Maybe it’s just me…

Want to spend a frustrating ten minutes?
Go try to find the total votes cast on Super Tuesday.
Percentages, sure easy, total votes difficult.
(Caveat, some vote totals are still trickling in, but bear with me. For what interests me these numbers are close enough. These are totals from early Wednesday afternoon EST.)

Anyway, here the numbers are:

Clinton 50.2%    7,347,971
Obama 49.8%    7,294,851

McCain 43.1%       3,611,459
Romney 35.4%      2,961,834
Huckabee 21.5%   1,796,729

so the Democratic vote here    14,622,822 (63.6%)
and the Republican                     8,370,022 (36.4%)

What is in my head, why I went and looked up these numbers, was that I was reading through the post-election commentary and there it was again.
The talking head (or should that be pointy-head?) pundits telling me that Hillary shouldn't be the Democratic candidate, because "polls" show that McCain will beat Hillary in a general election.

How do they make the numbers work?
I see Hillary 7,347,971 and McCain 3,611,459.
These are real, warm bodies in 22 states who went and voted.
Is there any reason to believe that in November Romney, and Huckabee supporters would be tremendously more likely to turn out for McCain than Obama supporters would be willing to vote for Hillary?
Because taking these numbers, even if every Obama voter just stayed home, it would take every Republican vote for all three candidates to beat Hillary.
Are poll-takers just plain loopy?
(The last California polls called it for Obama by 17%, after all….)

Anyway, I'm off to try to find total primary votes cast so far, so I'll be in Google limbo for a while.


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6 responses to this post.

  1. They sure know how to twist numbers.


  2. I was looking at the charts on the NYT website and thought I'd fallen into a statistics online course. I'll wait till tomorrow for a clear win-no win.The sheer percentages of people who made it to the polls was amazing.


  3. I heard those numbers on NPR today and thought the same thing about either candidate. All it takes is for all those same people to show up and vote for real.Except not really because, after all, we have the electoral college nonsense and then there's the Shrub's Supreme Court waiting to annoint whoever they're told is supposed to come next. That's the part that distresses me greatly.


  4. except these are just the people voting in the primaries – where you have to vote for your own party. in a general election, millions of people who aren't registered in one party will also vote. and some who were registered may not have made up their minds yet, and not bothered. plus, in november, people can also vote outside their party. for example, i voted for hillary. suppose obama wins the primary, and suppose i hate him so much (i don't) that i would rather vote for mccain (never gonna happen) – ann coulter (never a good example of rational behavior) said if mccain wins the primaries, she'll vote for hillary. so the number of voters in a primary don't necessarily show how the election will turn out.


  5. I am not in the U.S s I am not sure if this will help but sharonB has posted some results at


  6. Gah.Our primary system is such a mess, IMHO.And those talking heads are not helping.


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