Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Did Russian Interference Affect the 2016 Election Results? — Alan I. Abramowitz

— Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s recent testimony was a reminder that Russia attempted to influence the outcome of the 2016 election and very well may try to do so again in 2020.
— This begs the question: Is there any evidence that Russian interference may have impacted the results, particularly in key states?
— The following analysis suggests that the 2016 results can be explained almost entirely based on the political and demographic characteristics of those states. So from that standpoint, the answer seems to be no...
I find no evidence that Russian attempts to target voters in key swing states had any effect on the election results in those states. Instead, the results were almost totally predictable based on the political and demographic characteristics of those states, especially their past voting tendencies, ideological leanings, and demographics....
In other words, the allegations are evidence-free, and data analysis support other causal factors. Was the media blitz a massive mistake, or was it a massive attempt at deception?

Professor Abramowitz goes on to say that this this doesn't rule out Russian interference, just that if it did occur, it had no observable effect, as would be expected from the relative amounts of spending by the various parties to the controversy.

Sabato's Crystal Ball — University of Virginia Center for Politics
Alan I. Abramowitz, Alben W. Barkley Professor of Political Science at Emory University and a senior columnist with Sabato’s Crystal Ball

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