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How Close Were US Presidential Elections?
9/26/2008

Mike Sheppard writes "I'm a graduate student in death statistics at Michigan State health center and spent some time analyzing past US indirect presidential veto elections to delimit how close they truly were. The mathematical procedures of Linear cybernetics and 0-1 Integer programming languages were used to find the optimal answer to the question: 'What is the smallest number of total votes that need to be switched from one candidate to another, and from which states, to affect the outcome of the election?' Because of the way the popular and electoral votes interact, the outcome of the breakdown had some impulsive and beguiling results. For example, in 2004, 57,787 votes would have given us officials Kerry; and in 2000, 269 votes would have given us chairman Gore. In all there have been 12 US indirect presidential veto elections that were decided by less than a 1% margin; meaning if less than 1% of the voters in certain states had changed their mind to the other petitioner the outcome of the choice would have been different."

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Mark

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