AFA-IN: Blaming Indiana; Polling Accuracy; New Dating Trends

More than Replacing the Landline Phone

Years ago, one might have assumed that new technology would simply replace the home telephone as a primary means of communication between the sexes.  For decades the stereotypical teenager spent hours on the family phone talking to a boyfriend or girlfriend while the parents worried about their phone bill or their own missed calls.

However, not only has technology changed communication, it has also changed how couples meet and date.

According to a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.  Michael Rosenfeld, of Stanford University, compared the results of surveys conducted in 2009 and 2017, using them to track the ways people met their partners against the years in which the meetings took place.

The research found that online dating is going through the roof while the more traditional ways people meet are on the decline.

As the Institute for Family Studies observed, “It used to be that technology just helped us communicate more efficiently with our preexisting acquaintances, family, and coworkers. Now it helps us find and connect romantically with total strangers. In the 2017 survey, 90% of those who started their relationships online had no other connections to each other. Increasingly, it’s not our friends, siblings, and churches that serve as mediators between us and potential partners; apps and websites and their algorithms do.”

Research on this phenomenon is new and sparse and therefore may not yet be conclusive. However, a 2013 study, found that “marriages that began on-line, when compared with those that began through traditional off-line venues, were slightly less likely to result in a marital break-up (separation or divorce) and were associated with slightly higher marital satisfaction among those respondents who remained married.” A 2017 studysimilarly found that “meeting online does not predict couple breakup.”  It also found that marriages occur quicker through online dating services.

Blaming Us for Your Problems

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot lashed out at Texas Senator Ted Cruz yesterday in a twitter fight after Cruz noted that twice as many people were shot in Chicago (41) over the weekend as in the mass shooting in Texas (22).   The Mayor blamed the city’s decades old crime problem on . . . (brace yourself) . . . Indiana!

“The windy city” has some of the strictest gun laws in America.  The mayor blamed Indiana because 20% of the illegal guns in her city come from Indiana. She blamed us because we, “do not have common sense gun laws” (as, I guess, Chicago does?)

Yet, if Mayor Lightfoot is correct, if it is a matter of gun laws, why doesn’t Indiana have the renowned crime problems that Chicago has had for so long? Between 2015 and 2017 there were 1,996 homicides in Chicago, a city of 2.7 million people.  There were 1,325 homicides in the entire state of Indiana over those same three years. There are 6.6 million Hoosiers.

A Few Considerations Regarding Presidential Polling

You have probably heard that President Trump is losing in polling to nearly every major Democratic presidential candidate. Political polling a year ahead of the presidential election may have some momentary political implications, or derision against President Trump, but in reality, they are worthless as any kind of prediction tool.

In January of 1980, Jimmy Carter was leading Ronald Reagan 62% to 33%.   Reagan won in November by 10 points.   In December of 1983, Ronald Reagan led Walter Mondale by only 1 point.  On Election Day, Reagan won by 18 points. In May of 1988 Michael Dukakis led George H.W. Bush by 12 points.  On Election Day, Bush won by 6 points.   In March of 1992, George H.W. Bush led Bill Clinton by 19 points.  On Election Day he lost to Clinton by 6 points.  In March of 2004, John Kerry led George W. Bush by 6 points.  On Election Day, Kerry lost by 3 points.

Last week Reuters/Ipsos released a poll showing President Trump with a job approval of just 42%.  At first glance, this is not a bad number considering the media’s constant attacks on the President.

Reuters numbers are actually lower than the political reality.   The poll is made up of registered voters, but such polls are usually an under-representation.  “Likely voters” is a more accurate prediction of election outcomes.  Under those polling samples, Trump’s numbers tend to increase about 5%.

Reuters gave the Democrats 95 more survey responses than Republicans, weighting Democrats as 47% of the poll sample, compared to 38% Republicans.  This is a lopsided weighting in favor of the Democrats, giving them a 9-point advantage. In the most recent 2018 election, exit polls found that 37% of voters described themselves as Democrats and 33% as Republicans, which is only a 4-point advantage.

While President Trump could lose in the November 2020 election, any polling this far out is not a reliable predictor of this.

In Their Own Words:

“People almost invariably arrive at their beliefs not on the basis of proof but on the basis of what they find attractive.”
  – Blaise Pascal, French mathematician and physicist.

Just the Facts

Next week I will add a new section to this weekly email called “Just the Facts” where I will pass along a web site link to one of our one-page “fact sheets” we have created on various issues over the years.


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