Sunday, July 29, 2018

What's Governor Daugaard's PARG?

When I was a young'un baseball had three offensive stats that mattered, batting average, home runs, and runs batted in (RBI). As time went on, stats like on-base percentage, on-base plus slugging (OPS), and wins above replacement (WAR) become central metrics. (Baseball nerds feel free to insert sabermetrics joke here.)

Politics has far fewer stats than baseball, popularity and elections won or lost might be the only two that matter. Nate Silver, however, has adapted baseball's WAR to develop PARG (popularity over replacement governor) which is computed "by measuring the distance between their net approval rating and their state’s partisan lean"

A couple of days ago, Dakota War College trumpeted a Morning Consult poll that showed Governor Daugaard was the nation's 5th most popular governor. According to the poll, 61% of the state's residents view Daugaard favorably while 24% view him unfavorably, a net 37 favorability.

Silver takes that +37 and compares it with South Dakota's partisan lean, a number developed by combining  the 2008, 2012, and 2016 Presidential election vote totals in the state along with the Cook PVI which "measures how each district performs at the presidential level compared to the nation as a whole. " According to Silver, South Dakota's partisan lean is +29 toward Republicans.

Taking the difference between Daugaard's +37 popularity and the state's partisan lean of +29 gives Daugaard a modest +8 PARG which ranks him number 20 among the nation's governors, hardly a hall of fame number.

Screenshot of PARG rankings
Original found here.

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