01/26/2009 04:53 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Twittering "Outliers"

Ordinarily, I try to save my "outliers" entry -- with links to various polling or pollster related articles that I don't otherwise blog about in detail -- until week's end. However, a handful of interesting items appeared over the weekend, and I lost much of this day dealing with auto repair and a trip to DC's always tedious DMV auto inspection facility. So without further ado, some Monday afternoon "outliers."

  • Politico's Carrie Budoff Brown reports that both sides are "wielding poll-tested words" in the debate over the economic stimulus bill (see my take on a similar story earlier this month).
  • RCP's Jay Cost returned to blogging after a two-month absence with links to a four-part analysis of the 2008 election (one, two, three, four) that I had overlooked. Welcome back, Jay.
  • Lee Sigelman, a political scientist and Monkey Cage blogger, posts an intriguing question: Did the failure of political science research on race "to predict that voters in Iowa etc. would support a black man with the middle name of Hussein for president, especially over a Clinton and/or a war hero" mean that "political scientists screwed up again in our ability to understand and analyze contemporary politics?"
  • Andrew Gelman, after reading Nate Silver's take on the urban-ness of Obama's victory, reposts some graphs and analysis of urban rural voting patterns in 2008. His take: The Democratic gains in urban counties were not unique to 2008 and "the large-county/small-county differential in Obama's gains was particularly strong in the south and did not occur at all in the northeast."
  • Pollster Fred Yang, partner with Garin Hart Yang Research Group (a part of Hart Research Associates), has been identified by AP as the mysterious "Advisor B," tape recorded by a federal wiretap discussing with Governor Rod Blagojevich what to do with Barack Obama's Senate seat. Separately, the Washington Post reports that Geoff Garin, president of the firm, says Yang "is cooperating with the U.S. attorney's office, and I have no reason whatsoever to believe that he is a target of the investigation in any way."

Fred has been a friend for many years, even though we were often competitors. In a profession (political consulting) with more than its share of slippery, cut-throat characters, he has always been one of the most honest, collegial and well-respected. I would be stunned if he turns out to be more in this case than the victim of an out-of-control client.

Finally, for those who "tweet," I have made updates to Twitter more than an every-once-in-a-while habit (what is Twitter, you ask? click here). Under the name "MysteryPollster," I post links to my blog entries here and the occasional musing about things off-topic to I would be honored to have you as a "follower."