I was reading this post about the possible strengths and weaknesses of Clinton and Obama among different demographic groups, and I grew very annoyed.
Not at Digby, but the whole debate. What’s really frustrating about most voting demographic stories (besides the obvious, which is that they don’t have much to do with actual governing) is that I have no way to evaluate the claims made. Sometimes there are bar graphs that show how one group compares to another (blacks vs. whites, old vs. young, etc.). On very rare occasion, there is a two-by-two table, but that’s still not enough. If news organizations are serious about ‘transparency’ and ‘openness’, then release the data. After all, in many cases, these organizations paid for it: they can do whatever they want with it.
There are quite a few of us who, given a spreadsheet where each row is a voter and each column some information (e.g., age, gender, income, religion), could do a lot with this. We could actually evaluate the data ourselves. After all, you never hear about the relative importance of various factors–for instance, is race more important than economics? You also never hear about interaction terms–that is, how important are combinations of various factors (e.g., how different are poor white Protestants from middle class white Protestants).
So why don’t they release the data?