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Not Against The Odds

September 18, 1988

Just to quibble with Larry Bensky, who reviewed "Men of Zeal" (Book Review, Sept. 4), the odds are not all that great against having two senators from the same state on a committee if selection is made at random. It depends upon the size of the committee. For committees with 12 or more members, randomly selected, it is more likely than not for two of the members to be from the same state. The question should be why such pairs do not occur more often. The answer, of course, is that committees are not randomly selected and that there may be political reasons for that. There are quite a few Senate committees with more than 12 members, but I have not checked for pairings.

WILLIAM BUCHMAN

LOS ANGELES

Editor's Note: A 50-entry table is available upon request.

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