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State of the Union, 2013

WASHINGTON, February 12, 2013 — President Barack Obama will be center-stage before the joint session of both Houses of Congress on February 12, Tuesday night at 9 p.m. EST. All broadcast and most of cable news programs will carry it live, pre-empting other programming. President Obama specifically selected the birthday of President Lincoln, February 12, as the date of his address. Obama has long invoked the memory and words of Lincoln, most recently taking his oath of office on the Lincoln bible.

The State of the Union is one of the most direct communications between the President and the people of America. Since the invention of the radio and then television, the speech has been broadcast live. It isn't a "global event" and is indeed not likely to excite much emotion or interconnection even in the US, but we nevertheless want to consider it informally. It is another sample of our Obama effect series.

Though this is not a formal hypothesis test, the stadard protocols are used, setting the event for 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm, ET as we did last year. This is 05:00-07:00 UTC. The result is Chisquare 7144.655 on 7200 df for p = 0.676 and Z = -0.457.

State of the Union,

It is important to keep in mind that we have only a tiny statistical effect, so that it is always hard to distinguish signal from noise. This means that every "success" might be largely driven by chance, and every "null" might include a real signal overwhelmed by noise. In the long run, a real effect can be identified only by patiently accumulating replications of similar analyses.

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