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Response to imagine2015 (Original post)

Mon Jun 13, 2016, 08:56 PM

5. Statistics Will Tell All

I understand that people don't like Clinton, but I don't understand why everyone is so focused on leftover votes in CA? It kind of reeks of a conspiracy theory to me. Vote your conscience (so against Clinton if you don't agree with her policies), but don't get caught up in

btw: just to make the point. The reason that they were able to make a call so early is thanks to my handy dandy friend statistics! Once a large enough proportion of the vote was in, you can use this representative sample to extrapolate a reasonable expectation as to what the remaining vote will be with roughly a 90% to 95% confidence interval. Because you only need an N of around 25-65 in order to have a roughly representative sample (altho at that level the MOE would be pretty high!), it makes sense, given a share of election day (which trends Sanders) and mail in (which trends Clinton) votes would give us a fairly representative sample. With a sample size of millions, that dramatically reduces the potential margin of error and gives us more confidence in the mean value of the votes (which I would guess is something like 55 Clinton, 45 Sanders). There isn't really a lot of room for Bernie to shrink or flip the margin. Given that, there was a decent basis for the networks to call the race when they did. It may not be the best end result for Bernie, but it is still a legitimate result.

Also: the reason a county or two might flip is because some counties with razor thin margins, even with small margins of error, had differences in the vote total that were well within the margin of error. If you're assuming a margin of error of 10 or so votes might flip and the difference is 5 votes, then there's a pretty good chance the vote will flip! However, if you're assuming a margin of error of 10 votes and the difference is 100 votes...well, at that point there's no chance of the vote flipping.

Don't assume this means I'm telling you how to vote, however! If you don't like Clinton's policies (don't make this about the person, please), then by all means vote against her or for Jill! Just don't claim that the results were not legitimate (its a common problem with losing campaigns, where supporters claim that voter fraud was the only reason they lost. 3.5 million votes is a huge margin to explain away with fraud) when there is no CONVINCING evidence that it was not legitimate (and I'm not talking random_guy_17 who has a conspiracy theorist website claiming A or B or C). That harms the legitimacy of our democracy. The real story of this election is that the Democratic party is open to, but not committed to, change. It won't happen now, but there's a chance that a more mainstream progressive can seize the nomination in the future! But the chances of that happening are less likely when you try to disenfranchise Clinton voters who may be open to your cause in the future.

Sorry for the wall of text! I just wanted to get this off of my chest!

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