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Reads and Reactions II

In this edition of Reads and Reactions: a Gingrich run, the Oscars, more unions, more 2012 analyses and hoops. (We are now taking suggestions for this feature via Twitter, just reply to @micahcohen).


Newt Gingrich took a few more baby steps toward running for president. According to most polling, however, he would enter the race with underwhelming support. Nate took a look at those numbers, while Andrew Sullivan at The Atlantic’s Daily Dish provided a non-numerical rundown of Mr. Gingrich’s disadvantages.

The Academy Awards came and went, and Nate’s model predicted the correct winner for five of the six major categories. That’s pretty decent, right? Maybe not; Dante Ramos at The Boston Globe accused Nate of ruining the entire Oscars extravaganza.

Nate’s graphical view of the Republican presidential field continued to elicit responses around the Web. One particularly insightful take came from Rajiv Sethi, who questioned whether market prices (like those from Intrade) are actually representative of “a hypothetical average trader in any meaningful sense.” (courtesy of Andrew Gelman at The Monkey Cage)

After Nate explored how important union voters are to the Democratic Party, The Washington Examiner’s Christopher Murray delved into the history of that relationship, asking whether the battle over collective bargaining will cause some “Reagan Democrats” to drop the “Reagan.”

And Jeff Alworth at thought the electoral boost that Nate found unions gave Democrats in presidential races would be larger for state-level races, especially gubernatorial elections. His reasoning: “… while Democrats are generally supportive of working people, the connection between a president and a school teacher is quite weak. Not so between a governor and a school teacher.”

Nate has written two posts on Carmelo Anthony’s move to the Knicks, one pre-trade, one post-trade. These and other attempts to quantify Mr. Anthony’s impact on the new-look Knicks sparked an illuminating look at the state of advanced basketball metrics from Dave Johns at Slate.

And over at Basketball Prospectus, Dan Feldman compared an Amare Stoudamire/Anthony tandem to other pairs of “super scorers” in N.B.A. history.


Don’t worry, be happy (but you might not live as long). Veronique Greenwood at The Atlantic says “decades of data” debunks the conventional wisdom that worrying is always bad for your health.

The Economist puts state-level employment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics into some handy graphs.

At the National Journal, Charlie Cook uses a NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll to look at how independents view government.

And Gallup had an interesting poll on Newt Gingrich’s support among Fox News viewers.

Micah Cohen is FiveThirtyEight’s former managing editor.