I keep hearing about the polls for elections and what the percentages are. I see the numbers and having had a bit of formal education in statistics and probability understand what they are talking about. I’ll watch them predict one outcome or the other when there are only one or two percent difference between the two choices and I’ll think, “this could go either way.” Then after the votes are tallied I’ll hear them talking about the upset. This is even while the results are saying the two people running are 5 percent apart… or less.
It makes me wonder if the definition of “an upset” has changed.
(Note, I understand that the final results might be very different, but before they are in, while the results were still within 5%, they call it an upset. Of course the outcome of a political election can be very different from the popular vote.)
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