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Example with a context (Yahoo news story: South Carolina House approves bill removing Confederate flag):

The House easily approved the Senate bill by a two-thirds margin (94-20), and the bill now goes to Republican Gov. Nikki Haley's desk. She supports the measure, which calls for the banner to come down within 24 hours of her signature.

What does that exactly mean? Two-thirds obviously means two out of three. But what is a two-thirds margin?

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The House easily approved the Senate bill by a two-thirds margin (94-20), and the bill now goes to Republican Gov. Nikki Haley's desk. She supports the measure, which calls for the banner to come down within 24 hours of her signature.

The total number of Senators in the House is 94+20 = 114. Two-thirds of 114 is 76.

Thus, since 20 + 76 = 96 (close to 94) then a bill approved in a 94/20 vote is a bill approved by "a two-thirds margin". Approximately, of course, but acceptable for the purposes of a newspaper article.

A margin is a measure or degree of difference. The difference between 20 and 94 is 74. We can say

The bill passed the House by a margin of 74. Since two-thirds of the House's strength is 76, the bill passed the House by a margin of two-thirds minus 2.

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Margin is the amount the bill passed by: the difference between the votes in favour and the votes against. There were 114 votes, with 94 in favour and 20 against. 94 - 20 = 74, so the margin was 74. As CopperKettle says, 74 is approximately two thirds of the total votes.

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