Politico's "Sinema rakes in Pharma and finance cash..." A salient issue and an exceptional pattern of donations, or just cherry picking of statistics? may be a bit atypical here. It received one answer so far, and my guess is many in the community will not venture an answer as it may require some serious research.

But I don't understand at all how to address

Add details and clarify the problem you’re solving. This will help others answer the question.

There is a comment beginning:

What would you consider an exceptional pattern?

but what is normal and exceptional is really the purview of the answer author. In politics SE it's common to distinguish between normal and exceptional events or patterns.

Exceptional ones are newsworthy for example, and that's why I'm calling into question whether the linked Politico piece is really reporting news, or just cherry picking a few numbers and presenting them in isolation.

I'm trying to find out if the pattern of donations to Sinema and its relationship to their committee assignments and recent/upcoming voting responsibilities is so unusual that it is newsworthy or not.

Since the literal question "Is this newsworthy"? could easily attract opinion-based answers, I've asked if all the numbers shown in the article are statistically significant.

I'd assumed that there are reports out on how money flows from donors to elected officials, and that there would be some in the community who would be familiar with how to find them.

Surely political scientists and others that follow politics are not unfamiliar with statistics!

Question: What kind of "details" can I add and what further "clarifying" might be necessary to get one more reopen vote?

2 Answers 2


Although I've answered your question, the debatable point about it is that before one can make such statistical tests, one needs to choose some time frame for the donations.

As you yourself hinted at in the question, picking a small (and possibly "cherry picked") time frame may flag someone has receiving large donations relative to someone else who hasn't received them in the same narrow interval from a particular kind of source.


Note: I’m one of those people who votes to close a lot, and I’ve often got into disagreements with people about what should be closed, and it’s not uncommon for stuff I vote to close to stay open, or later get re-opened without getting changed, so keep in mind that my viewpoint is not the only major viewpoint.

I think your question would benefit from saying what you consider statistically significant. I know I’m sounding like a broken record since I already said this in the comments, but oh well.

The reason I want this is because without it, you can have two equally valid, but opposite answers. This goes against the Stack Exchange model. For example, on Stack Overflow, if two people say two opposite answers (e.g. “The print function works in C++” and “The print function doesn’t work in C++”) it is possible to tell which one is correct, because one of them is correct.

You gave a link in the comment section to a search of “political” on cross validated as your definition of statistically significant, but none of them actually define what statistically significant means in politics (unless I missed one). Also, you should the definition of statistically significant in your post.

  • 2
    And yet the answer that was posed (before the community was blocked from any opportunity to answer) seems to understand the question and do quite well without the OP's personal view on this. Why must the community be denied any further opportunity to answer? I understand the "...you can have two equally valid, but opposite answers..." concept in science and technology based SE sites, but this is politics SE! Are you sure that the posting of two arguably equally valid answers never happens here? In politics?
    – uhoh
    Commented Oct 27, 2021 at 15:53
  • @uhoh it is possible to post a good answer to a question that needs details or clarity, by making assumptions, or by posting a partial answer. That doesn’t mean that the question (or the answer) are correct. Also, the reason that the community “must . . . be denied any further opportunity to answer” is because the community being able to answer closed questions would be bad (see: this) Commented Oct 27, 2021 at 15:58
  • @uhoh I haven’t seen a seen a situation where there are two equally valid but contradictory answers to any question on politics SE (that I didn’t vote to close). Commented Oct 27, 2021 at 15:59
  • @uhoh also, if you want to, feel free to feature-request removing the opinion based close reason on this site. Commented Nov 12, 2021 at 17:08

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