US Presidential survival

(Sep 9, 2008)

Senators Barack Obama and John McCain are now the confirmed candidates for their respective parties in the forthcoming US presidential election.  Much comment on Senator McCain surrounds his age (72 as at 29th August 2008), against that of Senator Obama (47, as at 4th August 2008).

The President of the USA serves a four-year term, so we can calculate the probability that a randomly chosen US male survives four years at each of the two ages.  We used the period life table for US males in 2004, available from the US Social Security website.  According to this table, a seventy-two-year-old US male has a 85.6% chance of surviving four years, whereas the figure for a forty-seven-year-old is 98.0%.  Thus, the older manů

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Tags: Barack Obama, John McCain

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