One more time … Hurricane Sandy had very little impact on outcome of presidential election

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Ryan D. Enos finds little evidence that the hurricane significantly impacted the election. But that won’t stop pundits from blaming it for Romney’s loss:

Attribution error (which has many other names and sub-theories attached) is a sweeping psychological concept that simply means humans try to explain the causes of behaviors and events – but we are bad at it. The theory says we tend to act as “naive scientists”, so we often attribute causal explanations to things that occur at the same time: a poll moves after a debate, so the debate must have caused the poll to move; a storm happened before the election, so the storm must have caused Obama to win. This is not because people are stupid or incapable in a general sense, but just because we usually rely on heuristics, or mental shortcuts, to make sense of events. Concepts like partisan stability, regression to mean, and economic fundamentals are hard to understand, so as naive scientists we use the mental shortcut of correspondence in time to attribute cause to effect.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.