Is this what they mean by “Fuzzy” Math?

Bob Lord’s campaign released this statement back on October 14th:

GOP voter registration continues to slide in District 3

PHOENIX — Republican voter registration in Congressional District 3 took another hit, now having lost 3 percent of voters since 2006 from the party while Democrats and Independents gained voters, the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office announced late last week.

Since October 2006, Republicans dipped to 43 percent from 46 percent, while Democrats and Independents combined jumped from 53 percent to 57 percent, according to the Secretary of State and the Maricopa County Recorder.
See figures.

The raw numbers show Democrats gained 14,335 voters, Independents gained 14,110 voters and Republicans lost 6,557 voters.

Notice anything fuzzy about this math? 

The spin on these numbers is unbelievable – even by Mad Professor A-Mart standards.  The Lord campaign rounded up the Republican registration numbers (45.8% to 46%) in 2006, then rounded the numbers down to 43% (from 43.5%) in 2008.  Big deal, you ask? 

I’ve never been very good at math, but last time I checked, my 1st grade teacher taught me that you’re supposed to round up to the nearest whole number when you have a 0.5% or higher.  Which, as you probably noticed, Lord & The Army of the 12 Monkey’s conveniently did with the 2006 numbers.  Unfortunately, they forgot the basic rules of math when computing the figures for 2008. 

Why would they do this?  To make the discrepancy between Republican registration figures from 2006-2008 appear to be a wider gap of course.

However, when it comes to counting their own registration figures, they round down Dem+Ind. registration figures in 2006 (53.5% is rounded down to 53%), then round up in 2008 (55.6% is rounded up to 56%). 

And according to my math, R’s gained 2,018 in registration – they didn’t lose voters as the release implies.  

Furthermore, they manage to take credit for the real story here: independent registration is up all across the country because voters are tired of party politics: both Republicans and Democrats.  About 40% of voters registered as independents actually vote.  Compare that to about 60% of registered Republicans who typically turn out to vote.  That number promises to be even higher this year.

Various surveys will tell you Independents break 60 – 40 in favor of Republicans, assuming they even show up to vote.  Let’s assume the opposite is true this election and that Independents break 60-40 in favor of Democrats.  That’s still a 10% + registration advantage for Republicans. 

Nice try Bob.
2006 – 314,139 total
Dems – 88,963 (28.3%)
Libertarians – 2,396 (.076%)
Republicans – 143,931 (45.8%)
Other – 79,169 (25.2%)
53.5% (Dems + other)
2008 – 335,264 total
Dems – 99,098 (29.5%)
Libertarians – 2,286 (.068%)
Republicans – 145,949 (43.5%)
Green / Other – 87,631 (26.1%)
55.6% (Dems + other)


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