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It's all about statistics: what politics and baseball have in common

In the final column as a host of The House, Chris Hall talked to three political strategists and his two favorite subjects: politics and baseball. Examine the intersection of.

There is a saying that life imitates art. But for my money, there is another comparison that is also true. Politics imitates baseball.

This is the pitch.

Politics and baseball are full of tradition. There are many rules. Some are written, others are old-fashioned traditions. 

Today, both are relying on modern indicators — data and statistics — to attract and win new supporters.

In baseball, these statistics help managers determine when to deploy an infield shift. Or it helps to place additional people in the outfield to prevent the best batters from hitting the base.

In politics, the numbers tell the campaign manager which vehicles they are visiting and which campaigns they promise to promote. They know the number of swing votes available in each constituency. States parties have a databank that tells them which addresses are home to their supporters and which addresses are home to voters who may be confident that they will join their side.

So it's no wonder that many politicians and their strategists are also baseball fans. 

Left-to-right house politics (and baseball) panel: Anne McGrath, National Director of NDP, Jason Lieter , President of Enterprise Canada and a former conservative strategist. Jita Astrabas, a former liberal spokesman for Bill Blair and current Chief of Staff. (Submitted by Jason Lietaer and Zita Astravas, Fred Chartrand / Canadian Press)

According to Anne McGrath, there is a strong link between operating the base and operating the campaign.

"I think all campaigns are currently data-driven or striving to do so," said NDP's National Director and veteran of both federal and state campaigns. One McGrath states.

"It's the key to politics. You need to find people who support you and vote for them. So you know who they are, where they are, and You need to know what they care about. ""

McGrath was an enthusiastic fan of the Montreal Expo. The club moved to Washington many years ago, and she hasn't exceeded that yet. But McGrath sees lessons in the move about the importance of not only maintaining a fan base, but also finding ways to bring new fans to the stadium.

"You need to know who your base is and you need to expand it. You need to attract more people. And with demographic changes and people Communicate, be interested in, engage and motivate people, "she explained.

In one of his last shows, host Chris Hall combines two passions, baseball and politics. He happens to talk to three fellow baseball dies who are political insiders: liberal staff Zita Astravas, conservative strategist Jason Lietaer, and NDP national director Anne McGrath.

Jason Lietaer reads the baseball box score and publishes a weekend newspaper with statistics for all American League players, including members of his hometown of the Toronto Blue Jays. I grew up longing for it.

Former conservative campaign strategist and now running government-affiliated enterprise Canada, Lieter believes in mining data to gain insights into players or campaigns. increase. But collecting that data alone does not guarantee victory in baseball or politics, he said.

A 9th bottom may occur a month before the game starts.-Jason Lietaer

Players in the field, or candidates for knocking on the door, will continue to play an important role in deciding whether to win or lose. In addition, it is important to interpret the data correctly

"And in politics, I think we are still struggling with some of them," Lieter said. "As you know, there are only one or two ways to read data. How important is digital communication. How important is this information?"

The Toronto Blue Jays Alejandro Kirk hit a single during a match against the Boston Red Sox in Toronto on June 28, 2022. (JonBlacker / Canadian Press)

An important lesson is that statistics are available before the end of the game or before election night to better adapt to changing situations and give to the team. It's about understanding what you're showing. A better chance of victory.

"Until you win or lose an election, you may not realize that you win or lose," he said.

"One month before the game starts, the 9th bottom may occur."

Politics And the baseball panel was one of the last interviews Chris Hall conducted as a host of the house. He retired from CBC in June 2022. CBC Radio created this "farewell" baseball card to commemorate this opportunity. (Ben Shannon / CBC)

Zita Astravas is another political insider who spends a lot of time watching baseball. She is involved in both federal and Ontario liberal campaigns and is currently Chief of Staff of the Minister of Emergency Preparedness, Bill Blair.

"I think it's statistics that attracted me to politics and baseball, and I think that's one of the things you can find in common," she said.

"You do it every day in a political campaign. You look at different vehicles, just like different players, who is your best candidate, yours. Build up what your target vehicle is. "

It's all about finding the hidden meaning in the numbers, the edges for use in the field and husting.

In hopes of answering important questions, McGrath said: