Politics: Percentiles & Points

So today is Super Tuesday. A lot of people will vote. We’ll hear a lot about percentages. Trump won 60% or 25%. Clinton won 60% or 25% – you get the point.

Everyone has spent the past few weeks in a flurry about New Hampshire. How much Trump won. Oh dear God, the margin!.

He won 35%. A third. And yeah, that’s impressive in a pool of twenty-or-more candidates. But it was 100,000 people. Just to give you an idea, Clinton lost with 38%. And she had 95,000 people voting for her.  In New Hampshire: 284,000 voters came out for the Republican primary and only 251,000 came out for the Democratic (both of these rounded to the nearest 1,000).  So (A) this was record turnout for republicans (and being that 5 candidates had more than 30,000 votes each…. yeah!) and (B) a lot of people don’t bother with primaries (30% of the voting population participated)

Let’s put this into perspective. (I left out Iowa because the democrats didn’t count votes apparently. Just percentages… *rolls eyes*)

Nevada numbers Nevada % NH numbers NH % SC Numbers SC %
Donald Trump 34,531 45.9% 100,406 35% 239,851 32.5%
Ted Cruz 16,079 21.4% 33,189 12% 164,790 22.3%
Marco Rubio 17,940 23.9% 30,032 11% 165,881 22.5%
Hillary Clinton 6,316 53% 95,252 38% 271,514 74%
Bernie Sanders 5,678 47% 151,584 60% 95,977 26%

Now, with all those numbers out there, there is some reason we obsess over these percentages.  If these were the only people showing up to vote (and all 5 of these names were on the ballot!) this is how the electoral college (EC) would go:

State: Winning candidate Number of Votes # EC votes
New Hampshire Bernie Sanders 151,584 4
South Carolina Hillary Clinton 271,514 9
Iowa Hillary Clinton ~85,000? (49.9% of 171,517) 6
Nevada Donald Trump 34,531 6

And for the first time in my life I am going to say “Thank goodness for the electoral college” because:

Candidate: “Popular” vote
Trump 420,215
Clinton 373,082
Cruz 265,724
Sanders 253,239
Rubio 257,018

So in conclusion – it’s important to go vote!

References:

http://www.desmoinesregister.com/pages/interactives/elections-results-primaries-2016/%23/#d

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electoral_College_(United_States)

http://www.cnn.com/election/primaries/states/ia/Dem

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