What’s more, even if Clinton hadn’t won the coin tosses, it still would not have tilted the race in his favor. The explanation why is hellishly complicated (see NPR for a full overview ) but the bottom line is that if coin flips were to have accounted for Clinton’s entire edge, she would have had to win 47 flips in a row.

Leaving an election outcome up to chance is not uncommon in American politics, especially in local races. The laws of 35 states allow a decision by lot. In November, a Mississippi House of Representatives race was decided by drawing straws.

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