Friday, September 11, 2009

Math Iz Hard

(Oops. I was slightly wrong and she's even wronger. The 40% bump quote was only referring to those who didn't support Obama's plans previously. I'll admit there can be confusion with what that means, but given that in the poll Megan cited opposition was 39% our numbers won't change much, except to grow a tiny bit higher. But her attempt to apply that 40% bump to supporters is not just bad math, it's a basic category mistake.)

Healthcare: Parsing the Polls and Focus Groups:

Let's break that apart. In the latest independent poll I'm aware of, the pre-speech support for the health care plan was at 29% among independents, 10% among Republicans, and 37% overall. A "nearly 40% increase in those numbers" means something under 40% support among independents, 14% among Republicans, and still solidly less-than-50% overall. Getting more support among Democrats doesn't help him--they'll mostly vote for Democrats anyway.
Ok, let's look at those numbers. .29 + (.29 *.4) = .406. That means about 40%. .37 + (.37 * .4) = .518. Just shy of 52%. If it was a 35% increase it'd be .3915 and .4995, which would still not qualify as "solidly less-than-50%". (Assuming, of course, that it was precisely 29% and 37%.)

I expect her to apologize to women everywhere immediately, as apparently any time a female makes a math mistake in public it reinforces an archaic stereotype that offends Megan's sense of decency.

More stupid;
Democrats may not need majority support to strengthen their legislators' spines; they may just need to tip the balance from 37% in favor and 39% against to 39% in favor and 37% against, figuring the undecideds won't vote on it. On the other hand, my sense is that independents tend to break against both incumbents and policies, rather than for. Witness the storied history of Social Security Reform polling. People actually got more anxious about the state of Social Security as things went on--but also became less willing to change it.
Note that, as always, there's no first hand in Megan's construction. I think I've seen her use that phrase properly once, maybe.
Then note that she's trying to compare the effort to privatize Social Security with health care reform, because.... ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.... yeah. Because.

1 comment:

Susan of Texas said...

Doing the math, reading the abstracts--eh, that's for amateurs.