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Probability is a mathematical term, signifying the ratio of an action to its nonaction in mathematical terms. The common example is the probability of rolling a certain number on a die—the probability is one in six. Newspapers, however, tend to use the term when discussing predictions or trends or possibilities, non-specific quantities, and, as such, their “probabilities" are really just their own estimations at an occurrence (the results of an election, for example). While between two candidates the probability is one in two, mathematically, a news source might say that a certain candidate has a 90% chance of winning “based on our assessment of the voting population.” This is a much less newsworthy statement, and falls under the heading of speculation. Probability is a mathematic quantity; possibility is a social or physical factor.
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