Wednesday, November 13, 2013

No Virginia Democratic Attorney General Candidate Mark Herring, A Tie in an Election is Not a Victory

Why Can’t Politicians Just Once be Honest?

The race for Attorney General in Virginia is important for several reasons.  One is that if the Democratic candidate won, it would give Democrats a sweep in an all important swing state.  If the Republican won, it would show that radical conservatives have to campaign as center right moderates to win. 

The actual result, a tie.  Yes current the Democrat Mark Herring leads by less than 200 votes, and a recount may or may not confirm his victory.  But in the world of statistics this race was a tie, the margin of difference is so small that it is not statistically significant and is the resuslt of what is called sampling error.

And yet this has not stopped the Democrat from crowing about his victory.

A recount appears all but certain after the statewide results are certified Nov. 25, and the Obenshain campaign made clear that it considers the race far from over. “We owe it to the people of Virginia to make sure we get it right, and that every legitimate vote is counted and subject to uniform rules,” Obenshain (Harrisonburg) said in a statement.

Herring, by contrast, treated his victory as assured in a campaign statement.

“Voters in Virginia have spoken, their voices have been heard and I am honored to have won their votes and their trust to become Virginia’s next Attorney General,” Herring said. 

Well what the voters said is that we cannot pick a winner, and that if the Democrat ultimately prevails it is only because of the nature of statistics, that there were less errors in vote counting on his side than on the other.  And the winning candidate should acknowledge that, but of course that would require a politician to be honest, a bridge just too far.

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