Wednesday, March 2, 2005

Fun With Math

This is borrowed from Bartcop:

Why do we keep hearing "51% is not a mandate" from the media talking heads?

According to the Brookings Institute, approximately 120,300,000 voted for a presidential candidate on 02 November, 2004, a 59.0% turnout of 203,898,000 eligible voters in a US population of 293,027,571 (July 2004 est. by the CIA).

Of that, 50.9% of ballots (according to the CIA) were attributed to Bush. That is, IF the election results were legitimate; i.e. not tampered with - but, let's leave that aside for the moment, ignore the hundreds of "irregularities," and assume for the sake of argument that the election was 100% legitimate.

So, we've got 30% of eligible voters endorsing the GOP.

Of those, a Gallup poll indicated that only 6% of these voters chose Bush due to his "agendas/ideas/platforms/goals." The balance chose him due to some level of brand loyalty to the GOP, or perceived personal qualities attributed to Bush.

That means 6% of 30% - 1.80% of the electorate - actually supported Bush's platform. No information is available regarding the number of Bush voters who understand and/or can explain any such alleged platform.

So, that's the real number of people who support the Bush agenda. Slightly less than one out of every fifty eligible voters.

1.80% is not a "mandate."

But, it gets better.

Consider that 1.80% represents approximately 2,165,400 actual votes, in a US population of 293,027,571.

That means 0.74% of America voted to endorse the Bush agenda. Three quarters of one percent is not a "mandate."

source

8 comments:

Glen Dean said...

When you consider the fact that the Republicans gained in the house, senate, and state legislatures, it has to mean something. Also, this was the first election that a candidate got a majority of the votes since the election of 1988. Clinton certainly never recieved 50% of the vote. I have always believed that Bush was beatable in 2004. I felt that if the Democrats would have picked a popular and likeable centrist, they would have beaten Bush. They didn't though. They picked the number one most liberal Northeastern Senator, who was also another Yale alumnus. The "party of the common man" could have done much better. Also, Kerry could not shake the whole war protester image.

SheaNC said...

This was addressing the presidential "mandate" claimed by Bush, his followers, and his media. The "mandate" is always portrayed in a way that makes it obvious they are trying to say that 51% of the population support him, and that sentiment is parroted ad nauseum. Clinton beat Bush Sr. with a bigger margin.

As far as Kerry being "the number one most liberal Northeastern Senator" I never have been able to find the criteria used to qualify that statement. I'm no great fan of Kerry, but I don't think that attending Yale is bad. Being a member of Bush's diabolocal secret society is. But I would be extremely grateful if someone could explain what they mean by "most liberal" because it sounds like more Limbaugh-esque bullshit to me.

Jack Mercer said...

Mandate. This word is contemporarily immaterial. The side that wins writes the fiscal policy, the side that wins exerts its will on Congress, the side that wins chooses the cabinet. Instead of whining, exert more energy into winning...

-jack

SheaNC said...

"contemporarily immaterial" - ? Several online dictionaries were unable to shed light on that one. What do you mean? And, who's whining?

Penguin Cookies said...

I'm probably going to quote you in an upcoming post on one of my blogs -- I've been similarly upset by the use of the word mandate, but I hadn't gone to the effort to actually work out what percent actually supported said "mandate."

I like your blog!

Mike of the North said...

Mercer, your web site is rather clunkified. Streamline the presentation in order to maximize the message.

I think you might be on the right track but I'm not sure I have the time to figure it out. Dig?

SheaNC said...

Thanks for the kind words, Penguin Cookies :) I try to keep up a policy of visting the bloggers who visit me; sort of a supportive community thing. But as a relative newbie, I am learning that can be quite a time-consuming endeavor! Nevertheless, I'll keep a look out :)

Kyle said...

No information is available regarding the number of Bush voters who understand and/or can explain any such alleged platform.I wrote about that here and, to a lesser extent, hereAs far as Kerry being "the number one most liberal Northeastern Senator" I never have been able to find the criteria used to qualify that statement.Here's an article about that. Long story short, that was for 2003 only (much of which was spent campaigning, so it's based on relatively few votes). Kerry's lifetime record is still liberal but not "most liberal" by any stretch.

Basically, it was a Republican talking point based on biased judgements.