Don’t Believe everything you read on HuffPo

Idling down there at 9th or 10th on the Huffington Post’s best loved, or most viewed list is this article by Shawn Christensen. It’s a pretty exciting article.  The claim is “Don’t be Fooled” because Obama is not leading by a mere 800,000 in the popular vote, he’s out in front by a good 1-2 mil.

Now, just for background, Real Clear Politics has Obama leading the PV anywhere from 94,005 to 827,308, depending on which combination of Michigan, Florida, and caucus turnout estimates you subscribe to

Shawn’s point is that in caucus states, the number that the New York Times publishes is not the popular vote, and it’s not even the delegate count to the party convention.  Its the “county delegate” count.  So each of Barack’s 27,172 county delegates represents an undetermined number of Kansas caucus-goers.

He then “generously” only allocates 10 votes per county delegate and says that in Kansas alone, Barack’s lead has leapfrogged any chance that Hillary might have ever had, because now he’s cleared Kansas with a net 177,100 votes!

I was taken aback! and then shawn extrapolated for ALL the caucus states – if we say (conservatively!) that Barack gets 10 voters per county delegate, that’s a good estimate of the popular support he has.  and So that’s where we get the 2 million vote lead figure from.

I went home and opened up an excel chart, determined to do the math for myself (and get mad traffic, because everyone would link to my clear-headed appraisals, vindicating shawn from the haters, and firming up his logic where needed.)

But I stumbled upon this sad fact:

Only an estimated 36,000 to 37,089 Kansans caucused that night.  Tough for Barack to net (even a conservative) 177K out of a mere 37 large.

There are only about 2.7 million kansans to begin with, and only about 2 million who are of voting age.  Did Shawn really think that nearly half of them would vote in a democratic caucus?  In kansas?

A plausibility check was all that was needed here.


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