80% Approval Rating

I tweeted this, but thought it bore repeating with a little more detail.

I hear McCain supporters applaud Sarah Palin’s approval rating as a reason why they are happy she’s on the ticket. “Alaska is so big! And she’s got an 80% approval rating. How can that be bad?”

I hear McCain supporters applaud Sarah Palin’s approval rating as a reason why they are happy she’s on the ticket. “Alaska is so big! And she’s got an 80% approval rating. How can that be bad?”

Here’s a breakdown you can give your friends and family living under this delusion:

The number of people who voted in Alaska’s gubernatorial race: 206, 232
The margin of Palin’s victory: 48.3% to 40.9%
The approximate number of votes Palin received (based on the above numbers): 99,610

Number if 80% of all Alaskan voters1 like Palin : 164,985.6

The population of Akron, OH in 2007: 207, 934

The population of Cleveland, OH in 2007 (does not include greater metropolitan area, which consists of suburbs not governed by Cleveland’s mayor): 438,042

The population of Columbus, OH (also does not include greater metro area): 747,755

Total population of Three Ohio cities: 1,393,731

Population of Alaska in 2006: 670,053

So, when someone tells you that Palin has an amazing approval rating let them know that less than 200,000 people agree with that assessment. Alaska is the largest state by land mass in the U.S. But when the number of voters is broken down, well, would Palin fare so well in a state with larger numbers of registered voters? If less than 200K people agree with her policies, why should we be happy about her approval rating?

I like geeky stuff, politics, squirrels and monkeys.

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