THE BLOG
11/09/2010 09:34 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

# Actually, 15 Percent of the People Are Telling 85 Percent What to Do

Post has been updated !!! The flaw revealed below...

The United States Elections Project is an information source for the United States electoral system. The mission of the project is to provide timely and accurate election statistics, electoral laws, research reports, and other useful information regarding the United States electoral system. By providing this information, the project seeks to inform the people of the United States on how their electoral system works, how it may be improved, and how they can participate in it.

Dr. Michael McDonald, Department of Public and International Affairs at George Mason University

This is all from their website (link).

They have a quick analysis of the 2010 General Election (link). I am sure the numbers will be updated and are in a state of flux.

Based on his early analysis, Dr. McDonald finds that 218 million people were eligible to vote in the election (Voting-Eligible Population column to the right).

Only 87 million availed themselves of the activity (Highest Office (est.) column to the right).

Let's work with those numbers.

87 / 218 = .399 is just under 40% turnout.

I did a cursory look around at the margins of victory for the GOP, just some old fashioned gut-truthiness and pulled a number of 53% as a margin of victory for argument sake. Going up or down with that percentage won't diminish the point I am about to make.

39.9% * 53% = 21.9 %

That means roughly 22 % of those who are eligible to vote are telling the other 78% what to do.

Do you still feel like you live in a Democracy?

Is this acceptable to you?

(I'll send you a prize if you can find the error I left in my analysis...)

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Here is the flaw...

We have 300 million people in the country.

The 87 million * 53% of GOP voters set the rules for everyone.

That number of 46 million voters going for the GOP Team gets to tell the total of 300 million Americans what to do.

46 million / 300 million = about 15%.

That means in reality 15% is telling the other 85% what to do.

It was just a little bit too depressing and confusing to put out there first.

Sorry, no one got it. But there were some really good tries...
I may try this again sometime...