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Tuesday, May 20, 2008



Gosh it's been a long time since I visited my favorite pet subject - innumeracy. Here's what stirred me up - discussing the results from the Kentucky primary, AP writes:
Almost nine in 10 ballots were cast by whites, and the former first lady was winning their support overwhelmingly.
As I write this, with 43% 100% of the vote counted, Clinton is at 58% 65%. Now if white voters are 90% of the electorate (and assuming that 58% doesn't change), then it is mathematically impossible for the percentage of Clinton's white support to exceed 64% 72%. In other words, Clinton's "overwhelming" support is pretty much the same (65% or 72%), whether you talk about all voters or just white voters.

It may be true, and quite likely is, that her support from black voters is underwhelming; it could actually be zero. But with 90% of the vote coming from whites, drawing conclusions about her "white" support vs. her support in general simply doesn't hold up.

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