December 08, 2004
Imaginary Playmates

Yesterday's Seattle Post-Intelligencer has a delightful front-page story about psychological research on young children and their imaginary playmates.

a 7-year-old boy, described his pal "Skateboard Guy" as an invisible 11-year-old who lived in his pocket and popped up at boring moments to do tricks on his skateboard.
It turns out that this is a very common phenomenon. This also brings back fond memories. At age three I had an imaginary playmate named "Parsley" whose house was located in a corner of our dining room.

The researcher has found that imaginary playmates persist longer than once realized:

"I'm beginning to think it never goes away," said Marjorie Taylor, head of psychology at the University of Oregon and a leading researcher on children's pretend play. "What I think is it morphs into a different form."
Even some adults who are in the news lately seem to have imaginary playmates.

For example, Paul Berendt imagines that the 15,000 illegal, spoiled or otherwise disqualified ballots are somehow associated with 15,000 imaginary legal voters who cast valid votes for his candidate. Christine Gregoire imagines that an imaginary previous Attorney General was still in her office in 1996 to bless the opinion that manual recounts must not include previously rejected ballots. Gregoire also apparently imagines that there exists a growing army of imaginary voters who want her to keep fighting to the point of ridiculousness to overturn the fact that she's already lost twice.

Posted by Stefan Sharkansky at December 08, 2004 12:09 PM | Email This
Comments
1. I expect nothing less from our imaginary governor

Posted by: JasonB52 on December 8, 2004 12:46 PM
2. Awesome! Everyone at the WSRP and the Rossi campaign love this site. Keep it up.

Posted by: Chris Vance on December 8, 2004 01:23 PM
3. Chris--good to see you! Keep up the good fight!

Posted by: tom on December 8, 2004 01:44 PM
4. I'm going to be an observer for the Franklin County recount and had a very interesting discussion with the auditor about Berendt. She's a very nice lady who happens to be a D, but I've found to be very professional and doesn't let her affiliation affect the job. She said Berendt had called and even after she explained away a concern he had about an imagined discrepancy he was still going to believe what he wanted.

Maybe Gregoire and Berendt are playing "good cop/bad cop", but I'm wondering if the latter is actually just "delusional cop".

Count starts tomorrow in Franklin County at 10 a.m. and the auditor is hoping (keyword there) to have it done by late Friday. Maybe Saturday if necessary. The county party (fcrcc.org) is trying to round up observers to volunteer.

Posted by: Matt on December 8, 2004 01:52 PM
5. Paul is a true believer. He is a hardcore, Michael Moore/Moveon/Howard Dean liberal. He believes all these crazy conspiracy theories about Florida and Ohio. This is his personal windmill tilt.

Posted by: Chris Vance on December 8, 2004 02:06 PM
6. Well, Chris, those hardcore types are the ones dragging their party down. I've followed the press comments and I thank you and Dino for being a class act all the way. It makes me feel great about being a republican. I couldn't say the same thing if I was on the other side of the fence. Keep up the good fight and keep posting.

Posted by: Chris on December 8, 2004 02:19 PM
7. Thank you. No retreat. No surrender.

Posted by: Chris Vance on December 8, 2004 02:24 PM
8. Nice to hear from you Chris! I'm Matt Watkins--a PCO in Franklin County and friend of Brenda's. We miss her and her organization, but we'll get Franklin County monitored in the recount. We're a smallish county, but good, professional staff and I think everybody wants the recount done right and impartially.

Posted by: Matt on December 8, 2004 03:00 PM
9. Paul is a true believer. He is a hardcore, Michael Moore/Moveon/Howard Dean liberal. He believes all these crazy conspiracy theories about Florida and Ohio. This is his personal windmill tilt.


The Kool-Aid is strong with this one.

Posted by: South County on December 8, 2004 03:24 PM
10. Let the fun begin. Garfield County (I believe our smallest as well) has reported in with no change from the first recount.

Posted by: Terry Mueller on December 8, 2004 04:08 PM
11. Mason County is also in. Dino gained three votes. I would rather see no changes at all, but am curious about what changed with these three votes.

Posted by: Terry Mueller on December 8, 2004 04:54 PM
12. Hanging or dimpled chads. Mason County is a punchcard county. Dino gained 12 and Christine gained 9, for a net of 3 for Dino. On the machine recount, Christine gained 1 and Dino gained 2. Both the machine recount and the manual recount counted 25,839 ballots. The original count only had 25,836 ballots. Not a major difference.

This bodes well for Dino. Each candidate gained close to 0.1% in total votes -- about 0.10% for Dino and 0.08% for Christine.

Voting errors (i.e. hanging or dimpled chads) are fairly evenly distributed in punchcard voting, since they are often related to dexterity and coordination. On the other hand, voting errors on optical scan ballots are more relatively more often made by Democrats, since less educated people tend to favor Democrats.

In the Florida manual recount in 2000, each candidate was gaining about 0.1% in total votes, in rough proportion to the number of votes being received by Bush and Gore in the counties being recounted.

This bodes well for Dino. He carried the punchcard counties by about 60,000 votes. 340,035 to 279,434. If each candidate adds 0.1% to their total vote in punchcard counties, then Dino will increase his net winning margin statewide by about 60 votes from this.

Posted by: Richard Pope on December 8, 2004 06:08 PM
13. Dino gained 12 votes and Gregoire gained 9 in Mason. I hope they aren't including previously rejected ballots.

Maybe 1 out of 1000 is the error rate being introduced by a hand count. :-O

Posted by: Mike on December 8, 2004 06:17 PM
14. They couldn't have added any more ballots in Mason County. Both the machine recount and the manual recount reported 25,839 ballots.

Let's hope that Benton, Clark, Franklin, Lewis, and Stevens Counties, in particular, also have a 0.1% gain for each candidate from dimpled or hanging chads, since these have the biggest margins for Rossi out of the punchcard counties.

Posted by: Richard Pope on December 8, 2004 06:27 PM
15. Let the fun begin! It's going to be interesting to see if the Washignton Supreme Court is going to let the Democrats get away with murder on Thursday...

but on a side not, according to the AP, an Alaskan Group calling itself Recount Alaska 2004 is asking for a recount of the Senate race that the Rep won by more than 9,500 or 3%... you want to know why they are asking for one?

Because the AccuVote have PROVEN to be inconsistent elsewhere, and here is the real kicker, because exit polls said that the democrat was ahead...

Thats right folks, we should elect people based on EXIT polls and not real votes... after all, weren't these the same exit polls that had Kerry winning PA by 20 points and everywhere else by 5 to 10 points?

I'm surprised that the Grinch-Gregoire hasn't come and and said the same thing... after all exit polls are so much more reliable than actual votes...

Posted by: KLRMNKY on December 8, 2004 06:40 PM
16. It seems that Dino is picking up a few votes in Clark--and they counted the urban areas (lower numbered precincts) and haven't gotten to the heavily Republican northern part of the County yet.

Posted by: BB on December 8, 2004 06:44 PM
17. It seems that Dino is picking up a few votes in Clark--and they counted the urban areas (lower numbered precincts) and haven't gotten to the heavily Republican northern part of the County yet.

Posted by: BB on December 8, 2004 06:44 PM
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