Numbers, numbers

I was curious about the voting totals for Clinton and Obama, since Clinton has been declaring that she’s won the most votes cast so far. So I once again ran to the USA Today Election Results page, and tossed a bunch of things in my spreadsheet.

It really is remarkable how close these two candidates are. I’m going to lay out the percentages to each candidate below, along with the “other” percentage. There’s something interesting here.

Clinton Obama Other
Total w/o FL or MI 47.4 49.2 3.4
Total w/FL only 47.5 48.3 4.2
Total w/FL & MI 47.7 47.3 5.0

I didn’t muck around with leaving out caucuses or any of that silly stuff the Clinton campaign is doing. Obama leads in the “legal” count, which excludes FL and MI. Obama leads with FL in, where at least his name was on the ballot. Only when you add in MI as well, where Clinton was the only name on the ballot, does she eke out a slight lead.

In all cases the “Other” vote is larger than the difference between the candidates’ vote totals. And as you add in the two “extra-legal” states, the “Other” vote gets larger and larger, especially when it comes to adding in MI, of course, which went nearly 45% “Undecided”.

If you compare the “Other” vote, which includes undecideds, to the difference in vote totals between the two candidates, you find that in the first, legal case, there are still almost twice as many “Other” votes as the difference in vote totals between the two candidates. Adding in FL, it becomes almost six times as many “Other” votes, as the difference between the vote totals. And by adding in MI, you finally get the “Other” count to nearly 15 times the difference between the two candidates’ vote totals.

I personally think the only vote total that matters is the legal vote total under the party rules that all candidates agreed to. I know this sucks, especially for Florida, but there it is. Once you start adding in the two states that voted outside the rules, the level of uncertainty rises to a point where Hillary’s claims of being ahead in the popular vote just doesn’t hold water.


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