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Saturday
Nov172012

Arlinghaus Flunks Basic Arithmetic

Great Numbers Cruncher?  No, not at all!
Charlie Arlinghaus, the Josiah Bartlett numbers cruncher and Union Leader columnist, lost all credibility in my humble opinion last Friday night.
In an attempt to avoid Great the Stammerer and other Fox apologists for the GOP, I'm seeking new sources of news and have begun to watch the WBIN 10 o'clock news (that's Channel 50, the one owned by former Senatorial candidate Bill Binnie, everyone's Facebook friend).
The news isn't half bad, too much coverage of Massachusetts for my taste, but they do also cover New Hampshire.
Three days after the election, there was Arlinghaus The Wise pontificating on the numbers from the election.  He actually said that Republicans lost about a quarter of their seats in both the New Hampshire House and Senate.
"Hmmm..." I said to myself, reaching for a calculator (although I had pretty much figured the number out in my head already), "That doesn't seem right...how could a so-called number crunching expert be so wrong."
In fact, Republicans lost 40 percent, not 25 percent, in the New Hampshire House, going from 298 in the 2010 election to 179 this year (it was 178 when Arlinghaus pontificated, but one seat was gained in a recount).
Join me in doing the math now.  Since it was 178 at the time; let's use that number.  298 minus 178 equals 120.  Thus, we have a loss of 120 and need only figure out what percentage 120 is of 298 to get the proper answer.  No, it's not 25 percent.  In fact, it's 40.268 percent, but let's round up to 40.2 percent.  Arlinghaus, who is often brought in to tout his numbers to House and Senate panels, was off by more than 15 perecent.  40 percent is actually closer to "a half their seats" than "a quarter of their seats".
But that was only part of his problem.  He used the one quarter number in an attempt to equate House and Senate losses, as if to imply that the Republican loss in the Senate was just as bad.
So let's do the math for that body as well.  Republicans lost six of 19 Senate seats.  That was when I checked the calculator (and always will be) 31.6 percent.0.2 is much greater than 31.6, so to equate Senate and House losses is simply absurd, irresponbily so.  In fact, only one Rebpblican incumbent Senator lost (Luther of Nashua) while the number of House losers was...did I read somewhere...north of 75.
Not only was Arlinghaus wrong in his numbers (I guess we can accept that even from a numbers crunching whiz) but he was totally wrong in the suggestion that voters were upset equally with Republicans in the House and Senate.
Wake up Charlie, it's later than you think.  You don't need a calculator to understand why the Grand Ol Party was so devastated in the NH House...two words...well, perhaps three...will suffice.  BILLY THE BULLY.
Many in the media (including Nashua Telegraph editorial writers this week) are getting what I was saying all summer.  Bill O'Brien would take the GOP down to a terrible defeat.  To say that it was just as bad in the Senate as the House is simply wrong!
Arlinghaus should know better!
Oh by the way, I've told you before that once I lose respect for someone, I no longer listen when he or she speaks.  Thus it came as good news that the remote control was right at hand when WBIN attempted to serve up another dose of Arlinghaus at Ten last night.
ZAP!

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Reader Comments (2)

It sounds like Charlie was saying that the Republicans lost a quarter of THE seats, not a quarter of THEIR seats. In the Senate, 6 is a quarter of 24, and in the House 120 is 30% of 400, between a quarter and a third.
November 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRep Dan McGuire
Nice try Dan, but if Republicans lost a quarter of the seats in the House that would be 100 and in fact they lost 221. A quarter of the seats in the Senate would be six and Republicans in fact lost 11, so I'm sure I got his intent correct when I heard it, but nice try at defending the indefensible nonetheless.
November 19, 2012 | Registered CommenterRep Steve Vaillancourt

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