Exit Polling and Racial Bloc Voting: Combining Individual-Level and R X C Ecological Data

Annals of Applied Statistics, Vol. 4, No. 4, pp. 1774-1796

23 Pages Posted: 17 Oct 2011

See all articles by D. James Greiner

D. James Greiner

Harvard University - Center on the Legal Profession

Kevin M. Quinn

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Department of Political Science

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: January 16, 2010

Abstract

Despite its shortcomings, cross-level or ecological inference remains a necessary part of some areas of quantitative inference, including in United States voting rights litigation. Ecological inference suffers from a lack of identification that, most agree, is best addressed by incorporating individual-level data into the model. In this paper we test the limits of such an incorporation by attempting it in the context of drawing inferences about racial voting patterns using a combination of an exit poll and precinct-level ecological data; accurate information about racial voting patterns is needed to assess triggers in voting rights laws that can determine the composition of United States legislative bodies. Specifically, we extend and study a hybrid model that addresses two-way tables of arbitrary dimension. We apply the hybrid model to an exit poll we administered in the City of Boston in 2008. Using the resulting data as well as simulation, we compare the performance of a pure ecological estimator, pure survey estimators using various sampling schemes and our hybrid. We conclude that the hybrid estimator offers substantial benefits by enabling substantive inferences about voting patterns not practicably available without its use.

Keywords: racial bloc voting, voting rights act, R x C, ecological inference, exit poll

JEL Classification: K41

Suggested Citation

Greiner, Daniel James and Quinn, Kevin M., Exit Polling and Racial Bloc Voting: Combining Individual-Level and R X C Ecological Data (January 16, 2010). Annals of Applied Statistics, Vol. 4, No. 4, pp. 1774-1796. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1945007

Daniel James Greiner (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Center on the Legal Profession ( email )

1585 Massachusetts Avenue
Wasserstein Hall, Suite 5018
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
(617) 496-4643 (Phone)

Kevin M. Quinn

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Department of Political Science ( email )

Ann Arbor, MI 48109
United States

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