Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Office of Statistical Overinformation

What could be more fun than imagining an alternate reality where 64 presidents — most dead, some of them fake, a few animated, one not even ever president and two doubles — were entered in a tournament to fight each other? Analyzing the results from the 1st Round of said tournament, naturally.

These figures reflect only the 1st Round. Don't worry, the Round Two's fights will get their day of statistical fun. Or possibly, several days, depending on how many Wednesday posts we need to fill out.

Out of the 19 fictional characters entered in the pool, 10 (53.6%) moved on to the 2nd Round.

Out of 30 of the 32 fights, the older combatant won in 18 fights, or 60% of the time. We left out two fights: Kennedy vs. Dave and Kang vs. Garfield. We don't know how old Dave is, but it's very close to JFK's age, so there's no way of even estimating that. We don't know how old Kang is and ditto about even estimating that. Also, would that be in Earth years? How does that translate to Kang's species? Yeah, we'll never know.
Ronald Reagan beat Rutherford B. Hayes, who was nearly two decades younger when he was in office.
The president who served later won 62.5% of the time. Interestingly enough, the president who served latest, Nixon's Head — who served in the early 31st century — lost, while the earliest president, George Washington — 1789-1797 — won.
When it comes to statistics, it's nice to be able to weed out the extreme cases.

The taller president won 82.1% of the time.
Jed Bartlet, the shortest winner at 5'7", beat a six-foot John Tyler.
There are a few missing from this figure. There were a few instances where this could not be calculated. For example, Grover Cleveland was probably the same height as his opponent: Grover Cleveland.
Hmm, looks about the same.
    Did someone ask for pie chart madness?

    Combatants going into 1st Round, by Party:
    Democrat    19    29.69%
    Democrat-Republican    4    6.25%
    Federalist    1    1.56%
    Republican    20    31.25%
    Unaffiliated    3    4.69%
    Unknown    13    20.31%
    Whig    4    6.25%

    Going into the second round, things look like this:
    Democrat    13    40.63%
    Democrat-Republican    2    6.25%
    Federalist    0    0.00%
    Republican    8    25.00%
    Unaffiliated    1    3.13%
    Unknown    7    21.88%
    Whig    1    3.13%

    The Republicans went from 20 to 8? Well, damn.

    Most important of all? The combatants argued by Tony won 62.5% of the time.
    When reached for comment, Tony had this to say:
    Doug's reaction, meanwhile, was slightly more understated:
    Exit polls showed that both fared about the same in terms of getting their fictional presidents to win. Tony won 4 out of 7 (57.1%) in getting them to win, while Doug went 6 for 12 (50%). When we start discussing real presidents is when Doug really stunk it up. Tony went 16 for 24 (64%), while Doug only managed to get 6 out of 20 (30%).
    Hey, lookit, a new kind of chart!
    Help us generate more data for statistical analysis fun by voting in this weeks match between James Monroe and Kang from The Simpsons. We'll see you Friday!

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