Fun History Fact of the Day
By Bryan Caplan
From my former student Jeremy Horpedahl:
Lists of elections decided by one vote are often circulated in the popular press and by government election officials (interestingly, often directed at children). Most of the commonly cited examples are either completely wrong or are for very small electorates (e.g. legislatures), or both. The oft-cited claim that “one vote gave Adolf Hitler leadership of the Nazi Party” is a clear example of this: Hitler was not elected by one vote, but rather had only one vote against him (553 to 1), probably the Ron Paul of the Nazi Party if you can imagine that. And furthermore, this was in an electorate of just 554 persons.
I’d never heard that Hitler was elected by one vote, but now I’m ready to jump all over anyone who says he was.
P.S. With apologies to Ron, does anyone know who this “Ron Paul of the Nazi Party” was?