Why Computers Lie



According to a Reuters computer, a Republican will probably win the White House next November. If that doesn’t knock your socks off, I can’t imagine what would.

The Republican Party is in total disarray. The Republicans in the House can’t even agree on a new Speaker. And the kindest description of the mob of Republicans running for president is “ludicrous.” So how could any normally functioning computer make a call like that?

According to Fortune Magazine:

The data model takes into account a number of factors, most importantly the historic trend that “successor” candidates—those from the same party as the current president—are three times less likely to win, Reuters said. Given President Obama’s middling ratings, this means the Democrats are facing stiff odds in the upcoming White House battle.

So what Reuters is saying is that what has happened before just keeps happening? Sounds like Garbage-In-Garbage-Out to me.

For one thing, there are more Democrats in America than Republicans. According to Wikipedia:

As of October 2014, Gallup polling found that 43% of Americans identified as Democrats and 39% as Republicans

And for another, the vast majority of voters have been staying home recently. Just one-third of the electorate went to the polls last year.  But with the record breaking crowds and TV audiences this campaign has been attracting (photo of a Sanders rally above), it looks like that trend is over.

Did anyone think to key those factors into the Reuters analysis?

This election will depend quite simply on voter turnout. The election will be won by those Americans who are most concerned about the issues that are so vital to their lives and to the future their children and grandchildren will face.

The ones who take the trouble to vote.

As for the ones who stay home, they will  just have to put up with the government they get.

Click for the Reuters prediction.