Tuesday night was unequivocally a good night for Democrats in Virginia. Ralph Northam won the governorship by what appears to be the largest margin of any Democrat since at least 1985. The lieutenant governor and attorney general candidates each won by about six percentage points. Most surprisingly, the Republicans look as though they may lose control of the House of Delegates.
When people ask me “what went wrong with the polls in 2016,” I have three responses. The first, and most important, is that the polls weren’t unusually “wrong.” In fact, they were as accurate as they were in 2012, when polls were routinely celebrated as the best tool for predicting elections. Second, the polls were off in the particular places they were off because they systematically under-sampled white working-class voters in the upper Midwest.
The Internet and the personal computer have enabled the lay analyst to utilize advanced statistical techniques. This is something of a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, this has paved the way for more rigorous takes on politics: Horse race calls have become more like PECOTA and less like Jimmy the Greek. On the other hand, many of these techniques have substantial limitations, which would often keep an analyst from pushing a piece as far as he or she might like it to go.
Muck Rack makes it simple to find people, tweets, or articles that mention any name, keyword, company, hashtag etc. We've compiled this guide to help you make the most of your search.
Selecting a term
Start searching tweets, articles from media outlets, articles mentioned in tweets, journalists'
names, titles and bios with some suggested searches:
Companies or Topics (e.g. iPhone, Microsoft)
Phrases (e.g. "cloud computing") — use quotes to keep the terms together
Twitter handles (e.g. @username) — returns those who have mentioned or replied to
Names (e.g. "David Pogue")
Hashtags (e.g. #sxsw, #london2012)
Bio details (e.g. vegan, Olympics, father)
Muck Rack's Advanced Search allows for many boolean operators.
Find results that mention multiple specified terms, use AND or
+. For example, ensure each result contains both Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg by
searching Musk AND Zuckerberg or Musk + Zuckerberg.
Use the operators OR or , to broaden your search when you'd like either of
multiple terms to appear in results. (This is the default behavior of our search when no operators
are used). For example, results will contain either cake or cookie by searching cake OR cookie or cake,cookie
Use NOT or - to subtract results from your search. For
example, searching Disney will yield results about the Walt Disney Company as well as Walt Disney
World Resort. To exclude mentions of Disney World, search for Disney -World or Disney
When using one of these operators with a phrase, enclose it in quotation marks. For example, you can
find results about smartphones excluding Apple's iPhone 4S by searching smartphone -"iPhone
Exact case matching or punctuation
If you're searching for a brand name or keyword that relies on specific punctuation marks or capitalization, you can
find results that match your exact query by adding matchcase: before the keyword you're searching for, like matchcase:E*TRADE .
Use parentheses to separate multiple
boolean phrases. For example, to find journalists talking about having fun in Disney World or
Disneyland, search for ("disney world" OR disneyland) AND fun.
An asterisk can be used to search for any variation of a root word truncated by the asterisk. For example, searching for admin* will return results for administrator, administration, administer, administered, etc.
A near operator is an AND operator where you can control the distance between the words. You can vary the distance the near operation uses by adding a forward slash and number (between 0-99) such as strawberries NEAR/10 "whipped cream", which means the strawberries must exist within 10 words of "whipped cream".