Money-in-politics nonprofits merge their datasets

Center for Responsive Politics and National Institute on Money in Politics are merging their datasets to make it more accessible:

The nation’s two leading money-in-politics data organizations have joined forces to help Americans hold their leaders accountable at the federal and state levels, they said today.

The combined organization, OpenSecrets, merges the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP) and the National Institute on Money in Politics (NIMP), each leading entities for three decades. The merger will provide a new one-stop shop for integrated federal, state and local data on campaign finance, lobbying and more, that is both unprecedented and easy to use.

Good. More important than ever.

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States that gained and lost seats with 2020 count

The Census Bureau announced their state population totals, so we can see who gained and lost seats:

The tables aren’t accessible yet, but during the live conference, the bureau noted that the difference between New York losing a seat (which they did) and staying the same was only a difference of 89 people. It’ll be interesting to see these small deltas for all the states.

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Seat apportionment over time

The 2020 Census count at the state level is set for release this afternoon, April 26 at 12pm PST. While we wait, Gregory Korte and Allison McCartney, reporting for Bloomberg, show which states are expected to lose and gain representation.

I appreciate the streamgraph that shows how the distribution of seats changed over the decades, along with the bar chart mouseover so you can see the shift for each state individually.

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Age generations in the U.S. Senate, over time

With this straightforward unit chart, shows which generation each Senate member belonged to, from 1947 through 2021. Each rectangle represents a senator, and each column represents a cohort.

As time moves on, the generations inevitably shift. In 2021, we have the first Millennial senator in Jon Ossoff from Georgia.

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How the Census translates to power, a cat comic

State population dictates the number of seats in the House of Representatives, so ideally, the decennial Census counts everyone and power is fairly distributed. On the surface, that seems straightforward? For NPR, Connie Jin and Hansi Lo Wang explain with a cat comic.

Because cats.

See also the cat guide on spotting misinformation.

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U.S. military buys location data from apps

Joseph Cox, reporting for Motherboard:

Some app developers Motherboard spoke to were not aware who their users’ location data ends up with, and even if a user examines an app’s privacy policy, they may not ultimately realize how many different industries, companies, or government agencies are buying some of their most sensitive data. U.S. law enforcement purchase of such information has raised questions about authorities buying their way to location data that may ordinarily require a warrant to access. But the USSOCOM contract and additional reporting is the first evidence that U.S. location data purchases have extended from law enforcement to military agencies.


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How long before there is gender equality in the U.S. House and Senate

For The Washington Post, Sergio Peçanha asks, “What will it take to achieve gender equality in American politics?

It will take some more time and a lot more effort to reach equal representation. I asked my colleague David Byler, a statistics expert, to estimate how long it would take for women to reach equal numbers in Congress at the current pace. His estimate: about 60 years.

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Government shutdown, other industries provided for scale

As the shutdown continues, 800,000 government workers wait for something to happen. The New York Times uses others industries for scale. Ugh.

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High school statistics class builds election prediction model

High school seniors, in the Political Statistics class at Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring, Maryland, built a prediction model for the upcoming elections:

Under the guidance of Mr. David Stein, this model (which we named the Overall Results of an Analytical Consideration of the Looming Elections a.k.a. ORACLE of Blair) was developed by a group of around 70 high school seniors, working diligently since the start of September. Apart from the youth and enthusiasm that went into making it, the advantage our model has over professionally developed models is transparency. Unlike professionals, we need not have any secrets in regards to how our predictions are generated. In fact, the sections that follow attempt to detail exactly how we come up with all of the numbers involved in our model.

I’m so glad this exists and that young people are learning how to make things like this. My high school self is jealous, because the only statistics he got to learn was punched into a TI-83 calculator.

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