The mathematics of politics

Mathematical models of politics – such as those doing the rounds now on the US Presidential elections – are great fun for academics and presumably please university administrators because they get the college’s name in the news.

Mitt Romney
Mitt Romney (Photo credit: Dave Delay)

But they have one fatal flaw – they do not, and cannot, account for events dear boy, events.

Last night’s US presidential debate is a case in point. After weeks on being on the canvass, Mitt Romney‘s campaign showed signs of life and it is certainly the case that Barack Obama’s campaign have been discomfited by the President’s oddly lack lustre performance.

Of course, the economic models of politics will probably work out fine and Barack Obama will be elected president – Romney needed a knockout last night and he did not get that (today gamblers have even marked down Mitt Romney’s chances). But the models and their promoters should pause for thought.