Back in the day there was an old anarchist/situationist slogan that used to appear around election time that went something like..
'Don't vote - It only encourages them'.
Or the other one was 'Whoever You vote for, the government gets in'.
I'm not sure this story correlates exactly but I was intrigued by this nugget from Eric Horrow's blog 'Peer-reviewed by my neurons'.
As the dust settles on the US election, and collective America asks itself...
'Is everybody happy?
'Good, it's a deal'
What about those 'voters' who actually wanted neither Obama or Romney in the Oval office?
What was the choice available to them?
Horrow argued that if you are one of those dissenters then thing to do was vote for Obama.
'...the goal of these voters [who want neither] should evolve into ensuring that neither Obama nor Romney is elected president in 2016. Here’s where the decision become clear. If Obama wins this year there’s almost no chance that Obama or Romney will win the 2016 election. But if Romney wins there’s better than a 50% chance that Obama or Romney will win the 2016 election.
For people who claim they don’t want either Obama or Romney to be president, a 2012 Romney victory is a disaster because it ensures that in 2016 one party’s nominee will be somebody they already disapprove of...[so, in 2016] an unknown scenario is better than helping pave the road for the favored nominee to be somebody you already know you disapprove of.'
So although Baz appeared to romp home, could it be that a big chunk of the electorate overcame their natural tendency for hyperbolic discounting and figured that the best way to get rid of two candidates that they didn't support was to vote in the encumbent in the knowledge that in four years time both candidates will be gone.
Suddenly that 3,000,000 margin in the popular vote doesn't look so impressive.
I'm slightly joking, and I'll take Baz over the other guy any day of the week but, y'know...
As our old friend Ebbe Skovdahl, clearly a big data skeptic before we even invented the term, noted back in '09...
'Statistics are just like mini-skirts, they give you good ideas but hide the most important thing.'