Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Obama-despising L.A. Times blogger Andrew Malcolm plays games with numbers:

One month down, 47 to go.

And Barack Obama's poll numbers have slid almost 10% already. According to the latest Gallup Poll, the new president's approval rating of 68% in January has slipped now to ...

Before I give you the answer, take a guess. The approval rating was 68%, and Malcolm says it's "slid almost 10%." What is it now -- 59%?


... 63%, about average for recent new presidents one month in.

Now, "slid almost 10%," in the context of a poll, has two possible meanings. Problem is, Malcolm is wrong according to either one of them. Obama's rating slid 5 points, not 10 or nearly 10. So he'd be wrong if that's what he meant. And 5 is nowhere near 10% of 68; it's actually about 7% of 68. So he's wrong if (as I assume) that's what he means.

I imagine Malcolm is thinking that 5 is almost 6, and 6 is kinda-sorta 10% of 68% -- heck, it would be exactly 10% if it weren't for that pesky 8.

So I'm sure he thinks he's close enough. I guess it's close enough for wingnut math.

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