The problem of overfitting elections, in one brilliant cartoon

If the Redskins won their last home game before the election, the incumbent party will hold the White House. This has held true in 16 of the last 17 elections (2004 was the exception). It's also ridiculous example of overfitting.

By Ezra Klein October 18, 2012

Senate tweets in one chart

Today, xkcd had some fun at the expense of our less formal Senators: This made me wonder - what do Senators actually tweet about? So I wrote a Python script to scrape every Senate's last 20 tweets so I could analyze them. Here are the most commonly used words, filtering out both common words like "and" or "the" and URL contents like "http" and "www".

By Dylan Matthews July 18, 2012