Archive for November, 2011

Political Sex Scandals Revisited

Posted: November 8, 2011 in analysis

Some of you may recall that last summer, I tried to build a model to predict the results of political sex scandals, and documented my efforts here and here.  The model was unusual, and it turned out to predict the then-current sex scandal (David Wu) very poorly.

Well, another sex scandal has made the news, so it’s time to put my model to the test again.  Hermain Cain’s scandal isn’t very interesting; quite frankly.  The variables that matter to the model are pretty straightforward; Mr. Cain’s scandal is nothing special.

  • Intensity: 5 – multiple instances of sexual advances, but no actual sex.
  • Unfaithfulness: 7 – Cain has been married for 40+ years, but hasn’t quite been accused of actually cheating on his wife.
  • Kinkiness: 3 – Nothing more than a little dirty talk.
  • Hypocrisy: 4 – Courting the religious right but having adulterous intentions.
  • Coercion: 6 – The actions were non-consensual.

The other ratings (such as Contrition, which is 1 (Cain denies the events), and Plausibility, which is 6 (there isn’t very strong evidence that they happened), aren’t a part of the model.

So, as a low intensity Republican with a coercive but not kinky scandal, the model does not predict a happy outcome for Mr. Cain.  Specifically, the result is a value of 0.16, which means he will most likely drop out of the race or lose the nomination.  But, this is the same model that predicted that David Wu wasn’t going anywhere on the precise day he announced his resignation, so take that with a grain of salt.

It should also be noted that only one of my model data cases (Jack Ryan) was a non-incumbent candidate for election, so the dynamics may be very different.  But I have the model, so it’s worth testing it again.  And the best way to test is to make the prediction in advance of the event, so there you are.