Monday, November 22, 2004

Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics (Divorce American Style)

The Internet is now filled with claims about the low divorce rate for blue states, the high divorce rates for red states, and what it means for voters who supposedly put Bush back in office because of moral values (Hint: it begins in "hypo" and ends in "crisy."). This first appeared in the New York Times a week ago. Many of our friends have joyously pointed out this supposed inconsistency.

The only problem is that it's not true. Those calculations were done as a proportion of population, which means that states with a low rate of marriage also have a low rate of divorce. But clearly any state which has no marriages will have no divorces. Which states have low rates of marriage? Umm, the blue ones. When you properly calculate divorce rates as a fraction of marriages, the supposed correlation vanishes. Poof. Powerline Blog has a good post on this.

The person who gathered this factoid could have easily checked this (there were no citations for this statistic, either). The Left keeps asking what "moral values" means to Red America. For one thing, it means not lying -- not saying something you know to be untrue in an effort to deceive (that's what we poor Bush-voting rubes mean by "lying.")

By far the biggest loser in this election was not John Kerry, but rather mainstream media. And if they keep this up, they'll just keep on losing.
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