Friday, November 2, 2012

Who Wins? A Coffee-Based Analysis

Who’s gonna win the election?

Sure, you can turn to the pundits and politicians, or you can turn to the mathematicians and statisticians.  Or like me you can seek out absolutely meaningless correlations to fill your time.

Yep, I’m going with the last one.

For those of you who bemoan the effete, cappuccino-sipping liberal types, here’s an explanation you’re going to love.  I grabbed data for how many Starbucks arelocated in each state and compared it to the state-by-state electoral predictions found on Nate Silver’s excellent 538 blog.

Below are the top 10 Starbucks states, per 10,000 population, followed by the candidate predicted by Silver to win that state.  Sorry about the lousy formatting.

D.C.                1.181   Obama
Washington      0.889   Obama
Nevada            0.799   Obama
Colorado          0.690   Obama
Oregon            0.667   Obama
California         0.556   Obama
Hawaii             0.463   Obama
Arizona            0.418    Romney
Alaska             0.337   Romney
Illinois             0.323   Obama

As you can see, Obama’s coffee cup runneth over.  The incumbent is predicted to win eight of the 10 top Starbucks states.  For Romney, you’ve got to drain your cup down to #8 (Arizona) before you find one of his states.  A decaffeinated campaign, perhaps?  Well yeah.  He is, after all, Mormon.

Want more?  Of the bottom 10 Starbucks states, seven are predicted for Romney.  Wow.  

Okay, let’s get a few issues out of the way.  D.C. isn’t a state, plus I’m relying heavily on Silver’s numbers.  Then again, he called 49 of 50 states correctly in 2008 and his more or less flow nicely with another great predictive site.

More mind-numbing numbers?  The Obama states average .34 stores per 10,000 people, while the Romney states manage a meager .17 per 10,000.  The national average is .26 per 10,000 (.30 if you weight the data, but let’s skip the math).

What’s this all mean?  Nothing much, but for my next trick I’m going to add Wal-Marts to the data and do some correlations and multiple regressions and really dazzle you with complete bullshit.  Stay tuned, because on top of everything else there’s gonna be maps better than the one below (which is a bit flakey sometimes, sorry).  Oh, click below on a state in the map and see how its Starbucks rank and predicted electoral outcome.  Darker colors means more Starbucks per 10,000 people.  You can grab and move it around some, too.  Have fun.  Suggestions welcome, the sillier the better.

No comments: