Political Information that Affects Your Decision Making

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Nate Silver put Big Data on the map when he projected Obama’s presidential victory with such precision in 2008. Silver successfully predicted the outcomes in 49 of the 50 states in the 2008 U.S. Presidential election. And again in the 2012 United States presidential election between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, Silver correctly predicted the winner of all 50 states and the District of Columbia. That seems pretty amazing given the wide variability in the projected results. Just look at the current projected Iowa caucus winners for the Republican nomination. As of the writing of this blog (Wednesday, January 27, 2016), the projected winner ranges from Ted Cruz by +4 to Donald Trump by +11 (see Figure 1). Figure 1: Recent Republican Polling Data The PredictIt marketplace, which is modeled after the famous Iowa Electronic Marketplace (IEM), allows you to actually buy sh... (more)

Social Media Is Changing the Face of Politics

A new survey of IT professionals by The IT Job Board revealed that while political parties are attracting younger voters using social networking and online media sites, the majority of IT professionals are relying on the mainstream media to follow the election campaign. Seventy-percent of respondents said all political parties have become more web savvy and used Twitter and Facebook effectively to engage a younger audience. However, while they advocate a greater use of these sites by the Parties, the majority of respondents prefer to read newspapers and online news and follow the debates on TV (68%). While they recognized that there were clear advantages to using social networking including gaining instant news updates, reading diverse viewpoints and interacting in live discussion, 80% said they did not believe what they were reading on Twitter and in online forums.... (more)

Big Data and Politics: Influencing Both Sides of the Aisle

Data has always had a place in politics. Politicians have relied on polls, voter interests and demographics for years. In 2008, the Obama campaign was recognized for its data-driven campaign, but it wasn’t until the 2012 election, when the tools became available, that big data was used to target voters and win a presidential election using methods that had never been used before. Much like businesses, political parties have collected a lot of data over the years, but that data has been siloed into various categories: donations, website visits, social media comments. While each of these categories are useful, the ability to combine and analyze all of this data together creates new opportunities to target each individual voter, but until recently it was much too costly to do so. Now with the creation of Hadoop and Hadoop as a Service vendors, big data is being used b... (more)

St. Kitts-Nevis Pledges EC $1 Million to Dominica

St. Kitts and Nevis has allocated an EC $1 million humanitarian relief package to assist the Commonwealth of Dominica in its recovery from damages suffered by the passage of Tropical Storm Erika. This is the highest commitment made by any coundty or organization thus far to Dominica since the island was devastated by TS Erika This announcement was made by Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris at the completion of a special session of the St. Kitts and Nevis Cabinet of Ministers which was held on Friday (August 28). St. Kitts and Nevis’ assistance to its fellow Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) member state came after conversations between Prime Minister Harris and Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit of Dominica who indicated that damage to his country was monumental, resulting in significant loss of life and infrastructural damage that has isol... (more)