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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Applying Math to politics

In a prior post I tried to apply math to the problem of who to ask for a ride home. Todays post is about someone elses attempt to apply math to politics.

This is from This is from New York Magazine, Feb 4, 2008. (before McCain had clinched the Rep. Primary). The article was called Anatomy of a Freak Show by Kurt Andersen. Here is his formula and his justification.

(Romney + Huckabee)/3 + .01McCain + sqrt(Guilliani) = Bush

  1. Romney and Bush were both Businessmen, though Bush was a pathetic one, while Romney was a good one.
  2. Huckabee and Bush are both Evangelical Christians, though Bush is a pathetic one, while Huckabee is a good one.
  3. McCain and Bush were both party boys in college who later became figher pilots, though Bush avoided real combat.
  4. Guilliani and Bush both have a chip on their shoulder.
Is the formula true? Depends how you define true, but I'll say its not even wrong.


  1. I don't think that's really valid. It's like comparing the values of a specific field of two vectors then making a claim assuming that the relationship between the two fields is the relationship between the two vectors.

    Consider x1 = < 1 0 5 > and x2 = < 5 0 1 > just because x2[0] = 5 * x1[0] does not mean that x2 = 5 * x1.

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