These numbers aren’t right

There are a ton of headlines today surrounding a new Reuters poll which shows that roughly half of all Republicans think the election was rigged. That sounds alarming, until you consider that recent Gallup polling shows that only 31% of Americans identity as Republicans. So “half of all Republicans” really means “half of 31% of Americans” or about 16%.

In other words, about 16% of all Americans think the election was rigged against Trump. That in turn tells us 84% of Americans don’t think it was rigged. That’s a disappointing number, but it’s not exactly alarming. Consider that last week’s Reuters poll that said 79% of Americans agreed that Joe Biden won. If anything, the percentage of Americans accepting that Biden has legitimately won appears to be slightly increasing, as you would expect.

The longer these things drag on, the more people accept reality. So these are just more scary headlines aimed at scaring us into staying glued to our television sets. The media loves to build narratives out of thin air by mixing and matching numbers to sound like they’re something different than they are. Parsing it sometimes requires not only common sense, but also a calculator.

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