Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Studying the success of gambling-related ballot measures

In the USA, gambling may be legalized at the state or local level through two paths--legislative action or ballot initiative. There have been a few studies aimed at understanding who is likely to vote for or vote against these issues, mostly in the context of lottery legalization. Microdata studies look at reported intention to vote for or against an issue. Studies using aggregate data look at the voting behavior of geographical aggregations of votes (by district or county) as a function of the characteristics of those geographic areas.

In yesterday's election the voters of Ohio decided whether or not to legalize slot machines.

The Ohio slot machine ballot issue addressed a proposed amendment to the Ohio Constitution that would legalize the use of slot machines at nine different venues (seven at existing racetracks). Thirty percent of the revenue generated from the slot machines would be dedicated to new educational scholarship and grant programs. Another 8 percent would be dedicated to county and town level economic development. This proposal is named "Learn and Earn."

It lost 57% to 43% with 99% of precincts reporting

Off the CNN site, vote by county is available

An interesting project would be to look at the macro pattern of election results by county, using % for or against as the dependent variable and county descriptive variables (income distribution, ethnic distribution, rural vs. urban character, distance to competition, etc.) as the IV.

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