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Posts From the Past

First, thank you to everyone who sent in their favorite vintage FiveThirtyEight post. Using an exacting and extremely scientific process, we picked 10 finalists from those nominations. Vote for your favorite in the comment section (the post that gets the most votes will win absolutely nothing).

And the winners are (in chronological order):

BREAKING: Obama Campaign Organizers Trying To Win Election Instead of Get You Yard Signs
In a controversial move sure to upset millions of people, Barack Obama’s campaign has decided to forgo the traditional time-wasting distribution of chum (yard signs, bumper stickers, etc.) to try and win the election.

Messing with Texas
Last week, we discussed the political implications of Texas choosing to secede from the Union, something which — as is apparently unknown to its governor Rick Perry — it has no more and no less right to do than any of the other 49 states. What Texas could choose to do, however, is to divide itself up into as many as five states.

Bush May Haunt Republicans for Generations
The popularity — or lack thereof — of the President when the voter turned 18 would seem to have a lot of explanatory power for how their politics turned out later on.

Operation Gringo: Can the Republicans Sacrifice the Hispanic Vote and Win the White House?
Since the Republicans, to say the least, do not seem particularly inclined to curry favor with Hispanic voters by playing nice on Sonia Sotomayor, it’s worth engaging in the following thought experiment: Can the Republicans win back the White House in 2012 or 2016 while losing further ground among Latinos? And if so, what is their most plausible path to victory?

How To Destroy (Almost) Half the Planet for the Low, Low Price of Just 5% of Global GDP
One of (Jim) Manzi’s central points is that climate change just ain’t all that damaging, economically speaking: it will reduce global GDP by “only” 5 percent one hundred years hence. Let’s see how much of the world we can destroy before getting to 5 percent of global GDP.

Not All Socialist Countries are Alike
Some people are having trouble keeping these countries straight! (Canada and the United Kingdom) I can’t say I really blame them. Canada was once, in fact, a British colony. They both have red in their flags. They both have lots of really gross food! One area where Canada and the United Kingdom don’t have so much in common, though, is in health care.

2009’s Most Valuable Democrat Is…
What makes a congressman valuable to his party? One fairly intuitive answer is that it’s someone who votes with his party on key pieces of legislation more often than a typical congressman from his district would.

Post-Partisanship Epic Fail?
Back in 2008, the smart liberal spin on “post-partisanship” — one which I frankly bought into — is that it was in part an effort to put a popular, centrist sheen on a relatively liberal agenda. Instead, what Obama has wound up with is an unpopular, liberal sheen on a relatively centrist agenda.

Double Down by the Numbers: Unhealthiest Sandwich Ever?
KFC’s Double Down Sandwich, an in-your-face collection of bacon, cheese and something called Colonel’s Sauce betwixt two fried chicken “buns,” is making waves for its unapologetic gluttony. But is it really the caloric monstrosity that it appears?

Is a Poll Scientific if it Excludes More Than Half the Population?
One definition of how “scientific” a poll is is the percentage of the adult population that it can potentially hope to reach. That isn’t a complete definition, mind you — it’s more of a necessary than a sufficient condition — but it isn’t a useless one. By this definition, Rasmussen’s polling isn’t very scientific: because of certain shortcuts that they take, well over half of the American population will be physically unable to take one of their phone calls.

Micah Cohen is FiveThirtyEight’s former managing editor.