The tiny fraction of Americans who will decide the 2012 election

July 18, 2012

First, from Larry Lessig, on the minuscule fraction of the American public that congressional candidates rely on to fund their campaigns:

A tiny number of Americans — .26 percent — give more than $200 to a congressional campaign. .05 percent give the maximum amount to any congressional candidate. .01 percent give more than $10,000 in any election cycle. And .000063 percent — 196 Americans — have given more than 80 percent of the super-PAC money spent in the presidential elections so far.

Second, from Paul Begala, on the minuscule fraction of the American public that will decide the presidential election:

We can almost guarantee that 48 percent of each state's voters will go for Obama, and another 48 percent will decide for Romney. And so the whole shootin' match comes down to around 4 percent of the voters in six states.

I did the math so you won't have to. Four percent of the presidential vote in Virginia, Florida, Ohio, Iowa, New Mexico and Colorado is 916,643 people. That's it. The American president will be selected by fewer than half the number of people who paid to get into a Houston Astros home game last year — and my beloved Astros sucked last year; they were the worst team in baseball.

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