Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Connorspeak: Sampling Error and Elections

Connor has been learning about famous Americans at school, and among these are several Presidents. It got Connor to thinking about elections, so he asked  me this question while I was preparing for dinner.

"What happens when there's a tie in a Presidential election?"

I responded that it had only really come close to happening once, and in that instance the Supreme Court stepped in and made an incorrect decision. And that's how George Bush became President the first time. This, naturally, confused Connor. I get it. The whole thing confused me, too!

Connor sat there trying to digest and sort out what I had just told him, and then followed up.

"Is it because they drew a bad sample? You know, like they had a big handful of ballots, maybe 20 or so, and those said that George Bush should win but really, if they'd correctly counted everything, the other guy would've won?"

I told him that he had a good case, but that wasn't exactly what happened. Then I told him he'd be learning about that election for years to come, and that I didn't fully understand everything that went on myself.

In case there was any confusion, I believe he has confirmed he is in the right house.