I ran across this article and found it simply fascinating. And perhaps even more interesting – it is those states who supported the national loser where suicide rates decline the least. The authors of the study attribute this to social cohesion – but is this still in place after the election? Other than 2000, when the “election” didn’t seem to end, are the losers getting together over beer to lament their loss or bash the new president?
Of course, while I find this study fascinating, I’m also somewhat skeptical of the conclusions. Apparently, suicide rates decline in all states after a presidential election. Are suicide rates really that tied to our elections? Is this a simple correlation vs. causation error? And if so, what else might be causing this correlation?
Finally, if these results are borne out – what dependent variables are we missing in our political communication research?