Statistics and Lies

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The American Presidential election is “too close to call”. It’s “on a knife edge”. Depends on “swing states”.

Does it hell. If you look at the actual data of the opinion polls and compare to past election results, the outcome is boringly obvious: the overwhelmingly likely result is that President Obama gets re-elected.

The NY Times blog ‘Five Thirty Eight’ [http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/] does heavy number-crunching and is currently showing the probablity of Obama winning as 86.3% and only Ohio as a relatively important “swing state” (with a 50% chance of providing the decisive electoral vote. Obama has a small but consistent lead in Ohio.)

So why is that blog (and other numerate ones that crunch numbers) not telling us the same as the mainstream media? Because. The. Journalists. Are. Lying. To. Us.

Again.

The news media have a vested interest in portraying a close contest to make exciting news.

The Democrats have a vested interest in portraying a close contest to encourage voters to get out and vote, rather than take it for granted.

The Republicans have a vested interest in portraying a close contest to encourage voters to get out and vote, rather than becoming discouraged.

Everybody is lying.

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