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The Politics of the Presidential Brackets

- March 19, 2009


By now anybody who pays attenton to such things knows that President Obama has publicly filled out his NCAA men’s tournament brackets. Like millions of others, he played it close to the chest, sticking mainly with favorites and choosing North Carolina to go all the way.

So leave it to a statistics nerd (sorry, Andrew) like Nate Silver over at 538 to run the numbers (in this case, a logistic regression model) and to conclude that (1) Obama did indeed give the nod to favorites, just as a casual scan of his entries indicates, (b) but he also tended to favor teams from “swing states” in the 2008 election (North Carolina being a prime example). Just a couple of months into his term, and already he’s currying favor for 2012!

No doubt congressional invesitgations will now be initiated of such blatant partisan bias at the highest levels of an administration pledged to nonpartisanship.