Here we have Mother Jones's Tim Murphy, who presumably is an adult capable of filing taxes, claiming that
"Romney ultimately squeaked past Santorum by eight votes on Tuesday day night, in what was by far the closest margin in the history of the Iowa caucuses—30,015 to 30,007, good for a .000065 percent advantage."
Should columnists have to take a refresher course in grade school mathematics before their editors allow them to embarrass their magazines like that?
(There were 122,255 total votes. A margin of 8 votes is .0065%, not .000065%. Murphy forgot to multiply by 100.)
Wednesday, January 04, 2012
Another Failure to Master Percentages
Posted by Jeffrey Shallit at 9:11 AM
Labels: bad mathematics, stupidity
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Considering that, in campaigning and advertising, Romney spent about $100 per vote while Santorum spent about $1 per vote, maybe Murphy's "percent" is a typo and he meant to write "per cent" ;)
"Should columnists have to take a refresher course in grade school mathematics before their editors allow them to embarrass their magazines like that"?
I wonder what, ahem, percentage of the blame should lie on the editors' shoulders.
I'm a bit surprised Murphy didn't calculate the figure to be .00027
Ah, when you put it that way, it could be anyone's race.
I'd call that one a tie between the two, especially after learning that Romney was mistakenly credited in the Moulton, Iowa, caucus with 22 votes instead of 2.
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