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Mathematics Says Romney and Santorum Tied In Iowa 457

Hugh Pickens writes "Presidential candidate Mitt Romney received eight more votes than candidate Rick Santorum or 0.007 percent of the total number of caucus votes in the Iowa caucus, 'eking out a victory' on the path to winning the Republican nomination for president but experts in statistics say Romney and Santorum actually tied. 'From a statistical point of view, you can't say Romney won any more than you can say Santorum won,' says Charles Seife, a professor of journalism at New York University who studies election error. That's because in the Iowa caucus, where voters marked their choices with check marks or by writing the candidates' names in by hand, the error rate in counting the votes, which is also done by hand is orders of magnitude above the victory margin — around 0.5 to 1 percent. There are several sources of error that could easily render eight votes meaningless." (Read on for more.)

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