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Latest update: November 6, 2000
Curran or Takata.
On November 9, MoNesha La Violette wrote:I am glad someone took the time to explain popular vote vs. electoral vote. I have never been into politics until I got older. It was beyond my comprehension how Gore could win the popular vote, but not the electoral votes and lose the election. The news last night, in my opinion, did what you call "throwing out data." They announce Bush the winner before Florida had been fully counted. That throwing out of data made the whole statement of Bush being winner inaccurate. When you dismiss or throw out data, it makes the results wrong. But who gets to decide what data is kept and what is not? Who decides who get the electoral votes? I understand the concept of fungible votes, which means my vote is just as good as yours- but if you have an electoral vote, is that still true? It seems that the popular vote counts, but then it doesn't count. What's the deal?
On Thursday, November 9, jeanne responded:Good response, MoNesha. I'd give you a B+ as it stands. You did an excellent job of summarizing your grasp of throwing out data and of fungible units of measurement. And then you identified carefully for me the factors that are confusing for you. That took serious thought, and I appreciate it. I particularly appreciate because I'm sure that others are confused on the same points, and you have given me enough direction that I can clear up that confusion. For an A I would like you to let me know that the confusion is now cleared up.
And now, to answer your questions:That throwing out of data made the whole statement of Bush being winner inaccurate. When you dismiss or throw out data, it makes the results wrong. The statement makes sense MoNesha. Throwing out data did cause the problem. But such is not always the case in statistics. It made the results "wrong" in this case because the method of electing the President by popular vote conflicts logically with the unstated assumptions behind the electoral vote. For details on what the electoral vote really represents see The Electoral College, Unfair From Day One By Akhil Reed Amar.
more later . . . jeanne