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Tue Feb 2, 2016, 01:33 PM

Hillary Clinton Won 6 Out of 6 Coin Tosses Last Night.

Source: U.S. Uncut

Hillary Clinton Won 6 Out of 6 Coin Tosses Last Night.


Here’s How Statistically Improbable That Is



Amanda Girard | February 2, 2016

The Iowa Democratic caucus vote count was so close last night that at least 6 precincts were decided by flipping a coin — an obscure procedure in the Iowa caucus bylaws. And in all 6 instances, the last remaining county delegate went to Hillary Clinton. Winning 6 coin tosses in a row is extraordinarily rare, and only has a 1.6 percent probability of occurring. As journalist Ben Norton explained, that’s broken down by calculating (1/2)^6, which is 1/64 — or 1.6 percent.

If Bernie Sanders had won half of the coin flips and split the six county delegates three and three with Clinton, he would have finished at 698.49 delegates to Clinton’s 696.57, effectively giving him an Iowa victory. According to a live map of all Iowa precincts, Clinton has a razor-thin 0.3 percent lead over the Vermont U.S. Senator with 99.9 percent of precincts reporting.

In addition to the coin flip tiebreakers, one widely discussed controversy was a missing 60 voters in one Iowa precinct which may have flipped the delegate count in Bernie Sanders’ favor:

David Schweingruber, an associate professor of sociology at Iowa State University, explained to the Des Moines Register how a total of 484 eligible caucus attendees were initially recorded at Ames.
Yet when each candidate’s preference group was counted, Clinton had 240 supporters, Sanders had 179, and Martin O’Malley had five and was declared out.

Those figures added up to just 424 participants, leaving 60 apparently missing. The numbers were plugged into a formula that determines delegate allocations, with Clinton receiving four delegates and Sanders three – leaving one delegate unassigned.

Read more: http://usuncut.com/politics/hillary-clinton-won-6-out-of-6-coin-tosses/




Amazing world we live in.....

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Reply Hillary Clinton Won 6 Out of 6 Coin Tosses Last Night. (Original post)
James48 Feb 2016 OP
dogman Feb 2016 #1
GoneFishin Feb 2016 #6
rhett o rick Feb 2016 #12
dogman Feb 2016 #32
dogman Feb 2016 #35
rhett o rick Feb 2016 #51
dogman Feb 2016 #55
TBF Feb 2016 #74
dogman Feb 2016 #84
TBF Feb 2016 #105
wordpix Feb 2016 #119
Human101948 Feb 2016 #2
Plucketeer Feb 2016 #11
ruffburr Feb 2016 #3
Baitball Blogger Feb 2016 #4
polichick Feb 2016 #76
Demit Feb 2016 #15
Maedhros Feb 2016 #20
Drahthaardogs Feb 2016 #34
Maedhros Feb 2016 #39
Demit Feb 2016 #46
Maedhros Feb 2016 #49
dbackjon Feb 2016 #60
eomer Feb 2016 #109
eomer Feb 2016 #95
Maedhros Feb 2016 #100
GoneFishin Feb 2016 #106
Fiendish Thingy Feb 2016 #75
dbackjon Feb 2016 #85
Maedhros Feb 2016 #92
GoneFishin Feb 2016 #108
Lizzie Poppet Feb 2016 #115
Maedhros Feb 2016 #130
dbackjon Feb 2016 #59
Nitram Feb 2016 #19
NowSam Feb 2016 #65
californiabernin Feb 2016 #5
SunSeeker Feb 2016 #37
Ned_Devine Feb 2016 #52
FailureToCommunicate Feb 2016 #7
Enthusiast Feb 2016 #8
Plucketeer Feb 2016 #9
happyslug Feb 2016 #118
wordpix Feb 2016 #120
happyslug Feb 2016 #123
Jenny_92808 Feb 2016 #129
happyslug Feb 2016 #139
malthaussen Feb 2016 #10
Helen Borg Feb 2016 #26
Jenny_92808 Feb 2016 #131
JoeyT Feb 2016 #44
malthaussen Feb 2016 #58
AlbertCat Feb 2016 #13
StevieM Feb 2016 #14
brooklynite Feb 2016 #28
Gman Feb 2016 #16
dreamnightwind Feb 2016 #17
Gman Feb 2016 #31
indigoth Feb 2016 #36
dreamnightwind Feb 2016 #38
dbackjon Feb 2016 #62
dreamnightwind Feb 2016 #68
dbackjon Feb 2016 #71
dreamnightwind Feb 2016 #77
dbackjon Feb 2016 #78
dreamnightwind Feb 2016 #80
Jenny_92808 Feb 2016 #132
Bernin Feb 2016 #98
dbackjon Feb 2016 #99
Bernin Feb 2016 #113
Jenny_92808 Feb 2016 #133
JoeyT Feb 2016 #47
ALBliberal Feb 2016 #104
happyslug Feb 2016 #122
Deny and Shred Feb 2016 #73
Gman Feb 2016 #93
ViseGrip Feb 2016 #18
leftynyc Feb 2016 #21
chapdrum Feb 2016 #25
leftynyc Feb 2016 #40
George II Feb 2016 #54
riversedge Feb 2016 #27
eomer Feb 2016 #30
leftynyc Feb 2016 #41
eomer Feb 2016 #87
leftynyc Feb 2016 #88
eomer Feb 2016 #97
leftynyc Feb 2016 #141
eomer Feb 2016 #142
Lizzie Poppet Feb 2016 #116
JoeyT Feb 2016 #56
NowSam Feb 2016 #81
dbackjon Feb 2016 #86
NowSam Feb 2016 #89
dbackjon Feb 2016 #91
NowSam Feb 2016 #94
Joe Chi Minh Feb 2016 #22
Billsmile Feb 2016 #23
coyote Feb 2016 #24
leftynyc Feb 2016 #42
dbackjon Feb 2016 #67
leftynyc Feb 2016 #79
dbackjon Feb 2016 #83
Pathwalker Feb 2016 #126
cantbeserious Feb 2016 #29
leftynyc Feb 2016 #43
LisaL Feb 2016 #50
INdemo Feb 2016 #33
AzDar Feb 2016 #61
TBF Feb 2016 #72
George II Feb 2016 #45
getagrip_already Feb 2016 #48
6chars Feb 2016 #53
VMA131Marine Feb 2016 #82
Jenny_92808 Feb 2016 #134
dreamnightwind Feb 2016 #135
6chars Feb 2016 #140
Hav Feb 2016 #143
lobodons Feb 2016 #57
NowSam Feb 2016 #63
LiberalArkie Feb 2016 #64
oberliner Feb 2016 #66
Purveyor Feb 2016 #69
deathrind Feb 2016 #70
Eko Feb 2016 #90
WhoWoodaKnew Feb 2016 #96
ALBliberal Feb 2016 #107
Metric System Feb 2016 #101
Orrex Feb 2016 #102
SoCalMusicLover Feb 2016 #103
GoneFishin Feb 2016 #111
Octafish Feb 2016 #112
dbackjon Feb 2016 #110
gregcrawford Feb 2016 #114
dbackjon Feb 2016 #117
gregcrawford Feb 2016 #125
Taitertots Feb 2016 #121
Blue_Tires Feb 2016 #124
Agnosticsherbet Feb 2016 #127
Name removed Feb 2016 #137
Agnosticsherbet Feb 2016 #138
deathrind Feb 2016 #128
Orrex Feb 2016 #144
deathrind Feb 2016 #145
Blue Owl Feb 2016 #136

Response to James48 (Original post)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 01:38 PM

1. Msnbc just reported 8 flips, 5 HRC, 3SBS

Who knows?

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Response to dogman (Reply #1)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 01:44 PM

6. One is extremely improbable (completely scoff worthy), the other could easily be expected.

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Response to dogman (Reply #1)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 01:53 PM

12. I can't find that. Will you provide a link? nm

 

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #12)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 02:58 PM

32. Saw it on MSNBC scrawl.

Sorry, no link.

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Response to dogman (Reply #35)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 03:43 PM

51. The 5 vs 3 refers to delegates and not coin flips.

 

"As a result of the coin toss, Clinton was awarded an additional delegate, meaning she took five of the precinct’s eight, while Sanders received three."

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #51)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 03:49 PM

55. The scrawl writer seems to be like most headline writers.

I think you are correct and this is just another indication of media fail. Sorry I repeated it.

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Response to dogman (Reply #1)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 04:26 PM

74. Is that the latest spin?

"They didn't buy 6 out of 6? Then tell them it was 9-3."

It would be funny if it weren't peoples lives we were dealing with here.

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Response to TBF (Reply #74)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 04:46 PM

84. The media has owners to serve.

Hard to tell if it was intent or incompetence. Funny how the incompetence seems to go with the same narrative.

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Response to dogman (Reply #84)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 07:05 PM

105. With the media I agree

it is hard to tell the difference. Well we've got a tie basically, she's got a couple more delegates, and we move on.

New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina coming up before we get to Super Tuesday.

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Response to dogman (Reply #1)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 07:54 PM

119. reducing democracy to tossing coins - how modern

should have given Bernie half the no. of delegates since half were for him

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Response to James48 (Original post)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 01:40 PM

2. Ssssh! She's on a streak! She may run the table!

 

For inveterate gamblers there is always hope.

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Response to Human101948 (Reply #2)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 01:52 PM

11. She's crazy if she doesn't invest in

 

some lottery tickets to fund her campaign! Of course, if she DOES end up in the White House, she'll be the LEAST of the winners to that sleight-of-hand!

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Response to James48 (Original post)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 01:40 PM

3. 6 out of 6??

Try it for yourself, 6 flips how many times do you get your call? One precinct hasn't been able to report their Vote tally, etc Something Stinks , All Votes in question should be recounted and Verified

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Response to ruffburr (Reply #3)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 01:41 PM

4. Someone needs to weigh those coins.

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Response to Baitball Blogger (Reply #4)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 04:30 PM

76. Yep.

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Response to ruffburr (Reply #3)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 01:56 PM

15. Now have 6 different people, in 6 different areas of a state, flip a coin.

 

Or 6 different people, in 6 different casinos, call red or black on 6 different roulette wheels.

OMG, you mean those 6 different people all WON THEIR BET?? How do you expect me to believe THAT?

I don't understand the hoopla here.

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Response to Demit (Reply #15)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 02:33 PM

20. You don't understand probability either. [n/t]

 

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Response to Maedhros (Reply #20)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 03:00 PM

34. The odds are not astronomical against it.

1/2 * 1/2 * 1/2 * 1/2 * 1/2 *1/2 = 1/64

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Response to Drahthaardogs (Reply #34)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 03:15 PM

39. Astronomical? No. But very, very unlikely.

 

Demit was using a casino analogy, suggesting that six different coin flips amid thousands that all came up 'heads' was not remarkable (and its not). The analogy, however, is in error - there were only six coin flips, and all came up 'heads.' A different situation entirely.

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Response to Maedhros (Reply #39)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 03:40 PM

46. They weren't all a part of one sequence, though. They were different events, in different places.

 

Expecting that six random coin tosses must necessarily result in a mix of heads and tails is the gambler's fallacy.


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Response to Demit (Reply #46)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 03:43 PM

49. It doesn't matter where or when the coin flips occurred.

 

Any six flips considered as a whole have a 1/64 chance of coming up all heads or all tails.

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Response to Maedhros (Reply #49)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 03:56 PM

60. Actually it does. You are looking for a conspiracy when there isn't one

 

Celebrate Bernie's showing.

Stop with the paranoia - it only turns people off

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Response to dbackjon (Reply #60)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 07:15 PM

109. No, it doesn't.

As long as the six events weren't selected with a bias based on knowing the outcome then the probability of all heads is 1/64. Where the coins were flipped, when, or by whom doesn't make a difference.

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Response to Maedhros (Reply #49)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 05:02 PM

95. Correct if the six are selected randomly or before knowing their result.

So saying it a different way, if 1000 people flipped a coin and you picked 6 of those events randomly without knowing their outcome then the odds of 6 heads is 1 out of 64.

If on the other hand 1000 people flipped a coin and you picked 6 of the events because you know they came out as heads then there's nothing improbable about that.

I think some people (not you) are getting confused and thinking that the latter case is effectively what occurred with the delegate coin flips when it is not.

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Response to eomer (Reply #95)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 06:43 PM

100. Agreed.

 

In this case, there were a set number of coin flips. Where and when they were made is irrelevant.

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Response to Maedhros (Reply #49)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 07:06 PM

106. You were correct earlier. No understanding of probability.

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Response to Maedhros (Reply #39)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 04:29 PM

75. additional variables to consider

1) not all the tosses may have been called "heads"; some may have been called "tails" and won;
2) not all tosses may have been called by Clinton reps; some may have been called by Sanders reps and lost

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Response to Fiendish Thingy (Reply #75)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 04:46 PM

85. Obviously those Sanders reps that lost were plants

 

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Response to Fiendish Thingy (Reply #75)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 04:58 PM

92. Not really relevant.

 

Each candidate had a 1 in 2 chance of winning each flip. For one candidate to win all six flips is a 1 in 64 occurrence.

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Response to Maedhros (Reply #92)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 07:11 PM

108. Your are dealing with some very probability theory challenged individuals. No wonder this almost

flew under the radar. People haven't got a clue.

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Response to Maedhros (Reply #39)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 07:28 PM

115. One-in-64 [(1/2)^6] isn't remotely astronomical.

 

I have no problem with that outcome, for all that it was fairly unlikely.

But I want to know more about some alleged shenanigans in Polk County, etc.

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Response to Lizzie Poppet (Reply #115)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 08:52 PM

130. I'm not incensed about it either.[n/t]

 

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Response to Maedhros (Reply #20)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 03:55 PM

59. Obviously far better than the tin-foil crowd here

 

The chance - 50% - because each are independent events.

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Response to ruffburr (Reply #3)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 02:19 PM

19. Gambler's Fallacy nt

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Response to ruffburr (Reply #3)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 04:04 PM

65. Impossible and forever tainted

A stain. This is going to be one ugly ugly election.

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Response to James48 (Original post)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 01:43 PM

5. Yep, Iowa was a toss-up! Onward!

 

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Response to californiabernin (Reply #5)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 03:11 PM

37. It was not a toss up. Hillary won more votes, and more delegates.

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #37)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 03:44 PM

52. Two tenths of a percentage point is a win? It's all about lowering expectations, right?

 

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Response to James48 (Original post)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 01:45 PM

7. Quick, think of something...

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Response to James48 (Original post)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 01:47 PM

8. See? God is interfering on behalf of the Clinton campaign.

That should give you Sanders supporters something think about.

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Response to James48 (Original post)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 01:48 PM

9. Frustrating to hear that such archaic shit determines winners

 

But what's even loonier is the blind friggin' "faith" we're expected to entrust to the electronic invulnerability of today's voting machines. And we've seen demonstrations of how said machines can be as reliable as a two-headed coin in tossing an election!

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Response to Plucketeer (Reply #9)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 07:49 PM

118. How do propose to decide who wins when there is a tie????

 

You have to determine a winner, but the votes are equal, how do decide who wins? You could be like the US Senate, leave the Vice President make the deciding vote (but then who acts like the Vice President?, the local head of the Democratic Party? even if that person has already voted once? Any body you pull off the street, even if he or she said she or he has already voted?)

This is the problem with ties, how do you break them? Voting a second time will NOT change the result (you end up with the same people voting the same way thus another tie).

People have argued this point for centuries and over time flipping a coin has been found to be the best way, a bad way, but the best way for the alternatives tend to be worse.

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Response to happyslug (Reply #118)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 07:55 PM

120. you give half the delegates to Bernie and half to Hillary

simple. done. fair.

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Response to wordpix (Reply #120)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 08:07 PM

123. This involved ONE delegate NOT two.

 

In all of these cases, dividing between the two was NOT an option, it is whose delegate goes to the state convention from the Caucus? If they were two delegates, then you divide them, that is NEVER the problem for when that is possible, it is the first choice. The problem is when you have to chose ONE delegate, who gets that delegate? Dividing is NOT an option is such a case.

Remember we are talking about who goes from that Caucus to the state convention? In all six of these cases, you ended up with SIX DIFFERENT AND UNRELATED TIES. Thus dividing them was NOT an option for these are seen as six ties is six different elections NOT six ties in one election. Thus dividing them was NEVER AN OPTION.

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Response to happyslug (Reply #118)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 08:52 PM

129. Well said

 

It is not like we can split a delegate in half.

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Response to Jenny_92808 (Reply #129)

Wed Feb 3, 2016, 12:01 AM

139. I forgot to mention how Allegheny County PA decides such ties, it is by "Lots"

 

http://www.post-gazette.com/news/politics-local/2015/11/25/New-Ross-commissioner-chosen-by-casting-lots/stories/201511250079

During the “casting of lots,” the person who draws a wooden number closest to 51 from a leather shake bottle — typically used in bottle pocket billiards — is the victor.

The entire process, which the election code states must take place at noon on the third Friday in November, takes seconds......

The casting of lots has been used in Allegheny County since at least as far back as 1970, the year Mr. Wolosik started working for the elections division. The state election code provides for the use of lots in resolving a tie vote.

Eight leather shake bottles, each capped with a piece of paper and a rubber band around the lip to prevent the numbers from tumbling out, are stored in supply closet along with cleaning and office supplies at the election offices, on the sixth floor of the county office building.

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Response to James48 (Original post)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 01:49 PM

10. It's one in 64. Not that improbable.

I know someone who blew 12 97% chances in a row recently during a game I play online. Now that's improbable.

-- Mal

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Response to malthaussen (Reply #10)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 02:43 PM

26. Funny because...

0.05 is the typical threshold for statistical significance. This is < 0.02.

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Response to Helen Borg (Reply #26)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 08:58 PM

131. Actually it is closer to

 

being one and a half percent chance of occurring.


Chance of it NOT OCCURRING -

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
XXX


Chance of it OCCURRING -

X

So if you put 64 marbles in a bag and only one marble was blue, it would be the same chance for you to pick the blue marble having only one chance to do it.

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Response to malthaussen (Reply #10)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 03:37 PM

44. That could also be a bad RNG.

I've seen some games with the most atrocious RNGs imaginable. The one I always use as an example is the Realms of Arkandia games. Great little flash based RPGs, but the random number generation is among the worst I've ever seen. Basically if your chance to hit isn't 90% or more, you're going to miss way more than half the time. Crafting works the same way.

The "new" (if you can consider ten years ago new. I guess new compared to the one that came on a single floppy) Pool of Radiance game had the same problem. A twenty sided die shouldn't roll 18-20 90% of the time.

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Response to JoeyT (Reply #44)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 03:52 PM

58. True, I don't know what algorithm they use.

People are always whining about the RNG, but of course, people always whine about RNGs. Subjectively, it seems reasonably "random" to me. Missing a dozen chances in a row at 97% would tend to make one believe there is some bias in the process, however. Or it could just be improbable (yeah).

-- Mal

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Response to James48 (Original post)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 01:54 PM

13. It's a Tom Stoppard play!

 

Theatre of the absurd....

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Response to James48 (Original post)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 01:55 PM

14. Not correct. There were 8 coin tosses, 5 won by Clinton, 3 won by Sanders.

And I don't think any of them went towards the delegates awarded to the state convention, they went towards the county conventions. In other words, they don't affect the tally towards who is called the winner of Iowa.

Although I admit that I am very unclear on the details of that. It is very confusing.

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Response to StevieM (Reply #14)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 02:48 PM

28. NO State delegates have been awarded...

Once again, we're talking in abstractions. What got reported last night were State Delegate Equivalents, e.g. what the State Delegation composition SHOULD BE if all the Precinct delegates work their way through the 4 stage process and maintain their candidate loyalty.

Last night, thousands of delegates were appointed to County Conventions, at which as smaller number will be appointed to the District Conventions, where a smaller number will be appointed to the State Convention, where the National Convention Delegates will be selected, which SHOULD equal the SDE count from last night.

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Response to James48 (Original post)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 02:00 PM

16. Statistics in the wrong hands is dangerous.

The fact is only if the same coin is flipped by the same person in the same manner would the chances be 1/64. But there were 6 different places, 6 different coins and 6 different methods of flipping. The only accurate thing that can be said is the chances were 1/2 on every flip.

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Response to Gman (Reply #16)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 02:14 PM

17. Absolutely incorrect

You need to study your stats some more!

Each event has a 50% probability and is independent of the others. The probability of an outcome favoring Hillary in all 6 events is precisely the individual event probability to the 6th power.

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Response to dreamnightwind (Reply #17)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 02:54 PM

31. You didn't read my post.

That would be true if each corn toss was under the same conditions. But they were not even done in the same place. All things were not equal, therefore the best is one out of two in each place. You should learn about data modeling

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Response to Gman (Reply #31)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 03:06 PM

36. Actually

The 1/64 is correct. The different localles, the different coins, the different people/procedures are all not relevant. The ONLY part required is the odds of each individual specific outcome

And if each individual outcome has a 1/2 chance ... Then the six in a row odds are 1/64.

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Response to Gman (Reply #31)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 03:12 PM

38. Wrong on every count, wow

and I did read your post.

They're independent events, so all that matters is each individual event's outcome probability. The question is what is the likelihood of a particular set of outcomes (in this case the set of outcomes is Hillary winning every flip). That probability is the product of each event's individual probability. It makes no difference where they were, what methodology was used in the flip, who flippped them, all that matters is the probability of each event. Pretty basic and obvious. I would have not made this point, but you made it, incorrectly, so I chimed in.

And I know about data modeling, I'm a longtime programmer who has worked with and developed data models (environmental data from a coastal observation station). This is not a data modeling problem, it is a straight probability problem.

This whole thing is silly anyway, I don't think there's anything to the coin flip CT, so as far as I'm concerned it is nothing but a sidetrack.

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Response to dreamnightwind (Reply #17)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 03:58 PM

62. No, he is absolutely correct

 

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Response to dbackjon (Reply #62)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 04:12 PM

68. How so?

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Response to dreamnightwind (Reply #68)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 04:18 PM

71. There are six independent events

 

The outcome of one event is completely independent of the other events.

Was heads called all the time? Who did the calling? Did Hillary's reps call each time? Or did Bernie's? Or was that random as well, since each precinct didn't know that any other precinct was doing a flip.



Think about Occam's razor - for the Clinton Campaign to have influenced it, they would have had to have loaded coins in all 1500+ precincts, with each precinct chair in on the deception, in the unlikely chance that there would be a coin flip needed. A coin flip, whose result is basically meaningless in the long-run.


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Response to dbackjon (Reply #71)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 04:32 PM

77. of course the events are independent, that's what i said

The success rate of each "call" is established as having a 50% probability, barring ESP, an unfair coin, or other monkey business.

http://usuncut.com/politics/hillary-clinton-won-6-out-of-6-coin-tosses/

Hillary Clinton Won 6 Out of 6 Coin Tosses Last Night. Here’s How Statistically Improbable That Is

The Iowa Democratic caucus vote count was so close last night that at least 6 precincts were decided by flipping a coin — an obscure procedure in the Iowa caucus bylaws. And in all 6 instances, the last remaining county delegate went to Hillary Clinton. Winning 6 coin tosses in a row is extraordinarily rare, and only has a 1.6 percent probability of occurring. As journalist Ben Norton explained, that’s broken down by calculating (1/2)^6, which is 1/64 — or 1.6 percent.

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Response to dreamnightwind (Reply #77)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 04:34 PM

78. I don't think that person understands it either

 

And again, explain the conspiracy - how did Hillary pull off the "fraud"?


Because if you are saying it wasn't random, then it had to be fraud. How did she do it?

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Response to dbackjon (Reply #78)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 04:38 PM

80. I misunderstood your most recent post

edited:

Rereading the thread I see you're still not accepting the 1/64. Weird. And wrong. I'm about as certain as I ever am that it's you who don't understand.

I don't believe in the conspiracy, though, improbable things happen all the time.

Otherwise I suppose it would be a simple magician's trick to use an unfair coin. Not sure how you'd know which outcome the coin needed to have, I guess you could have 2 such coins and use the right one for the situation? All of the flippers would have to be in on it.

Not impossible, but in this case I think I'll go with chance.

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Response to dreamnightwind (Reply #80)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 09:19 PM

132. I agree with you

 

dreamnightwind "Not impossible, but in this case I think I'll go with chance."

I took advanced probability and statistics and other higher math classes in college. The 1/64 odds is absolutely correct (which is simple math).

For those who are math challenged, read my post about marbles above.

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Response to dbackjon (Reply #71)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 05:31 PM

98. They are not independent events.

 

They have a commonality.
To decide Bernie or Hillary.

I'm not supporting the idea of a conspiracy theory here. Just pointing out they are not independent events.
The odds are very high against what happened.
But, I have come to expect the absurd with all things Hillary.

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Response to Bernin (Reply #98)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 05:58 PM

99. Not sure you understand what an independent event is.

 

One coin flip has no impact on another coin flip.

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Response to dbackjon (Reply #99)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 07:26 PM

113. Yes I certainly understand what an indepedent event is.

 

I also understand that all of these coin tosses were part of one big event called the Iowa Caucus. No one said any flip has an impact on another coin flip. Nor is that even pertinent to the conversation of independent events. No coin flip ever impacts the results of next coin flip.

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Response to dbackjon (Reply #99)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 09:27 PM

133. If you went to a bookie to make a bet

 

before the caucus took place. And you bet, if there are 6 coin tosses to choose between HC and BS, what are the odds that HC would win all flips, the odds of that occurring would be calculated as one in 64 (1/64).

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Response to Gman (Reply #16)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 03:41 PM

47. It's still 1/64.

The odds are against it, sure. The odds are against getting struck by lightning, too, but sometimes it happens. Statistically unlikely shouldn't be confused with impossible.

Sooner or later if shit goes on long enough, some poor bastard is going to get brained by a meteor while holding a winning lottery ticket.

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Response to JoeyT (Reply #47)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 07:00 PM

104. I have a good friend that was struck by lightning twice (two separate occasions)

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Response to JoeyT (Reply #47)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 08:03 PM

122. Odds of being hit by lighting is 1 out of 1200

 

http://www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov/odds.shtml

As to being hit by a meteor, the record is thin, one case in the last 2000 years (and that was in China more then 1000 years ago). Given that low rate or actual hits (data points), they is NOT enough data to give any statistical calculation as to the risk, i.e. the risk could be one in a trillion trillion all we know (we need more data points, i.e. more then one person being hit in recorded history).

http://www2.jpl.nasa.gov/sl9/back2.html

As to lotteries, that is up to each lottery (provided they are honest). In the daily number the odds are one in a thousand of winning (Assuming three digits lotteries). Other lotteries with bigger jackpots having higher odds. Thus if that ancient China resident was playing a lottery at the time he was hit by that meteor, and he won that lottery, we would have one data point to start working out the statistics but then we will have to wait for a second person to be hit by a meteor and win the lottery to figure out the odds.

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Response to Gman (Reply #16)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 04:25 PM

73. It sure is. You need to handle with care.

Six people flipping a coin once each is six independent events. One person flipping a coin six times is six independent events. No one flip affects another. Independent of each other in both cases.

If what you are saying is true, then there is a 50% chance that all six individuals flip and get heads, i.e., if all six flip 100 times, they will get 6 heads on 50 of those flips. Get some friends together and give it a try.


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Response to Deny and Shred (Reply #73)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 04:59 PM

93. I never said the calculation is wrong

And it is improbable for her to win all six Tosses under any conditions. I'm saying the overall odds could be a little more or a little less because of the varying conditions of each toss. The 1/64 applies to a perfectly weighted coin tossed under identical conditions. If you toss a coin 100 times you should get 50-50. I'm n reality you can get 55-45. Another 100 and maybe you get 48-52 and so on. In any event, it is somewhat improbable but definitely not unlikely for her to win all 6. After all, there were 2 winners in the $1.5 billion lottery. People hit jackpots in Vegas all the time.

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Response to James48 (Original post)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 02:16 PM

18. Everywhere the Clintons go, there is greed, cheating and other controversy going on. Who wants

 

8 years of this bullshit? Not me

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Response to ViseGrip (Reply #18)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 02:39 PM

21. Spare me the drama bullshit

 

And learn something about statistics. There was a 50/50 shot in 6 different places, using 6 different coins, tossed by 6 different people. Nothing improbable about that at all. I swear the whining about this is hilarious.

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Response to leftynyc (Reply #21)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 02:43 PM

25. Yeah, it's a regular laff riot.

 

That in the Land of the Exceptional, any state is reduced to tossing effing coins to determine the outcome.

That aside, it'll be character building for the Clinton Dynasty to have a challenge.

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Response to chapdrum (Reply #25)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 03:24 PM

40. Awwww - you don't like the rules?

 

Welcome to my world where in 2004 Hillary got the most votes in the NV caucus and still got fewer delegates. Thems the rules. I have no problem with a real contest and I like Bernie fine but this whining today about what everyone already knew the rules were is hilarious.

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Response to leftynyc (Reply #40)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 03:46 PM

54. Before I play any "game", I read the rules. If I don't like them I simply don't play.......

.....if I do play and lose, I take my lumps and move on.

One other point to the complainers - there were Sanders representatives at each and every one of those caucuses. I haven't seen any of the people who were actually there complaining.

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Response to leftynyc (Reply #21)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 02:48 PM

27. outrage and drama seems much too common these days.

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Response to leftynyc (Reply #21)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 02:54 PM

30. If each coin toss was fair then the odds are 1 in 64. Most people would call that improbable.

And having the tosses in different places (different planets!), using different coins, tossed by different people (aliens!) has nothing to do with the odds. If each toss is a fair 50/50 shot then none of that matters. It seems you're the one who needs to learn something about probability.

On the other hand, maybe it wasn't 6 out of 6. Maybe it was 5 out of 8, which would be a much more probable outcome.

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Response to eomer (Reply #30)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 03:25 PM

41. No - you're wrong

 

The chances of ONE PERSON tossing the same coin 6 times makes it unlikely. That's not what happened last night although I see that's the working theme among the Bernie supporters. Carry on.

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Response to leftynyc (Reply #41)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 04:52 PM

87. The six events are independent. Makes no difference who flips the coin or where.

Do yourself a favor and don't continue to make embarrassingly wrong statements about math unless and until you can ask a competent math professor to explain it to you.

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Response to eomer (Reply #87)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 04:54 PM

88. Taht's exactly what I said

 

so I have no idea what you're bitching to me about. Lemme guess, another person upset Hillary won last night?

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Response to leftynyc (Reply #88)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 05:14 PM

97. No, you said it makes a difference whether one person or six people do the tosses.

That is incorrect. It is six independent events no matter who tosses each coin and the odds of getting six heads out of a universe of six independent tosses is 1 out of 64, which is improbable by most people's definition.

If, on the other hand, you select six tosses out of a larger universe and you choose tosses because they came out heads, then that would be a different story. But that is not what happened here if there were six tosses total across all the caucuses and they all came out heads.

In other words, if in fact there really were eight tosses then it wouldn't be surprising for five of them to have come out heads.

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Response to eomer (Reply #97)

Wed Feb 3, 2016, 06:13 AM

141. You just took longer

 

to say the exact same thing I did. You can pretend otherwise if it makes you feel better.

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Response to leftynyc (Reply #141)

Wed Feb 3, 2016, 06:58 AM

142. So you agree then that the odds of Hillary winning all six tosses (if that was the case)

was 1 out of 64?

That's not what you seemed to be saying but if that's what you meant then you are correct.

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Response to leftynyc (Reply #41)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 07:34 PM

116. It doesn't matter in the least who tossed them or where.

 

The chance of any six coin flips turning out to be all one result is (1/2)^6, regardless of any other factors (assuming no physical cheating, of course...I'm talking about genuine .500 probability for each occurrence). The equation doesn't change when the six are taking place among any number of other coin flips. Only those six are relevant, and the probability computation (above) is simple.

As I said elsewhere in the thread, a 1/64 outcome is uncommon, but hardly worth having dire suspicions about. This is a non-issue.

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Response to leftynyc (Reply #21)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 03:50 PM

56. It was still 1/64, for it to happen like it did.

Which makes it unlikely, but certainly not outside the realm of possibility, or even all that unlikely. It's about half as likely as a roulette wheel hitting a specific number.

I'm a die hard Sanders supporter, and I don't know why everyone is upset about it. It's not like it says anything about either of the candidates, good or bad.

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Response to ViseGrip (Reply #18)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 04:39 PM

81. You speak truth eom

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Response to NowSam (Reply #81)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 04:47 PM

86. No it is not the truth - it is BS RIGHT WING LIES

 

That should be grounds for tombstoning

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Response to dbackjon (Reply #86)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 04:56 PM

89. I think the observation is verifiable. eom

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Response to NowSam (Reply #89)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 04:58 PM

91. Please do so

 

I know this will be hard, but stick to non-conspiracy, non-Koch Brothers sources.

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Response to dbackjon (Reply #91)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 05:01 PM

94. We find these truths to be self evident

As the Clintons have been in the public eye since the early 1990s. Sorry but there are now multitudes who just won't drink the koolaid anymore.

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Response to James48 (Original post)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 02:39 PM

22. Dr John would have been impressed. Fat Tony, less so.

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Response to James48 (Original post)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 02:42 PM

24. Hillary Clinton Turned $1,000 Into $99,540, White House Says

 

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Response to coyote (Reply #24)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 03:27 PM

42. More right wing bullshit talking points

 

I sure hope you're proud of yourself using 22 year old right wing talking points. This place has gone into the sewer.

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Response to leftynyc (Reply #42)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 04:08 PM

67. Yes it has - I see the BS Right wing memos more on here than on GOP sites

 

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Response to dbackjon (Reply #67)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 04:36 PM

79. The absolute worst

 

thing about Bernie are some of his supporters. Repeating decades old right wing talking points and nobody bats an fucking eyelash. It's embarrassing.

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Response to leftynyc (Reply #79)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 04:45 PM

83. Yup - very embarrasing

 

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Response to leftynyc (Reply #79)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 08:30 PM

126. I wonder if they think they can win without any Democratic

voters, because they seem hell bent on doing just that.

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Response to James48 (Original post)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 02:49 PM

29. Good - The Iowa Winner Rarely Goes On To Win The Nomination

eom

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Response to cantbeserious (Reply #29)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 03:30 PM

43. That's on the republican side

 

Pres Obama won IA twice. In fact, since 1996, the winner of IA was the Democratic candidate.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iowa_caucuses

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Response to leftynyc (Reply #43)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 03:43 PM

50. Exactly.

Iowa rarely predicts a republican win, but it's pretty accurate for democrats.

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Response to James48 (Original post)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 02:59 PM

33. Now that the Sanders campaign knows how Hillary (Bill) is going to play the game

then they know what to expect in NH..
Thing about running against Hillary it is really good conditioning for when Bernie is running against a Republican in the GE.

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Response to INdemo (Reply #33)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 03:57 PM

61. ^ This.

 

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Response to INdemo (Reply #33)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 04:23 PM

72. Right? It will be interesting

to see what happens in NH. Bill and Chelsea looked pretty pissed off.

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Response to James48 (Original post)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 03:38 PM

45. That's the way it has been for years, nothing unique this year.

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Response to James48 (Original post)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 03:43 PM

48. strong the force with this one is.....

She can even change a coin in flight! Imagine what she can do with isis.

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Response to James48 (Original post)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 03:46 PM

53. a little dismaying

that we need such extensive discussions about the odds of winning 6 coin flips in a row. It's obviously 1 out of 6, or 1/6.

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Response to 6chars (Reply #53)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 04:42 PM

82. No! It's 1 in 64 (1 in 2^6).

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Response to VMA131Marine (Reply #82)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 09:44 PM

134. You are correct, it is 1 in 64

 

It just goes to show how badly we need to improve education in this country.

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Response to Jenny_92808 (Reply #134)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 10:49 PM

135. +1

Also amazing is I haven't seen one of the people in this thread who were so wrong in their use of the stats come to realize or admit their error. Sometimes the stupid boggles the mind.

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Response to VMA131Marine (Reply #82)

Wed Feb 3, 2016, 03:44 AM

140. you just have to enumerate possibilities

win 1 flip
win 2 flips
win 3 flips
win 4 flips
win 5 flips
win 6 flips

Only 1 of these 6 possibilities involves winning every time.

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Response to 6chars (Reply #140)

Wed Feb 3, 2016, 07:49 AM

143. You are simply wrong

There aren't just 6 possible events. There are 2 for every coin toss.
For example, to win exactly 1 flip is winning one of the 6 tosses (either the first, second,.... or last).
To win 2 flips is winning the first and second, or the first and third and so on.
The probability to win exactly 1 flip or 3 flips is not the same which is what you are suggesting (1/6 for both).

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Response to James48 (Original post)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 03:51 PM

57. God endorses Hillary

 

Its obvious this was God's way of endorsing Hillary!!

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Response to James48 (Original post)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 03:58 PM

63. I just don't buy it. Should have been videotaped.

To prove the coin landed that way. Ever time. Sorry. I don't buy it. "we’re not likely to ever know what the actual result was" said Weaver. Can you believe it? Somehow DWS's democratic party managed to muddy up the transparent waters of the caucuses. Not turning in results until after everyone left. Having to search for the chairs of precincts. Claiming victory while the votes weren't all in yet. Using Microsoft to tally any of it. I am sorry but I don't buy it. Muddied results. What isn't muddy at all is that Bernie is filling stadiums and Hillary stands alone in Bowling alleys. Of course I just can't believe that any Democrat would ever trust her again. She spews forth so many untruths (Love that word) so often that it is impossible to keep up with her. This system is so corrupt, so broken and so rigged that we have to expect state after state to be muddy in the results. Clinton is part and parcel of this broken system. She is the face of it. I doubt my sanity because I simply can't believe anyone in their right mind would ever vote for her.

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Response to James48 (Original post)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 04:03 PM

64. Totally normal. Hillary is 1%er, wealthy always win. Through my 68 years of life, that is how it has

always been.

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Response to James48 (Original post)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 04:07 PM

66. The person who wrote this article has no idea how the delegate totals are calculated

 

Similar situations played out at various precincts across the state, but had an extremely small effect on the overall outcome, in which Clinton won 49.9 percent of statewide delegate equivalents, while Sanders won 49.5 percent. The delegates that were decided by coin flips were delegates to the party's county conventions, of which there are thousands selected across the state from 1,681 separate precincts. They were not the statewide delegate equivalents that are reported in the final results.

The statewide delegate equivalents that determine the outcome on caucus night are derived from the county-level delegates, but are aggregated across the state and weighted in a manner that makes individual county delegate selections at a handful of precincts count for a tiny fraction of the ultimate result.

http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/elections/presidential/caucus/2016/02/02/sometimes-iowa-democrats-award-caucus-delegates-coin-flip/79680342/


The "usuncut" article in the OP is completely wrong about how the coin flips impacted the totals.

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Response to James48 (Original post)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 04:12 PM

69. Fuck running for President. She should just play the lottery!!! eom

 

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Response to James48 (Original post)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 04:15 PM

70. She was up by double digits,

over Sanders not long ago and it came down to 6 coin flips... wow.

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Response to James48 (Original post)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 04:56 PM

90. Thats not how it works.

50% chance each time.

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Response to James48 (Original post)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 05:03 PM

96. Here's one that Bernie won. I assume it's a valid vid...


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Response to WhoWoodaKnew (Reply #96)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 07:11 PM

107. Truly amazing and not a good amazing.

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Response to James48 (Original post)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 06:45 PM

101. THIS conspiracy theory is how I know Hillary won Iowa (well, besides the vote and delegate count).

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Response to James48 (Original post)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 06:56 PM

102. Call it, friendo

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Response to James48 (Original post)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 06:59 PM

103. What If It Had Gone The Other Way?

 

What if Bernie had won 6 out of 6 coin tosses?

LOL!!!!! Do you really think that was going to happen?

Somehow these things always fall in favor of the suspicious person, the one who HAS to have the victory and is usually the one supported by the powers that be.

It worked for the chad counting repubs in Florida, no surprise who was declared the victor there, even though it later was determined to be incorrect.

My point is, if anybody was going to beat 1 in 64 odds, it sure as hell wasn't going to be Bernie. How did Hillary manage it? Well, I doubt we'll ever know, some things are meant to remain secret forever. If you ask her, she'll just say it was luck, and move on.

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Response to SoCalMusicLover (Reply #103)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 07:17 PM

111. Fuzzy murky improbable events always favor the more right-leaning individuals.

Funny how that always happens. Hmm.

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Response to GoneFishin (Reply #111)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 07:23 PM

112. Always.

Like somebody had their thumb on the scales or somethin'.

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Response to James48 (Original post)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 07:26 PM

114. There were more than a dozen coin flips, and HRC did NOT win all of them

Listen to NPR's analysis of this very misleading report.

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Response to gregcrawford (Reply #114)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 07:42 PM

117. Can't be true. Clinton is evil, and is obviously rigging the flips

 

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Response to dbackjon (Reply #117)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 08:29 PM

125. Just listen to the All Things Considered report...

... it has nothing to do with evil or rigging, just cold, hard facts.

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Response to James48 (Original post)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 07:58 PM

121. Sigh, go take a combinatorics class

 

Winning six coin tosses is shockingly common.

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Response to James48 (Original post)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 08:18 PM

124. Who in the fuck is Amanda Girard?

And since when were low-rent bloggers allowed in LBN?

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Response to James48 (Original post)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 08:32 PM

127. Coin-Toss Fact Check: No, Coin Flips Did Not Win Iowa For Hillary Clinton

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Response to Agnosticsherbet (Reply #127)


Response to Name removed (Reply #137)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 11:05 PM

138. It won't be.

And the facts will be ignored.

Welcome to DU.

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Response to James48 (Original post)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 08:47 PM

128. Each coin flip stands on its own.

And in each flip they both had a 50% chance of winning. You can lump them all together and show it as 1/64 but as I said each flip stands alone. Winning all 6 is nothing more than a very good streak but not impossible by any means.

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Response to deathrind (Reply #128)

Wed Feb 3, 2016, 08:57 AM

144. The odds of a flipped coin standing are astonishingly rare

Most of the time the coin will land on heads or tails, rather than standing on the edge.


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Response to Orrex (Reply #144)

Wed Feb 3, 2016, 01:26 PM

145. :)

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Response to James48 (Original post)

Tue Feb 2, 2016, 11:01 PM

136. Luck be a lady tonight

n/t

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