Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney may have graduated cum laude from Harvard, but his campaign clearly failed Venn Diagrams 101.
On Monday, the campaign released a Venn diagram that attempted to show President Barack Obama had not kept his promises about lowering the costs of health care. The left circle in the diagram indicated that Obama promised to lower health care premiums by $2,500, while the right circle indicated that actual health care costs had risen by $2,393. In the area where the two circles intersected, the Romney campaign claimed was a “gap” of $4,893 in higher premiums that families would be forced to pay each year.
But that’s not how Venn diagrams are supposed work.
John Venn introduced the charting mechanism in 1880 to help illustrate things that sets of information have in common. The area where the two circles overlap should indicate items that are common to both sets, not a “gap” between the sets.
And then on Tuesday, the Romney campaign did it again.
They released a second diagram to attack the president’s record on job creation. Again, the campaign called the overlapping area a “gap” to depict the difference between the jobs Obama had promised to create and the jobs that had actually been created.
“The Romney campaign reveals that a mastery of Powerpoint does not, in itself, translate to mastery of Venn diagrams,” Slate’s Dave Weigel noted on Tuesday.
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