And Tony, who I am coming to learn, often asks the next question, asks it again, “And that’s compared to what?”
And here’s what Tony found:
So while Alliance for a Better Minnesota claims Tom Emmer missed one out of every five votes (it's actually more, over 22% if you figure 142/621) according to my database Tom Emmer "only" missed over 18% of votes. The word only in that sentence is in quotes because Tom Emmer only missed more votes than any other legislator and it's not even close.
Again according to the database I compiled of roll call votes Tom Emmer missed 147, second in missed votes was Doug Magnus with 111 and they're the only two who missed more than 100. The mean number of votes missed was 19, but in a skewed data set like this one mean is not the measure that you want to use for average, median is and the median number of votes missed was 9.
That's rather staggering when put into context, Tom Emmer missed 147 votes and the average legislator missed 9. The z-score, standard deviations from the mean, of Tom Emmer's missed votes is an out of this world 4.61. You could say that Tom Emmer is the Babe Ruth of missing votes.
Tom Emmer is the Black Swan, not predicted using ordinary statistical methods.
I have one small disagreement with Tony; Emmer is more like Mark McGwire. He had to be using steroids to pile up a record like that.
Incidentally, this is the first time I’ve linked to Tony’s blog, minn-Donkey. Try it; you’ll like it.