Fifteen Years ‘Till His Liver Exploded

Michael Barone observes that “Every 16 years–in 1976, 1992 and now in 2008–American voters have seemed less interested in experience and credentials and more interested in a new face unconnected to the current political establishment” and then goes on to wonder “What can explain this 16-year itch?”

I’ll endorse the Nyhan hypothesis: it’s random chance. This is an extreme example, but a strikingly large quantity of political journalism seems focused on this kind of silly analytical error.