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    Chris Gold Member

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    Obama saved those Republicans from losing their dealerships when all the Republicans in Congress voted not to help them.

    How ironic is it that they are now trying to make this an issue?
     
  6. DavidS
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    DavidS Anti-Tea Party Member

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    Huh? Are you even reading this? Do you see the red elephants? Those are Republicans. The blue donkeys are Democrats. Sorry that no one has a cartoon of a dude snorkeling as the symbol of their political party - but hey, you should write to Ralph Nader - I hear he's going to run again in 2012 - he could use a new branding tool!
     
  7. DavidS
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    DavidS Anti-Tea Party Member

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    What?
     
  8. garyd
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    garyd Senior Member

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    You haven't shown that 88% of those closed were Republican or that 12% of those closed were Democrst supporters. Try isolating it to battle ground states and see what you get. It could well be that in states that are closely contested between Dems and Reps that Dem closings are non existant. and Reps exaggerated not by the way that the amount of money in any case is exactly enormous by todays standards. What I would expect to see is evidence that the company is closing dealerships that haven't been real profitable regardless of their political leanings.

    That's where I think people are really missing the boat on this one.
     
  9. Article 15
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    Article 15 Dr. House slayer

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    That's what I thinking too.

    This seems like it's just a really whacked out, conjured up way to try to attack the administration.
     
  10. DavidS
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    DavidS Anti-Tea Party Member

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    Go here:

    Campaign Donors : Fundrace 2008 - Huffington Post

    Then go here to cross reference:

    List of Chrysler Dealers to be Closed

    According to Doug Ross, 92% of the dealerships that were closed were Republican.

    RED ALERT: Did anti-Obama campaign contributions dictate which Chrysler dealers were shuttered?

    Well, if you look at every single dealership that has donated to campaigns during 2008, you'll see a vast majority of them are Republican. 88% according to Nate Silver. That means every 12 out of 100 dealerships that donated to campaigns last year was Democrat and every 8 out of 100 dealerships that were closed were Democrats. I highly doubt whoever was in charge of gathering the list of dealerships that were closed had anything to do with politics and everything to do with how profitable or non-profitable they were.

    This is research, folks. It's time consuming, but it's educational and it's lets you do the thinking instead of letting someone else do the thinking for you.
     

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