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Friday, August 19, 2005
Paul Krugman: Liar, or Just Sloppy?--Updated!

(Welcome Donald Luskin and Chief Brief readers!)

Krugman repeats the idiotic canard about Miami County, Ohio in the last election:

Miami County reported that voter turnout was an improbable 98.55 percent of registered voters. And so on.

I dealt with this before, but it looks like the myth of the 98.55 percent figure is now established for history. Here's an article claiming fraud in Miami County at a website called "Free Press", whose motto is "Speaking truth to power"; I think it's safe to assume that they are not part of the vast right-wing conspiracy.

The Free Press article shows the percentage turnout at various precincts around Miami County. One precinct, CONCORD SOUTH WEST, is shown as having a 98.55 percent turnout; the others range from 50% to 94%. CONCORD SOUTH WEST had a grand total of 679 voters; the entire county had over 52,000. It is pretty obvious that the county as a whole did not have anywhere near a 98.55% turnout.

So is Krugman lying or just sloppy? You know how it goes; when one makes an error against one's own interest in an argument, it's just sloppiness. When one makes an error in one's own favor there's quite a bit higher chance it's intentional.

That one precinct certainly did have extraordinary turnout. But at the same time, that precinct delivered a net margin of 363 votes for Bush. It's completely de minimus in the overall context of his margin of over 118,000 votes. So not only is Krugman probably lying when he claims a 98.55 percent turnout for the county, but he's misleading his readers into thinking that this might be significant in the overall picture.

Moron, errr, more on Krugman at the Chief Brief, and Poor and Stupid. Right Wing News takes on Krugman's claim that the media recount of the 2000 election gave Florida to Gore.

Update: DCPI points out that in the next to last paragraph of the Free Press article, the turnout for Miami County is given as 72.23%.

Jeff Goldstein has some more outrageous revisionism by Krugman. :)


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