stupid US election statistic

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Rich Ulrich

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Jun 16, 2021, 11:46:24 AM6/16/21
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I was happy to see an explanation for this unlikely claim.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/06/15/were-learning-more-about-how-trump-leveraged-his-power-bolster-his-election-fantasies/

* * quoted from the article
“The probability of former Vice President Biden winning the popular
vote in the four Defendant States — Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania,
and Wisconsin — independently given President Trump’s early lead in
those States as of 3 a.m. on November 4, 2020, is less than one in a
quadrillion, or 1 in 1,000,000,000,000,000,” it reads. “For former
Vice President Biden to win these four States collectively, the odds
of that event happening decrease to less than one in a quadrillion to
the fourth power.”

On Dec. 4, I looked at this jaw-dropping claim. It’s not complicated:
The analysis assumes that votes counted before 3 a.m. and after 3 a.m.
would not be different. But they were different: The later votes at
issue came from large cities that took longer to tally their results —
and that were far more heavily Democratic.
* * end of quote

Thus, it is clear that the votes before 3:00 did not predict the
votes after 3:00. Everyone knew that would be true, long
before the election. Historically, that is true for the reason
stated, that cities (Democratic) can't finish counting as early.

In 2020, the bigger reason was "mail-in vote." Here in Pa., 2020
was the first year that it was provided as a free alternative. This
was true for some other states, too. The law did not allow any
of the mail-in vote to be counted early, in Pa.

In Pa., Republicans dominated both the house and senate of the
state, and they pushed the law through without much opposition.
(That makes it harder to label "write-in voting" as a step in a
conspiracy by Democrats.)

(For those not here in the US,) Trump campaigned vigorously
for his supporters to vote "in person" and not by mail. In Pa.,
the consequence was that Biden won fully 75% of the late-counted
write-in vote. The margin was not knowable in advance, but no
network dreamed of pronouncing Trump a winner based on the
early lead from the walk-in votes and votes from rural areas.

Trump did find lawyers willing to use that statistical claim in
court in asserting that there must be fraud in the election; I think
that those lawyers should face sanctions for promoting such
stupidity. The judge properly denounced it.

--
Rich Ulrich

David Jones

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Jun 16, 2021, 12:18:10 PM6/16/21
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For the statement ... “For former
Vice President Biden to win these four States collectively, the odds
of that event happening decrease to less than one in a quadrillion to
the fourth power.” ... there is clearly an assumption of statistical
independence between events, whereas the same underlying factors would
have affected all states to some extent. But that's just the final
piece of misleading manipulation of numbers.
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