The odds are 7 in 1,000 that the deck is stacked the way it is.

And no one blinks.

You know how people say “What are the odds?”, meaning that something probably did not happen by random chance alone? I got to thinking about that saying regarding the current situation with the Mueller investigation. I read that:

None of the 16 lawyers known to work for special counsel Robert Mueller are registered Republicans

There are 13 registered Democrats on the investigation and three lawyers with no party affiliation

Campaign finance records reveal that 11 lawyers are Democratic donorsOK … what are the odds that this just happened by random chance? I mean, it could be just an unfortunate or fortunate happenstance, depending on your political leanings.

Now, to calculate the odds, we have to look at the underlying populations in the places where these folks come from. Most of them seem to be from New York, so let’s look at New York voters. By registration, 49.4% of the New York voters are Democrats, 23.9% are Republicans, and the rest are either independents or decline to state.

So … if we pull sixteen people from that pool, what are the odds that thirteen of them will be Democrats? You can do this in Excel, using the following formula:

=BINOM.DIST(successes, trials, probability, cumulative)

The name of the Excel function,”BINOM.DIST”, indicates we’re calculating what is called a “binomial” (two-sided) distribution. In this case, the two sides are Democrats vs. non-Democrats. The “cumulative” in this formula means it will return the odds of getting thirteen

or fewerDemocrats out of sixteen Mueller lawyers … so we set that to “FALSE” meaning we just want the odds of exactly 13 Democratic lawyers.“Successes” means the number of Democratic lawyers, thirteen. “Trials” means the total number of Mueller’s lawyers, sixteen. And “Probability” is the chance that a random person from New York is a Democrat, which is 49.3%. So our final Excel formula is:

=BINOM.DIST(13, 16, .493, FALSE)

That returns the value of 0.007 … meaning that

the odds are one thousand to seven AGAINST it being a random occurrence…

## Going Against The Odds

You know how people say “What are the odds?”, meaning that something probably did not happen by random chance alone? I got to thinking about that saying regarding the current situation with the Mueller investigation. I read that: None of the 16 lawyers known to work for special counsel Robert Mueller are registered Republicans There…