So I’m minding my own business, waiting for the final Spurs-Heat game, trying to get a little work done to make up for the fact that I got so little done earlier today. And then a tweet pops up from the brilliant but slappable Matt Yglesias. I’m always amazed by these young political nerds who claim to care about professional sports. Chris Hayes is a basketball fan? Josh Barro’s into hockey? Ezra Klein cares about football? (Note: I made up all those; I don’t pay attention to their stupid sports tweets!) But Yglesias’ tweet showed what really matters to these guys:
— Matt Yglesias (@mattyglesias) June 21, 2013
That’s right. Let’s just call it wonkball and move on.
I’m not a big basketball fan. But I do at least understand the game and, as far as I can tell, appreciate it more than most fans. I really don’t care who wins. But that stat was interesting, and regardless, I always find math more interesting than sports. It turns out, however, that Yglesias is being slightly deceptive. Or anyway, he is trying to be smart so that no one else needs to be. The problem is that although Yglesias is a very smart young man, his math is a little wanting. Here are the raw (Rawish?) data:
So you can see that moderates only prefer the Heat in the sense that they prefer them them more than people do overall. But note: that’s also true of the liberals. They prefer the Heat just slightly more than the base does. This is almost certainly not statistically significant. But it shows that Yglesias is wrong about liberals and conservatives preferring the Spurs. And this is a shame because I had a theory as to why that was: conservatives like the Spurs because they are from Texas, liberals like the Spurs because they are the underdog, and moderates like the Heat because they’ve heard of LeBron James. But it turns out that it’s just that no one but conservatives like Texas.