Final Word from Thursday, January 31, 2013

Jan Tuček of STEM/Mark polling agency poured cold water last night on the idea that Karel Schwarzenberg might have won the election if not for his handling of the Beneš Decrees. Speaking at Charles University, Tuček said that KJS would have lost anyway, based on a comparison of the handicaps of the two candidates. It was a lost cause from the start, he said. The way the media continue to refer to the results also gives the false impression that it was a close race. Miloš Zeman didn't win by 9.61%; he won by 9.61 percentage points, which is actually a difference in votes of 21.25% (2.24m for KJS, 2.71m for Zeman). For Schwarzenberg to have won by a single vote, a full 8.8% of Zeman's voters would have had to change their mind and cast their ballot for the other candidate. To add some perspective, Barack Obama was reelected last Nov. with just 51.06% of the popular vote, which was considered a solid victory.[Czech Republic presidential]

Glossary of difficult words

to pour/throw cold water on something - to criticize or stop something that people are enthusiastic about;

lost cause - a hopeless matter; a futile attempt;

percentage point - one hundredth of a whole; a rise in the interest rate from 1.5% to 2.5% is a rise of 1 percentage point, not of 1%.


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