Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Statistics can be Fun; Playing Statistical Games with the 2016 Election Results

Statistics can be fun. You can read them any way you wish. As the old saying goes, “Statistics don’t lie; statisticians lie.” Democrats ask how could Secretary Hillary Clinton have lost the Presidential election when she won 2,865,075 more votes than her opponent Donald Trump? Of course, she lost the Electoral College by 306 votes to 232, or is it 304 to 227 after several faithless electors voted for others. How did Hillary win by 2,865,075 votes? She rang up a majority of 4.2 million votes in California and 1.6 million votes in New York States. 1.7 million of her California majority came from Los Angeles County. Hypothetically remove these 2 states and Donald Trump won 2.8 million more votes than Hillary Clinton throughout the rest of the country. Republican candidates for the House of Representatives won 3 million more votes than their Democratic opponents. Donald Trump thereby underperformed the Republican Party in the election. Hillary Clinton actually received 389,944 more votes than President Obama in his 2012 reelection campaign. Yet she underperformed him. His coalition did not turn out for her in the critical states of Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. She racked up her California supermajority, which was a waste of organization, staffing, and campaign dollars. More damaging to the Democrats is their losses in Congress and at the state level. They have lost over 1,030 legislative seats and governorships from 2009 to 2017. President Obama’s first year in office saw 60 Senate votes (58 D, 2I, including a switch from Republican to Democrat by Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Spector.) Democrats held 255 House seats compared to 179 for the Republicans. The new Congress will show 46 Democrats and 2 Democratic caucusing independents compared to 52 seats for the Republicans. The House of Representatives switched from 255 Democrats and 179 Republicans in 2009 to 241 Republicans and 194 Democrats in 2017. The state level shows even stronger Republican success. The Democrats in 2009 totally controlled 27 state houses (Governor and both legislative branches) compared to 14 for the Republicans. The GOP now holds total control of 25 statehouses compared to only 5 for Democrats. In addition, they hold 32 governorships compared to 16 for the Democrats. President Obama is trying in the final days of his Administration to cement his transformative, progressive legacy. His legacy is a conservative, Republican nation with a befuddled, decimated Democratic Party. President Obama has statistically transformed America. That is a fact.

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