Numbers without facts are useless

I feel I must respond to the baseless claim made by Leland W. Williams that points to the number of counties won by the president as an important statistic in his win.

In my first class in grad school 50 years ago, the professor opened his series of lectures on statistics by telling us that a number unsupported by facts is meaningless. Just because gives the raw number of counties won, it means nothing because comparing the population of a county in Wyoming to one in Virginia is like comparing a grape to a grapefruit. Both are fruit, but that is all they have in common.

Wyoming has one representative for the entire state of 23 counties. There were 203,420 people who voted in the state in 2018 ( for an average of 8,844 votes per county. The Commonwealth of Virginia has 11 congressional districts, 95 counties and 1,716,182 voters in 2018. That is 18,065 votes per county on average and 156,016 voters per district. Each district in Virginia has about 76 percent of the voters in the entire state of Wyoming. Additionally, there are seven counties and cities in Virginia which by themselves have more voters then the entire state of Wyoming. Clearly, the number of counties won by each candidate by itself means nothing.

One can draw from a map of the United States that shows population and voting patterns that the most populated counties in the nation are within a couple of hours of either the Atlantic or Pacific oceans or the Gulf of Mexico. Since that is also where the majority of Democratic voters are located, then the disparity in the number of counties that voted for either candidate becomes clear. It also reinforces the argument that raw numbers from Fact Check are meaningless.

I stand behind my belief that until the Electoral College is banished to the history books, there will never be anything close to one man, one vote in this country.

WL Maner


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