Chapel Hill Treehouse

A decidedly mixed bag of musings by andrew reynolds, professor of political science at UNC Chapel Hill, NC, USA

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Idol - A great injustice has been done.

It takes a lot for me to say this but Katie should have gone. It was quite remarkable that Chris (of the three remaining guys) should have got the lowest number of votes. The last Carolinian falls :(

My new hypothesis is roughly this: Chris and Katie have core constituencies that are less vulnerable to mood swings in public opinion; Taylor has a core that is a little more open to fluctuate depending on his performance on any given Tuesday; while Elliott has the most elasticity in his vote share. All that means that Chris's rocker constituency maxed out when it came to a four way race and despite how good he was he didn't have the base to keep him in. Katie could sing poorly and her base kept her in at third. Elliott has to sing well (which he did on Elvis week) to supplement his smaller core and remain in the hunt.

Think of it this way - let say 70% of voters are 'core' and always vote for their candidate ('yellow dog idols'), while 30% vote on the basis of performance on any given week (rational idols).

This week the 'core' voters might have looked like this:

Katie: 30% (21%) of core - 10% (3%) of float = 24% overall
Taylor: 25% (17%) of core - 30% (9%) of float = 26% overall
Chris: 25% (17%) of core - 20% (6%) of float = 23% overall
Elliott: 20% (14%) of core - 40% (12%) of float = 26% overall

Thus Chris is last despite winning twice as many of the performance based votes as Katie.

If this were true, and Chris's core voters equally scattered to become core voters for the remaining three, it would suggest a core that broke down the following way next week:

Katie: 40% of core (28%)
Taylor: 33% of core (23%)
Elliott: 27% of core (19%)

If the yellow dog core voters remained 70% of the total then Elliott would have to take about 12% more of the floaters than Taylor to beat him and around 30% more than Katie to beat her. Clearly it is possible but for Elliott to stay in he needs to sing better than taylor and MUCH better than Katie. (Although I'll grant that Chris core voters are more likely to defect to Elliott or Taylor than they are to switch to Katie).

Still, I am predicting a Taylor-Katie final two.


At 11:12 AM, Anonymous Brandon said...

Whats the over / under for the finals?

At 10:51 AM, Blogger AR said...

I have to say that I think the core base for taylor and Katie is about the same now and the way he's been performing I'd have to put my money on Taylor. Frankly, he really derserves to win.


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