This post is split into two sections. Morons and partisans will only read the first section, and either accept it or reject it based on which party they are wedded to. Prove you are not a moron, and not a partisan shill, by reading through the second section.
First, a glaring red flag of the soundness of the media-alleged results of the 2020 election (i.e., a Biden win), judging from the bellwether states of Ohio and Florida. Both handily went to Trump, just like last time, strongly suggesting he will be re-inaugurated in January 2021.
Each state on its own has historically had a high agreement rate with the national winner. Sometimes one will miss, sometimes the other will miss, but have they ever both missed in the same election? Only once, all the way back through 1848, when both states have been in the union. If you know about stolen elections, you can already guess which one it was -- 1960, when the outcome in Chicago was rigged by the corrupt urban Democrat machine, swinging Illinois and its EC votes to JFK, and deciding the national result against Nixon, who both Ohio and Florida voted for.
Back then, Chicago was still the "Second City" after New York in population, and Illinois carried 27 EC votes (out of 537 total). Today, that steal is equivalent to stealing Wisconsin, Michigan, and Maine's 2nd district, combined. Or Pennsylvania, Iowa, and ME-2, combined. That shows how outsized of an effect a single large city can have on the national result, if it is rigged.
When your only historical precedent for 2020 is 1960, the presumption is that 2020 has been rigged / stolen at the "counting ballots" stage, albeit more obviously this time because it's in 4 states (Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Georgia), and therefore leaving more fingerprints. The most flagrant fingerprint this time is when they halted their elections around 10pm on election night itself, and only resumed the next day, with a risible reversal of fortune for the leading candidate from before the halt.
Unlike 1960, though, the party trying to ram the steal through the next stage, where state legislatures choose their slate of electors, and not having that over-ruled by SCOTUS -- is the opposition party, not the dominant party. Dems were dominant during the New Deal era, but are the weak opposition party in the Reagan era. Today the presidential candidate targeted by the steal, the state legislatures in the stolen states, and the majority of the Supreme Court, are all from the dominant party of this era, the GOP.
Reminder to political LARP-ers: if you're going to try to steal the national election, you'd better make sure you're the dominant party of your era. Libs and leftoids still cosplay as the Democrats of the '60s-'70s heyday of Civil Rights and the New Left, when they could get away with whatever they wanted, like pushing a Republican president out of office. Unfortunately they find themselves today in the Reagan era, where the balance of power has shifted so far away from their party that their LARP-ing only sets them up for destruction by a reality check.
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This bird's-eye-view of bellwethers reveals the importance of combining the separate signals into a single index. The "errors" that a bellwether makes -- when it goes against the national result -- ought to be randomly distributed across the years. And these errors are few in number because that's what makes them bellwethers -- they rarely miss.
So if a particular year shows a lot of the bellwethers making errors in unison, that calls the soundness of the national result into question. Specifically, some process above and beyond the lowest-level casting of ballots by voters, such as the ballot-counters rigging the outcome by adding illegitimate ballots for their guy, ignoring ballots for their rival, or whatever other methods.
Here's the obstacle for constructing the history of "bellwether hits and misses," though -- the list of bellwether states and counties is not the same over time. Some may be reliable over a long period, but others may show a heyday of bellwether status, before and after which they were not so reliable.
If you just want to pick a start and stop point, and see which states and counties had the highest hit rate, fair enough. That's just a description of the period, with no inferential applications in mind.
But to judge the soundness of a particular election, you have to put yourself in the perspective of that year -- therefore, all information from future years is excluded, and the year itself is excluded because it's under consideration. How far back you go from the year in question is up for debate, but it has to include the most recent election before, and trailing backward from there.
For example, let's go back to the stolen 1960 election. If we want to assign a "bellwether warning index" to 1960, we cannot select states and counties to make up the list of bellwethers based on their performance in any point after 1960, and we're excluding 1960 itself because that's what we're uncertain about. The list of bellwethers would be chosen based on their hit rate from some sufficiently long interval that went up through the most recent election of 1956.
We cannot take the bellwethers of 2016 and apply them back to 1960, because some of the current ones were not bellwethers back then, and others from back then have not survived as bellwethers through today. It would be imposing our perspective on another time. Maybe the two will turn out to overlap, but to be as accurate as possible, each year requires its own proper list of bellwethers.
That still allows the analysis to proceed and give an interpretable result. Each year has its own list of bellwethers -- those that clear a sufficiently high threshold of hit rate (e.g., 90%), evaluated over a sufficiently long interval backwards including the previous election (e.g., 15 elections). The longer the interval, the lower the hit-rate threshold should be -- easy to hit 90% over 4 elections, impossible to hit 90% over 40 elections. I'd still say nothing lower than 80-85% even for periods over 50 or so years.
Then for the year in question, each bellwether result is compared to the national result. The total number of misses is added up for the year in question, and that is the index signal for that year. Weighting each component of the index by how reliable each bellwether is relative to the others, gets into over-fitting problems.
Then the index signals from each year can be plotted over time, and we could see spikes in the signal that flag certain elections as suspicious.
This is the point of a solid historical analysis -- we would not only detect a spike from 2020, which is obvious, we would see how unusual it is compared to the rest of our nation's history -- contra the cope that "shady stuff always happens". Moreover, we might detect other (rare) suspicious exceptions, like 1960, contra the other cope that no election has ever been purportedly stolen before.
The insane deviation of 2020 is convincing enough on its own that this is an attempted theft-in-progress, but an even more convincing story would show how rare such a signal is over history -- and how perhaps the only other large deviation is the known stolen election of 1960.
However, I will not be doing this analysis myself. Whoever wants to, can begin with the database sources, and the code for analyzing them, in this post from Adam Obeng. It is county-level, and he looked at 1952 through 2012, but you can substitute different years into his code for your own purposes. Still, that will only generate the list of bellwether counties for a single year. You have to add your own code to do that for each separate year, so you're not judging one period by the bellwethers of another. And you'll write your own code to see how well the bellwethers performed for a year in question, add the misses into an index for that year, and then plot those index signal values over time.
This cyber-professor is handing over such a project to his cyber-grad-students and cyber-postdocs because I'm not terribly passionate about it myself, it will be good practice for them, and they need correction from their current analyses of bellwethers, which use a single list of states or counties to compare elections across several decades, when each election needs its own list of bellwethers. But the basic sources and methods are already there in the post linked to above, so have at it.
I also want to impose some "doing the work" requirements on the "weaponized autism" crowd, who typically waste most of their time just scrolling a social media feed. So many man-hours utterly wasted on social media activity, striving to be talking heads (reacting avatars) and call-in guests (reply guys), just on a 21st-century media platform rather than radio and TV like the Boomers.
I also notice that "the autists" don't get much on a theoretical or conceptual level that ought to shape their interaction with data, even if the point is simple (like bellwethers not being the same states / counties across all years). Instead they consume "the data" as just another form of digital content to entertain themselves with for a take-cycle or two, and then totally forget about it, don't polish it, and never follow up on it.
Here's to hoping that they'll be more motivated to do the most persuasive possible analysis when their president's re-inauguration hangs in the balance.